Thursday, August 14, 2008

Bullpen Management

I wrote this all before Mark Teixeira continued to prove that he's worth whatever Boras asks for him. Seriously, give that man his paycheck. I'll update once the game goes final, but I really need to sleep.

Look, I'm the last person who's going to complain about a loss at this point. The Angels were 18-5 after the break to this point, and honestly, of all the teams to lose to, you might as well lose to the worst team in baseball. It doesn't hurt any more than a loss to the Red Sox, but it matters way less in the overall playoff implications.

With that said...

Bullpen management. Managers really don't have a lot to do in the dugout. Some of them like to overmanage. Some like to take naps. And really, most of the time, none of that matters. The one place where managers can make the biggest impact is with pitching changes, and this, unfortunately, is where Mike Scioscia fails the same way other managers fail.

It's one thing to have designated guys for an inning. It's quite another to ignore the performance of a particular pitcher, either in platoon splits or in overall performance, to stay with your standard 6-7-8-9 guys. Tonight's example? Darren Oliver. Darren Oliver is old. He's a lefty. This does not make him a LOOGY. Lefties are actually hitting for substantially higher average as compared to normal people. What does this mean? It means stop putting Oliver in as a LOOGY, Mike.

Second example? Jose Arredondo. Anybody watching Jose this season will tell you he's a closer under construction. He throws hard, including a slider that reaches 90 mph and is virtually unhittable. That said, the kid's young. This is his first season during which he's spent any time in the majors. As such, he's going to get tired as the games wear on, particularly now, late in the summer with September and the playoffs looming. Thus, don't throw him out there every f'ing day. Making him pitch tonight was a waste, and honestly, Oliver should've been out there in the seventh, not Jose.

Finally, Frankie Rodriguez. I disagree with the concept of closers. The save, as a statistic, has done more harm to baseball, particularly baseball salaries, than anything else in the recent history of the game. Because of the save, closers like Frankie ask for, and get, obscene amounts of money to throw 50-60 innings a year. But it's part of the game. Fine. What that means, though, is that when a closer fails to do his job, as Frankie did tonight, he needs to be pulled immediately. Allowing him to blow the save, and then compounding the problem by allowing him to give up go-ahead runs, is absolute nonsense and needs to be discouraged. In other words, once the tying run is in, the closer is done. Period. Their arms are worth too much money to let them continue to pitch when they clearly don't have it.


  • Might one of the C's in CC Sabathia stand for "Calabasas?" You've gotta hope he ends up on the Halos next season.
  • Casey's been ice cold as a Brave, but he'll heat up, I promise. They've gotta stop batting him third and fourth...he's not a #3 or #4 hitter.
  • Don't care. At all. Every culture does stupid shit regularly.
  • Swimming is dumb. Synchronized diving is way dumber. It may be even less of a sport than synchronized swimming. Maybe not.
  • Northeastern needs to get their shit together. The internet connection speed is degrading regularly, even when I'm not using uTorrent or downloading 650 meg photos from the Hubble.
  • The US Open is run by a bunch of idiots, and I'm not watching it this year in protest of their blatantly ageist procedures. I hope it rains for two straight weeks.

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