As good as Sandy Alomar was in the regular season for the Cleveland Indians, he was just as bad in a game that he couldn’t afford to be bad in.
It’s easy enough to show you’re a good manager over the course of the regular season, as you can adjust to mistakes from game to game. You have time to correct errors, and see who you can rely on in pressure situations. So when the season ended, it looked like Sandy Alomar was a good manager in the making. He adjusted, for the most part, he managed his pitchers pretty effectively and he wasn’t afraid to shake up most, but not all, spots in the lineup when people were struggling.
When you’re in the postseason, long-form learning is thrown out the window for pop quizzes after pop quizzes. Alomar may be a good regular season manager, but he’s a bad playoff one. At least for right now. The bulk of the decisions he made in the game Game 2 loss to the Yankees were just bad. Not just in the moment, but after the fact. They at times challenged baseball’s ver y own conventional wisdom.
Letting your pitchers get beaten up, all without calling into the bullpen to get someone up and ready to stop the bleeding? That’s Manager 101 stuff. They teach that right after you learn how to fill out a lineup card and right before you learn how to get ejected from a game. It’s pretty routine.
Pulling your hottest hitter just to force a pitching change? That’s the baseball equivalent of forgoing a tying field goal with one second left on the clock and instead deciding to go for a touchdown. All because you think you’re going to “catch them off guard”.
That’s essentially Alomar’s night on Wednesday.