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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Game 140: Why is Cliff Lee pinch-running? (69-71)

The Phils completed their series and double-header sweep of Colorado on Sunday night by a score of 7-4, and considering that Manuel used 22 players to patch together the victory (largely due to Tyler Cloyd's poor start), it would appear that Manuel did a good job. However, the fact that he used Cliff Lee as a pinch-runner for Kevin Frandsen in the 6th inning is just incomprehensible.

I realize that Frandsen is injured and may not be able to run the bases, but Manuel didn't pinch-run for Frandsen until he reached second base (Frandsen reached on an infield single, then advanced to second on a single from Rollins). If Frandsen is so injured that he can't run the bases and requires a pinch-runner, then shouldn't have this happened immediately after he reached first base? And, why is Cliff Lee, owed almost 100 million dollars in future seasons, the option off the bench for this task? Shouldn't Lee's health be more important than Frandsen, by a magnitude of about ten thousand or so? The Phillies already had the lead -- Lee's run would have extended the lead to three, so it was not a crucial run -- which makes the move even more mystifying.

Finally, if these games are important enough where we need to tap into one of the most expensive players of all-time to pinch-run, then I think it's time they promote a speedy minor leaguer. After all, we're spending 11 million dollars on a completely useless scoreboard in left field, but we can't muster up the cash to pay a AA player to run the bases a couple times in September.

No one thought twice about Lee's appearance Sunday; but you know damned well that the city would have imploded had Lee been injured on a play at the plate. Hypocrisy at its finest.

1 comment:

Robby Bonfire said...

You are so right. Years ago the Mets, when Wes Westrum was manager, used Tom Seaver, of all people, as a pinch runner, and guess what? That's right, he was injured sliding, and missed several starts. You're talking a Hall of Fame pitcher here, being treated like he's the 25th man on the roster.

Yes, they were "The Amazing Mets" on that one, and of course we have a clown in Philadelphia who thinks the starting pitcher as pinch-runner strategy gives his team "the edge." Indefensible stupidity, as in "So what else is new."