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Monday, May 12, 2014

Ron Washington may have ordered the worst intentional walk ever yesterday

Pitching to the Red Sox is easy, tell him Wash.
Its incredibly difficult!

I’m not sure how to score walking one hitter to face a better hitter on the scale because it’s so ridiculous that I’m not sure it comes up often enough. For now, it’s enough to give this Washington walk a three-point bonus, making it a 24-point intentional walk … just about enough to peak my general rage and disgust. It goes without saying that Napoli promptly doubled, in the end all three runs scores, and the Rangers lost by three. I’ve made the point before that the rage system is unconcerned with the result of the walk — sometimes stupid intentional walks get good results just like sometimes terrible poker players win money. But in this case, the result is fulfilling. A walk that bad deserves to blow up.

Remember how Andy Griffith on the old Andy Griffith Show would only give Barney Fife one bullet, in case of emergencies? The Rangers might want to consider doing something like that for Ron Washington, for his own good.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 12, 2014 at 10:36 AM | 41 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: international walks, joe posnanski, rangers, ron washington

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   1. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:12 PM (#4705080)
It's almost as if we're in a time warp and it's breaking news from the 2010 postseason that Washington sucks as a manager.
   2. Ron J2 Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:34 PM (#4705111)
#1 And yet Milton Bradley was sane and productive under Washington. Assuming that Washington really is good at handling difficult but talented players I'd put up with a lot of tactical issues.

Worth noting that when Cito Gaston was hired it was simply for his man management skills. The Jays appointed a bench coach to help him through the in-game situational stuff. Might make sense to do that with Washington.

It's also worth noting that by the end of his run Gaston was not a good man manager and had long since stopped listening to his bench coach.
   3. valuearbitrageur Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:39 PM (#4705118)
sometimes terrible poker players win money


Sometimes? They are 100% vs. me, sometimes I feel like I'm playing against a whole table of Ron Washingtons.
   4. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4705121)
"Sane" I don't know about but Bradley was productive in Cleveland, LA, Oakland, and San Diego too, and it doesn't seem to be all that surprising that he was productive between the ages of 25-30 but not before or after. I mean, yes, Bradley's OPS+ dropped 60 points after he left Texas and then his career fell apart, but how much credit are we going to give Washington for a .388 BABIP?
   5. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:44 PM (#4705131)
Sometimes? They are 100% vs. me, sometimes I feel like I'm playing against a whole table of Ron Washingtons.

Hmm. Maybe the terrible poker players aren't the ones you think they are...




I kid! I kid!
   6. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:47 PM (#4705136)
It goes without saying that Napoli promptly doubled, in the end all three runs scores, and the Rangers lost by three.

That just be the way how baseball do go.
   7. Danny Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:59 PM (#4705160)
FWIW, Ross has had a sizable reverse platoon split in a limited sample:

vs. LHB: .273/.343/.438 (287 TBF)
vs. RHB: .251/.319/.334 (451 TBF)
   8. BDC Posted: May 12, 2014 at 02:06 PM (#4705172)
Successful managers attract blame for the reason that star hitters get booed. There's a lot of losing in baseball, and the guys who are supposed to lead you to victory become lightning rods in defeat.

On that note, I am glad that TFA pointed out that Farrell bunting with Victorino after a leadoff double was equally foolish. I think this kind of over-tacticizing is endemic to managers, not particularly Wash's problem.
   9. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: May 12, 2014 at 02:09 PM (#4705181)
"if you can’t spot the fish during your first ten minutes at the table, it’s you."
Winston Churchill
   10. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: May 12, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4705194)
The "international walks" tag is strange....
   11. Rob_Wood Posted: May 12, 2014 at 02:20 PM (#4705198)

texas is its own country, don't you know
   12. Nasty Nate Posted: May 12, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4705201)
On that note, I am glad that TFA pointed out that Farrell bunting with Victorino after a leadoff double was equally foolish. I think this kind of over-tacticizing is endemic to managers, not particularly Wash's problem.


I think Victorino was acting on his own there.
   13. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 12, 2014 at 02:44 PM (#4705225)
"if you can’t spot the fish during your first ten minutes at the table, it’s you."
Albert Einstein
   14. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 12, 2014 at 02:52 PM (#4705228)
ken macha was one of the most intentional walk crazy managers i have seen in a while when he was with the crew. i will sift through my notes to see if any one ibb was 'the' craziest
   15. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: May 12, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4705235)
i will sift through my notes


I am so impressed with you Harvey. You have notes on Macha.
   16. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 12, 2014 at 03:09 PM (#4705241)
mrams

well, yes. i keep notes on many things. drives my wife crazy as we have multiple file cabinets in the basement filled with my notes going back decades.

and yes all resident wiseguys, they do come in handy.

most of them are business related. but i keep some baseball stuff on something that catches my fancy.

   17. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: May 12, 2014 at 03:10 PM (#4705242)
I agree with #15.

Harvey's always amazes me.
   18. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 12, 2014 at 03:10 PM (#4705243)
OT, but Harv, I have to give you props on your scouting report Aoki. His defense is.....an adventure. Didn't expect the strikeouts but he's been a big disappointment. Brewers are going to win that trade for sure.
   19. Random Transaction Generator Posted: May 12, 2014 at 03:11 PM (#4705244)
I am so impressed with you Harvey. You have notes on Macha.


Are they really "notes" if it's just a binder filled with paper and the swear words and death threats scrawled over every page?
   20. Dale Sams Posted: May 12, 2014 at 03:11 PM (#4705245)
Even with the short(ish) porch in Texas, this only makes the slightest bit of sense if you have monster K King on the mound and Napoli is deeply mired in a strike-out slump.

More likely, Wash 'Felt a DP in his bones' and hit on 19.
   21. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 12, 2014 at 03:14 PM (#4705247)
I have to give you props on your scouting report Aoki. His defense is.....an adventure. Didn't expect the strikeouts but he's been a big disappointment. Brewers are going to win that trade for sure.

keep in mind that aoki normally saves his play for the last 5 weeks of the season. it's a limited sample size but he seems do accomplish more between august 21st and october 1st then he does the rest of the season. mr salary drive

but the defense won't get better. he just doesn't trust himself to go back on a fly ball.
   22. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 12, 2014 at 03:20 PM (#4705251)
if it's just a binder filled with paper and the swear words and death threats scrawled over every page?

that only applies to my notes regarding bbtf entitled, 'slights, grievances and insults'

//makes entry against rtg log
   23. Ron J2 Posted: May 12, 2014 at 04:13 PM (#4705295)
#23 Stan Williams really did keep a notebook about who was owed a beaning. And he didn't take your name out just because you had become a teammate. You just got a temporary pass as long as you remained teammates.

I recall Hank Aaron saying that Williams was the only pitcher who made him nervous. (Williams only hit him once, but he knocked him down on a regular basis)
   24. T.J. Posted: May 12, 2014 at 04:16 PM (#4705298)
Are they really "notes" if it's just a binder filled with paper and the swear words and death threats scrawled over every page?


Like this?
   25. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: May 12, 2014 at 04:19 PM (#4705300)
I keep a dossier on all kinds of third party firms that I deal with in my professional life. I don't do any fantasy sports games, so I have even less motivation to keep anything around in writing in my spare time, although I can remember Macha having a fetish with the IBB.
   26. Walt Davis Posted: May 12, 2014 at 04:27 PM (#4705306)
HW is the keeper of the "permanent record."

   27. SandyRiver Posted: May 12, 2014 at 04:35 PM (#4705313)
From the article:

David Ortiz, in his career, hits .268/.341/.480 against lefties. Last year he hit .260/.315/.418.

Mike Napoli, in his career, hits .275/.385/.521 against lefties. Last year he hit .284/.376/.523.


SSS, but Ortiz 2014 has .992 OPS against LHP, a reverse split of over .200. Also, not to defend Mr. Washington too vigorously, but he had watched Papi bomb one off a lefty the day before.
   28. OCF Posted: May 12, 2014 at 04:43 PM (#4705321)
My all-time leader for "worst intentional walk ever" comes from the 1989 NLCS.

Top of the 4th, Giants Batting, Ahead 4-3, Cubs' Greg Maddux facing 7-8-9
t4 4-3 0 --- 8,(3-2) SFG P. Sheridan G. Maddux 4% 67% Single to CF (Line Drive to Deep SS-2B)
t4 4-3 0 1-- 2,(1-0) SFG J. Uribe G. Maddux 9% 76% Single to RF (Ground Ball thru 2B-1B); Sheridan to 3B
t4 4-3 0 1-3 3,(2-0) SFG S. Garrelts G. Maddux 1% 77% Uribe Steals 2B
t4 4-3 0 -23 5,(2-2) O SFG S. Garrelts G. Maddux -5% 72% Strikeout Swinging
t4 4-3 1 -23 4,(3-0) SFG B. Butler G. Maddux 1% 73% Intentional Walk
t4 4-3 1 123 4,(1-2) O SFG R. Thompson G. Maddux -7% 65% Popfly: SS (SS-2B)
t4 4-3 2 123 1,(0-0) RRRR SFG W. Clark G. Maddux 27% 92% Home Run (Fly Ball to Deep RF); Sheridan Scores; Uribe Scores; Butler Scores
t4 8-3 2 --- 6,(3-2) O SFG K. Mitchell G. Maddux -0% 92% Groundout: 3B-1B
4 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB. Giants 8, Cubs 3.

Bear in mind that the IBB of Butler happened with ONE out, so if Robbie Thompson did anything other then hit into a double play (as it is, he popped out), then Will Clark would bat - and this was Will Clark, 1989. 175 OPS+ for the season. And Clark had already hit a HR just one inning before.
   29. JJ1986 Posted: May 12, 2014 at 05:44 PM (#4705350)
Managers always seem to think double plays are much more common than they actually are.
   30. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: May 12, 2014 at 05:49 PM (#4705354)
Bear in mind that the IBB of Butler happened with ONE out, so if Robbie Thompson did anything other then hit into a double play (as it is, he popped out), then Will Clark would bat - and this was Will Clark, 1989. 175 OPS+ for the season. And Clark had already hit a HR just one inning before.
I remember thinking at the time that it was a pretty desperate move so early in the game, but didn't think it was a BAD movie. Maddux had already given up four, and looked very hittable. I actually thought the move to make was to walk Clark to re-load the bases and then face Kevin Mitchell instead. Yeah, it's kind of crazy to want to load the bases against 1989 Mitchell, but Clark in 1989 was just That Good, and he'd doubled and homered off Maddux already in the same game. Sometimes, there just aren't any good choices.
   31. OCF Posted: May 12, 2014 at 05:58 PM (#4705362)
Sometimes, there just aren't any good choices.

How about pitching to Butler with runners on 2nd and 3rd? Even a single by Butler might well have only scored 1 run (the outfield played him very shallow). Try to get out of the inning with Butler and Thompson?

but Clark in 1989 was just That Good

That was pretty much my point. And there was no walking him to "re-load" the bases: he came up with the bases loaded.
   32. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: May 12, 2014 at 06:40 PM (#4705396)
My mistake! I should have checked the PBP instead of relying on my memory. You're right, that's a pretty bad walk. I can see where it comes from, though — [29] has it about right.
   33. God Posted: May 12, 2014 at 06:43 PM (#4705400)
Don Mattingly also issued one of the worst intentional walks of the season last night, and it lost him the game. Top of the tenth inning, two runners on, he orders Kenley Jansen to walk the same-handed Buster Posey to load the bases with nobody out, with a pitcher who has periodic trouble throwing strikes. The next batter, Sandoval, immediately ripped a two-run single and Posey, the guy who was walked, eventually scored. This walk rates a 17 on Joe's scale -- not in Ron Washington territory, but not too far off either.
   34. TR_Sullivan Posted: May 12, 2014 at 08:41 PM (#4705455)
Washington said today that Ross has had more success lately vs. RH than LH. Also sees Ortiz as a guy that always comes through with big hits against the Rangers. Didn't think Ross could keep the runner stranded at third facing Ortiz. He wanted Ortiz to walk and then Ross gets the double play with a sinker or a slider down in the zone to Napoli. Ross threw the sinker but it was way up and away in the zone and Napoli reached out and hit the double. Ross then had Pierzynski down 1-2 but couldn't put him away...giving up a two-run single.

Against a left-handed hitter.


   35. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 12, 2014 at 08:49 PM (#4705459)
The worst intentional walk I can remember was in the 1999 NLCS Game 6. In the bottom of the 11th inning, Bobby V brought in Kenny Rogers. After a leadoff double to Gerald Williams and a Bret Boone sac bunt, Williams was on third with one out. At that point, they intentionally walked Chipper, understandable since Chipper was a great hitter and the walk sets up the double play.

Then they inexplicably intentionally walked Brian Jordan to load the bases and bring up Andruw Jones. Is having the force at home really worth putting your pitcher in a position where he has no margin for error? Jones and Jordan were roughly equal as hitters and both were righties so there was no good explanation. Predictably, Rogers walked in the winning run and the Braves won the series.
   36. Colin Posted: May 12, 2014 at 09:12 PM (#4705469)
1996 World Series, Game 4. Top of the 10th inning, two outs and runners at first and second. With Steve Avery pitching, Bobby Cox intentionally walks Bernie Williams to load the bases in order to face Andy Fox, except everybody knows Joe Torre will pinch-hit Wade Boggs for Fox, so it's an intentional walk to load the bases and move the go-ahead run to third base in order to face Wade Boggs. Boggs walks, forcing home the go-ahead run.

I've never been angrier about an intentional walk.
   37. VoodooR Posted: May 12, 2014 at 09:42 PM (#4705485)
I've got to think the one detailed in 35 is the worst, since it led directly to the first (only?) walk off series ending walk ever. Though the WSG4 sounds awful in hindsight, too.
   38. bobm Posted: May 12, 2014 at 09:54 PM (#4705497)
BB REF Event Finder:

All of MLB: 9032 Walks Allowed in Postseason
102 leading off game, 1 game-ending, 1 walk-off
   39. BDC Posted: May 12, 2014 at 09:58 PM (#4705501)
Is having the force at home really worth putting your pitcher in a position where he has no margin for error?

It's an interesting question. In a winning-run-on-third situation, you have to have great confidence in your pitcher's ability to throw a strike to walk the bases loaded. But if you have a top closer with great control out there anyway, you're probably going to let him try to get an out, not depend on the minor desperate advantage of a "force at any base." So you're more inclined to the desperation move with a guy who may not have the best control to start with. I think "desperation" is the keynote here. I've seen the move work, and it's great fun when it does – in fact I vaguely remember a series c1980 where the Phillies did this twice in a row in extra innings and still won the game: walk 'em loaded with none out and play five infielders in, move back to double-play depth with one out. (The move backfired on them in Game Three of the LCS at Houston that year, though. Or at least didn't work out. A leadoff triple that represents the winning run is a dagger almost all the way into the heart anyhow.)
   40. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 12, 2014 at 11:22 PM (#4705541)
I think Post 35 represents the best and worst of the IBB. The walk to Chipper strikes me as about the most logical IBB you can get: late innings, little to no marginal value to the extra baserunner, great switch hitter at the plate, sets up a double play but doesn't leave pitcher no margin with batter.

The next IBB, not so much.

   41. Walt Davis Posted: May 13, 2014 at 05:12 AM (#4705624)
Managers always seem to think double plays are much more common than they actually are.

I think it's more that they can blame it on the pitcher's "failure to execute" or, if they get a grounder but don't turn two, a bit of bad luck ("pitcher did his job ... ").

They probably do think GBs are more likely than they are, especially with a GB machine like Maddux on the mound. That year his GB/FB was about 57/43 (about the same as career) but he also got a BIP only 75% of the time. So all told I get a GB in "just" 42.5% of his PAs.

But yes, even Maddux only got DPs in 15% of his opps that year (13% career) so now we're down to an average p(DP) or about 6-7%.

To rub some salt into my own wounds, Butler was 260/340/280 career against Maddux. His chances of a hit weren't very good although there was a 8% chance he would walk anyway. But he only K'd 6 times so there was a very good chance he'd put the ball in play which will probably score a run. Of course, it's the Cubs, if Butler hits a GB, they'll commit an error.

Butler's 6/5 K/BB ratio against Maddux is probably one of the best in the non-Gwynn, non-Bonds division.

Not too surprisingly, Clark tattooed Maddux to the tune of 315/393/574 -- Clark (esp then) was sort of a Gwynn with power or a (normal) Bonds with less speed.

Bonds hit "only" 265/376/508 off Maddux ... because Maddux wanted nothing to do with him with 24 BB (9 IBB) in 157 PA. Smoltz really avoided him with 28 BB in 108 PA. Kevin Brown 18 BB in 63 PA. Brett Tomko was not a stupid man, walking him 14 times in 39 PA to hold him to 320/564/520. Actually struck him out once too.

The most walks by somebody who never K'd Bonds was, not surprisingly, Jose Lima with 11 BB in 32 PA ... the 476/656/1286 line (5 HR in 21 AB) suggests a few more walks were in order. A special prize to Mike Williams who walked him 8 times in 14 PA.

Of all people, Moyer K'd Bonds 7 times in 42 PA vs. 4 walks. He mighta wanted to add a couple more walks given Bonds interesting 216/310/622 line. The most Ks by somebody who never walked him was Kent Mercker with 6 in 41 PA, holding him to a 250/244/400 line with just 1 HR. Mercker really had his number.

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