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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Manager’s toughest call: benching stars who are in a slump | The Asbury Park Press NJ

Barry Zito, team player.

Zito, a Cy Young Award winner with a $126 million contract, was dropped by Bochy from San Francisco’s postseason rosters in 2010.

“The way he handled it was so impressive,” Bochy said. “I think he threw a bullpen that day and throughout the postseason he kept himself ready in case something happened. He didn’t hang his head and he even threw to hitters. He said, ‘I’ll keep myself ready. If you need me, I’ll be ready.’ ”

And the manager maintained Zito’s respect.

“He’s always communicated,” the pitcher said. “Sometimes the truth was not what I wanted to hear, but it was the truth.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 27, 2012 at 08:16 AM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: giants, tigers, world series

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   1. vortex of dissipation Posted: October 27, 2012 at 09:22 AM (#4284826)
Possibly the most famous example of benching a slumping star in the World Series isn't even mentioned in the article - Walter Alston benching Jackie Robinson in favor of Don Hoak in Game Seven of the 1955 World Series.
   2. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: October 27, 2012 at 09:24 AM (#4284828)
Saw the headline, saw that it was from The Asbury Park Press and I thought the article was going to be about Bruce Springsteen telling Max Weinberg to take a show or two off every once in a while.
   3. BDC Posted: October 27, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4284887)
“The way he handled it was so impressive,” Bochy said. “I think he threw a bullpen that day"


Far more impressive than throwing a chair.

   4. puck Posted: October 27, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4284892)
“He’s always communicated,” the pitcher said. “Sometimes the truth was not what I wanted to hear, but it was the truth.”


That's a big part of it going well, I'd guess. Though some players will always be upset. (Cue the Pete Rose quote.)

The article also mentions sitting Reggie Jackson in game 3 of the '81 series against Fernando Valenzuela (Reggie had missed the previous 3 games with a calf injury):

“The best left-hander in the National League was pitching against us,” Lemon said, “and Reggie hasn’t been at bat in quite awhile. It wasn’t fair to him, and it wasn’t fair to us.”


I always thought Fernando was tougher on righties since his screwball was better than his curve. It was close; he had no split in '81, and just a tiny one over his career (OPS against is .017 better against RHB's).

I wonder how many people had the data on lefty/righty splits in 1981. Bill James must have been collecting it by then, that's the last year of the self-published Abstracts, I think.
   5. Steve Treder Posted: October 27, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4284905)
I wonder how many people had the data on lefty/righty splits in 1981.

Strat-o-Matic had been issuing lefty/righty split cards since 1971. It wasn't exactly unknown.
   6. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: October 27, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4284927)
Billy also benched Reggie in game 5 of the 1977 ALCS (against Splitorff)--though he was inserted as a PH in the 8th and got a crucial single
   7. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: October 27, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4284930)
Billy also benched Reggie in game 5 of the 1977 ALCS (against Splitorff)--though he was inserted as a PH in the 8th and got a crucial single

I don't know whether this was L/R in general, or Splitorff specifically. Seems like I remember the story being, Martin thought Jackson couldn't hit Splitorff, and checked with Catfish Hunter, who said "Not with a ####### paddle." Martin was not an index-cards kind of guy.
   8. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: October 27, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4284934)
I don't know whether this was L/R in general, or Splitorff specifically. Seems like I remember the story being, Martin thought Jackson couldn't hit Splitorff, and checked with Catfish Hunter, who said "Not with a ####### paddle." Martin was not an index-cards kind of guy


hmmmm--Reggie's line against Splitorff actually isn't that bad--including postseason, its 279/309/462 in 111 PA's. Nothing special, but not that bad, either.
   9. adenzeno Posted: October 27, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4285061)
Strat-o-Matic had been issuing lefty/righty split cards since 1971. It wasn't exactly unknown.


That was my 1st set! GREAT game. I also remember Rose saying he might bat lefty vs Tug McGrawand Jim Berwer and RH vs Mike Marshall due to the screwball...

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