Managerial Test: Question 1
It's the first inning of a big game. Your leadoff man singles. He's really fast. The enemy pitcher regularly walks hitters and throws wild pitches. Your pitcher posted a 4.75 ERA this season, and is facing perhaps the best lineup in Major League Baseball.
a) bunt, and hope to score one run?
b) swing away, and hope to get your big boppers up with multiple runners aboard?
I'll bet you chose b. Jim Leyland chose a, and didn't even get that one run.
Managerial Test: Question 2
It's the same first inning of that same big game. Your righty pitcher's almost out of trouble, but with two outs there's a man on third base and the next batter is a right-handed batter, one of the very best right-handed batters. Your pitcher regularly walks hitters and throws wild pitches. The man on deck is a switch-hitter who batted .330 during the regular season.
c) intentionally walk the batter?
d) pitch to the right-handed batter somewhat carefully, but try to get him out?
I'll bet you chose d. Joe Girardi chose c, and his pitcher wound up walking the switch-hitter too. The game remained scoreless only because the next batter's screaming line drive was hit almost directly at the center fielder, but there was very nearly a three-run triple in the very first inning.
Coming soon: the home version of You're the Manager!