Sunday, April 11, 2010

Gutsy Girardi right to hook CC Sabathia

Keeping the big picture in mind, Joe Girardi said he would have pulled CC Sabathia out of yesterday's baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays even if his ace was still pitching a no-hitter. Good luck with that, Joe.

Fortunately, Girardi was spared the firestorm he would have created when Kelly Shoppach singled to left off Sabathia. (Girardi might want to send Shoppach a fruit basket). The Yankees manager was out of the dugout before the hit even landed, proving he was serious about pulling Sabathia. But Shoppach, Sabathia's former teammate, said it best when he said Girardi would have needed a lot of help to drag his big guy out of the game if the no-hitter was still intact.

I respect Girardi for having the guts to stick to his guns. From a baseball standpoint, there's no question it's the right call. CC is a horse, but you don't want your horse getting hurt on his second run around the track. But it would have created a colossal uproar, with New York Yankees fans jamming the phone lines to radio shows to express their outrage.

One of the great things about being a Yankees fan is that we've gotten to enjoy some magical moments in baseball history. I know a lot of fans, including myself, would have felt cheated if the chance to have another moment like that was taken away from us. Eventually, I probably would have come to terms with that decision, but it would have been tough to take.

I liken it to the Indianapolis Colts forgoing a chance at a perfect season to prepare themselves for a long run in the playoffs. And nobody can say that was the wrong call since they made it all the way to the Super Bowl. The Yankees have gotten back to the team-first mentality that was basis for their late 1990s dynasty and no one player is above that, including their ace.

Thanks to chris.ptacek via Wikipedia for the photo.

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