October 8, 2007

A few observations after more than my share of playoff baseball watching this weekend:

* When you get to this part of the season you can really see the quality of the managers involved, and the results solid managing brings. It’s no wonder the Diamondbacks, the Rockies, and the Red Sox swept their various series – in each case it was clear their managers had a preconceived plan, stuck to it, and never panicked. On the other hand…

* If Cubs manager Lou Piniella wants to blame anyone for his team’s early exit – something that should never have been allowed to happen – he need only look at himself in the mirror. To lift your best starter in a 1-1 game after only 85 pitches was pure stupidity and got his team off on the wrong foot. You can make mistakes like that in a best-of-7 series, but not in a best-of-5. The Diamondbacks had nothing to lose and played like it after taking advantage of Piniella’s error. You could almost feel the Cubs’ balloon deflate after that bonehead move, and they played like crap the rest of the series.

* Angels manager Mike Scioscia didn’t impress me at all with his managing this weekend. Sure, his team was hurting, but what’s up with allowing it to basically sleepwalk through the series with the Red Sox? Vladimir Guerrero was swinging at everything (proving once again the guy is brutal in the post-season), Scioscia brings in Juan Rivera to pinch-hit on Friday night with a 1-1 count – I mean, what’s up with that! – and he allowed outfielder Garrett Anderson to start even when it was brutally clear his conjunctivitis was hurting his performance.

* I’m getting pretty tired of managers lifting pitchers who are doing well simply because of the lefty-lefty matchup. Take Saturday night’s Phillies-Rockies game for example: Phil’s manager Charlie Manuel brings in Tom Gordon to relieve starter Jamie Moyer – no problem there, Gordon’s done a fine job for the Phillies all year. After an inning, the score is tied and Gordon is pitching well. Then, with one out in the 8th and Gordon only having thrown 24 pitches, Manuel brings in journeyman J.C. Romero for that dreaded left-lefty matchup. What happens? Romero implodes, the Rockies start banging the ball all over the ballpark, and it’s sayonara Phillies.

I just don’t understand it. The manager’s job is to put his team in the best position to win ballgames, and once you get to the post-season you have to have the killer instinct and step on the throats of your opponents – especially in a 5-game series, and especially when your backs are against the wall. If Gordon’s pitching great, for Gawdsakes leave him in there – at least for the rest of the inning. Over-managing – just amazing if you ask me.

* Of couse – and I’ll be the first to admit here that I’ve been a little harsh on Sox manager Terry Francona from time to time – the Sox skipper did absolutely the right thing on Friday night when he pulled Daisuke Matsuzaka in the 4th inning. Rather than pound the strike zone, as Dice-K did in his final regular-season start with excellent results, he could see he was nibbling around the corners and getting deep into counts. His bullpen had been a strength all season, so Francona decided not to wait, and the team was rewarded with stellar performances all around. David “Big Papi” Ortiz and Manny Ramirez hit the bombs that sank the Angels, but Francona’s use of his pitching staff in the second game put the team in a position to win, and he should be commended for that.

* Same thing tonight in the Yankees-Indians game. Anyone could see that Roger Clemens had nothing, and Joe Torre didn’t waste much time in getting him outta there. Personally, I thought it was a stupid idea to even try starting Clemens – I would have gone with Philip Hughes – but Torre came around to the right decision and Hughes threw bullets, enabling the Yankees to do what they do best – hit – and get themselves back in the series.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 01:47 | Comments (3)
  1. Doug: Your right about these managers.
    But I dont think its Torre’s fault they are losing. Go Red Sox!

    Comment by Cubby — October 8, 2007 @ 5:44 am

  2. I think we’re going to have to take a vote to see if we let you back on the Red Sox bandwagon. Your scathing comments of a week ago can hardly be forgiven by Red Sox Nation. If you’re going to be a FAN, be a FAN and not a wimp who can’t stick by his team when they need him You sure are a chip off the old block and you know who I mean. Love anyway, Auntie Marge

    Comment by Auntie Marge — October 8, 2007 @ 1:50 pm

  3. Excuse me, I must have missed something above. I don’t detect anything in the post that indicates I am back on any bandwagon, especially the Red Sox. I simply complimented Francona for the wise use of his bullpen on Friday night. I am allowed to watch the baseball playoffs, aren’t I Auntie? 😉

    Comment by The Great White Shank — October 8, 2007 @ 4:28 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Search The Site

Recent Items


September 2021
April 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006



4 Goodboys Only

Site Info