Friday, September 14, 2007

Joe Torre's Guide to Bullpen Management

Step 1: Do not think about the future. All that matters is winning today's game. Fuck that...all that matters is getting the next out. It doesn't even matter what happens two innings from now, let alone tomorrow night or two weeks from now. If we can't get this hitter out, we are all going to be fired, and we will lose every game forevermore. Don't worry about saving pitchers for the next game, or preserving their arms for the next season. Act as if today's game is the last game that will ever be played in the history of baseball. Planning ahead is for fools who don't understand the importance of the moment.

Step 2: Disregard Step 1 as it pertains to Mariano Rivera. Only bring Rivera into a game when it is a save situation, especially on the road. In case of a tie game, bring in a string of inferior pitchers, while saving Rivera for a situation that may never arise. In these cases, an imaginary 12th inning is more critical than the 8th or 9th inning that is actually being played. Mariano Rivera is a delicate flower who must be preserved, watered and cared for.

Step 3: If you think these two directly opposing philosophies make me a hypocrite, you are a small-minded second-guesser incapable of understanding the wisdom of the Green Tea Zenmaster.