Yankees Run Afoul of Protocol Police Once Again

Where the Yankees go, complaints will follow

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images

    Twins manager Ron Gardenhire had a bad day on Wednesday.

    His team lost the completion of Tuesday's suspended game 1-0 thanks to a home run and some fine fielding by Derek Jeter and then they lost the regularly scheduled affair 3-2 thanks to Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera's second save in a handful of hours. 

    When the game was over, he didn't focus on his team's inability to score runs, though. He was more concerned with the fact that the Yankees sent Pettitte out to the mound to warm up for the ninth and then pulled him before throwing a pitch so Rivera could close out the game.

    Nick Swisher homered to break a tie in the eighth, so Rivera needed a little extra time to get warmed up before taking the mound. Gardy didn't like the way Joe Girardi handled the situation, argued with the umpires during the game and then returned to the topic afterward.

    "That was kind of tired, to tell you the truth. You don't know normally get that long between innings to do all that, but we know what's going on there. That's a situation major league baseball needs to take care of when stuff like that happens. You don't have a guy ready in the bullpen, if your starter goes out there, he should have to face a hitter. That's just the way it should be. If you don't get a guy up, that's the way it should be, unless the other team makes a change. But that's not what lost the game for us. That's stuff that just gets old right there."

    You could say that it should be banned, but there are also going to be times where a pitcher warms up and the opposing manager chooses to use a pinch hitter. Should the pitcher really be required to remain in the game in that situation? 

    Obviously, that wasn't the case this time, but unless you enact a rule to cover that particular situation there doesn't seem to be much reason to do anything but gritting your teeth and bearing the occasional extra set of warmup pitches.

    To Gardenhire's credit, he didn't use the incident as an excuse for his team's loss. Still, it is a strange coincidence that he chose to voice his objection to this bit of gamesmanship after playing the Yankees when it is a fairly common tactic used by managers who were stuck without having the reliever they wanted in the game in the first place.

    And, so, Gardenhire joins Cowboy Joe West and Dallas Braden as members of the Secret Society of Baseball Sanctity who have found cause to complain about the Yankees this season.

    Funny how these things keep happening to the Yankees. It's almost as if people don't like them or something.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.