Friday, October 17, 2003

"THERE IS NO TIME FOR SENTIMENT WHEN YOU'RE TRYING TO WIN A BALLGAME.": Joe Torre, ladies and gentlemen. The competing quote from Grady Little:

"Pedro Martinez has been our man all year long and in situations like that, he's the one we want on the mound over anybody we can bring in out of the bullpen,'' Little said. "He had enough left in his tank to finish off Posada.''

It's really hard to argue against the notion that Grady was the dealbreaker for the Red Sox. Not that pulling Pedro earlier would've guaranteed a SOX WIN! but at least then he wouldn't have been so obviously outmanaged.

So your World Series is the New York Yankees and the Florida Marlins. The ratings party is over for Fox Sports.

ADDENDUM: Bob Ryan has a little Little defense:

Everybody's going to blame Little for everything, I'm sure, but this is never an easy decision, and there was a lot more to this game than pulling Pedro or not pulling Pedro. Baseball is a lot more complex than that.

Take, for example, the failure to capitalize on a juicy situation in the fourth. Kevin Millar led off the inning with a home run to make it 4-0. Then, with men on first and third -- on a perfectly executed hit-and-run, if you can believe that -- the Red Sox were in a position to blow the game open when Joe Torre summoned Mike Mussina from the pen for his first relief appearance of a career that has had exactly 400 starts. The Moose, who has been slammed by the New York press for coming up small in the postseason while wearing a Yankee uniform, fanned Jason Varitek and induced Johnny Damon to hit into an inning-ending 6-3 double play.

"That was the turning point for me," Torre said. "It kept us there. You feel like you're getting your brains beat out, but you look at the scoreboard and you're still at arm's length."

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