I don't blame Wedge for using JoeBo last night. Of course from a strictly baseball perspective it cannot be explained...Raffy B should've been in there. He's the better pitcher, and was rolling.
But as was brought up last night both on TBS and on the game thread, Wedge's management of this team doesn't exist in a bubble. He has to deal on a personal level with these guys every day, and as much as we hate to admit it, personal relationships and team comraderie may trump common sense, even in the playoffs. It may not make sense to us fans who cling to every win and loss like life and death, but these guys are friends, and their relationships will last well beyond this season. With JoeBo, Wedge has to constantly weigh the benefit of keeping him out of close games vs. what it will do to his clubhouse.
Which brings me to why I wrote this diary. I called out Nixon earlier in the season for being such a "team guy" but not having the balls to absolve Wedge of a duty to play him. You know you suck, you know there are better options, and you know the coach is just trying to keep peace by giving you at-bats. The situation with JoeBo is a little more high-leverage, but I don't see why the same logic cannot be applied. JoeBo is a great team guy. We all know this. But how he can continue to fool himself into thinking that he is our best 9th inning option is delusional.
He would actually become one of my biggest idols in sports if he went to Wedge today and said "Eric, I appreciate how you've supported me up to this point, but if you feel like the Raffies or Jensen give you a better chance, go for it. You don't owe me anything." Of course, the risk would be that Wedge takes this to be a lack of self-confidence by JoeBo in himself, and he takes all of his innings away....which I don't think would be fair either.
Someone in this organization has to address the elephant in the room instead of continuing to dance around this issue, hoping everything will turn out ok. We're 8 games from winning the World Series, and based on an entire season of data, I'm not sure how JoeBo goes through the next 3 weeks without a blown save.
Please, JoeBo, for the sake of your teammates, your coach, and the fans. Be a man.