We all know how paramount the manager is to the player’s performance on the field. A good skipper can take a team on his back. Why, the estimable Richard Griffin recently confirmed phone-in callers’ deepest help beliefs when he judged there have been:
That’s right. The Jays should be 45-30 right now. A half game back of Boston, and with the third-best record in the league. Forget the fact they have the 5th worst offense in the majors, and have scored 1.2 fewer runs per game than the Bosox. The real problem has been slippage. Managerial slippage.
And clearly after one game we can say that Cito is not the answer. Unbelievably, his familiarity with the game (hey guys, where are all the ‘roids?) has faded somewhat in the decade since he last had a job. Because the old Cito, the perfect Cito that in burnt in my memory alongside the absurdly amazing lineup card he used to fill out, would not have thrown away the game in the 12th inning last night with such a bonehead blunder.
“It’s a little different and I made some mistakes out there but we’ll see if it gets better (today),” he said of the job he did. “I walked off the mound tonight to give the umpire the name of the pitcher and once you walk off you can’t go back so when Frasor came in I couldn’t even tell him anything.”
Who knows what he could have passed on! Maybe “don’t walk the first guy you face on four pitches”. That would be fresh. Or “don’t induce a routine hopper to the best fielding shortstop in the game, I intuitively sense he’s a little rusty from all the time on the bench”. Instead, he abandoned Frasor on the mound and has no doubt now ‘lost control of the clubhouse’.
Cito also showed zero ability to inspire any runs in his first 11 innings, so clearly the players won’t play for him. After the game he spouted cliches to take the heat off his team instead of cussing them out on national TV, so he’s too laid back. Bottom line is he’s just not getting results. Beating teams that should be beaten. We need a new direction. Someone who can light a fire under the team. Think: blogger.
Credit where credit is due
Rance Mulliniks has taken a lot of heat in these parts lately. And I still want to live-abuse a broadcast he’s sitting in on (I’m just not ready to unmute him yet). However, there’s probably something to his use of the word “aggressive hitting”, albeit coming in all situations and all counts and with all hitters against all pitchers.
Inside Edge (a rather brilliant scouting company) has confirmed for ESPN that the Blue Jays this season have swung at fewer pitches than any team in the league, both overall and in hitter’s counts. Normally I would just rip off the entire article, but errrr…I can’t. Go buy ESPN Insider. It’s worth it alone for IE’s surprisingly high amount of Jay-nerd coverage.
Don’t read this paragraph
I’ve been sitting on this for a while, honestly. As you know, I get my kicks by having readers hooked on the pitch f/x skag I deal out in small quantities. And I worry about what this might do to those of you that harrass me every time someone gets rung up on an outside fastball, really I do. But the time has come that eventually comes for all of us- I have been replaced by a far superior machine. Named Dan Brooks.
But can it spew out smarmy, sarcastic, and increasingly bitter comments to go alongside the umpire reports and whatever new pitch A.J. Burnett is experimenting with today? What? That’s due in the next version? Arrrrgggghhhh…