Too many "roles"

Too many "roles"

Posted by Bruce on Sun, 05/25/2008 - 11:37
Once upon a time, a relief pitcher could come in to start the seventh inning and finish the game. See Goose Gossage. Nowadays, everybody has their "roles" and we can't upset those roles for fear of "losing" the player or players. Last night, Carlos Marmol struck out three straight Pirates after walking the first guy in the eighth inning. The called third strike on Jose Baustista to end the eighth came on an absolutely sick slider. So this morning, I asked Lou if it's ever "tempting" to send Marmol back out there for the ninth. Of course, Marmol's role (even if he is the best reliever in baseball) is that of setup man, and Kerry Wood's "role" is that of closer. Here's what Lou answered: "Sure it is. Woody's got a job here. That's his role. I'm comfortable with it. I've got confidence in him, and he's got to go out and do it. That's it." Wood hit the first batter in the ninth, and the Pirates tied it on their way to a 5-4 victory in 14 innings. Like it or not, this is the way baseball is played these days. I don't see it anytime soon where a manager says, "Look, our guy was pitching well in the eighth, so I just left him in there, and he did the job in the ninth." Nope. Your setup guy pitches the eighth. And your closer pitches the ninth. I'd like to see that kind of thinking change. Anybody else?
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