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  1. I’ll take Swish for the platoon advantage. A-Rod would be fine too though. Letting Raul hit was suicide.

    Comment by BriGuySTL — October 16, 2012 @ 11:41 pm

  2. Playing devils advocate here: had Girardi pinch hint Rodriguez and had it fail, how does he survive the public opinion maelstrom in NY?

    Comment by Zach — October 16, 2012 @ 11:41 pm

  3. I know Raul sucks against LHP…but you have to go with the ONLY guy among those 3 that has actually swung a decent bat this series. The other 2 have been as futile as they come.

    Comment by Rey22 — October 16, 2012 @ 11:42 pm

  4. You can’t just pinch-hit for Ibanez after what he’s done this postseason and expect yankee fans to not be outraged if it backfires

    Comment by Julian — October 16, 2012 @ 11:43 pm

  5. Gotta say Dave, you went from thought, to tweet, to post/poll in record time. I’m impressed, and thoroughly agree. Nick Swisher was definitely the way to go.

    Comment by VB — October 16, 2012 @ 11:43 pm

  6. He would have gotten blasted for it, yes. But you can’t make decisions based on fear of public backlash.

    Comment by BriGuySTL — October 16, 2012 @ 11:44 pm

  7. I go with Swisher fro two reasons (1) NOT IBANEZ and (2) don’t want to hear about it when A-Rod gets out and everyone talks about cherry picked samples to defend the (bad) idea that that was a bad idea.

    Comment by philosofool — October 16, 2012 @ 11:44 pm

  8. Same way you justify hitting a guy who has hit Lefties like he is a pitcher

    Comment by Dr.Rockzo — October 16, 2012 @ 11:44 pm

  9. Dotel vs. RHB: .197/.217/.290
    Coke vs. LHB: .263/.313/.338

    Swisher in the playoffs: .154/.233/.192
    ARod in the playoffs: .130/.200/.130
    Ibanez in the playoffs: MAGICAL

    As much as those numbers are SSS, I can’t really fault Girardi for hitting Raul against Coke rather than one of his very cold hitters against Dotel.

    Comment by Chinaman — October 16, 2012 @ 11:45 pm

  10. Don’t disagree. It was obviously the wrong baseball move. But seriously, Yankees fans would have called for his head.

    Comment by Zach — October 16, 2012 @ 11:45 pm

  11. Swisher should have pinch hit for Ichiro.

    Comment by Mike — October 16, 2012 @ 11:47 pm

  12. Swisher’s a switch-hitter, so he gets to bat lefty against Dotel or Benoit.

    Comment by Dave Cameron — October 16, 2012 @ 11:48 pm

  13. Swisher is the biggest choker of all. Arod is lost and is a terrible pinch hitter and he has been miserable against righties. Ibanez is bad against lefties, yes, but did he not just hit one off Matusz? Is he not the only person doing anything this post-season. I’ll leave Ibanez in there.

    Comment by jon — October 16, 2012 @ 11:48 pm

  14. The way he’s been swinging the bat…

    I think his odds would be better, but not THAT MUCH better.

    And the public backlash for Girardi would be enormous.

    Comment by Chinaman — October 16, 2012 @ 11:50 pm

  15. I agree with the comments about the public outrage of taking out Raul and having ARod/Swisher fail. Girardi would get demolished.

    Comment by nik — October 16, 2012 @ 11:54 pm

  16. this is very tough. as readers of fangraphs, the book, etc., we know there’s minimal predictive quality to any given hot or cold streak, so it shouldn’t really be affecting our thinking how bad swisher and a-rod have been, and how good ibanez has been. we know a-rod has struggled ever since he came back from getting hit on the hand, and has seemed especially unable to square up a pitch, even as his pitch recognition and plate discipline have otherwise seemed solid. we know swisher has been hopeless in the playoffs for years, despite being a solid regular season player. we know the platoon splits, we know (or at least have a very good idea of) which moves leyland would have made to counter girardi. but…. i just can’t shake the feeling that it was right to leave ibanez in there.

    Comment by jim — October 17, 2012 @ 12:03 am

  17. When it is YOUR job on the line you better believe you can.

    Comment by cs3 — October 17, 2012 @ 12:04 am

  18. I think you can do that very easily if your incentive is self-interest (As Ty Cobb said, “To get along with me, don’t increase my tension”) or playing the long game by coddling a lightning rod.

    Comment by Brazen Reader — October 17, 2012 @ 12:05 am

  19. Joe Girardi is a terrible manager.

    Comment by Bobby Valentine — October 17, 2012 @ 12:05 am

  20. But is his job really on the line? Is this one potential pinch hit appearance (an incredibly high profile appearance I realize) really enough to get him fired? That seems like a stretch.

    Comment by BriGuySTL — October 17, 2012 @ 12:09 am

  21. If I was Joe Girardi, I would presumably have access to all conceivable information on the state of these guys’ health, how they looked during warmups, which one of them was squirming in the dugout at the prospect of getting shoved into a situation like this, and so on. I am not Joe Girardi. Therefore any opinion I can offer on this one is so uninformed as to be completely invalid. Unless Joe Girardi is here masquerading as one of the commenters, that is true of every last person answering this question. It’s dumb to even try. Dumb, or arrogant beyond words.

    Comment by Bad Bill — October 17, 2012 @ 12:13 am

  22. I agree.

    Comment by Buddy Bell — October 17, 2012 @ 12:23 am

  23. I’d go with Ibanez. I mean, Arod and Swisher are both better choices there, but you’ve never had to face the media in NY.

    Comment by Joe Girardi — October 17, 2012 @ 12:30 am

  24. PH with A-Rod to force a change, then PH with Swisher. If they leave Coke in against A-Rod, that’s the best possible result. Option 2 is just run Swisher out there. Both are better than Ibanez.

    Comment by Calvin — October 17, 2012 @ 12:30 am

  25. “But Ibanez hits a HR every time in every big spot.”

    -Stupid Person

    Comment by RationalSportsFan — October 17, 2012 @ 12:35 am

  26. Hey guys I also have a poll idea. Let me know what you think!

    A) Theoretical matchup
    B) Theoretical matchup
    C) Theoretical matchup

    Oh, one more thing. We actually already tried A. It ended badly. Just throwing that out there. But I’m sure that won’t sway anyone. Honor system!

    Comment by 123 — October 17, 2012 @ 12:38 am

  27. That’s it, I’m out of here.

    Comment by Jim Tracy — October 17, 2012 @ 12:38 am

  28. It’s easy to just look at aggregate #’s but the average fan doesn’t have all the info. Is ARod even 100% after his broken hand? The bone may be healed but things like knowing what his bat speed is like (or batted ball speed) could be critical information.

    I don’t see how ARod against a righty killer like Dotel is getting so many votes and that’s assuming he’s 100%.

    The other factor that should be at least considered is ARod and Swisher are both coming off the bench cold.

    I would rather have seen Swisher or ARod hit for Ichiro (and since Coke was brought in for Ichiro, either one would be facing him).

    Comment by Tom — October 17, 2012 @ 12:49 am

  29. You totally destroyed this poll….unless, of course, the author gave us 3 clear, discrete options that we can think about in isolation and then compare.

    Oh, wait, the author did EXACTLY that…

    Comment by RationalSportsFan — October 17, 2012 @ 12:56 am

  30. If I still posted on blogs, which I don’t, I would say that leaving Ibanez to hit against Coke was disgusting and a fireable offense. But again, I am not going to say that because I have stopped posting on blogs.

    I would also probably say that how someone’s “swing looks” as in, “he is swinging the bat well” translates to, “I am a complete fucking idiot when it comes to evaluating my players and making important in-game managerial decisions,” but again, I wouldn’t say that because I don’t even use the internet anymore.

    And I might also say that it is not true that short-term performance samples by hitters mean very little – they mean absolutely nothing and that can be proved (at least to a high degree of certainty) a thousand times over – there was this book that I read a few years ago that looked into it. I can’t remember the name of it.

    And if I could make one more post just for kicks, which I surely wouldn’t, I would say that the idea that Girardi could “see in their eyes,” or some such thing, who was the correct hitter to put up there, as opposed to, “He was scared to death, like an 8 year old afraid of his mother, that if he put up a pinch hitter and that player made out (which is probably going to happen, no matter who it is), he would be lambasted by some (the morons) of the media and the (ignorant) fans,” is one steaming pile of horse shit.

    No need to respond to this post because I didn’t make it…

    Comment by MGL — October 17, 2012 @ 1:05 am

  31. It’s laughable that Girardi left Ibanez up there to hit. You can’t make decisions based on how the fans and the media will react. Let’s be honest, most of the fans and media are morons. That’s the biggest problem with the way the Yankees are doing things now, they’re trying to cater to morons. Ibanez had a .492 OPS against lefties this year and his homer against Matusz in Game 3 of the ALDS was his first homer of the year against a lefty. Just because morons think Ibanez is “clutch,” doesn’t mean you should leave him in. It made no sense. The move is to go with A-Rod, who would face Benoit, a pitcher that has allowed a ton of homers this year. Swisher against either pitcher would have been a better option as well. But everything is A-Rod’s fault, we can’t forget that.

    Comment by A-Rod Should Never Be Benched — October 17, 2012 @ 2:08 am

  32. No, 123 is correct. We have 28.8% of voters supporting Ibanez vs. Coke even though it’s the one and only choice we know for certain ended in failure. That’s pretty high. The truth is, Ibanez battled and had a good at-bat, something he’s done repeatedly in the post-season, while A-Rod and Swisher have not. Let’s not presume we’re all immune to hindsight bias.

    Comment by Jon L. — October 17, 2012 @ 3:05 am

  33. I think the one fact we can all agree on for certain is that Girardi based his decision on how he thought the fans and media would react.*

    *This has not been a sincere post.

    Comment by Jon L. — October 17, 2012 @ 3:08 am

  34. Yep, no use debating any move any manager has ever made, that’s for sure.

    Comment by Kris — October 17, 2012 @ 7:34 am

  35. It’s also possible that some of us were discussing this while the game was going on and simply entered what our opinion was at that time, before the at-bat happened.

    That’s certainly what I did, and what I presume most of the non-trolling responders did as well.

    Comment by jevant — October 17, 2012 @ 8:16 am

  36. So the upshot from many of you is that we’re to understand that Yankees fans/media are so cretinous as to not be able to fathom the obvious necessity of pinch-hitting for Ibanez against a lefty AND that a manager should make his decisions based on what he might have to justify to these same cretins?

    Comment by Richard — October 17, 2012 @ 9:21 am

  37. That Hall of Fame is bullshi*t, guys.

    Comment by Alan Trammell — October 17, 2012 @ 9:43 am

  38. Swisher was on deck to pinch hit for Russell Martin because Martin hurt his thumb.

    Comment by Mike — October 17, 2012 @ 10:03 am

  39. Ibanez hit the walk off HR in Game 3 against Brian Matusz, a LHP.

    Vs. LHB this season

    Matusz – .175/.230/.298
    Coke – .263/.313/.373

    If Girardi trusted Ibanez against Matusz, you have to figure he can trust him against Phil Coke

    I’m aware that HR is only 1 AB, but Matusz dominates LHB. Coke doesn’t do all that well. Not poorly, but it’s poorly compared to Matusz

    I think letting Ibanez bat was the right move.

    Comment by Mike — October 17, 2012 @ 10:08 am

  40. I voted ARod. But only because I would want to see the resulting circus act.

    Comment by Jaack — October 17, 2012 @ 10:09 am

  41. Why? I’m aware Ichiro is not a long ball threat but if he gets on base (which he already did twice that game against JV), you have a speedy runner on at first.

    Comment by Mike — October 17, 2012 @ 10:11 am

  42. Debate all you want to, but do not be so arrogant as to believe that any “I could have done better” statement you make is founded on anything but ego.

    Comment by Bad Bill — October 17, 2012 @ 10:23 am

  43. Honestly, who cares? The Yankees suck and don’t deserve to win. They shouldn’t have even made the playoffs

    Comment by Kenny — October 17, 2012 @ 10:26 am

  44. You”re not allowed to make a post like this here. It actually contributes useful information.

    Comment by Bad Bill — October 17, 2012 @ 10:36 am

  45. I voted Ibanez, but there’s an obvious problem with this. Ibanez is notably useless against LHPs. Joe Girardi is quite aware of this. He also knows that Nick Swisher and Alex Rodriguez are less than useless right now. What’s more, he knows where their heads are at and what sort of mechanics they’re exhibiting at the plate, knowledge that we as outsiders aren’t privy to. The percentages and history suggest batting ARod was the right move, but ARod isn’t hitting anything right now and Ibanez is hitting everything but is still godawful against LHPs. Girardi was probably screwed no matter what he did, and went with whom he trusted at that particular moment, and I can’t blame him. He knew the percentages, but he also knew that the facts that informed those percentages had changed. He probably saw the chance of success in this situation as about equal, and so the tie went to the player in the best form.

    Comment by dp — October 17, 2012 @ 10:44 am

  46. Darn it, sorry. Next time I’ll be sure to use W-L records if I want to discuss pitchers.

    Comment by Mike — October 17, 2012 @ 10:53 am

  47. So the team that finished with the best record in the AL should have missed the playoffs?

    Comment by Mike — October 17, 2012 @ 10:55 am

  48. I suspect this poll would have turned out differently if we didn’t all know that Ibanez vs. Cook resulted in a K. Psychologically speaking, I doubt that anyone can pretend to be objective given that we’re all affected by the real outcome of one of these choices. I bet more people believe in “playing the hot hand” than they are letting on here.

    Comment by BurleighGrimes — October 17, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

  49. Are we meeting today?

    Comment by Ron Washington — October 17, 2012 @ 12:28 pm

  50. “any “I could have done better” statement

    Have you seen any of those? Yeah, me neither…

    Comment by Jason B — October 17, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

  51. “We have 28.8% of voters supporting Ibanez vs. Coke even though it’s the one and only choice we know for certain ended in failure. That’s pretty high.”

    If the response rate on that option is “pretty high” despite the known failure of that option, that kind of refutes the notion that there’s a lot of hindsight bias affecting the responses…

    Comment by Jason B — October 17, 2012 @ 12:31 pm

  52. David Freese

    Comment by Bert — October 17, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

  53. True. Of course, that was a tie game, not the last out. Also, without checking the box score, given that it was the 12th inning, Girardi might have run out of options by then.

    Comment by Steve — October 17, 2012 @ 3:08 pm

  54. dude, shut up. there are such things as slumps and hot streaks. ibanez “hitting well” isn’t bullshit, that’s actually happening. Arod being “in a slump” is actually happening. players get hot and cold, and girardi identifying that doesn’t make him an idiot.

    Comment by henry — October 17, 2012 @ 3:11 pm

  55. Yeah, what he said was that hot streaks don’t exist. That’s what he said. So you did a good job correcting what he said, which was that. Good job man what an idiot that guy is

    Comment by LISTEN YOU GUYS — October 17, 2012 @ 7:39 pm

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