Jul
14

Hughes the loser as NL takes home field advantage

By

But Robbie did have the AL's only RBI | Photo credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP

Last night the All-Stars took mercy on us. After the folks at MLB tortured us with 50 minutes of pre-game dreck the game actually rolled along at a swift two hours and fifty-nine minutes, all the more impressive because of the extra-long Fox commercial breaks. A short All-Star game is a good All-Star game. The NL might have won, capturing home field advantage in the World Series for the first time since 2001, but it matters little. It was an exhibition, and if you’re a fan of watching hitters whiff it was a quality one.

A quarter of all batters in the game struck out against 12 different pitchers, three of them going down against Jose Valverde in the ninth. The pitching was so good that each team scored in only one instance. In the fifth Robinson Cano hit a sac fly to put the AL ahead 1-0, and then in the seventh Brian McCann hit a bases loaded double to capture the lead for good. Two of the baserunners were Phil Hughes‘s responsibility; he took the loss in the game.

The game itself was just as interesting as other All-Star games. The managers still manage it like an exhibition, and the players still play that way. It’s a spectacle for us to enjoy, and for the most part I enjoyed this one. That’s partly because I love watching strikeouts, but it’s also partly because Ben, Mike, and I got to watch Panasonic’s presentation of the All-Star game in 3D.

For the past few weeks YES has been running spots about the first ever HD game, so the details have been out for a while. The 3D broadcast only works on 3D TVs, and you need goggles to see it — but not the googles you get at the movie theater. These are battery powered and can focus on only one 3D image at a time. We could turn around the room and watch each TV, but it would take a few seconds for the image to come into focus.

Here are the googles:

And here’s me wearing the googles:

Ze googles! They do nothing!

As you can see, they’re pretty dorky and I’m pretty sure I’d prefer to watch a baseball game without them, even if the image is pretty neat. Then again, we got to listen to a different commentating crew, so by wearing the glasses I didn’t have to listen to Buck and McCarver. So maybe the trade-off is worth it.

A few of observations on the 3D experience:

  • It looks like they’re playing on a stage. The players do pop, almost like they’re inside a diorama, but the playing field and background are flat. I’m not complaining, because it’s kind of neat. You definitely see things in different proportions.
  • The primary camera angle was behind the left-handed batter’s box. That took some getting used to, but once I did I loved it. You can pick up the pitcher’s delivery much better. It also takes a while to follow the ball after it comes off the bat. The cameras don’t maneuver well (or else they just don’t have enough of them to match the number of cameras we’re used to). I never did get a feel for the strike zone because of the off-center angle.
  • There was a noticeable difference when viewing the screen from an angle and when viewing it from straight on. I was watching from an angle on the main TV, but found myself frequently turning to another because I had a better angle.

Two more days until real baseball.

Categories : All Star Game
  • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

    A+ tag

  • sangreal

    I don’t really get why Verlander got to stay in to clean up his mess, but not Hughes. More importantly, where the hell was A-Rod? If we wasn’t going to pinch hit, he should have at least been running for Ortiz?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9370232 Mike HC

      Its an all star game. Decisions by managers are usually made for a thousand reasons other than winning the game.

      Who knows why Girardi made the moves he did. Some guys might have told him they really want to play, others might have said to give other guys a shot and they didn’t care, little injuries we don’t even know about, trying to get everyone in, etc … There is so much going on, to even second guess the manager at all is a little ridiculous, in my opinion.

  • Carlosologist

    It was a great game IMO. Even though the AL lost, I loved seeing 96+ from everybody (Including Hughes, he touched 96 twice on the FOX gun). Contrary to popular belief, I think that not having HFA is good. It gives the Yanks three straight games at home. Assuming a Game 1 or 2 victory, they can probably sweep at home, as they have been wont to do at the House George Built.

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime-Jesus & Maquinito FTW

    Oh, so that means the Yankees will sweep or win in five?

    I’m down with that.

  • http://twitter.com/j_yankees2213 j_Yankees

    I thought the game itself was very good. Listen, some folks just don’t like the All Star game…I don’t totally get why people dislike the all star game so but hey it is what it is. I think i found myself getting into this all star game more then in the past because of girardi managing and what not.

    I do wish that the managers would treat this more as a real game then they do. I have no problem with the home field advantage deal…i like it better then switching back and forth and i do think it adds something to the game. But if its going to be a game that determines something like game 7 in the WS (which does matter) then i think managers need to do away with getting all the players in and what not and just play to win. Let the players be named all stars and get that honor. But Leave the starting lineup out there the whole time…let the starters go 4-5 innings.

  • Wil Nieves #1

    I enjoyed Trevor Cahill’s arousing ovation, similar to that of Bernie Williams at the old stadium’s final game.

    • HolyGhostClaw

      LOL @ arousing!

  • Nickel

    Funny…this is the first All-Star game in a REALLY long time that I watched all nine innings. Usually, I just skip it because I usually find it long and boring. I think, in some strange way, The Boss’ passing somehow made me want to watch this year. Plus, I go through baseball withdrawal during the All-Star Break and and I guess I just wanted to watch baseball in some form knowing that the Yankees won’t play again on Friday. (It’s great for the players to have that Thursday off-day, but I, as a fan, hate it). I loved the fact that it was a relatively quick-paced game this time.

    I still refuse to kill Girardi for any move he made (or didn’t make) during the game. In my opinion, a successful All-Star Game is one in which nobody gets injured, regardless of the outcome. As much as I like to watch Yankees in the All-Star game, I like much more to watch the Yankees healthy.

    • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

      I still refuse to kill Girardi for any move he made (or didn’t make) during the game. In my opinion, a successful All-Star Game is one in which nobody gets injured, regardless of the outcome. As much as I like to watch Yankees in the All-Star game, I like much more to watch the Yankees healthy.

      This all over.

      • Nickel

        “Prob’ly shouldn’a said dat.” —Hagrid

        • Nickel

          Just to clarify- This is in reference to what I said, not you. I didn’t want to open up a big ugly can of worms again.

  • Rose

    Hughes continues to struggle. I seem to think it has to do with the innings limit nonsense but others will point to his (seeming) decline that took place before hand. I know it’s just an All Star Game and everybody is an All Star and such…but he’s been getting bopped around a bit lately. He pitched well against Seattle but they stink real bad. Even Toronto stinks bad and they lit him up.

    I’ll always believe that the “innings limits” nonsense is exactly that. Joba went through the process the way they wanted it and he’s seemingly declined over the years rather than matured or improved.

    Anyway, last night’s particular performance could, and probably is, just chalked up to a semi-new and young pitcher facing a line up of incredible hitters in his first All Star Game where he grew up. But I still think the innings limits nonsense isn’t doing him any favors whatsoever.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9370232 Mike HC

      huh? They skipped him in one start so far. You are claiming that is the reason Hughes has not kept up his under 3 era?

      More likely it is the league catching up to him and adjusting and/or Hughes is getting up their in innings and is tiring on his own.

      • Tim

        That, and the fact that he still has not gained any confidence in a change-up. Without a change, he basically throws mostly straight and cut fastballs and a curve that he hangs way too much in the zone. He NEEDS to throw a change-up, even if it is still lousy, to show it to hitters as something in his toolkit. Without it, he’s a middle to back of the rotation guy that can occasionally dominate. With it, he’s front of the rotation material.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9370232 Mike HC

          Right. Hughes is in the midst of adding in the curve and change.

          His innings limit has nothing to do with it as was described in more detail below

      • Rose

        You are claiming that is the reason Hughes has not kept up his under 3 era?

        No. I am not claiming that.

        More likely it is the league catching up to him and adjusting and/or Hughes is getting up their in innings and is tiring on his own.

        I feel the first part is more likely than the second part. “Tiring out” after not even a full half a season is kind of a cop out. That’s like the Red Sox fans claiming that Dice K stunk immediately out of the gate last year because he had to pitch a couple extra games before the season for the WBC. Hughes is a big guy. At 6’5″ and 240 lbs, I’d think he’d be able to handle it over somebody like Tim Lincecum who is 5’11” and 170 lbs. But nobody knows for sure.

    • Slugger27

      dude… the innings limit so far has been 1 start on 8 days rest instead of 4 days rest. thats it.

      …. am i missing something…?

      • Rose

        am i missing something…?

        Yes. Read my post in its entirety and the response below it.

        • Slugger27

          Yes. Read my post in its entirety and the response below it.

          i did…. heres what i saw

          Hughes continues to struggle. I seem to think it has to do with the innings limit nonsense

          this makes little sense, considering the “innings limit nonsense” hasnt really even been put into place yet. as i stated, it was ONE start, and all they did was add a few days of rest

          I know it’s just an All Star Game and everybody is an All Star and such…but he’s been getting bopped around a bit lately.

          and yet… all but 1 of those have come on regular rest with no innings limit

          I’ll always believe that the “innings limits” nonsense is exactly that. Joba went through the process the way they wanted it and he’s seemingly declined over the years rather than matured or improved.

          though we have plenty of data that tells us otherwise, i guess youre entitled to your opinion…. but we keep going back to my original confusion: the innings limit for hughes hasnt really even started yet

          Anyway, last night’s particular performance could, and probably is, just chalked up to a semi-new and young pitcher facing a line up of incredible hitters

          yeah, thats really all it was

          But I still think the innings limits nonsense isn’t doing him any favors whatsoever.

          when they actually start it, you’ll have a right to complain (though you’d be wrong)

          • Rose

            though we have plenty of data that tells us otherwise

            Where? I’d really like to see it. That’s the problem I have with it. There ISN’T any real concrete data that tells us otherwise. It’s all just nervous investors going to wild extremes to protect their investments without any actual guaranteed proof of anything.

            I understand what I wrote may have been confusing. I understand they’ve only skipped one start…but skipping starts could throw pitchers out of synch – and there’s a larger sample size and more proof of this happening than there is of just Kerry Wood and Mark Prior throwing more innings one year than they did the prievious and getting injured thus creating an irrational rule that all pitchers are built the same and need to be treated the same.

            I’m not saying I’m right. I’m just saying that my point of view is just as arbitrary as the views the pro-innings limit people have. That’s all.

            • rbizzler

              Please point us in the direction of all of the studies that have been done where skipping starts “throws a pitcher out of sync.”

              I would love to be enlightened.

              • Rose

                Please point me in the direction where I say “all the studies have been done where skipping starts throws a pitcher out of sync”…

                I would love to be enlightened as well.

                • rbizzler

                  Your words:

                  “I understand they’ve only skipped one start…but skipping starts could throw pitchers out of synch – and there’s a larger sample size and more proof of this happening than there is of just Kerry Wood and Mark Prior throwing more innings one year than they did the prievious and getting injured thus creating an irrational rule that all pitchers are built the same and need to be treated the same.”

                  Emphasis mine.

            • Sleepykarl

              There are others, just not as high profile as the two Cubs. Guys like Jesse Litsch, Dustin McGowan, Tom Gorzelanny, Francisco Liriano, Gustavo Chacin, Anibal Sanchez, Scott Mathieson and Adam Loewen are some he highlights. It’s not that it is a 100% gonna cause an injury, but it seems smart to progress with precaution.

    • ZZ

      Hughes continues to struggle.

      Are you really claiming his appearance last night in an exhibition game where he gave up 2 singles is some sort of continuation of a trend for Hughes?

      I guess you missed his 7 inning 1 run performance 5 days ago.

      The players do not play this game seriously. They don’t prepare or approach their appearances like it actually matters.

      Anyone trying to micro-analyze the results from last night, should just stop.

      • Rose

        Are you really claiming his appearance last night in an exhibition game where he gave up 2 singles is some sort of continuation of a trend for Hughes?

        No. Re-read my post again.

        I guess you missed his 7 inning 1 run performance 5 days ago.

        No. I didn’t. Re-read my post again.

        The players do not play this game seriously. They don’t prepare or approach their appearances like it actually matters.

        I know. Re-read my post again.

        Anyone trying to micro-analyze the results from last night, should just stop.

        Correction. Anybody responding to things they do not read should stop.

        • ZZ

          No one responding to you seems to know what your saying, so that is probably a good indication your original post does not convey the message you want to deliver.

        • Slugger27

          Correction. Anybody responding to things they do not read should stop

          we all read it. it didnt make sense the first time, and i demonstrated above, it made just as little sense the second time

          • Rose

            we all read it.

            You all didn’t read it. ZZ totally ignored things that were written that answered or would have made all of his questions/comments unnecessary.

            it made just as little sense the second time

            Oh well. People are seemingly getting stuck on the Phil Hughes – All Star Game part of it when I wasn’t really focussing on that. I just basically hate innings limits and think they’re more detrimental than they are helpful. I’m not a doctor and I’m not a personal trainer…but I’m friends with them and they agree with me on the subject. The majority of the players (pitchers) also agree. But it is what it is.

            • Zack

              “The majority of the players (pitchers) also agree.”
              Is there something to back that up?

              But I’m guessing the breakdown goes like this:

              Position players don’t pitch, so they think inning limits are stupid.
              Pitchers who haven’t had arm issues, think inning limits are stupid.
              Starters who are turned into relievers and watch their future earnings go down the drain, think inning limits are stupid.
              Pitchers who have had arm issues, think inning limits are stupid.
              And Tim McCarver watched Bob Gibson pitch, so he thinks inning limits are stupid.

              • Zack

                Pitchers who have had arm issues, don’t think inning limits are stupid.

                • rbizzler

                  You would think that this may be true, but I used to hang out with a guy who pitched in the Cleveland system before blowing his arm out and retiring.

                  Funny thing is, he didn’t believe in innings limits either.

                  • Rose

                    Zumaya hasn’t pitched over 39 innings in the past 4 seasons. The season before that he pitched 83.1 innings. Why? Should they have limited his innings even MORE?

                    • Zack

                      That’s one guy.
                      There are many factors to arm injuries. Based on damage done in little league/HS/college. Arm motion. The person’s body- ie. Christian Garcia, some guys just aren’t made for pitching.

                      The point of inning limits are rules IN GENERAL. As in, there are expections to every rule.

                    • rbizzler

                      Sorry, but this is a strawman and you know it. Zumaya is one guy and anecdotal evidence is hardly a way to make a case, especially when the guy has terrible mechanics and missed time one year for an injury suffered while moving furniture, not pitching.

                      http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/.....id=3090054

                      Plus, if you really understand how innings limits work it is a process of building arm strength by gradually increasing workload. So, if you are trying to figure out if a guy is putting himself in danger of injury you look at the whole progression.

                      Also, not to be lost in all of this was my original point that not all players who have suffered arm injuries believe in innings limits.

                    • Rose

                      But that’s my point exactly. It is one guy…and Kerry Wood and Mark Prior are two guys.

                      I bet if you added them all up…the amount of pitchers who didn’t have an innings count and remained healthy and the amount of pitchers who didn’t have an innings limit and got injured…the healthy pitchers would absolutely dwarf the injured…and that most of the injured pitchers could be put into the Zumaya category where it really didn’t have as much to do with the innings…but more to do with other personal issues.

                    • Zack

                      “the healthy pitchers would absolutely dwarf the injured”

                      I’ll use your own words from earlier: Where? I’d really like to see it.

                      This is why this discussion never ends. There are too many factors. But stress on the arm is one factor, throwing overhand is not a natural motion for our shoulder/elbow. You and Tim McCarver can think going from 120 IP to 200 IP has no effect on the guy’s arm, there have been guys who’ve done it. That’s good. There are also guys who haven’t done that, and can’t do that.

                      If I’m a team with a a guy like Hughes, or Buchholz, or Jimenez, or Price. I’m not taking that bet.

                    • Rose

                      Oh I’m sure it has some effect on the pitcher. I’m only saying that it’s not the only factor…and more than likely not the most significant either. That’s all.

                      You’re right…there are too many factors to fully understand each individual pitcher’s needs. I’ve been saying that for a while myself. I’m not saying that innings limits are the worst thing ever. I’m just saying that there are so many other factors involved that focussing on a small piece that hasn’t been proven to do much of anything – may not be the best approach. But like I’ve stated from the beginning…this is merely my opinion. There are others (both in the medical and sports training field) that agree with me though. But you never can really know.

                    • Zack

                      I agree it’s not the only factor.

                      And I’m not a supporter of 100 pitches and you’re out, or 6IP and you’re out. I’m against abusing young arms. We know (most) athletes always answer “I’m good, leave me in.” So it’s up to GM/managers/medical staff to protect the players from that.

                      If a guy has an “easy” 100 pitches through 6, yes he should go out for the 7th. If he goes 5 IP and 100 pitches, has long ABs, 30 pitch innings, etc then no he shouldn’t go back out there.

                      That’s in general. Of course there are exceptions for guys in Group A (Harden, DiceK, etc) and then for guys in Group B (Doc, CC, etc)

            • Slugger27

              i guess the confusion was you tried to shoehorn the innings limit topic (when nobody was talking about it) into this thread by using some vague connection as to why hughes has struggled recently

              the reason that caused confusion is because the innings limit rules havent been put into place yet. hes only been on irregular rest 1 time all season, and even then he was given notice about it.

              • Rose

                But who’s to say how many times you have to be skipped before it really affects you? Or even further – how long each individual skip affects you as well? Nobody knows.

            • ZZ

              You all didn’t read it. ZZ totally ignored things that were written that answered or would have made all of his questions/comments unnecessary.

              I did read it. I read the whole thing.

              It made no sense. You would say something and then contradict yourself in the next sentence and then go right back to your first point.

              You first say Hughes continues to struggle, but then later in the thread you claim you don’t mean Hughes’ performance last night is a continuation of his struggle.

              Then you go on to try to prove Hughes continues to struggle (despite claiming later you didn’t mean that) by using words like bopped and phrases like stink real bad.

              Then somehow this goes into Joba and how the innings limit are a reason for his decline.

              But don’t fear, another contradiction comes later. You start bringing up the body types of Hughes and Lincecum as some sort of evidence that Hughes can handle a large workload.

              But, you fail to mention Joba’s body type (which is not exactly great) when talking about how innings limit may have ruined him.

              The you wrap it all up with saying the his performance last night should probably be chalked up to the circumstances, despite starting your post by flat out saying Hughes continues to struggle.

              It was a completely nonsensical post so don’t call people when no one has any clue what your saying especially when you start throwing around stupid phrases like bopped around.

              • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9370232 Mike HC

                those are basically my thoughts exactly after re reading his point, like he told us.

              • Rose

                How are these contradictions? I explain my point but then carefully follow up by saying “well it could be because of this instead” because I’ve stated something before and NOT included the other obvious alternative and been shunned for it. So now I choose to put in the obvious alternative and you shun it anyway. So who is really contradicting things here? Me? Or the group of respondents?

                Then you read bits nad pieces of it…make a ridiculous accusation based on 10% of it – where the other 90% help answer your concerns…and you choose to ignore them and create a big giant rant instead…ironically longer and even more unnecessary than my original post in which you claim is nonsensical and unnecessary. So who’s contradicting what here? It’s borderline hypocrisy.

                • ZZ

                  There is quite a funny disconnect between what is in your head and what you actually posted.

                  And for someone criticizing people for not reading, where did I say your post was unnecessary?

                  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

                    “There is quite a funny disconnect between what is in your head and what you actually posted.”

                    This has been true for all of Rose’s time at RAB.

                • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9370232 Mike HC

                  “I seem to think it has to do with the innings limit nonsense” – – That is the only opinion you gave in the first paragraph. Every other sentence in your first paragraph was just a statement of facts. So literally the only thing you said in para 1 was that you think Hughes is struggling due to the innings limit nonsense. That is all you said.

                  Para 2 then says Joba was also screwed by the innings limit, building on your first para.

                  Then the final paragraph says his all star game struggles were due partly to facing a tough lineup, being young, hometown etc … and partly due to the innings limit “that isn’t doing him any favors.”

                  Tell me where I’m off

                  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9370232 Mike HC

                    And that is just the literal interpretation. If you go by things you implied, then ZZ nailed it. It was contradictory and confusing.

                  • Rose

                    I personally believe skipping starts hurts pitchers. I also believe that it may have played a part in last night’s performance…although I admitted that it’s basically impossible to know or prove because last night was filled with All Stars (literally) and it could have been due to something entirely different (which I noted) an/or a combination of everything together. I tend to lean towards the latter. That’s basically it.

                    No contradictions. I laid out my opinion and other alternatives…and explained my opinion further. That was basically it. Nothing to continuously get your panties in a bunch over.

                    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9370232 Mike HC

                      hahah … fair enough

    • A.D.

      With the innings limits not sure what you’re getting at at this point? He’s worried about it in the back of his mind so performing worse? Because skipping him 1 start realistically shouldn’t have made a difference, it certainly didn’t for Vazquez or Pettitte.

      And otherwise definitely the case that its Hughes April & May that made him an all-star, I probably wouldn’t have gone to Hughes in the 7th, but nothing against Hughes, and more to just go Soriano, Soria, Valverde…but I’m sure Girardi wanted to get his guy in there.

    • Chris

      I thought he actually pitched pretty well last night. He gave up a line drive single on a cutter down and out of the zone. You can’t really do much better than that. Then he gave up a groundball single that just happened to be right up the middle so no one could get to it. The pitch was a 95MPH fastball right at the bottom of the zone. It’s not like he got lit up for extra base hits or walked a bunch of guys. He threw 13 pitches (9 strikes) and was working on the edge of the zone for most of those. That was a good outing, he just got unlucky.

      • Rose

        It’s hard to get a real grasp on anything using last night because every player is exceptional. Although every pitcher was exceptional as well…although Hughes and Thornton seemed to be the worst out of them all. The others seemed to do quite fine all around. Although Kuo looked bad…he fixed his problem quick and made a really bad situation into a not-so-bad one in a flash.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

          The problem here is that you’re equating bad results with bad pitching. Which, really, is an insult to the hitters.

          • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

            Yep. Did Hughes look particularly bad? I hope I’m not being a homer here but no, not really. That hit to Holliday was a chopper up the middle and Rolen only got to third because he’s apparently a very smart baserunner. If he’s left in, maybe he gets out of it like Carpenter and Verlander did.

          • Rose

            Well the saying goes that “good pitching beats good hitting” (most of the time), right?

            But it’s all how you look at it.

            • Chris

              So now we’re basing analysis on old sayings instead of facts?

              The bigger issue is that Hughes actually pitched well. With a man on first and one out, what is the pitcher trying to do? Keep the ball down and induce a ground ball so they can turn a double play. Hughes did exactly that, except the ball was hit in a bad location. Do you really think that Hughes has any control over whether that ball is right up the middle or 10 ft either way? Because if the pitch is 10ft to either side of the bag, then it’s an easy double play and Hughes looks like he had a great night.

              In last night’s case, it doesn’t really matter who the hitters were. They weren’t hitting the ball hard and they weren’t walking, so I don’t see how you can watch last night’s game and say that it is evidence that Hughes continues to struggle.

  • pat

    Apparently Arod had a sore thumb and wasn’t gonna hit anyway…

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.c.....?eref=sihp

    • Mike from South Beach

      Then he should of bowed out of the game.
      Girardi really could of used a pinch runner for Ortiz in the ninth, if he had an extra player.

      • rbizzler

        Um, how would a thumb injury preclude A-Rod from pinch-running?

        While I know that there is a slight chance he could aggravate an hand injury while sliding, the real reason that Girardi didn’t run for Ortiz is that Ortiz did not represent the tying run.

  • Ellis

    “Ze goggles! Ze do nothing!”

    Ranier Wolfcastle, as he is devoured by acid?

    • I Voted for Kodos

      This reference made my morning.

  • ZZ

    I wonder how much time the players from last night spent pouring over scouting reports in preparation of the game.

    It has got to be a disappointment for the AL to lose the game after spending so much time in the video room.

    • Slugger27

      ietc

  • theyankeewarrior

    Here’s a thought…

    Don’t want to play Alex? Don’t pick Alex.

    • Jeff Karstens, Male Model

      I thought Arod was voted in as a backup by the players?

      • A.D.

        Nope, Joe G pick.

    • Pete

      here’s a thought – don’t want to disrespect one of your players, but want to give him as much rest as possible over the AS break (and season in general)? Pick him, and then don’t play him

      • Zack

        It’s a no-win situation for Girardi.

        If he picks ARod and plays him, then he’s just catering to his sensitive star on his team and doesn’t have to hurt his feelings.
        If he picks ARod and ARod brings up the thumb, then Girardi is manipulating the AS game with an injury no one has heard about, just to get the most amount of Yankees on the team.
        If he doesn’t pick ARod, then there is a rift between Girardi and his 30m player, and Girardi doesn’t know how to treat his veterans, and blah blah blah.

        • cr1

          Actually seems to be a win-win for JG. Everybody tiptoeing around the fact that his various errors in judgment cost the Yankees home field advantage in October. Love to see what General Joe’s army would have said about Torre if he had left Big Papi to wallow around the bases in a situation like that.

          • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

            When he’s not the tying run? I’d rather have A-Rod’s bat off the bench.

            Then again, I’m not sure why we’re still debating this other than that it’s clear some people just really do not like Girardi and search for any reason to attack him. If anyone really managed like they wanted the game to count, you’d never take out guys like Hanley or Mauer. You wouldn’t take out David Price after two when he was dealing, or Pettitte and Lee for only one inning when they were totally dealing. You wouldn’t bring in Matt Capps before Chris Carpenter. Etc.

            • Zack

              All of this.

          • rbizzler

            So this is about Torre? Did you get weepy when you saw him sleeping in the dugout when the Yanks were in LA?

            Or is it about the fact that Ortiz is a terrible baserunner?

            • cr1

              It’s not about Torre or Ortiz, who don’t matter to the Yankees’ future. It’s about Girardi, a decent but flawed manager who still has plenty to learn, but apparently very few who are willing to point out the weaknesses that he needs to address if the Yankees are to have the kind of record they had under his predecessor. And its about the people who handle him with kid gloves when it’s their job to pay attention to the needs of the team more than the ego of their manager.

              • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

                what Girardi does in a glorified exhibition game =/= what he does in a Yankee game. And before you do the “yeah but this time it counts!” thing, again, why is everyone so okay with stuff like taking out Mauer, who’s clearly the best catcher, mid-game? The problem, of course, is that this sh-t counts.

                And its about the people who handle him with kid gloves when it’s their job to pay attention to the needs of the team more than the ego of their manager.

                …what?

                • rbizzler

                  Well, in cr1’s defense, they did say it wasn’t about Torre before saying that it was about Torre.

                  Good times.