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Tuesday, August 07, 2012
LOS ANGELES – This isn’t the first time Jim Tracy’s front-office bosses have tried to reinvent baseball. So excuse the Colorado Rockies manager if he isn’t in mutiny mode just because he must pull his starters after only 75 pitches and the first reliever he summons is called a “piggyback” and the entire cockamamie plan was dubbed Project 5,183 because that’s the altitude at Coors Field.
The Rockies could become the first team in baseball history without a single pitcher logging at least 100 innings. It’s a distinction to file under Just Plain Weird and will have taken a perfect storm of injuries, ineptitude and idiocy to happen. The plan was implemented in mid-June when it was clear the season was lost, and it’s only gotten worse: Colorado is 39-68 and in last place in the National League West.
“We wouldn’t have ventured into this if we were in a pennant race,” Tracy said. “It’s very safe to say we’re not. We have nothing to lose. We are looking at young players. We’re trying to figure out if this will work period, let alone in a pennant race.”
Seven years ago, Tracy managed the Los Angeles Dodgers and was force-fed a roster by young, Moneyball-weaned general manager Paul DePodesta, who revered on-base percentage over a decent glove, decent speed and superior instincts. Tracy dutifully played Hee-Seop Choi at first base, Oscar Robles at third and Dioner Navarro at catcher, and even lesser lights dotted the roster. The Dodgers lost 22 more games than the year before, and finally Tracy had enough. He quit in a huff and found refuge with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who had little talent but let him manage the way he believed this game ought to be managed.
That led to a shot with the Rockies early in the 2009 season, and the team made the postseason and Tracy was named National League manager of the year. His methods weren’t revolutionary, he was happily tried and true, and that was the whole point.
Now it’s getting crackpot weird again. Is it 2005 revisited?
Posted: August 07, 2012 at 11:29 PM | 9 comment(s)
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