I’m becoming sensitive to the odd language we use in the baseball post-season. The latest expression that puzzles me is the so-called “short leash”.
In the post-season, certain pitchers are put on a “short leash”. The idea is that the manager should not hesitate to pull a pitcher from the game if that pitcher is on a “short leash”. Who’s been on a short leash? A.J. Burnett, for one. In game 4 of this ALCS, Burnett was supposedly on a short leash, or according to the Washington Post, on an “incredibly short leash”.
Who else has been on a short leash this post-season? Rays’ pitcher James Shields against Cliff Lee in game 2 of their ALDS. Twins pitcher Brian Duensing against Phil Hughes in game 3 of our ALDS. Phils pitcher Joe Blanton in game 4 of the NLCS. Rangers pitcher Tommy Hunter pitching against A.J. Burnett in game 4 of the ALCS (that rare game when both teams’ pitchers were on short leashes). Oh, and this can’t make us feel good: Phil Hughes is reportedly on a short leash against the Rangers tonight in game 6.
Fact is: anytime you pitch some guy that you don’t entirely trust in the post-season, that pitcher is put on a “short leash”.
What happens when a pitcher is on a “short leash”? Ahhh. That’s hard to say.
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Continue reading The Short Leash (Still Trying To Keep It Rational)