Saturday, August 27, 2011

Joe Girardi Mismanages the Yankees

New York Yankees Manager Joe Girardi has a problem. It’s name is A. J. Burnett.

Formerly a great pitcher, Burnett has lost his fastball, his control, and his edge. His ERA is abysmal. His presence on the mound must demoralize the team.

His last two starts have been disasters. When he was pulled from a game several days ago he threw a tantrum.

Yankee fans have watched the saga with chagrin. Nonetheless, Burnett continues to have the confidence of his manager.

Joe Girardi didn’t think that the tantrum was a big deal. Last night he offered us an insight into his managerial mind, and we are all the poorer for it.

When asked about Burnett, Girardi said: “I'm frustrated. Part of my job is to remember it's a person out there struggling. It's not just an employee of the New York Yankees. It hurts me to see someone struggling. We've got to try and fix it."

If you want to know what it is that could cause a manager to stick with a pitcher who can no longer pitch, Girardi lays it out for you: he feels Burnett’s pain. He has empathy for the person. Thanks for sharing, Joe.

Girardi is mismanaging his pitching rotation because he thinks he’s a therapist. So much so that he cannot even bring himself to call the man a man. To the Yankees’ therapist/manager, Burnett is a person.

Could that be why Burnett can’t pitch?

Let’s get real. Girardi’s job is to win baseball games, to motivate his players to play their best. If A. J. Burnett can’t pitch effectively and cannot control his emotions on the mound, then he needs to be treated as an employee of the New York Yankees and benched.

Feeling A. J. Burnett’s pain is not part of Girardi’s job description. The last thing the team needs from its manager is empathy for a temperamental pitcher.

It is demoralizing for the team to be sent out to certain defeat because their manager feels a need to show how empathetic he is.

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