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October 15, 2008 at 2:19 pm ET
Counterpoint: Kaz Starting Game 5 = GENIUS

Doubt Joe And Look Dumb

Earlier my esteemed colleague Cameron Martin tried to spin Devil Rays Manager “Coach Joe” Maddon’s decision on who to start in Game Five as “conceding the game to Boston.”

For those of you who don’t get satire, let me make it absolutely clear that starting Scott Kazmir in Game 5 instead of The Master Of The Modified Circle Change James Shields is ABSOLUTELY THE RIGHT CALL.

Now I could go into records this season about Shields on the road and particularly at Fenway versus at home — and that might persuade some people, as the fact that the Devil Rays hammered Tim Wakefield all three times they faced him in the regular season might’ve persuaded Francona to start somebody else — but I don’t need that.

All we need to know to know that this decision is ABSOLUTELY CORRECT is to know WHO made the decision.

Joe Maddon, the greatest manager, the greatest mind the game of baseball has ever known made this decision. And you’re gonna doubt his decision. I mean, Cam, bravo, you called the Browns beating the Giants Monday, but still sir, you are no Joe Maddon.

Think that’s hyperbole? Tell me the last time Joe Maddon made a mistake. Except for not pinchrunning for Floyd late in Game One. Other than that, the man has been the quintessence of infallibility.

Now, infallibility is a pretty big word for the Yankee and Red Sox fans in our reading audience, so allow me to offer this definition from The American Heritage Dictionary:

in·fal·li·ble (in-fal’uh-bull)

1. Incapable of erring: an infallible guide; an infallible source of information.
2. Incapable of failing; certain: an infallible antidote; an infallible rule.
3. Chalk-like

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6 Responses to “Counterpoint: Kaz Starting Game 5 = GENIUS”
  1. bittermoron says:

    The whispers are the reason that caused Maddon to make the switch (which for obvious reasons he won’t say) is Daryl Cousins.
    He’ll have Home Plate duties in Game 6, and he and Kazmir have had a few run ins this season. So Maddon doesn’t want to see Kazmir get squeezed to death in
    Game 6.

  2. bittermoron says:

    Crap, should have read further down first. I’m an idiot and a moron. Many apologies to the Professor who lays it out much better than I.

  3. Re-arranging your rotation based on umpires? Nothing like admitting your mind fucked.

  4. Adam C says:

    When it comes to the playoffs, how you’ve done lately has more to do with your potential for success than how you did in June. Kazmir hasn’t done shit over his past 7 starts, which is evidenced by his 10.80 ERA against Boston over his past 3 starts against them – since September 9th. Not to mention his 10.39 ERA against Boston in the playoffs.

    Cameron’s post was dead on. And if this move pays off, it will be because Boston sucked ass and not because Maddon is a supposed genius.

    Kazmir is clearly not a ‘big game’ pitcher. For every Evan Longoria, there’s a Scott Kazmir.

  5. David Chalk David Chalk says:

    Kaz not a big game pitcher? The Devil Rays are a perfect 2-0 in postseason games Kaz has started.

    The umpire thing is a small fraction of the decision here. The main thing is giving Kaz and the team the best chance to succeed in Game 5 and beyond.

    and how you’ve done lately did wonders for Lester.

  6. Adam C says:

    I was actually referring to Cameron’s blog, not his comment, but that was pretty good, too.

    Our definition of big game pitchers is apparently different. For some reason I don’t consider being able to pitch on 9 2/3 innings in 2 games because you sucked so bad, giving up 7 runs, a good thing. A big game pitcher expects to win the game by himself and at the very least give the team a chance to win. Making your hitters score 15 runs in those 2 playoff games doesn’t constitute giving your team a chance to win.

    The law of averages says Lester was bound to lay an egg eventually, regardless of how well he had been doing lately. It also says Kazmir might actually pitch well. In other words, even the sun shines on a dog’s ass some days.

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