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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Houston Chronicle | Ortiz: Bullpen’s shot, and Cooper deserves blame

Reading through the comments Chris Sampson made to Richard Justice Tuesday in Florida, it’s pretty clear that the righthander has not survived the abuse Cecil Cooper put him through before the All-Star break. It’s pretty amazing when a guy who was on the disabled list and has asked for an extra day off here or there since the break still leads the relievers in innings or games.

Poor Doug Brocail’s right shoulder never recovered from the abuse Cecil Cooper put him through before the 2008 All-Star break.

Now, Alberto Arias is showing signs of wearing down after Cooper rode him into the ground.

Guys like Sampson and Arias must be honest with Cooper and tell him there are days they cannot take the ball. Cooper had his career and made his money as a player, and now he’s likely to try to sacrifice all the arms to avoid being fired after the season. Sampson and Arias are still trying to establish themselves in the majors.

Yorman Bazardo on Saturday was a perfect case of Cooper’s selfish use of arms. He told the kid he likely wouldn’t use him. Bazardo had just started on the previous Wednesday at Round Rock, yet Cooper ran him out there and the kid gamely labored through an inning while getting rocked.

Coot Veal and Cot Deal taste like Old Bay Posted: August 12, 2009 at 12:40 PM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros

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   1. base ball chick Posted: August 12, 2009 at 05:00 PM (#3290303)
he could NOT have said it better. i couldn't have said it better my own self and i HAVE said it my OWN self.

he's dead on about yorman bazardo, by the way.

they can't get rid of him fast enough to suit me. he makes phil garner look like a managing GEEEENYUSS
   2. Tripon Posted: August 12, 2009 at 05:08 PM (#3290323)
In late July, Wesley Wright looked done as he labored through three innings. Everybody could see it as Wright was being knocked around by the Cubs. Well, everybody could see it but Cooper, who later that evening had to see Wright rushed out of Wrigley Field in a gurney for an ambulance ride to be treated for dehydration.


What the hell? Isn't Wright a LOOGY?
   3. haven Posted: August 12, 2009 at 10:55 PM (#3290892)
What is Cooper supposed to do exactly? He has been given a horrific collection of third through fifth starters. He is damned if he leaves them in to pitch and damned if he takes them out. He really can't win. A lot of the criticism he takes seems competely unfair considering the situation he is in and the results he has gotten with a pretty un-talented club.
   4. Tripon Posted: August 12, 2009 at 10:57 PM (#3290896)
What good does it do to burn though all the usable talent He does have though?
   5. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 12, 2009 at 10:58 PM (#3290899)
Come on Ed Wade, go out and ya some RELIEF PITCHING!

Seriously, though. How did the trading deadline go by without Ed Wade making a move for relief pitching. Is he OK? Someone should send him a "Thinking About You" e-card.
   6. Tripon Posted: August 12, 2009 at 11:06 PM (#3290910)
Shooty, the Astros have no money they wish to spend.

They're the most consistently mediocre team that you can buy for $100 million.
   7. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 12, 2009 at 11:35 PM (#3290937)
Poor Doug Brocail’s right shoulder never recovered from the abuse Cecil Cooper put him through before the 2008 All-Star break


Cecil Cooper is to blame for the breakdown of a 41-year-old pitcher?
   8. haven Posted: August 12, 2009 at 11:46 PM (#3290949)
What good does it do to burn though all the usable talent He does have though?

I don't deny that it doesn't do him any good. But I also feel for someone trying to win games that has been given such limitted options. Vilifying him seems unnecessary to me.
   9. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 12, 2009 at 11:49 PM (#3290955)
What is Cooper supposed to do exactly? He has been given a horrific collection of third through fifth starters. He is damned if he leaves them in to pitch and damned if he takes them out. He really can't win. A lot of the criticism he takes seems competely unfair considering the situation he is in and the results he has gotten with a pretty un-talented club.

This was the mantra for the local defenders of Ned Yost in 2007. (Not to pick on the poster here, just pointing out the fact)

Look, managers get paid a fair amount of money to make critical decisions and possess key skills. Proper load leveling for the bullpen is one of the central skills of a 21st century major league baseball manager. If you cannot keep your bullpen relatively healthy you will almost certainly fail at your job. It just "is".

So to throw up one's hands and say, "Hey, what else can I do?" is not acceptable. It's a copout. It's stating to everyone that you don't understand one of the fundamental requisites for the job.

Now, Cooper himself has not said this. But if DID I would be highly critical of him. In fact, more critical than of such commentary then if he comes out and says, "Look, my strategy was to just ride these sumb*tches into the ground and see where it takes us". The former demonstrates a failure to recognize that bullpen management is important while the latter simply demonstrates a poor strategic choice but KNOWING that bullpens matter.
   10. Srul Itza Posted: August 12, 2009 at 11:56 PM (#3290972)
he could NOT have said it better.


Actually, he could have. The better headline would have been:

Bullpen’s shot, and Cooper should be.
   11. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 13, 2009 at 12:19 AM (#3290995)
By the way, I struggle to see where by inspection Cooper has ridden anyone into the ground.

The Cubs have five starters who have pitched more the 100 innings to date yet still have four relievers who have pitched 50 or more innings.

The Pirates have three starters over 100 innings and then all kinds of guys who have been worked harder than Astro relievers.

The Astros have 2 quality starters, two blah starters who have logged 100 plus innings and then a bunch of guys who have logged forty odd innings. The exception being Sampson who has pitched 54 innings.

And again, I am not including any guys who have started even a game.

This is just in his division. I could continue.

Now, this doesn't speak to leverage or the types of innings pitched (lots of pitchers per batter, etc)

But I don't see a LA situation where Mota and Troncoso have pitched 120 innings between them.

Boy, folks there do hate Cooper.
   12. JoeHova Posted: August 13, 2009 at 12:31 AM (#3291023)
Look, managers get paid a fair amount of money to make critical decisions and possess key skills.

Why does it seem like so many of them lack those skills and decision making abilities? There was some talk on the Brewers board today about firing Macha and some people were calling for Phil Garner to be brought back. Is there really nobody out there that is qualified to be a major league manager? Do teams really have to resort to hiring retreads who have well known major weaknesses and blind-spots? I dislike Macha as much as the next guy (batting Jason Kendall lead off permanently turned me against him because that is not a move that can even begin to be justified in any kind of rational way), but having Garner or Yost back would be just as depressing. Why does it seem so hard to find a guy who will make a reasonable line-up, pay a little bit of attention to platoon splits and bullpen usage, and play the best players?
   13. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 13, 2009 at 12:37 AM (#3291036)
Joe:

Not many teams have really defined the job requirements. I am serious.
   14. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 13, 2009 at 12:39 AM (#3291041)
Cecil Cooper is to blame for the breakdown of a 41-year-old pitcher?


Cecil Cooper is to blame for everything involving the Astros. Except the wins. Those are definitely not his fault.
   15. haven Posted: August 13, 2009 at 12:48 AM (#3291067)
Why does it seem like so many of them lack those skills and decision making abilities? There was some talk on the Brewers board today about firing Macha and some people were calling for Phil Garner to be brought back. Is there really nobody out there that is qualified to be a major league manager? Do teams really have to resort to hiring retreads who have well known major weaknesses and blind-spots? I dislike Macha as much as the next guy (batting Jason Kendall lead off permanently turned me against him because that is not a move that can even begin to be justified in any kind of rational way), but having Garner or Yost back would be just as depressing. Why does it seem so hard to find a guy who will make a reasonable line-up, pay a little bit of attention to platoon splits and bullpen usage, and play the best players?

Perhaps because fans, even relatively in the know fans posting on BBTF, have unrealitic expectations. Not to make excuses for these managers, but I doubt in these circumstances that all but a select few could do better.... And most of them already have better (or at least ther own) managerial jobs.
   16. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 13, 2009 at 12:56 AM (#3291082)
I think part of the problem is artificially restricting the pool of candidates.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 13, 2009 at 01:04 AM (#3291097)
I think part of the problem is artificially restricting the pool of candidates.

Exactly. You're basically selecting from ex-major leaguers, a pool that is not selected for intelligence or managerial ability or people skills or anything remotely related to managing a baseball team.
   18. JoeHova Posted: August 13, 2009 at 01:07 AM (#3291103)
Not many teams have really defined the job requirements.
I think part of the problem is artificially restricting the pool of candidates.

These both make a lot of sense. When you see a team hire even a slightly out of the box guy (Arizona with Hinch), there is a backlash. Teams may be worried about that. As for the ill-defined job requirements, that seems to be the case in Milwaukee right now. Macha seems to not be nearly as anxious as Melvin is to play Escobar (and Gamel, before he was sent back down). One would think that Melvin would have brought up the fact that playing young guys is a necessity in a market the size of Milwaukee and that Macha would have indicated his assent to that idea. However, that doesn't seem to have been the case.

Exactly. You're basically selecting from ex-major leaguers, a pool that is not selected for intelligence or managerial ability or people skills or anything remotely related to managing a baseball team.

It's the Peter Principle, where the skills that made a guy good at his job are no longer relevant in his new supervisory position. Very good point.

Perhaps because fans, even relatively in the know fans posting on BBTF, have unrealitic expectations.

I disagree. Is it really so unrealistic to hope that your favorite team's manager will not bat the worst hitter in baseball in the leadoff spot? I don't see why that means that I live in a fantasy world or anything. I'm not claiming that I could do better or that anybody here could do better, I just think that it's likely that more than 10-15 people in the world could.
   19. haven Posted: August 13, 2009 at 01:15 AM (#3291111)
I think part of the problem is artificially restricting the pool of candidates.

Not me. I don't think expanding the pool of candidates would mean much. Could make things worse.... Probably would end up with the same result..... Make things better? Seems dubious. Maybe I just think that professional sports are much more a players game than a coaches game......
Is it really so unrealistic to hope that your favorite team's manager will not bat the worst hitter in baseball in the leadoff spot?

I am not sure who your favorite team is.... Is it the Reds? Cause I have to agree Willie Tavares should not be a leadoff hitter. Or probably a starter. Not that I think it matters all that much for them given the rest of the roster.

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