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When Tough Decisions Come Back to Haunt You: 2009 World Series

CC_SabathiaNew Yorkers are brimming with pride, joy, worry, gossip, and possibly some jealously as the Yankees continue to fight for the World Series title. The streets are flooded with Yankees caps, shirts, and bags making the odd Philly fan feel even more out of place.

It’s a great time of year.

Game 1, clinched by the Phillies in last night’s Bronx rain cloud, wasn’t fun for Yankee fans…but it might have been decidedly more gut-wrenching for Cleveland Indians fans.

In 2002 Cliff Lee, now starting pitcher for the Phillies, and CC Sabathia, now starting pitcher for the Yankees, were both employed and training for the Cleveland Indian’s bullpen.

Both Lee and Sabathia, each possessing a Cy Young Award, were traded by Indians’ management, helmed by Eric Wedge, in 2009 and 2008 respectively.

Earlier this month Wedge, along with his staff, were sacked as a result of numerous problems. Key among them was the release of Lee and Sabathia. When the trades were made it was a risk, but today, now that both pitchers are in the World Series, Indian management looks like they would have traded Babe Ruth for a yo-yo.

In other words, Wedge, his staff, and the Indians’ General Manager, Mark Shapiro, have made some decisions that have come back to haunt them.

The Risk of Risky Decisions

All decisions are risky and when you have to make a tough call you either make a forced choice or you don’t make one at all. Both scenarios contain obvious risks and there is always the possibility that your choices will come back to haunt you. It can be disheartening, nerve wrecking, and possibly frighting, but sometimes tough calls have to be made.

The best thing a manger, leader, or a decision maker can do is consider the third option: look at potential problems proactively; look at them ahead of time. Assess and weigh problems before they are problems and remain ahead of the curve. It’s not a cure-all to bad decision making, but it certainly reduces decision making anxiety.

We cannot definitely know what Wedge and his staff were thinking when they waved good-bye to two of the better pitchers in baseball. What we do know is that they probably didn’t envision a scenario where they would both end up in a World Series facing each other. Think ahead and think broadly before you have to act now with limited information and a deadline.



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