Curve Balls and Middle Relief

From this week’s column:

Yeah, maybe Grady Little will take that lesson with him to his next job, eh?

Welcome back, Cecil, nice to see you again. Trust us, we share your pain.

I know this doesn’t belong here, but I can’t resist.

Re: Grady Little, Pedro, etc.

I’d have done exactly what Little did.

Then again, I’m a Braves fan. Having lived through far too many years where having one of your brilliant starters hand over the ball to a reliever was tantamount to chalking up three late-inning runs to the other team, maybe I have a skewed outlook on the whole matter.

I don’t think people are faulting Little based on a “results based judgment theory,” i.e. because it ended poorly, he made the wrong decision.

I think the reason he’s being excoriated is that it was obvious at the time that Pedro was wearing down, and, based on previous dealings with Pedro, he should have known Pedro flounders after 100 pitches thrown. And, one more fact, his bullpen had been solid in the playoffs. So, based on the info he had at the time, he should have pulled his pitcher, Zimmer trouncing superstar or no Zimmer trouncing superstar.

To some extent, this is why Dusty isn’t taking the same heat as Little. That and Steve Bartman. Damn you Bartman! (who, went to my high school. A pox on same).

Problem is, both Dusty Baker and Grady Little made the same choice for the same reason: lack of faith in their middle relief men. Of course, in Dusty Baker’s case, that seems justified; in Grady Little’s case, he had middle relievers who were doing quite well in the playoffs.

Nevertheless, I suspect Uncle Cece is more interested in the case of the beloved Cubbies than in his second choice…