A lot of bad things happened during the Yankees Opening Day loss to the Rays yesterday, but only one thing really stood out for me as being disastrous.
It wasn't all the men left on base: 12 in total, with the bases left loaded in the 4th and 7th inning and being 2-11 with RISP. That's bad but, they did score 6 runs so I wouldn't call it disastrous.
It wasn't Mariano Rivera blowing a save on Opening Day, the first time in his career. That hurt, but blown saves will happen, even to Mo.
No, the thing that was disastrous was, of course, Joe Girardi's bonehead move in the first inning: Having CC Sabathia intentionally walk Sean Rodriguez to load the bases for Carlos Pena. Yes, I know that, going into the at-bat, Pena was 4-35 with 2HR and 19K against Sabathia while Rodrigeuz was 6-21 and had hit the ball hard off the Yankee ace. But Sabathia was having command issues that inning. Pena is pretty much an all-or-nothing hitter. Those two facts joined together can and did lead to a lethal result: Pena's grand slam deep into the right field seats.
Girardi made a complete fool of himself. Why? Was he afraid that Rays Manager Joe Maddon, an out-of-the-box thinker, was going to make him look bad? What will he try to do against Bobby Valentine, an even bigger out-of-the-box thinker?
Play your own game, Joe, and forget those two flakes.