Loyal? Stubborn? Or Just Plain Stupid?
When Freddy Garcia walked off the field in Fenway Park this past Saturday, there was a sigh of relief mixed in with the disappointment that fans felt. Garcia had just been shelled for the third time in as many outings this year. The Red Sox took what looked like batting practice off of Garcia, chasing him after just 1 2/3 innings, collecting 7 hits and 5 runs.
Garcia had just run his ERA to an unsightly 9.75 in three horrific outings. Worse than the numbers was Garcia’s stuff on the mound. While Garcia’s fastball had left him long ago, this year’s version seemed slower than slow. His pitches seemed to be lobbed rather than thrown this year. The changing of speeds that Garcia relied upon last year while compiling a respectable renaissance season with the Yankees? Well, its hard to change speeds effectively when everything is just so slow.
It was simply obvious to anyone who witnessed Garcia’s third consecutive disaster that he needed to leave the rotation and needed to leave it immediately. To send Garcia out there every five games to get shelled and give the bullpen a hard workout obviously wasn’t going to work, not even until Andy Petitte returned.
The consensus among most rational folks was that David Phelps, who had been very impressive in relief this year, would fill Garcia’s rotation spot in the short-term. After all, there was no way Girardi would elect to keep Garcia in the rotation after those debacles right?
Just yesterday this was Girardi’s quote when asked about Garcia “We’re not sure what we’ll do, if we’ll put Freddy there or bring CC back on his normal rest,” Girardi said. “But Freddy is going to pitch again, if that’s the question. Freddy’s going to start again.”
Folks, he just doesn’t get it. What kind of message does Girardi send to his team, especially the other pitchers on the staff, when he acts like this? What an incredibly hypocritical and contradicting stance to take in light of the fact that Girardi has mentally abused every young pitcher underneath him during his tenure with constant “every start is a referendum on your job” tactics!
It’s just unfathomable that a pitcher could be so dreadful and have his job declared safe by Girardi. It’s not as if Garcia has been unlucky, “just a hair off on his location”, or having slight mechanical issues. Garcia has been getting crushed and giving his team absolutely nothing.
Is it possible that Cashman is influencing this decision? I suppose it is possible that a General Manager who makes what looks like a bad signing would want to encourage his manager to give that guy every possible chance. In the end though, it’s Girardi’s decision and the decision he’s made is the wrong one. He’s sending a simple message here, and it won’t be lost on his players. The message is “if you’re old and I like you, you get unlimited chances. If you’re young and you’re not one of my guys, you are pitching for your job every time you go out there.”
That’s just no way to run a team or a clubhouse.