Saturday, May 15, 2010

Gardenhire gets it

So. Last night, Alex Rodriguez hit a come from behind grand slam in the seventh inning after the Twins walked Mark Teixeira to face him. Good for A-Rod. Of course, the press couldn't help but report that the man that Ron Gardenhire brought in to face Alex, Matt Guerrier, had surrendered three home runs to A-Rod in only six at bats.

Now, you and I know that that stat is nearly irrelevant. A-Rod has faced a ton of pitchers and has hit a ton of home runs. He's gonna have some stats against pitchers like that purely by chance. And naturally, we expect the press not to understand this point. But Twins' manager Ron Gardenhire? Usually I expect managers to also not understand this point, but here's what he said after the game:
"We're always aware of the numbers," Gardenhire said. "I know he has been good against Matty. Sometimes you can't do anything about the numbers. We're going to go with our best pitcher at the time."
The best part about this quote is that Gardenhire didn't say "we went with out best pitcher." He said, "We're going to go with our best pitcher." He wasn't rationalizing his decision ex post. He was describing how the Twins make decisions and will continue to make decisions ex ante. My respect for Ron Gardenhire has grown.

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