Listening to New York sports radio is never easy on your sensibilities. But despite still being one of the best hitters in baseball, many Yankees fans wanted Alex Rodriguez dropped in the order and some even wanted him on the bench for tonight’s ALDS game against the Orioles..

Would this be the right thing to do with a slugger that entered tonight’s action 1-9 with 5 strikeouts in the series? Not if you are smart. And definitely not if you are Joe Maddon.

In fact, if you follow the Rays closely, you know exactly what Maddon would do. Not only would Maddon not drop ARod in the order, he would move ARod to the leadoff spot*, something Maddon did with Carlos Pena ten times this season.

OK, OK. The move did not exactly work with Pena who continued to suck throughout the season, but the logic is sound.

When you drop a player in the order, most managers think they are taking pressure off the batter. But in reality, they are actually putting more pressure on the batter to prove that he belongs back near the top. By hitting a big bat leadoff the manager does not add pressure, but does force the batter to change his approach. And by changing the focus of the batter, from hitting 6-run home runs to just getting on base, a batter can make positive adjustments in both mechanics and thinking.

Of course, Joe Girardi is not going to do that (ARod was hitting third again tonight). But it is fun to think about how loopy the Yankees fans would get if Maddon was the manager of the Bombers.

* OK, it is less certain that Maddon would actually do this during a huge postseason game. But the logic still applies and you can be sure Maddon wouldn’t drop ARod.

 
 

6 Comments

  1. Beazy says:

    Well, let’s just say not all managers and coaches are blessed w/ “JoeMahism”…

  2. don says:

    Boy is this messed up… let me remind you Girardi is in the Playoffs… Maddon and his Pena/ Matsuie Bull S… is home cooking and drinking wine trying figure out how he screwed up 2012
    A player in any sport does NOT Make positive adjustments in higher presssure positions..Even Rodriquez agreed with Girarde by saying Ok try something (someone) different…then the pressure is off everyone EXCEPT the man making the decision… girade….the results are evident in ANY sport…baseball here..
    Maddon as long as he has been around sports doesn’t under stand this simple sports philosophy….a bad player peforms less under pressure, a loose confident performer performs better……BOOK IT!

  3. Gus says:

    When Giardi pinch hit for A-Roid with Ibanez, he was Maddon-like in this respect: he played his gut. Ibanez is the Yanks’ Dan Johnson this year, doing it late to the A’s and the BoSox. Sometime managing is just looking at your gut.

  4. Dave L says:

    If Maddon had the Yanks roster and resources he wouldn’t be trotting out 130+ different lineups.

    All the changes are an attempt to cover up for the glaring holes in virtually every offensive Rays players game.

    We can only dream of being able to have the luxury of a late season signing of the great Ichiro and hitting him 9th.

    The fact that we have as many regular season wins as them the last 5 years is truly a testament to maximizing limited resources by the Rays entire management.

    The fact that they have more postseason wins just shows you can’t fake talent for ever and it eventually catches up to you in the end.

    Our only hope is to one year catch lightning in a bottle before the house of cards collapses and once again go back to winning as many games as our payroll would suggest.

  5. Formattedfire says:

    The poster above, Don, is a Yankees fan that moonlighted as a Devil Rays fan until Stu bought the team, and the Rays started whipping the Yankees ass at the Trop.

    The Rays didn’t make the playoffs because of the unbalanced schedule and division play, which MLB needs to eradicate. Rays finished with 90 wins again, and in most years that’s enough to get in as the second wild card (Rays won the wild card last year with 91 victories, and normally 88 wins garners the second wild care). 90 wins was enough to win the Central Division, yet not good enough since the Rays played in the AL East.

    The Yankees will lose to the Tigers as they did last season. If they don’t get the homeruns, they lose, it’s simple; the Yankees had the highest percentage of wins of any team when they hit a homerun in the games they won. Why do you think they sucked at Tropicana field the past couple of years, and fared better at Williamsport, NY? It’s a pitchers park that’s why, and their lineup is loaded with sluggers. Comerica has big outfield, and the cold weather is not going to help the Yankee cause.

    Aroids needs to retire, forget moving him up or down in the order.

  6. Formattedfire says:

    and Don should be kissing the Rays ass for giving his northern team homefield Advantage and not having to play a play-in game in Baltimore, and potentially losing homefield advantage throughout and homefield advantage against the O’s.

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