From the excellent Marc Carig:
But when asked if he would rest Rodriguez and his surgically repaired hip at least one game this week, Yankees manager Joe Girardi balked. I must ask, haven’t we seen this movie before?
“We’re going to talk about it,” said Girardi, who played Rodriguez 38 straight since his return from hip surgery. “The thing is he had Monday off and he’s going to have next Monday off. But I still think I’m leaning towards giving him a day off here somewhere.”
The Yankees enter Thursday night’s game with a chance to win the Braves series. The Subway Series follows, leaving few natural breaks in the schedule for Rodriguez to sit.
“That is kind of hard,” Girardi said about giving Rodriguez time off, especially after showing signs of life.
So, to recap, the doctors have already prescribed added rest, though the manager is tempted to use Rodriguez, and the star player is OK with it all. Isn’t this what led to A-Rod needing to take two days off for fatigue?
I am not sure what the issue is here. As Girardi stated, Alex got Monday off, and he had two days off over the weekend as well. A day off next Monday is within the plan of giving him one day a week. However, I do want to highlight the questioning that Carig does of Joe’s decision and the general attitude that many have to the novice manager. This is a BP article
from 2000, courtesy of RAB commenter V:
Kendall then bloops a single that moves Ramirez to third base. After allowing only three hits in the first seven innings, Wolf has given up four hits to five batters in the eighth, with the only exception being someone who bunted. Gee, you think it’s time for a change? Nope, it’s only Galen Cisco coming out of the dugout to talk with Wolf. He’s staying in there.
Wil Cordero smokes a triple putting the Pirates up 5-3. Wolf has now thrown 115 pitches in the game and given up five hits in the inning, two of the last three being hit very hard. Not only has a promising start gotten away from him, he’s now on the hook for a possible loss. And Terry “It’s good for a pitcher’s confidence” Francona is leaving him in there!
This time it’s another lengthy at-bat for Brian Giles, who eventually singles in the fifth run of the inning. So that makes six hits in seven batters, a total of 28 pitches, with a reliever warming up the entire time. Finally, Francona makes the move. Wolf racked up 122 pitches on the evening, almost a quarter of them when it was blatantly obvious that he was tired. In the process, what had been a great outing turned into a complete disaster.
Forget about the long-term implications for Wolf’s arm–and believe me, I’m trying to forget in order to avoid screaming–this was just plain stupid managing in terms of trying to win the game. To hell with firing Francona: that’s too quick. How about drawing and quartering?
Terry Francona was viewed as an awful manager in Philadelphia, and there were calls for his head on a nightly basis. Managers improve with time, but never achieve perfection and are always open to the second guess. I think Joe Girardi is a fine manager, but one non-playoff season has turned the masses against him, so that every mistake is magnified. Take the A-Rod situation that started this discussion. His was not the only achy hip from the last week:
Terry Francona says he’s learned from his mistakes.
The Red Sox manager says he needs to do a better job giving veteran third baseman Mike Lowell days off now and again. After a three-day blow, including two games, Lowell is back in the lineup Tuesday night against the Nationals.
Francona believed it was a much-needed rest for the 35-year-old Lowell, who had offseason hip surgery.
“I hope so. I hope it helped a lot,” said Francona. “I think he was pretty sore. That’s my fault because he’s willing to go out there and never complains, I should have probably sat him a few times. I didn’t and I need to do better in that area.”
Obviously Lowell is not as vital to the Red Sox as Alex is to the Yankees. However, being that I just stumbled upon this story today, I would suggest that the two managers were covered in entirely different ways. Francona has earned some leeway in regard to the strategic portions of managing, but there is no reason that he should be treated differently regarding managing injuries. We need to stop turning every mistake by Girardi into a massive deal, and accept the fact that he is learning on the jobs and will stumble occasionally.
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