Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How To Overmanage Your Bullpen, by Joe Girardi

"Hmmm, let's see here. There are two outs and it's the bottom of the 9th inning. The tying run is still in the dugout. Why don't I go get my closer? RIGHT NOW!"

"Yeah, perhaps that wasn't such a good idea."

Rivera hadn't pitched in five days, he probably needed some work. The Yanks had been up for 7 runs for four straight innings, it's not like the situation snuck up on Girardi. Why not let him start the 9th?

Or, I suppose, you could bring in someone else and go into panic mode when you are still up by 5 runs. The absolute worst case scenario was that Albaladejo gives up a three run homer and the Yanks are up by two, with two out and no one on base. That shouldn't even count as a save situation. It's one out. And again, that's the worst case scenario. Why pull the alarm and rush Rivera into the game? The guy is an extremely valuable commodity and he's 39 years old. Don't jerk him around unless it's absolutely necessary. 

This isn't because Granderson hit the home run. It was a stupid decision regardless of the result. The bullpen meddling annoys me, Joe, it probably lowers the confidence of the pitcher you are taking out of the game, and most importantly, IT KEEPS BACKFIRING ON YOU. 



  1. Girardi's bullpen management was a strength last year, but I'm in agreement with you that he's tinkered around too much this year.

    The fact that much of the bullpen has been pretty bad to date doesn't help matters, but you're right in that the decisions are questionable regardless of the result.

    I feel bad for Albie. This is the second time in less than a week that his manager has shown him up like this.

  2. That's what's so confusing about this for me. I don't remember him making so many changes, especially with two outs last year. The bullpen was great, so why try to do a cut-rate Tony LaRussa impression whenever you get the chance this time around?

    You'd think he's be trying to instill confidence in Albie at this point, and pulling him when the sitatuon didn't call for it certainly doesn't accomplish that goal.