Friday, October 30, 2009
A win without a win
What is the right choice?
Your "Philosophy Question of the Day" is sponsored by The World Series.
The Yankees won Game 2 just a few hours ago, 3-1. So I guess Yankee manager Joe Girardi should have a good sleep tonight before leaving for Philadelphia.
Not so fast. For Game 2, Girardi used a line-up with two weaker hitters (Jose Molina and Jerry Hairston, Jr.) in place of two very good hitters (Jorge Posada and Nick Swisher). Why? He used Molina instead of Posada at catcher because the starting pitcher seems to pitch better to Molina than to Posada. And Girardi decided to bench Swisher because he has been terrible in the post season.
Baseball fans who carefully study the numbers didn't think these decision make sense. My favorite line is:
If it works, that doesn't make it the right move.
Wait a minute. If it works, then it is right. Right? Or does the philosophically correct choice matter more than the result? Are we counting strategically-sensible wins over real wins?
I can understand making an argument against Joe's decision. But how can you say he didn't make the right move when he got the result he wanted? Girardi's job is to win games. And his decision helped to win the game -- Molina picked off a runner and Hairston got a hit that led to a run. Cut Joe a break. Give him a pat on the back and let's resume in Philly.