Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said the team is going to lodge an official complaint to Major League Baseball over the way Mets skipper Jerry Manuel brought in Omir Santos in the ninth inning of Wednesday’s 4-3 loss.
The situation was two outs, bases loaded, with Ramon Castro at the plate. Manuel called him back and brought in Omir Santos, who was warming up pitchers in the bullpen at Citi Field. It took a really long time for Santos to get to home plate and bat. He ended up popping up to end the game.
In his post-game comments, Manuel said he was using that time to “ice” Marlins closer Matt Lindstrom. It’s a strategy that is used in other sports. In basketball, the opposing coach will take a timeout when someone is set to attempt a key free throw. In football, timeouts are taken right before an attempt to kick a game-winning field goal.
It might be a flaw of the system for both of those sports, but it’s not illegal. It’s become part of the strategy, one expected from the fans and the players. It’s actually an interesting concept in baseball. It’s doubtful that any team has done it with any regularity or with as much intention as Manuel did. It’s actually kind of a novel idea.
That doesn’t mean I agree with it, especially in that situation. The game of baseball is long enough without intentionally dragging it out even more. Castro already had two hits on the day. He’s a fastball hitter facing a fastball pitcher. Santos, while hitting very well recently, including a grand slam, was not warmed up. His head probably wasn’t even really in the game.
It seems odd that Manuel wouldn’t go to the hot hand in Castro. It’s one of those gut decisions in recent games that haven’t worked out for him or the team lately.
But that doesn’t mean the Marlins need to go and essentially tattle on Manuel to the league. They won the game. It didn’t work out for the Mets. Get over it.