Once again, the New York Yankees fell victim to their own rules.


Last night, the result ended with a Yankees loss of 7-4 to the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners have consistently held the last spot in the AL West this season.


The Mariners had baseball’s best pitcher on the mound in Cliff Lee to face a well-rested Phil Hughes.


Hughes has exceeded all expectations this season and entered the game with a 10-1 record, an ERA of 3.17 and has been the most consistent on the Yankees rotation.


No question that Hughes is the real deal, but at 24 years old the Yankees worry about using him too much.


Hughes just turned 24 and this is his second full season in the bigs—the first as a full time starter. So the Yankees place an innings limit on him, also known as the Hughes Rules.


Innings limit on young arms is the latest craze around baseball. I was under the impression it was used when a pitcher was transitioning from the minors.


Looking at pitching sensation Steven Strasbourg of the Washington Nationals, it makes sense. The Nats manager was upfront that Strasbourg was allowed to pitch for 120 innings in 2010, no matter what.


Strasbourg is clear on this rule, along with everyone who watches Sports Center . It is extremely helpful, especially from a young player’s mental outlook.


That is why skipping over Hughes’ start made utterly no sense. Hughes was in a rhythm, which was working.


Why did Girardi not let Hughes throw the allowed 170-180 innings on an unchanging basis?


Not to mention Hughes skipped start was in his hometown and his parents were planning on attending. Remember the last time Mrs. Hughes was in the house her son almost threw a no-hitter.


Did the Joba’s Rules not teach Girardi and GM Brian Cashman anything?


It brought horrible memories back for me. Girardi having panic attacks when Joba got near 70 pitches or was through four innings. Even when Joba was throwing heat, everyone knew he was coming out no matter what, including Joba.


This whole state of affairs falls under something my dad calls, “The Da-Boom-Theory.”


The Da-Boom-Theory is when a person gets an idea (the ‘da’) in their mind that makes sense by anyone’s standards. Then instead of thinking it out or learning from past mistakes, that someone goes boom.


The ‘boom’ is acting on the idea with positively no understanding of possible repercussions that might affect the result.


Specifically, in these situations the DA would be the Hughes Rules. The boom would be the skipped start, which ended in a Yankee loss and cut Hughes mental game.


Aren’t the young guys supposed to be the workhorses and the veterans coddled?


It is time to stop babying these men into boys and start letting them work. The timing here was totally off and the Yankees should know better than this.


Finally, congratulations to Mariners Cliff Lee who threw his fifth no-hitter of the season. It did not go overlooked, and the Yankees do apologize for the mess.



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