Right Field

Reveille 2/3/15

Good morning.

Here are several links from the past week that will make your Monday Tuesday at the office a bit more bearable:

1986, Game 6: Buckner stays in the game 

Speaking of the Red Sox and Mets, John McNamara left in Bill Buckner in that fateful 10th inning even though he had used Dave Stapleton as a defensive substitute in all seven of Boston’s previous postseason wins. Mookie Wilson’s grounder went through Buckner’s legs and the Mets won the game — although keep in mind the Mets had already tied it before Buckner’s error . . . and the Red Sox still had a chance to win the series in Game 7. 

1986, Game 7: Too much Schiraldi 

Less remembered but worthy of its own criticism is McNamara’s decision to bring in [Calvin] Schiraldi in the seventh inning of Game 7 with the score tied 3-3. Ray Knight, the first batter he faced, hit a go-ahead home run, and the next two batters singled and eventually scored. The Red Sox did have a thin bullpen that year, but Schiraldi was a rookie coming off a horrific loss in Game 6 who had also faced 16 batters in that game. Although there was a rainout between Games 6 and 7, he had probably thrown 60 to 70 pitches in Game 6. On the other hand, McNamara didn’t have a lot of good choices after starter Bruce Hurst. Roger Clemens had started Game 6, and “Oil Can” Boyd, his No. 3 starter, wasn’t exactly available since he was drunk and strung out on crack.

  • Here’s another NFL-related question, posed by Craig Edwards of Viva el Birdos. If the Rams leave St. Louis, will the departure of Sam Bradford and his mates have a detrimental impact on the Cardinals in the years to come?  
  • Camden Depot’s Matt Perez makes the case for the Orioles to focus on run prevention, considering that the club’s rotation isn’t good enough to have subpar fielders playing behind them.   
  • Why has Joba Chamberlain not yet found a home for 2015? According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports Just a Bit Outside, it isn’t that no one is interested in his services:

Chamberlain remains available by his own choice — he has rejected multiple offers from teams he did not want to join, according to a source with knowledge of his thinking.

At this point, Chamberlain knows that he is unlikely to meet his goal of a two-year deal and is considering a one-year offer with a relatively low base salary and incentives, the source said. Chamberlain made $2.5 million with the Tigers last season, and finished with a 3.57 ERA in 63 innings. His adjusted ERA, however, indicated that his overall mark should have been lower.

  • Writing in the Hardball Times, Steve Treder looks at the history of the strikeout and suggests what MLB may wish to consider to ensure that the increase in K rates – a “batter was more likely to strike out this year than in any other season in the long history of the sport” – doesn’t get out of hand.   
  • Why might saber-friendly front offices be in favor of or agnostic about the possibility that defensive shifts may be banned or limited down the road? Russell Carleton suspects he knows the reasons.   

That’s it. Have a walk-off week!

Jason Epstein is the president of Southfive Strategies, LLC. He was a public-relations consultant for the Turkish embassy in Washington from 2002 to 2007.

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