Proctormania

Like I said a couple of days ago, I hate September baseball in the absence of real pennant races: if it wasn't September, rosters wouldn't have expanded. If rosters weren't expanded, the Sentimental Scott Proctor Nostalgic Reunion Tour wouldn't be playing on Broadway. If the Sentimental Scott Proctor Nostalgic Reunion Tour wasn't playing on Broadway, he wouldn't be coughing up games. I don't mind when a team loses a game; they're all going to do that. I mind when they lose with less than their best because it judges the game not to be worth deploying the team's best talent, which in this case is to say an inning of Mariano Rivera.

Or maybe Joe Girardi was just saving Rivera for a lead, you know--the old "can't use your closer in a tie game on the road" thing, which is a lot like not taking an aspirin for your migraine because you're saving it for a hypothetical worse migraine. Meanwhile, Rafael Soriano is back to looking like a boondoggle and Boone Logan has allowed a .462 slugging percentage to left-handed hitting. Fortunately, in the postseason these problems can be avoided by skipping them wherever possible. Better to go with one of your righties who has everything working than a high-priced righty who doesn't, or for that matter a low-priced lefty. No one can second-guess going against the orthodoxy when the orthodox solutions are broken.

And, of course, Proctor won't be hanging around. It's fascinating that home field and postseason opponent somehow become deemphasized in September simply because managers have the luxury of giving their regulars a blow. In the Yankees' case, when their postseason birth is more or less assured, maybe it is, but from a fannish perspective (not my usual vantage point, I know), it's bad show, less than the whole effort. The Braves and the Dodgers have already proved that Joe Torre wrung all the value there was out of Proctor's arm five years ago. If these innings were going to a kid, you could at least argue that the Yankees were in the process of learning valuable things for next year, if not for this year's playoffs, where a kid could prove to be a bullpen secret weapon, like David Price a few years ago, or Francisco Rodriguez in 2002--something Brian Cashman should remember very clearly, given that kid K-Rod picked up two wins against the Yankees that fall.

Proctor isn't that, though. It's just innings absorbed to no useful gain for anyone--not for now, not for the future.

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