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Billy Ray Valentine Was Right
2003-04-01 12:17
by Mike Carminati

Billy Ray Valentine Was Right

"They're out there panicking. I can feel it." (Maybe they won't be able to buy their children the G.I. Joe with the Kung-Fu grip.)

Apparently, one loss is enough to cause the Red Sox to start rethinking the so-called "closer-by-committee" approach. My friend Mike sent me this article from The Boston Globe.

Chad Fox has yet to set foot in Fenway Park as a member of the Red Sox, but he knows what you're thinking. The Committee should be disbanded. Immediately. Don't even bother counting the votes.

Here's what I had to say about it:

It's interesting that the guy who blew the ballgame yesterday is against the "closer by committee".

It's all perception so it's a fragile thing. James claims that he does not advocate a closer by committee. He prefers using the best reliever at the best time, be it the 7th or the 9th inning. One could argue that Embree and Fox were not the best relievers. But Embree came in to face three left-handers and gave up two hits to one and a homer to a pinch-hitter for the third. Fox basically missed 2002, so bringing him in the first time in the 9th in a 4-3 ballgame is perhaps inappropriate. You know, they are condemning the closer by committee, but a 4-1 ballgame may not even be an opportunity to bring in the closer, expecially with three lefties coming up. Maybe they go to Embree even with Urbina in the pen.

I love that Embree's zero-out, three-hit, three-run performance merits a hold. Also, I love Terry Shumpert's homer pinch-hitting for Al Martin.

Also, I love Piniella's lineup with Travis Lee batting cleanup (!). Also, love the three lefties bunched in the 3-4-5-6 slots. I guess he was trying to get as much leverage as possible against Pedro, but the funny thing is that it didn't help until the lefty came in.

By the way, I'm glad that Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn is still working in the baseball business now that the "Major League" movies jumped the shark with the help of Ted McGinley.

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