Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mr. Redmond, there is someone who you absolutely have to meet. His name is Steve Cishek. This introduction should be helpful to you since you both have fairly common goals day-to-day. I felt the need to introduce you because it is obvious that you either don’t know him or maybe you had forgotten that he is currently employed by the Miami Marlins. You see, Steve hasn’t pitched for you in more than a week, yet he is most definitely your best pitcher in your bullpen. Sure it wouldn’t be that big of a deal if you didn’t need your bullpen the last couple of days, but Jayson Werth might suggest that you could have used him, Or Ian Desmond for that matter.
You see, both of those players hit grand slam’s off of two different guys in your bullpen, neither of them was Steve. This mindset of keeping your best relief pitcher for the very end is only helpful IF YOU CAN GET TO THE END! I will never understand the reasoning of using a closer only in the last inning. If he is your best pitcher, you should bring him in when you need him the most. Runners on second and third with less than two outs late in the game? Perfect time to use your closer. The hottest hitter in the lineup batting with the bases loaded? Another great time. Keeping him for the ninth inning that may never come and even if it does he will face the bottom of the lineup? Not the greatest time to use your closer.
Mr. Redmond, I know that you are just doing what everyone around you does, and have done for years upon years, but this team can’t follow the path that everyone else is walking. We need to be different, not for the sake of being different, but because when everyone else zigs, our best chance of winning comes by zagging. I am sure you will catch some negative publicity if you change the way you think about the game, but pioneers of any change receive negative criticism regardless of the situation.
You don’t strike me as the type of person to draw attention to yourself, and that is fine. Heck, I even appreciate that about you after the Ozzie Guillen fiasco, but just this once you could put aside your desire to be in the background, stop treating yourself as a backup catcher, and step to the forefront of an issue that should have changed long ago.
What do you say Mr. Redmond? Might you be interested in utilizing the services of Mr. Cishek slightly more often? I think this is partnership that could flourish if used correctly. Ultimately though, it is up to you.