But if there is one thing that’s evident is that managers and coaches HATE being second-guessed. I can’t say I blame them. Who wants some smart-alecky guy who can watch the game high in a perch above the field with TV monitors and a laptop at the ready to look up any information needed?
Back when he was managing the Yankees, Billy Martin always had a direct answer for any questioner challenging his moves. When asked why he made a certain move, Billy invariably said: “Because I’m the bleeping manager, that’s why.”
Billy Martin was Charlie Manuel’s first manager in the big leagues back when he came up for the Minnesota Twins in the late 1960s, and the Phillies’ skipper has – from time to time – recited Billy’s old line, though with less colorful language.
That said, since Manuel is the manager and his decisions are what they are, I’m curious about some of the choices the skipper made for his bullpen in last night’s game as it extended into extra innings. Knowing that the Dodgers had won in Colorado and a loss would send the Phillies to two games off the pace with just four games to go, I’m surprised Manuel remained so compartmentalized and rigid with his use of the bullpen.
How so? Didn’t he use the reliever he had? Well, yes and no. He used Clay Condrey, who pitched great, and Fabio Castro, who was shaky in notching his first big-league save, but what about Randy Wolf? Why couldn’t Wolf be used in the ‘pen?
Wolf pitched Monday night in Philadelphia and is slated to go on Saturday in Miami, but when the Dodgers won and the game went into extra innings, it was all hands on deck as far as I was concerned. Plus, since there is talk of Wolf being bumped from his next start so that the Phillies can move up Brett Myers and Cole Hamels to pitch on short rest, perhaps it would have been smart to get the starter ready.
Then again, the game only lasted 14 innings. Perhaps Wolf was going to pitch from the 15th inning on?