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Moments with Maddon

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Now that you're just beginning to get over the anxiety caused by waiting and waiting for the DBR Annual to be released, I've got something else for you to wait for.  Over this past week, I've been working on a secret project that will be unveiled on Monday, which unfortunately has left me little time for a post today.  So I apologize in advance, but boy oh boy, just wait until Monday.

Anyway, right now I'd like to introduce a new series: Moments with Maddon.  If this works out, throughout the season I hope to take specific moments from individual games and evaluate them from the manager's point of view.  If I were Maddon, what would I have done?  What strategy makes the most sense in this situation?  And then, to get an idea of what's the most efficient play, I'll go to "The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball" and see what strategy should have been taken in that situation.

A couple disclaimers up front: I am not an expert on win expectancies, but I see this as a good opportunity to make myself learn a bit more.  If my analysis isn't 100% correct, feel free to offer suggestions.  Also, I didn't name this series "Second-Guessing Maddon" for a reason.  It doesn't have the cool alliteration going for it, but most importantly, I don't want this series to become an excuse to bash on Maddon.  I enter this series with no strong opinion on if Maddon is an effective, strategic manager; if anything, I'd probably say he does a good job with strategy decisions.  Instead, the point of this series is for us to learn a bit and to have some fun playing the manager, not to bash on Maddon.  I intend to take a look at both good and bad strategy decisions, and probably throw in some hypothetical ones as well.

Since we don’t have any games going on right now, let’s take a hypothetical situation instead for our first MwM.  Top of the eighth inning, scored tied 2-2, Carl Crawford on first, one out, Carlos Pena is at the plate.  We're facing Boston, so Victor Martinez is behind the plate and Hideki Okajima has just been brought in.  The Sox are using the shift, but keeping someone near second to watch for the stolen base.  As a manager, what do you do?

I'm going to admit, I have no idea what the "correct" answer would be according to "The Book".  I just made the situation up off the top of my head, so let's see what everyone thinks about it.  I'll end up working through the situation and posting an analysis sometime in the middle of next week, but for now, enjoy debating amongst yourselves.

Poll

If you were Maddon, what would you do in this situation?

This poll is closed

  • 47%
    Have Crawford steal
    (143 votes)
  • 8%
    Hit and run
    (26 votes)
  • 1%
    Pinch-hit with a righty
    (5 votes)
  • 22%
    Drag bunt down left field line
    (68 votes)
  • 0%
    Pinch-hit and steal
    (2 votes)
  • 17%
    Let it ride
    (53 votes)
  • 1%
    Other (which I'll say in the comments)
    (3 votes)
300 votes total Vote Now