Thursday, August 14, 2014
Well, it certainly ain’t the Beane curve.
La Russa’s thought on sabermetrics are along the lines of separation between church and state. He believes statistics have their place in player evaluation and game preparation but not so much in determining in-game strategy.
“When I started managing in the major leagues with the White Sox in 1979, I’d had a half a season managing in Double-A, a half-season managing in a Triple-A and a season of winter ball, so I was studying my butt off in order to narrow the gap on all those great managers in the American League,” La Russa said. “I did a lot of preparation and I’m devoted to information.
“There is a lot of emphasis on metrics and analytics and I’m convinced that have a very important place in the game but that place ends when the game starts. There is a lot of push in some organizations to dictate to the manager and the coaches who should play, how the pitchers should be used and things like that.
“I firmly believe leadership is so important for a major league manager,” La Russa continued. “The way you earn respect is by making the decisions about who plays and how they play. You respect the information process but once the game starts the manager and coaches have to be in charge because the game can change so much from inning to inning.”
Posted: August 14, 2014 at 08:26 AM | 10 comment(s)
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Welcome Mr. Marshall! (disastrous plan)
The Unwritten Rules blew up in the Diamondbacks’ faces on Tuesday night in grand fashion.
Quite simply, Arizona picked a particularly poor time to Make A Statement about what’s acceptable on the diamond. In the seventh inning of their game against the Brewers, the Diamondbacks were clinging to a 4-3 lead with runners on second and third and one out. Reliever Evan Marshall then proceeded to hit Ryan Braun with a pitch that was almost certainly intentional.
Determining intent isn’t easy, of course, but the Diamondbacks were worked up — perhaps understandably so — over Brewers starter Kyle Lohse hitting both Didi Gregorious and Chris Owings earlier in the game. They might have gotten away with retaliation had it been more subtle, but Marshall first threw behind Braun, then plunked him in the left hip with his next pitch, whereupon he was tossed by home plate umpire Ted Barrett. That beaning loaded the bases, and Marshall departed to a standing ovation, one that included a rather gleeful Kirk Gibson, who fist-bumped his ejected reliever.
Gibson has been particularly critical of Braun in the past due to his belief that the Brewers’ 2011 division series victory over his Diamondbacks was fueled by the slugger’s as-yet-undetected use of performance-enhancing drugs. Braun’s positive test, the one whose result was overturned by an arbitrator in early 2012 because his sample was improperly handled, came after Game 1 of that matchup.
Alas, choosing to load the bases in the late innings of a one-run game is a dumb time to try to exact revenge, whether it was Marshall acting alone in an effort to curry favor with his manager and teammates — in which case, mission accomplished — or following Gibson’s ill-considered orders in a high-leverage spot. Reliever Brad Ziegler came on in relief of Marshall, and on his first pitch, he served up a grand slam to Jonathan Lucroy, who had hit a solo homer in his previous bat as well.
Posted: June 18, 2014 at 10:18 AM | 51 comment(s)
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