It's about 12 hours later, but I still feel frustrated that the Yankees turned over yesterday's second game to Scott Proctor. If you were listening to last night's show on SiriusXM you heard me go on quite a rant about this. Proctor is pretty clearly not a major league pitcher right now. His line for the Yankees--8.1 innings, 16 hits, 12 runs, 10 walks, eight strikeouts, and an astounding five home runs--says everything you need to know.
I realize that yesterday's games were not particularly important to the Yankees, that at this point they would rather see the Red Sox in the playoffs and the Rays out. Yet, my sense of sportsmanship is always offended when a team makes decisions that puts winning second. When one of Casey Stengel's teams failed to give a representative performance, he would say, "The attendance was robbed." When you use Proctor, the attendance was robbed.
More to the point, even if the Yankees would not or could not use one of their prime relievers in the ballgame, it does not excuse the fact that Proctor should not be on the roster in the first place. He is 34 years old and has no future. The Yankees possess many pitchers who have careers in front of them, and one of them should be on the roster in Proctor's place, gaining experience for next season.
I have great respect for what Proctor did for the Yankees in 2006. That's one of the reasons this is painful to see. Not only did using him last night represent the equivalent of conceding, not only should his few innings be going to a kid, but seeing him pitch this way is just plain embarrassing. It is painful to watch a formerly proud competitor go out on the mound and show that he has so little left. Five home runs in eight innings is a horrifically bad number, about as close as a pitcher can come to being a batting practice machine. I suppose Proctor would rather be in the majors than not, but I can't help but wonder if that is consolation enough for watching so many balls go over the fences.
Whatever priorities the Yankees are observing in these last days of the regular season, there is no reason to continue Proctor's humiliation. It's wrong from every conceivable angle.