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Tuesday, June 05, 2001

Boston Globe Online: Being overprotective left them vulnerable

If Pedro is hiding an injury or discomfort, I commend the Red Sox coaching staff; if not, Jimy Williams is an idiot. Based on Jimy’s past actions I can’t give him the benefit of doubt.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 05, 2001 at 01:58 PM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Michael Posted: June 05, 2001 at 08:00 PM (#69134)
The author's opinion is that Yankee-Red Sox games are different, they just are. The only "fact" to support this is that the Yankees are the direct competition in the division seemingly, so each game with the Yankees likely is a two-game swing in terms of the division standings.

Given that this was Pedro's third start in a row against the Yankees, the prior two starts were each 120+ pitches, 3 earned runs in 6 innings isn't all that effective for Pedro, Pedro's propensity for injuries the last two seasons makes one think that a bit of preemptive TLC is in order, the likelihood that Pedro will again get to face the Yankees later in the season, the Boston bullpen generally has been strong this year (although not as good as Pedro himself obviously), it sounds to me like Williams' decision was reasonable, not idiotic. Blustery beatwriters may pound their chests saying that beating the Yankees is essential, but Williams knows that it is a marathon.

I didn't watch the game so I can't say whether the decision to pull Pedro was the right one, but the facts don't suggest that it was so far wrong as to label Williams an idiot.
   2. JimFurtado Posted: June 05, 2001 at 11:45 PM (#69135)
As I said in my initial comment, if Pedro has recently experienced any shoulder/arm discomfort (especially during the game) then Jimy Williams was justified in taking Pedro out.

On the other hand ....

Here's the Sox's remaining games for the first half:

<pre>
   3. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 06, 2001 at 01:28 AM (#69136)
Speaking of dumb managerial moves (and I'm agnostic about Williams/ Pedro), has there ever been a more blockheaded one than when Mike Hargrove moved Colon up a day in the rotation in the 1999 Division Series? Instead of saving him for a fifth game when he would have had four days rest (and Colon had allowed but 5 hits and 2 runs in 8 innings in beating Martinez in Game 1), Hargrove panicked and pitched him in Game 4, where he got bombed, 23 to 7. That was bad enough, but at this point Hargrove then also had to pitch Nagy on three days rest, instead of having him for possible short or middle relief of a fully rested Colon in Game 5. Nagy, of course, also got murdered on short rest, and the Indians lost a series in which they had been up 2-0. Colon had never, in his entire ML career, pitched on three days' rest until Hargrove handed him the ball for game 4.

The only possible explanation for Hargrove's move is that he had lost count of the games, and thought that after the third game the Indians were on the brink of elimination. If ever there were a case of a manager who deserved to be fired for one moment of stupidity, this was it.
   4. Michael Posted: June 06, 2001 at 02:39 PM (#69138)
Jim,

Thanks for the spirited response (and the many entertaining posts you make).

If "idiot" is the word you want to use, there's no need to hunt for a synonyn. What I'm saying is that decisions aren't merely just right or wrong but can be viewed as falling along a spectrum from obviously correct to inexplicably bad. Even if you agree with the article's author that Williams' decision was wrong, was it really so obviously wrong as to label Williams an idiot (assuming Williams didn't know of an injury problem with Pedro)? I'm arguing no, that there were enough facts supporting Williams' decision that even if one thinks it was wrong, it wasn't idiotic.
   5. JimFurtado Posted: June 07, 2001 at 12:00 AM (#69141)
Michael,

I've taken a deep breathe, caught up on my sleep, hugged my kids, and re-read your two posts. Jimy Williams is not an idiot. My passion for the Sox got the best of me. Thanks for helping me re-align my neural receptors.

Every time I try to think along with Jimy, my brain gets out of whack. Since Jimy seems to be doing so many things this season which simply can't be understood without a Jimywocky babel fish, it's tough at times to keep things in perspective.

Unfortunately, I doubt Jimy's moves will start making sense anytime soon.

Maybe I need a support group.
   6. Michael Posted: June 07, 2001 at 11:57 AM (#69143)
Two points, Jim, for the babel fish reference.

Long live Douglas Adams! Oops. Really? Oh, never mind.
   7. scruff Posted: June 07, 2001 at 12:08 PM (#69144)
"We need betta startas (Boston accent)!"

Steve, in going for the Bastin accent, you need to leave the "r" out of staatas.

As for lifting Pedro early, 90 pitches is premature, especially in a big game w/the Yanks. But I don't fault anyone for using kid gloves in June with the most valuable commodity in major league baseball. The guy Pedro most reminds me of is Koufax. I know the similarity scores don't bear this out, but when you look at their builds, and the high level they've achieved (as high as only Grove in my opinion, on a peak level) I'd be careful too. Martinez is only 2 years from where Koufax was when his career ended. Pedro has a history of arm problems. I know he's not throwing 300+ innings, 40 starts a year, but I'd say caution is warranted.

That being said, unless he was complaining of a tired arm, it probably was pretty far down on the continuum (towards idiot) but he was on "only" four days rest, and had a couple of 120 pitch outings before this. I'll trust Jimy for now on this one. I didn't read anything about Pedro complaining he'd been taken out too early, but I could have missed that.

The real blame here should be on the bullpen for blowing the lead. It wasn't like they only had 1 run to work with over 3 innings. They did have a 4-1 lead. I realize I'm hedging here, but that's the point. You really can't say whether or not this was a bad decision, even Jimy doesn't know for sure. He took the available data and made a call. I probably would have given him another inning, but I can't say Jimy was 100% wrong here. It just didn't work out. It happens, get over it and move.

By the way, does anyone else out there think Bob Ryan is one of the most pompous jackasses he's ever heard? Every time he's on the Sports Reporters I cringe.

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