Sunday, September 26, 2010

Joe Gerardi and The Yankees

I have to write this before tonight's game because I don't want anything to happen that might throw me off my complaints. Whether they win or lose the Yankees' season has been severely compromised because Gerardi manages by "plan" and nothing can make him deviate from that plan. Oh I know he's got an engineering degree from Northwestern and he's real bright, maybe too bright. All engineers have a plan and they follow it making only the adjustments that would make their project better or safer. BUT this is Baseball and sometimes the plans laid out are just no good so you have to change the plans. This has nothing to do with the strategy of how the game is played. Anybody in baseball knows "the book", and knows other strategies. All managers have been in Baseball for a long time so it depends on how they apply the nuances of the game and if they have the talent to execute said nuances. This is about managing athletes in a very long season and keeping their psyches well. This is about a philosophy of not preparing for something that needs prior accomplishments. Joe Gerardi, some time ago decided that he needed to have his team ready for the playoffs so they could go onto the World Series in top physical shape with his pitching rotation intact and a healthy restful bullpen. So he let it be known that he would manipulate his starters and bullpen to reach that position that the Yankees would be at full strength barring any injuries. He said we would see more of Gauguin and Mitre and minor league call ups so as not to tire his relievers. Everything is working to plan EXCEPT he forgot one thing; you have to win more than your competition to make it all worthwhile. He has given up on games early, like last night's game, losing only 4 to 0 he brings in Chad Gauguin instead of one of his top relievers, and Chad promptly gives up two home runs putting the game out of reach especially since Lester is pitching a no hitter into the 5th. inning. The last two weeks the Yanks have been terrible because this philosophy has crept into the players minds. The pro ballplayer has to think they're invincible, and the Yanks did. Then, Gerardi's master plan kicked in. The first effect on their collective sub-conscious was we've won so they let up, only a bit, lost some games and then sub-consciously began to doubt themselves. They are now in a collective funk. With a week to go the Yanks need only 3 games to clinch a playoff spot, which they should do. BUT, they have taken a beating to get there, if Gerardi played to win they could've closed one or two weeks ago. Instead as we enter tonight's game, If they do not win they will still have 3 games to clinch with Boston, decimated by serious injuries to star players, closing fast because they play to win EVERY game. I wish the best for Joe Gerardi, but win or lose the bid for the World Series I'd feel better with him Managing the Chicago Cubs next year. We can't get Buck Showalter back but there must be someone out there, Bobby Valentine, Willie Randolph? Anyone because Joe must go!
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