This is the kind of thing that can give those who blog from their mothers’ basements a bad name. Watching the game on television, all I saw was a manager taking out one of the best pitchers in baseball, at the most critical point in the game, without so much as a consultation. It turns out there was a reason for that- this particular pitcher was done. Finished. He had nothing left in the tank, so there was nothing left to discuss. If anything, a prolonged conversation might make things worse. Either the pitcher would have to act tough, and talk his way into a game that he had no business continuing in, or the manager would have been forced to look like he was not respecting his pitcher’s input. Either way, Don Mattingly did the right thing, in spite of popular opinion, which is completely consistent with the way he has led his team from day one.
Make no mistake, though- his job is still very much on the line, and he will be judged by some very difficult standards, particularly with his team losing the first game of yet another playoff series.