The Electric Commentary

Monday, August 11, 2008

Steve Phillips, Brad Lidge, and The All-Star Game

Charlie Manuel thinks that Phillies closer Brad Lidge may have been hurt in the All-Star game, as he was asked to warm up 6 times and reportedly threw over 100 pitches. This is insane, and Manuel is right to be pissed off.

However, if there's one thing we know about ESPN commentator and former Mets GM Steve Phillips, it's that he can be counted on to make an idiot out of himself even when the facts are clear. Steve clearly doesn't like that the All-Star game counts for something, and ripped this setup when, on Mike and Mike this morning he said the following (paraphrased, obviously):

This is what happens when you have a game that counts, and managers are forced to do things that they would never do otherwise.

Now, in true Steve Phillips fashion, this sentence is stupid on several levels. First of all, it contradicts itself. Most baseball games count, and managers are accustomed to managing such games.

It's also factually inaccurate. The problem of player usage at the All-Star game stems from managers ignoring incentives, and still treating the game as an exhibition. No manager would ever run out of pitchers in a normal game, even though 4 of those pitchers are almost completely off limits. In the All-Star game, a manager running out of pitchers speaks to the shittiness of the manager, not to a problem with the All-Star Game.

If you have a problem with the All-Star game, that's fine. I think the game should count for something since players apparently don't have enough Herm Edwards in them to play the game hard on their own, and otherwise the All-Star game is pointless. But if you do have a problem with the game, you should at the very least have a decent argument against it.

Of course, Steve Phillips' first instinct is probably to blame the system and not managerial incompetence, for obvious reasons.


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