Detached from Reality
Sometimes those of us who feed our children and hordes of needy relatives by writing about the world of sports have a tendency to remain far too focused on the biggest headlines, and in doing so, we neglect some smaller yet very compelling things that happen closer to the fringes.
We here at The Off-Color Commentator have never been accused of neglecting such minutiae, so the above paragraph actually doesn't apply to us.
In fact, we only really brought it up because we'd like to take this moment to briefly discuss a wonderfully unusual bit of baseball managing by skipper Ned Yost of the Milwaukee Brewers.
In case you haven't heard (and chances are decent that you have not), Mr. Yost has recently decided to take a dump in the face of conventional wisdom by having his closer, Francisco Cordero, take the mound six days in a row. (Please note the deliberate use of "dump" and "mound" in the same sentence.)
Look, we know that following convention can be boring (for the record, convention these days is that relievers should not pitch in a game more than three days in a row). And for the most part, we're in favor of shirking established coaching routines (Example: Don Nelson leaves Baron Davis in the game in the first quarter when he has two fouls. We applaud.)
But Yost's behavior pertaining to his prized reliever reeks at best of cluelessness and at worst of pure irresponsibility. Honestly, you just can't run a pitcher out there for six straight days unless you've found a highly lucrative means of selling severed arms on the black market and you figure that this is the most inconspicuous way to detach the coveted "Right-armed closer limb."
Clearly, the irresistible stink of victory has deluded Ned's capacity for lucid thought. With five straight games generating save opportunities (and wins), he's perpetually stuck in the ninth inning with a lead of three runs or less. At this point, it's only a matter of time before he attempts to bring CoCo in during the fourth inning, or -- even worse -- it's only a matter of time until this mentality seeps into his personal life. Soon, when one of the Yost children accidentally drops a glass of Ovaltine on the kitchen floor, the manager will calmly walk into the room, quickly survey the scene, and immediately signal for a right-hander as he gives his child a supportive pat on the butt and sends the bewildered youngster off to the showers.
Speaking of supportive pats on the butt, was anyone else watching the Warriors-Jazz game last night when Derek Fisher made his emotional return to the arena?
While it was our initial impulse to wonder why the hell a man who averaged 10.1 ppg during the regular season was getting an ovation from the Utah crowd that made you think John Stockton, Karl Malone and David Benoit had just walked into the arena in full uniform, we've since softened our stance and decided that this was actually a nice moment (even if it was a bit overdone by the TNT broadcast crew).
However, what we can't figure out was how D. Fisher was allowed to check into the game apparently without having taken a single warm-up shot of any kind. Did we miss something here, or did he not walk into the arena in a green t-shirt, go into the locker room, come out in full uniform and walk directly onto the court without so much as breaking stride?
Look, we're all for legitimate emotional moments around here, and we're not going to argue with any coach or manager who attempts to find ways to fire up his team, but throwing Fisher into the game without him so much as having lofted up one casual j comes across as a move that's borderline Yostian in its recklessness.
Then again, the one shot Fisher took in the game was a three, and he drilled it, and it was essentially a big rusty dagger through the nasal cavity of the Warriors' hopes in Game 2, so perhaps we'll go ahead and be quiet.
As you were, slightly irrational managers of the world. As you were.