Sunday, October 19, 2003

Check out the following article in the MetroWest Daily News by Damian Vega at I sent him an email response, which you can check out below.

Dear Mr. Vega,

I almost never write to newspaper writers, but your article in Sunday's MetroWest Daily News regarding Grady Little's decision not to remove Pedro Martinez from game 7 of the American League Championship Series got me off my keyboard.

Nothing personal here, but I can only imagine that you and Grady Little were watching a different Pedro than the one I and virtually everyone I know saw. While it's nice to say that " The problem arose when Pedro couldn't put mind over matter the way great ones are supposed to. Go out there and find a way to win. Case closed.", the fact is that most of us understand Pedro's physical limitations. Wishing that Pedro can go out there and be effective after 100+ pitches doesn't make it so.

Pedro was obviously spent after the 7th. I was surprised when he came out for the 8th, but I assumed Grady would have him on a short leash. By the time he threw his first pitch to Matsui, I was screaming at the TV for Little to get him out of there.

Would I have second-guessed Little if he had removed Pedro after the 7th and the bullpen coughed up the lead? No. Given the performance of Timlin, Embree and Williamson in the post-season, it was the logical move to make. Would a few yahoos complained about it on WEEI? Sure, but I think 95% of Red Sox fans would have supported the move, even if it hadn't worked out.

The simple fact is that Grady Little didn't do his job, which is to give the Red Sox players the best chance to win. He didn't evaluate the situation properly and didn't have the best pitcher AT THAT MOMENT out on the mound.

Does Little deserve to be fired for this? Now that my anger has subsided and I've thought about this rationally for a bit, probably not. He obviously knows how to run a clubhouse and how to get the best out of his players. My thought now is that the Sox hire a top-flight strategic man to be Grady's bench coach to help compensate for his obvious shortcomings as an X's and O's manager. It's going to be brutal for him next year, though. I hope he understands that.


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