On Sunday, there were two major-league baseball games where a pitcher walked a batter with the bases loaded. Cubs relievers walked the bases loaded, then hit the next guy to bring in the winning run in the 11th inning. And Yankees reliever Scott Proctor issued two walks with the bases loaded — to tie the game, then to give away the lead. And both teams proceeded to lose the game, as they should when walking someone with the bases loaded.
Why do managers let this happen? I know I’m not alone in thinking that it’s never a good idea to walk someone with the bases loaded. I’d pull any reliever who already walked two in an inning. But if a pitcher walked someone with the bases loaded, I’d pull him immediately. There’s no excuse. It forces in a run. Even if you have to throw it down the middle, there’s at least a chance that the hitter will miss it or hit it at someone. But when you walk them, the chance of them scoring is 100%.
Here’s what a manager should do. He should keep himself in shape, practice his pitching, then when a reliever implodes on the mound again, walking people with the bases loaded, the manager should go to the mound and demote that guy to Triple-A right then and there. He could act like an umpire, making the motions for “You’re outta here!” Then replace his spot on the roster with yourself. Proceed to pitch out of the jam and tell your reliever, “This is how it should be done!”
If the manager is just too old to pitch, he could arrange to have someone in the stands behind their dugout who he knows can pitch. When you pull your pitcher out of the game, go grab that guy out of the stands and bring him into the game, putting him in. And of course don’t let anyone know that you rigged it. This way it’ll look like you just pulled a random person out of the stands who can pitch better than the guy you just took out. That’ll teach him to walk people with the bases loaded! Plus it’ll create lots of publicity for yourself and the team.