When Francisco Cervelli was dropped from the World Series roster, I said that we could "almost certainly infer" that Jorge Posada would be catching A.J. Burnett in Game 2. Earlier today I threw out the option of benching Nick Swisher and starting Brett Gardner in center field but said that I was "certain Joe Girardi won't do it".
Well friends, Joe Girardi certainly did remove Nick Swisher from the line up, but in favor of Jerry Hairston, Jr., not Gardner. Why, you might ask? Because Hairston totally crushes Pedro! In 31 career plate appearances, he has a line of .370/.433/.519. Pretty awesome, right?
What's that? Ah, I've just been told that the last time Hairston faced him was in two thousand fucking four when Pedro was a completely different pitcher. Since then, Hairston made over 1606 plate appearances for four different teams. But don't worry, those 31 PAs are totally relevant.
Hairston's a pretty good defender, but he's not about to take over center field and allow Melky Cabrera to play right, thereby shoring up two positions like a certain gritty, guttier option would have. (By the way, Hairston has only started one game in RF all year). He's not going to steal bases like Gardner theoretically could either. He's also 10 for his last 65, for what it's worth.
I was semi-in-favor-of benching Swish this morning so I guess I can't complain too much. But to do it in favor Hairston doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Even Eric Hinske, who figures to get some ABs in Philly and might benefit from a tune up would be a better choice. The Molina decision, on the other hand, doesn't make any fucking sense at all.
One might have thought that after the first inning of Game 5 in Anaheim, the sacred union of Burnett and Molina would have been all but dissolved. After all, Burnett gave up 4 runs in the first frame without recording an out and with Molina catching him. After Posada pinch hit for Molina, he and Burnett worked well enough to record two scoreless innings. A.J. gave up two baserunners in the seventh inning who eventually came around to score, but some of that falls on the relievers. Or at the very least, you could conclude that the catcher isn't the problem, it's Burnett. And then simply insert the better offensive option behind the plate.
Now everyone enters the game with a prepackaged scapegoat. If Burnett fares poorly, Girardi should have had Posada behind the plate. If the offense is dead and Jerry Hairston goes 0-4 with 3 Ks, Joe should have left Swisher in. He's inadvertently putting more pressure on his players because they now have to come up big to validate his
Oh yeah, Pedro is starting for the Phillies, but we already went over that.
As Jorge Posada said before Game 2 of the ALDS "we'd better win". Because if the Yankees don't, the blame is going to be aimed squarely at Joe Girardi. No pressure, Yanks.
People see me all the time and they just can't remember how to act,
Their minds are filled with big ideas, images and distorted facts.
Even you, yesterday you had to ask me where it was at,
I couldn't believe after all these years, you didn't know me better than that.
Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your mouth,
Blowing down the backroads headin' south.
Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,
You're an idiot, babe.
It's a wonder that you still know how to breathe.