I like to think I see the broadest picture possible.
Lose the battle to win the war.
Rest the strain now, so there's no tear down the road.
I acknowledge that professional athletes are some of the most ruthlessly competitive people you'll ever come across (like Jon Voight's character said in Transformers 'losing for these guys isn't really an option), but even with MLB having an extra wild card in the game - making single games slightly more important than before - I can't justify not grooving fastballs (like the one Cal Ripken got in Seattle in his final All Star Game) to end an extra innings game that's dragging on for days.
Not in June anyway.
Yea, yea, I know you can't win a division in the beginning and mid months of a season, but you CAN lose it.
If was managing the A's or Yankees last night (or Jays, Rangers, Mets or Marlins from the weekend) once we've hit the 13th inning I'm probably having a chat with my team and telling them if they score in that half inning, we're throwing batting practice to end this deadlock.
We'll pick up that one game elsewhere in the season, but I can't keep blowing through the bullpen putting upcoming games at risk. Baseball obviously isn't as physical and as tiresome as some other sports that were to go multiple overtimes, but I don't care how athletic you are, it's like how driving all day wears you the f%ck out. Standing in the field those extra innings, a DH just sitting and sitting and sitting. It's astonishing how doing NOTHING can be so fatiguing. Fatigue leads to injuries. Injuries cost wins. At least conventional wisdom would say so.
The Jays won in 18 on Saturday and didn't go into any more of a nosedive than they've been in all year. The Marlins and Mets are terrible so it's hard to guage the effects of their 18 inning affair.
There was an SI article earlier this spring that helped bring to this belief that there's just no reason before whatever you define as 'late' in the season to be playing 14, 15, 18(!) inning games. If I find it, I'll certainly share.
The A's - my preseason pick to win the AL West - started hot, cooled, then have recently stormed past the Rangers in the division. They've won 108 games in a calendar year. Last night's win over the Yankees could catapult the A's, a fiery young team, onto another rampant winning streak. Or they could've lost their best offensive player, Josh Donaldson, for a few days with a strain. A strain is what Twitter said ailed Donaldson late last night.
Perhaps I'm just being a curmudgeon. The A's and Yankees actually didn't devastate their 'pens, but only because Hiroki Kuroda and Jarrod Parker each went a splendid 8 innings.
Donaldson is probably OK, and no season destroying losing streaks are likely to ensue for either of these teams, but 18 innings is way too much baseball.
Vernon Wells, Kevin Youkilis and Travis Hafner were a combined 0 for 23 with 9 K's
The A's Adam Rosales entered the game 'late' as a PH/2B and scored himself a golden sombrero in his four at bats.
Both teams threw exactly 255 pitches. 510 together.