There's Monday morning quarterbacking and then there are coaching mistakes. Every decision a coach makes that doesn't work out is going to invite criticism; it happens in basically every game ever played.
But there's a special category of managerial mistakes. The kind that follow a coach around for the rest of their years and the kind that still feel like an open wound to the fans and players involved.
Those are the coaching mistakes that make up this week's Top5Thurs.
Inspired by Kevin Cash's downright moronic decision in Game 6 of the World Series, here is this week's list.
Top 5 Thursday: Worst Coaching Decisions
5.Marty Mornhinweg elects to defer in OT
- Quite simply, Marty Mornhinweg's entire 5-27 career was one giant coaching mistake. But his decision in a 2002 regular season game set a new standard for coaching stupidity, Tied at 17 apiece and headed to OT, Mornhinweg's Lions team won the coin toss but elected to defer. This despite the rules in 2002 that stated the first team to score in any way would win. Predictably, the Lions would go on to lose.
4.Pop Subs Out Duncan
- In Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals, Gregg Popovich made the dumbest decision of his legendary coaching career. The Spurs had the Heat on the ropes, up 3-2 in the series and leading by 3 with under 30 seconds to go. Pop subbed out Duncan to prevent him from being fouled and sent to the line and didn't sub him back in defensively. The Big Fundamental might've been useful in a box out as the Heat missed two three point attempts before grabbing yet another offensive rebound and kicking it out to Ray Allen who drained the desperation three. The Heat would go on to win the game and the title and have Gregg Popovich to thank.
3.Kevin Cash Yanks Blake Snell
- Breezing through five innings with nine strikeouts, Tampa Bay Rays ace Blake Snell seemed prime for a legendary October performance. Instead, a data set mad front office and manager decided to yank the ace while he was cruising. The Rays would immediately cough up the lead and never get it back.
2.Grady Little Lets Pedro Sink
- A long, long time ago before the Boston Red Sox became indistinguishable from the Yankees, they were the darling underdog. In game 7 of the 2003 ALCS the Red Sox seemed primed to snap their century long World Series drought and do it against not only the hated Yankees but Roger Clemens. Nursing a three run 8th inning lead, Grady Little ignored all the obvious signs of fatigue from Pedro Martinez and kept him in the game for 123 pitches. The Yankees would score three runs in the inning and would eventually win the game on an epic Aaron Boone walk-off. If the Red Sox didn't avenge the loss the following year in their historic 0-3 comeback, Grady Little might be the biggest villain in Boston sports history.
1.Pete Carroll Passes on Running
- In 2015, Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks were one yard away from Super Bowl glory, again. With under 30 seconds to go, Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell decided to pass on handing the ball off the Marshawn Lynch and instead threw for the win. The pass was picked, the Seahawks dreams were dashed and they haven't been back since.