Being in the dugout during the game is awkward. It kind of feels like the baseball equivalent of watching American Pie with your parents. You don’t want to be there. They really don’t want you there.
A dugout doesn’t feel like home to a reliever. And having to sit in one raises so many questions: Are there certain places I can’t sit? When can I use the bathroom? Should I high-five someone after he scores? There’s a reason the bullpen was invented in the first place!
Ultimately, though, every manager—every single one—falls into the same basic patterns with the late innings. They’ll go with committees only to the point that one member of that committee catches fire, and then they’ll ride that guy in the ninth for as long as his arm and effectiveness will allow.
I asked Showalter why that is.
“There are four parts of a season,” Showalter said. “Spring Training, when you manage pitchers completely different; the regular season, when you manage starters and ...
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