Thursday, October 18, 2012

Girardi should return to the basics

The media horde surrounds Alex Rodriguez, written
out of the lineup yet again by his manager.
With his Yankees one loss from elimination Wednesday, Joe Girardi designed a lineup that excluded his 43-homer center fielder (Curtis Granderson) and the highest paid player in baseball history (Alex Rodriguez).

That lineup didn't get used, as the game was postponed to this afternoon because of rain in Detroit. I think Girardi would do well, with another night to sleep on it, to tear up that lineup and rethink the panic it reveals.

A 25-man roster simply isn't large enough to bench every slumping hitter Girardi has. And even if it were possible, it would hardly be wise.

Players are constantly urged to "play within yourself." The same is true of managers — it is possible to try too hard, to outsmart yourself, to overmanage.

It's time for Girardi to say: If we're going down, we're going down with our best. This is the lineup that won 95 games; this is the lineup that led the American League in wins. If it doesn't get the job done, so be it.

I say that knowing that it's impossible for Girardi to put his full regular lineup on the field. Derek Jeter isn't playing again in 2012, and somebody else has to play shortstop.

Shuffling the slumpers in and out just smacks of panic. And panic is never useful.

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