Friday, October 23, 2009

Angels win, Lackey laments
Scioscia takes a pounding
The media nation--television, print and radio--all gave Manager Mike Scioscia body shots after last night's Angels comeback exhauster against the New York Yankees, a 7-6 win that kept L.A. in the playoffs at least through Saturday.
Scioscia was hounded, especially by the baseball pundits on ESPN and the MLB Network, for taking out starter John Lackey in the 7th inning after the right-hander had dominated New York for six. With the bases loaded and two out, Lackey appeared to be losing his grip on the game. His pitch count had soared over 100, a danger zone for today's hurlers, and he was bouncing balls in the dirt.
If it had been a regular season game, Lackey probably would have been allowed to finish the inning, but with the Angels on the edge of elimination, Scioscia had no choice. He decided to bring in a left-hander, Darren Oliver, to face Mark Teixiera, whose bat was starting to resemble Joe DiMaggio's.
Lackey was clearly upset with Scioscia and made it know to the everyone with a TV set that, "It's my game," which he yelled as his manager calmly took the ball out of his hand.
Was it competitive fire that fueled Lackey's outburst, or something else? One could argue, probably unfairly, that he was thinking more of himself than his Angels teammates. Was he playing for them or the suitors who will be lining up to make him a free agent offer worth millions of dollars over the winter?
Out-pitching the New York Yankees looks better in contract talks than being removed from the game with the bases loaded and the season on the line. It's baseball and give credit to both Scioscia and Lackey for handling it professionally.

No comments:

Post a Comment