You’re probably going to read a bit today about how Manny Ramirez was in the shower rather than on the bench after being taken out of the game for defense when Philadelphia mounted their comeback in the 9th inning of Game 4.
In fact, you-know-who probably tripped over his breakfast Oreos to rush to the keyboard and bust out a column about it.
Here’s the thing, though: I just don’t care. Sure, in a vacuum, you prefer him to be on the bench with his teammates. But in the long run, does this really matter? On the list of “Dumb Things Manny’s Done,” this ranks somewhere about 14,000th.
Did it have the slightest effect on the the Dodgers winning or losing? No. Is this a story if the starting pitcher was in the shower? No. Are we even talking about this if Broxton doesn’t blow the game? Of course not. No, what we have here is a total non-story drummed up to be something more than it is by a decidedly partial “journalist” with a vendetta against someone more popular than he is. Let’s hope that’s as far as it goes.
Speaking of Broxton, I can’t say all of the calls for his head are surprising, but good lord, are they stupid. I was going to do something similar in the offseason, but MOKM has a great guideline for refuting the uninformed who want to dump Broxton ASAP, which basically points out he’s one of the best closers in baseball, and though he’s not perfect, no one is – not even Mariano Rivera.
At least Joe Torre’s not panicking, and will still go back to Broxton if the opportunity presents itself tonight.
Back to Broxton again, the comments that he was “scared” of Matt Stairs because of the homer he gave up last year made my skin crawl (yep, another theory advanced by you-know-who)… I think Rob Neyer’s got the right idea on this:
My impression wasn’t that Broxton was scared; my impression was that he was foolish. In that situation, you work extra carefully if the batter is Barry Bonds. Or Babe Ruth, or Ted Williams, or Mickey Mantle. But Matt Stairs, really? The same Matt Stairs who turned 41 last winter and has a sparkling .402 slugging percentage in his last two seasons? This is the player you’re not even going to try to retire?
Maybe the scared and the foolishness go together. I suppose that Broxton’s memory of last October did throw a little scare into him, which resulted in something foolish. But it seems to me a massive leap from “I don’t want to throw a good fastball to Matt Stairs” to “The kid reliever still hasn’t recovered.” For all sorts of reasons, good pitchers sometimes make bad pitches, or good pitches that get hit hard anyway.
What’s this, logic over mass hysteria? No wonder newspapers are dying.