Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell not alone with poor decisions
In the age before the designated hitter, it was common to use pitchers in other roles. Occasionally a pitcher who was noted for using a bat for other than a decorative accoutrement would pinch hit. Yes – some were actually quite competent. A manager would also use a pitcher as a pinch runner.
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The pitcher would put on his warm-up jacket and take to the bases. Why the jacket? I never figured that one out – maybe like a redshirt in football practice? The pitchers actually knew how to run the bases since they would be called upon to bunt and even swing away. Certainly more complete than today.
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Herb Washington played in 105 major league games for Oakland and never hit, yet he scored 33 runs. Why? The ever creative Charlie Finley – the whimsical team owner – brought the world-class sprinter in as a designated runner. Washington was taught the fundamentals and sent in when a steal was needed, but his rate was just 65%.
Bringing in Steven Wright to pinch run still, staggers my reasoning. This is not 1958. What was Farrell thinking? When you place players in a potentially bad situation that they are unaccustomed to something bad will undoubtedly happen and it did.
Just this one single move would be enough in my very slanted view to simply send Farrell to the cornfield. Thankfully Farrell has a litany of game management crimes and this one is simply the cherry on top of the sundae.