As I crawl out of the fetal position after my beloved Yankees were eliminated from the playoffs, I look back on the autopsy of the season and look at a couple key causes, one being the two-out intentional walk.
A couple times during the playoffs, the Yankees walked a hitter with two outs to create a scenario where they’d face a supposed “less-threatening” hitter, and it came back to bite them when that hitter came through with a hit that put the game out of hand.
In looking at the effect this had on the pitcher, it seems to be that any pitcher who doesn’t have the confidence of the pitching coach or manager to get a hitter out with two outs doesn’t belong on a major league baseball field.
In management and HR, reflecting on this can help managers and employees see where they fit in. If you have an employee who you continually avoid putting in situations with your best or most challenging customers, perhaps that employee needs more training, needs to be trusted, or needs to be let go.