Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Girardi's non-moves cost AL All-Star game

Joe Girardi has always made some questionable moves in managing games for the New York Yankees. Apparently, managing an All-Star team raises his bizarre strategies to a whole new level.

When David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox led off the 9th inning with a single and the American League down two runs, Girardi left the tortoise-like Ortiz on the bases when he could have sent Ty Wigginton back into the game to pinch run for him. Then, the Yankees manager had three different chances to send Alex Rodriguez up to pinch hit. An ARod bomb at any time would have tied the game, which apparently Girardi was so concerned about that he didn't even send his third baseman to the plate. Instead, we had Adrian Beltre, who was so banged up that he almost didn’t make the All-Star roster, and Ian Kinsler, a good player who only has four homers this year, up at the plate to end the game for the American League. Why did he put ARod on the All-Star team if he wasn't going to use him?

Even Girardi didn’t have a reasonable explanation for his non-moves. He talked about pinch running ARod for Beltre if he got on base. But why not just use ARod, a more dangerous batter, if you were going to remove Beltre anyway? Girardi also pointed to the possibility of extra innings and how that would impact his lineup. But you have to tie the game before you can win it. The Yankees manager has a bad tendency to over-think these situations and it seems clear that he was paralyzed into inaction.

Girardi talked about how important home-field advantage is in the World Series. But he didn't manage like it was, leaving his big gun on the bench with the game on the line.

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