If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It, Doc!

The box score said that Brandon McCarthy lost last night game.  I beg to differ.  It was the Dodger’s Manager, Dave Roberts who lost the game for the Dodgers and he lost it in the top of the 5th inning when he removed Rich Hill from the game.  Yes, the next six batters were RH hitters, but everyone knows that Rich Hill has reverse splits:  LH hitters are better against him than RH hitters.  I rarely second guess and it’s very unusual for me to question strategy, but I said that when Hill was taken out in the 5th inning it was a dumbass move and I stand by it. Come on, Doc!

Rich Hill had only thrown 60 pitches and clearly had (at the minimum) another inning (maybe two) in him.  But Dave Roberts pulled him to bring in Kenta Maeda who was very solid.  It was just an inning or two too soon and it came back to bite Doc in the butt!  Doc lost this game! Come on, Doc!

Look, the Dodgers had 27 consecutive scoreless innings thrown by their bullpen in the playoffs.  THAT IS SIMPLY NOT SUSTAINABLE!  It IS BOUND TO EVEN even out … even Ray Charles can see that… and it did! The more the pen pitches, the more likely it is they will give up some runs, especially when you get to Stripling, Fields and McCarthy.  On a night when Rich Hill was very good, he was taken out after just 4 innings where he struck out 7 and threw just 60 pitches.  Yes, he was pissed and so was I!  Come on, Doc!

By pulling Rich Hill after 4 innings , Doc Roberts anointed the bullpen as the Dodger’s savior and the odds were long that it could be. This loss is on Dave Roberts.   He should have allowed Rich Hill to pitch deeper into the game.  I totally “get” taking Clayton Kershaw out after seven innings, even though he was low in his pitch count and dominant, but taking Rich Hill out after four innings was indefensible! Rich Hill could have went five innings… most likely six innings.  Then you bring in Maeda to pitch an inning or so, maybe Cingrani or Watson and then hand the ball to Morrow for the 8th and Kenley for the 9th.

The bullpen had way too much exposure!  Giving Rich Hill and extra inning or two, ESPECIALLY WHEN HE WAS STILL VERY EFFECTIVE would have limited that exposure.  Come on, Doc! It wasn’t broke and you tried to fix it! I rarely criticize moves made by the manager because it is very subjective, but this one I violently disagreed from Jump Street!  Dave Roberts is my favorite Dodgers manager… ever!  He should be the NL Manager of the Year. He’s a very smart guy but that was a dumb decision.  Learn from it, Dave.  Come on, Doc!

Last night win gave the Astros hope when they could have headed back to Houston crushed and defeated.  They were resilient and kept coming back after the bullpen kept coughing up leads – that’s the good thing about this team.  They are fighters… junkyard dogs and in my book, being called a “junkyard dog” is the ultimate honor. They will put this behind them and com out with guns blazing in Houston where we need Yu Darvish to go a strong seven as well.  The good news is that Kenley Jansen should not have another bad game.

It was an incredible game in which a hat saved a run and an umpire did the same. These are Destiny’s Dodgers.  Say “I Believe!” The heroes weren’t many last night: Hill, Seager, Puig, Joc, Kike and Cingrani as the Astro pitching held the Dodgers to 5 hits, but the manager snatched defeat from the jaws of victory with the bonehead decision to take out Rich Hill. Houston gave the Dodgers their best shot and the Dodgers we set to beat them.  If you haven’t noticed, this really sticks in my craw!

P.S. Did someone whisper in Adrian Gonzalez ear “We are paying you – you can’t go on vacation during the World Series?”

Posted by Mark Timmons

We started LA Dodger Talk in 2001. This site is about giving another perspective outside of the average day-to-day reporting. We don’t do game recaps or such things — lots of sites do that well. I value sabermetrics, but don’t think they are the “end-all-be-all.”. This is where you should start your day as a Dodger Fan. Welcome! We’d like to hear your voice.

This article has 59 Comments

  1. You might be right! Tension-packed game all night. I thought more than once “this game is over for the Dodgers”. They did a great job of coming back. I hope the silver linging of the loss is that the offense has increased confidence and that last night was just the beginning of scoring runs for the Dodgres.

  2. Don’t agree at all.
    Hindsight is always 20/20, but the move was the right one.
    Third time through the lineup and five tough RHBs, Maeda made a lot more sense.
    The Astros are really good, don’t make up narratives.

    1. It’s not making up a narrative to opine on managerial decisions that are questionable.

      Probably the right move, but that type of decision – to remove Hill in the 4th – has obvious downsides. We’re free to discuss them.

      If Kenley doesn’t give up that home run, we’re not having this discussion. ….and it was on an 0-2 count.

      Sometimes you just get beat.

      I thought the scenario was going to be reversed; that Verlander would’ve held the Dodgers scoreless until the 7th or 8th, and the Dodgers would’ve had to get to their relievers to have a chance. I kind of expected the Dodgers to lose this game…just not this way.

  3. I live and breathe Dodgers baseball. I was so heartbroken about last night’s game that I was going to take 24-48 hours away from baseball for my sanity and so I would not have to increase my anti-depression medication. But I could not stay away from here. I tried, but something kept pulling me back in. I said it at the time Hill was removed that it was a mistake. There was nothing wrong with how he was pitching. He kept getting himself out of trouble. Why the rush? 60 pitches in 4 innings is a 15 pitch average. That’s 90 for 6 innings, and Hill can do that no problem. As much as I dislike John Smoltz as a commentator, he said the same thing. “At some point it is going to bite you”. He said it at least three times BEFORE the 8th. Stripling, Fields, McCarthy should never be used in high leverage situations in the playoffs. Let your starters go. I blamed Doc. Friends blamed Doc. But we all counter that by believing that the Dodgers would not be where they are without him at the helm. It’s just so hurtful when it happens in Game 2 of the WS. So there is absolutely nothing I disagree with on this post, and now I am going back into my shell.

  4. After the game it could be seen as a mistake to change Hill, but at that time I would have changed it, Roberts, I tried to prevent the Astros from being up for more career as Velander was throwing at that time two or more career of advantage would be very difficult to reach. I think the Dodgers lost because they stopped doing what they were doing very well … that was to run … .Utly failed in the first race, Peterson failed to bring the fourth race when he was in third base, Jensen put a ball in the center with the count 0-2, Filds and McCarthy pathetic … that was the reason for the defeat: not run.

    The teaching of defeat is that we only have 5 relievers: Watson, Ciangini, Jensen, Morrow and Maeda … Taylor, Tuener, Seager and Puig very well … .Peterson and Barnes very badly … Belinger more or less … .Utly ugly …
    The series will be very interesting, now Astros have the psychological advantage, we must wait until the season ends to draw conclusions, including Agon,
    Go Dodgers.

  5. I agree. Doc over managed. Doc has made great decisions all throughout the play offs. Tonight was not one of those games. There were at least four decisions that I think were wrong.
    1. Pulling Hill after four innings.
    2. Pulling Stripling after four pitches.
    3. Pulling Morrow after one hit in the 8th.
    4. Asking Jansen to get six outs.

    If your plan is to use Morrow and Jansen to pitch the 7-8-9, then you have to let Morrow get at least one out and maybe two depending on how Morrow was throwing. You cannot ask Jansen to get six outs. Especially when he pitched the night before. Morrow is just as effective as Jansen.

    This is what I thought Doc was going to do in the 7-8-9. Morrow would pitch the 7th. Jansen was going to pitch the 8th. He would mix and match with Fields and Cingrani in the 9th. In the 8th the Astros had their 2-3-4 hitters coming up. All right handlers and good hitters. Good place for Jansen. When Morrow came for the 8th. I thought ok, he is going to share the 8-9 with Morrow and Jansen. I was ok with that decision. However, Doc pulled Morrow after one hit and that was wrong.

    Here is what I am afraid has happened. Doc damaged the confidence of three pitchers. They are Hill, Stripling and Morrow.

    1. He didn’t do McCarthy any favors either. He hadn’t pitched in a long time and that was tight game on a big stage.

  6. I just want to make sure everybody knows I think Doc is a great manager. He pulled all the right strings until last night. One bad game, I will give that to him. Now we need to win in Houston.

  7. Didn’t like the quick hook either but didn’t like the execution also. Stripling has to be better. Four straight balls to lead off the 7th inning forces Doc to go to Morrow too early. If Stripling does his job and gets through the 7th, Doc uses Morrow for the 8th and KJ for the 9th. Instead Stripling takes a dump and Doc is forced to get multiple innings out of Morrow and KJ.

    Stripling has to do better, he was not close on any of the four pitches and he looked like the stage was a bit too big for him. I can’t stand lead off walks as they seem to always come back to bite you one way or the other. Have to win two of three in Houston.

    1. I don’t know why it’s not possible to test for that. Some baseball journalist should get a bunch of balls – this year’s and previous year’s – and test how much energy is absorbed and rebounded for each, how far each travel based on a given input of energy, etc.
      .
      .
      We were saying the same thing in 87.

  8. Hill should not have been removed…and this is not 20/20 ‘hindsight’ as some of you like to believe. It was the wrong move. It should have been Hill for 5, Maeda for 2, then Morrow and Jansen 1 each.

    It also would have helped if Joc and Barnes would have been able to get the runner home from third. Two big K’s.

    Stripling, McCarthy, Fields…Yikes.

    We had a golden chance to beat Verlander and Roberts flat out blew it.

    1. I was at the game last night and your observations are right on. Hill never should have been pulled after 4 innings. He had 7 strikeouts against the Astros the team with the lowest amount of strikeouts in baseball this year. If Hill gave up some hits in the 5th then pull him. Also you don’t pull a pitcher after one pitch this is the kind of over managing that Girardi does in New York. And the part of the game that nobody except you has been pointing out is that you must score a run with a runner on third base and 2 outs. If the Dodgers scored that run Jansen would have gotten the save and game over.

  9. I didn’t like pulling Hill after 4 but it worked every other time Roberts has done it. The decision that I didn’t like was going with Stripling over Cingrani to start the 7th. Cingrani had been warming up while Watson was so it isn’t like he wasn’t loose. We can second guess things for 2 days (Utley fielding the ball or Forsythe starting, if Puig had been able to catch the line drive) but we were in a position to win with 2 hits.

    1. Cingrani is more of a Loogy.
      .
      This is one reason why you can question the move to remove Hill. Removing him that early means you have to go with a Stripling or somebody. It’s either Hill, who was pitching well and is a stud pitcher, but about the face a Stros lineup that killed lefties during the season, or having a Stripling or a Watson pitch.

  10. You rarely see me second guess, but I have 6 witnesses that when Roberts took out Hill, I called him a dumbass and said “This is going to end badly.”

    The Dodgers would not be in the World Series without Doc, so my opinion about him has not changed.

    Just a bad move. Move on and learn.

  11. Pulling Hill was a bad move, pulling Stripling was a bad move (maybe even pitching him), pulling Morrow was a bad move, having Jansen pitch 6 outs was a bad move (especially since he pitched the night before) removing Bellinger was a bad move (even if it was a double switch). There was just one bad move too many to overcome. It was almost like sabermetrics arrogance, it works sometimes but doesn’t work other times. I love Doc as our manager, but this one is on him. I hope he told the team that because I think he owes them that and makes it easier for the players to bounce back.

    1. Pulling Bellinger may not have been a popular move as his spot in the lineup came up again in the 11th. This time it was Charlie Culberson, and he hit a HR. So that was actually one move that worked out.

  12. Putting Stripling in was the bad move. Morrow should have started the 7th and got at least 4 outs. Stripling should have been in the game where MCCarthy was inserted. MCCarthy being put on the roster at all was asinine.

  13. Alanna Rizzo tweeted this on Oct 24:

    For those that said @Adrian_ElTitan was on a European vacation, he’s currently in our @SportsNetLA studio, doing our postgame show. In CA.
    8:19 PM – 24 Oct 2017

    I guess #fakenews has come to baseball.
    Adrians official twitter page is at:
    https://twitter.com/Adrian_ElTitan

  14. I am a big Roberts fan but he blew it big time by over managing. This loss is on Roberts and it has potential carry over throughout the series by him also showing a lack of confidence in Morrow after giving up one hit, and burdening Jansen by asking him to enter the game with a runner on second and needing six outs. Also the image of our unbeatable bullpen is over and Houston is full of confidence. Now they know our bullpen is not deep. Trust your starting pitchers Doc, particularly in a 7 game series.

    1. Exactly the way I feel. Also what does it say about Doc’s confidenct in Hill? Do you think that move made Hill feel good??

  15. I am a big Roberts fan but he over-managed. This loss has potential carry over throughout the series by showing a lack of confidence in Morrow after giving up one hit, and burdening Jansen by asking him to enter the game with a runner on second and needing six outs. Also the image of our unbeatable bullpen is damaged giving the Astros confidence. Now they know our bullpen is not deep. Trust your starting pitchers Doc, particularly in a 7 game series.

  16. From Los Angeles Mitched in his news letter today:

    Let’s talk about Rich Hill for a moment. Dave Roberts pulled him after he pitched four strong innings Wednesday, because he was about to go through the Astros’ lineup for the third time. The Dodgers gave him a three-year, $48-million contract in the off-season. I thought it was a good deal at the time, but here’s what I don’t understand: If you don’t think a pitcher can successfully pitch through a lineup for a third time, why are you giving him $16 million?

    The thought process this season is that a starting pitcher, particularly Hill, turns into a pumpkin when he faces a lineup for the third time. Is that correct in Hill’s case? Let’s look like at the numbers this season.

    First time through a lineup the opponent hits: .192/.286/.318. That’s really good.
    Second time through a lineup: .236/.324/.450. Uh oh, numbers are going up.
    Third time through the lineup: .158/.208/.200. Wait, what? His numbers are actually better the third time through the lineup than any other time?

    Well, perhaps this season is a fluke and over his career he has been hammered during his third time through a lineup. Let’s look:

    First time through: .221/.311/.339
    Second time through: .222/.306/.386
    Third time through: .227/.294/.384

    Gee, I’m not seeing a big difference. Which makes the decision to remove Hill after four innings a bad decision. He went four innings, giving up one run on three hits while striking out seven and walking three.

    He had only thrown 60 pitches. So, try to squeeze a couple of more innings out of him. Then you can use Kenta Maeda/Tony Watson in the sixth/seventh, Brandon Morrow in the eighth and Kenley Jansen in the ninth.

    Because again, why are you paying a guy $16 million if you don’t trust him to go six innings?

    I don’t blame Hill for being irate. He had every right to be.

    –Even though the Dodgers lost, that was a really great game.
    –Nice of Josh Fields to fill the Pedro Baez role in Game 2. He retired no one, giving up two homers and a double. I could have done that.
    –If you blinked, you may have missed Ross Stripling. Four pitches, one walk and he’s out of the game.
    –We can moan and groan about things the Dodgers did wrong, but sometimes you have to tip your cap to the opponent. The Astros are a great team. They didn’t win 101 games by accident.
    –It’s hard to win a game when you only get five hits and the other team gets 14.
    –That being said, when you are up 3-1 on Justin Verlander, you need to win.
    –I had one person email me a few seconds after Jansen gave up the tying homer. He was irate and said the Dodgers would lose the series, 4-1. If that’s how you feel, just stop watching and give any Dodgers gear you own to a real fan.
    –Even Mariano Rivera lost a game in the World Series.
    –Chris Taylor, Corey Seager, Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger combined to go one for 17. Hard to win when that happens.
    –How nice was it to see Joc Pederson hit a home run? And how sad was it to see him strike out with a runner on third and one out? That’s Pederson’s career in a nut shell.
    –Hill had seven strikeouts in four innings. Over the next seven innings, the bullpen struck out only one.
    –The Astros can’t feel too comfortable, because the Dodgers were hitting rockets off of their bullpen. They just kept hitting them right at people.
    –The Dodgers acquired Yu Darvish for situations like Game 3. Let’s see what happens.
    –Now the Dodgers need to shake it off and come back strong in Game 3. That’s what championship teams do.

    1. I said the same thing last night to the crew at our house. How do you pay a guy $16M to only go 4 innings in the WS? I did not do the research that Mitchell did, but it was obviously out there because Smoltz made the comment that Hill is a guy who gets better as the game goes on, and that he did have a right to get upset. Now Mitchell has backed that up with the stats. With 7K’s, Hill was not struggling, and he owned Altuve and Correa. They both looked bad striking out twice.
      .
      I also do not understand why Watson did not come back out in the 7th. He threw one pitch in the 6th. First batter in the 7th was Marwin Gonzalez who had not done anything since early on in the playoffs. Even though Gonzalez is a SH who bats better from the right side, he has not been a big threat. Then LH Reddick and the pitcher to follow.
      .
      Just like Doc can over think, we can over analyze. On to Game 3, and let’s see what Yu can do. With McCullers Jr. pitching, the breaking balls will be coming all game long, so the hitters are going to really need to be patient. Let’s reclaim home field advantage and win Game 3.

  17. I was afraid when Joc didn’t get the runner in from 3rd it would bite them in the ass and it did. I thought Cody’s fly ball was gone when he hit it in the 9th. That ball is gone in the bandbox that Houston plays in. Chase needs to come up with the ball that allowed Houston to score their first run. Forsythe makes that play. I think Stripling pooped himself and Doc got him out before he stunk up the joint. He wasn’t even close to throwing a strike. The Dodgers didn’t do a lot of little things to put that game away. Home plate ump was just terrible last night.

  18. I don’t have any witnesses like Mark, but I wasn’t happy to see Hill not come out for the 5th inning. First off, he was pitching well, and can get righties out. He also had his pitch count under control. Secondly, bringing in Maeda at that point increased the likelihood that we were going to see the likes of Stripling, Fields and McCarthy. The Dodgers bullpen is strong, but with little depth beyond the two lefties, Morrow and Jansen. In fact, I would have preferred Baez over any of the other three. He’s bad at times, but is good a lot of other times.

    Not worried about the Stros gaining any confidence. If anything, the Dodgers showed that they’re pretty formidable themselves. Heck, among other things, Cody just missed ending it by a fraction of a fraction of an inch off the bat. Within the next year or two with a little more physical maturity, that ball goes out.

  19. Thanks everyone for the well-wishes for my wife. She came home yesterday after a 2 week hospitalization for sepsis.

    Anyway, my immediate reaction from last night’s game is that Dave Roberts micromanaged the Dodgers out of a victory. (I totally understand the opposing point of view – what if he left Hill in and he got pummeled by some of the Astros’ righty hitters coming up? He would have been second-guessed for not lifting Hill when he did.) Hill didn’t have his best stuff yesterday – he was wild and wasn’t really throwing his curve for strikes – 6 baserunners in 4 innings.

    It’s way more than lifting Hill after 4. What about:
    *Maeda out after 1 1/3 because a lefty was coming up? He’s a starter and should have been expected to pitch deeper into the game
    *Watson pitches to only 1 batter? What – he can only get lefties out?
    *Why Stripling in the 7th? And after he threw that 4 pitch walk, why yank him so soon? If he was good enough to bring into a game in the 7th with a 2 run lead, why lift him after 1 batter?
    *Why lift Morrow after he gave up a hit in the 8th?

    As others here have noted, John Smoltz questioned Roberts’ decision to remove Hill immediately, noting that it left the bullpen too much to do and imposed a continued burden of perfection which ultimately it could not lift. The decision left the Dodgers short-handed at the end of the game. There is no way that the likes of Brandon McCarthy should have been the only pitcher left after only 10 innings. He gave up the HR to Springer after not having pitched in a major league game for 24 days and in a relief role that he was probably not prepared for.

    I disagree with those who now believe that the Dodger bullpen has lost confidence in itself. It was only 1 game and they will come out expecting to get everyone out the next time that they pitch. My big concern is that the Dodgers were only a couple of outs away from a 2 – 0 Series lead. Now, they are 1 – 1 meaning that the ‘Stros have the home field advantage going forward. It is the ‘Stros who have probably gained a little swagger after blowing up the Dodgers’ ‘pen for 6 runs in 4 innings last night.

    The Dodgers will have the starting pitching advantage tomorrow. They need to come out strong and put Tuesday’s game behind them.

  20. I don’t agree that the Astros now think they own the guys in our bullpen, but I do hope that the Astros are over confident, like some think.

    Because the Astros were very lucky that Kenley didn’t get his pitch, where he wanted it to be!

    Because Kenley usually doesn’t have any trouble at all, with his command, so this was more an aberration with Kenley, then anything else.

    So I don’t think the Astros should count on Kenley, making another mistake, with one of his pitches again in this series, because that would be a mistake!

    Kenley has been very good all year long, and he is not going to let one mistake, get him off his game, in this series.

    Because this series is far to important to Kenley, and to this team!

    If anything, Kenley will be even tougher to hit, in the rest of this series, because of what happened!

    Because Kenley takes pride, at being at the top of his game, and he is always finding different ways, to enhance his game, to adjust on hitters.

    And the Astros didn’t really get to Morrow last night, because Morrow only faced one hitter, in this game.

    And the other relief pitchers, that came into the game, before Morrow, did there jobs!

    So really, the Astros only got to the pitchers at the back of our rotation, and Kenley.

    And we probably will not be seeing, any of these pitchers, that came into this game after Kenley, in the rest of this series anyways!

    Because Roberts will probably only use Cingrani again, and the Astros didn’t get to Cingrani last night!

      1. Exactly, Darvish will pitch deep into that game.

        Really, the Astros had to win that game, more then we did last night, because they only have two, really good starting pitchers.

        And they lost that first game, with the only other good starter they have, so they couldn’t loose, both of those games!

        1. MJ,
          McCullers Jr. is not at the same level as Keuchel or Verlander, but do not sell him short. He is a good pitcher. He shut down a pretty potent Yankees lineup. As has been apparent throughout, the hitters will need to be very disciplined and wait McCullers Jr. out.
          .
          I was not comfortable with Game 2 from the start. I knew Verlander would be tough, and Hill is not Verlander. If the Dodgers were to lose, this would be the game. But the Dodgers had this game and they let it get away. It would have been nice to get through Keuchel and Verlander 2-0. Now the Dodgers have to face Keuchel again, this time in Houston. I still like Kershaw to win it, but it will be a fight. That’s Game 5, let’s win Game 3.

          1. AC

            I don’t take any player on another team lightly, because I am a true Dodger fan!

            I don’t ever tempt fate, when it comes to the Dodger!

            As you know, us Dodger fans, worry until we have the game in the bag.

            I was just trying to post a positive comment, because us Dodger fans, tend to over emphasis the negative, especially after watching a game like that!

            I read an article in the LA Times today, and this article made me feel better, you should read it.

            The writers first name is Houston, and that is the truth!

            He talks about taking Hill out, of the game last night.

            He can also be pretty witty, at times!

            He said something, that made me laugh!

            Just use the thread that Mark has on here, to go to the LA Times articles, on the Dodgers.

            Once you push the first article, just keep on after that, and you will see another article, and you will see what Houston wrote, I just can’t remember his last name, but you won’t miss his first name.

            If anything comes up, wait for a second, and push the X at the top right of the article, and you won’t be forced, to have to buy a subscription.

            But it doesn’t pop up, right away, so wait, it will come up soon!

          2. MJ,
            I was not being critical. Too many are assuming that the Dodgers should be heavy favorites because of Darvish vs. McCullers Jr. I did not mean to imply that you felt that way, or that we Dodger fans should not be upbeat about their chances. The same strategies that have worked in the past with pitchers that like to work around the zone should be in play for McCullers Jr. Be patient and work the count and get the pitch count up to get to the bullpen. The Dodgers get to use Kike’ and Logan against the lefty rather than Chase and Joc. Bellinger and Seager will be the only lefties in the lineup, and they both hit lefties well. The Dodgers should win, but if McCullers can pitch like he did against the Yankees, then it will be tougher.
            .
            I did read the Houston Mitchell article. I enjoyed it and I agreed with what he had to say.

    1. And I don’t think McCarthy belongs on this roster at all!

      He didn’t earn a place on this roster, and he is not going to be any help to this team, coming out of the pen!

      He doesn’t have the mentality to pitch out of the pen, so why us he even on this roster?

  21. There’s a great article from Jeff Passan today about the evolving role of a manager of an MLB team:
    https://www.yahoo.com/sports/joe-girardis-firing-illustrates-gms-control-power-baseball-202027882.html

    Here’s an excerpt:
    “Nothing so blatantly illustrates where the power in modern baseball resides as the carousel of managerial firings that climaxed Thursday with the New York Yankees’ dismissal of Joe Girardi. General managers wield more control than ever, and they use it as a cudgel to install ideological analogs. When Girardi lost Brian Cashman, the Yankees’ GM, he lost his job.

    The manager used to be the fulcrum of an organization, the decision maker whose compass guided the GM. The slow shift to a top-down management structure accelerated as front offices sodden with information saw managers more as conduits through whom they could deliver the knowledge gleaned from the quantitative analysis that serves as a backbone for modern baseball dogma.

    And though Girardi was by no means averse to this, brandishing the most infamous binders outside of Mitt Romney’s, there is a truth to the GM-manager relationship: If any animus exists, it’s obvious who’s gone. Managers, in 2017, are as fungible as paper towels.

    Dusty Baker, coming off 95- and 97-win seasons with Washington? Gone. John Farrell, winner of the American League East the last two years in Boston? Peace. Terry Collins, who managed in the World Series two years ago and a playoff appearance last season? Canned.

    Girardi, Baker and Collins have spent at least a decade managing baseball teams, and the Boston Rule – every year spent managing the Red Sox should count for two – would put Farrell there, too. The notion that experience buys them a pass or counts for much holds little water. The swath of managers hired with no prior experience elucidates the evolution of the position and how front offices view managers today.”

    And:
    “The Yankees are Cashman’s custom car, put together piece by piece. He wanted to choose the driver. And though Girardi had been dutiful and won a World Series in 2009 and guided a number of teams, including this season’s, to better-than-expected finishes, his gravitas allowed him to stand up to Cashman. The new manager may not be a puppet, per se, but his viewpoint will respect that of management, and he’ll need to put in long, hard hours to earn the players’ respect, because the players understand the dynamics at play.

    It’s why the Red Sox went with Alex Cora and the Mets with Mickey Callaway to fill their managerial vacancies: Each comes with extraordinary interpersonal skill and a clean slate upon which past experiences and biases haven’t fully imprinted themselves. Cora is Houston’s bench coach through the end of the World Series. Callaway was Cleveland’s pitching coach. They’re far from lacking ideas. But each knows that the duty of the manager today is to fulfill the wishes of those watching the game from the suite.

    This is not changing. If anything, it’s going to become even more apparent, as the cult of the GM grows. It already scares those on the field, one of whom this season said, resignedly: “I’m just here to get my strings pulled.” He makes seven figures and is one of 30, though, so dance he did.”

    I know that the topic has been beaten to death around here, but it does make you wonder exactly how much of the game decision making is Roberts’ and how much is dictated by the Braintrust.

    1. So do the Yankees go the BoSox/Mets route with new kids on the block or the Tigers route with a vet? Do they dare think about Mattingly? Bring Donnie Baseball back to NY?

    2. Rick

      I am glad to hear that you and your wife, are at home now.

      Because I know just how much the person that is visiting someone, gets so tired, while being there, for the patient!

      It isn’t an easy thing to do.

      Your wife is one lucky woman, to have you there, for her!

      I was in a coma for three weeks because I had sepsis too, and I was so weak, once I woke up, and went home.

      I am just happy you both are at home, and you can watch your Dodgers, at home now!

  22. 2017 is the first time in baseball history that three managers who made the playoffs were fired.

  23. oldmanFats – like your comments on AGon… Alot of us knew that, others with their connections to Boston, yada, yada yada… But alas Fats, just crickets out there!!!
    I didn’t think Cashman would do it!!! Girardi won’t collect many unemployment checks…

  24. So the story with Agone is this, His wife and kids are going to live in Italy for 6 months. His wife was scheduled begin some classes. Agone was in Italy for the NLCS and told the Dodgers he was going. His story is since the Dodgers won the NLCS with him gone, he didn’t want to jinx them. Reality is it came to be more of a distraction that one of the so-called leaders of the team wasn’t going to be in the dugout to support his team.

    Just listened to Kevin Kennedy. He said, basically what I said. It can be debated whether or not Hill should have gotten another inning, but the move he questioned was bringing in Stripling where Doc did and then didn’t have him for extra innings. He said Doc used all of his bullets trying to win it in nine.

  25. Asking Jansen to get 6 outs after 3 the night before was prolly a bit much. Taking Morrow out after 1 hitter was prolly a bit too soon . Morrow has been fantastic. And yes could of left Hill in for 1 or 2 more innings. IDK. Always plenty of blame to go around.

    1. Morrow got 3 outs in the 7th, after relieving Stripling, giving up a hit. He was lifted in the 8th after a lead off double that hit a diving Puig’s glove. He faced 4 batters, not one, getting a DP behind him. Stripling and Watson faced one each, Watson got a DP on 1 pitch then was PH for as he led off the next inning. Morrow threw 14 pitches, Jansen 29.

    1. If they had double switched Forsythe for Utley when Watson came in they could have pitched him in the 7th for 2 batters then gone to Morrow and Jansen. No reason to bring in Stripling at that point in the game.

  26. It sure turned out not how I was picturing it when Jansen took the mound for the final 6 outs, so I find it hard to say Doc screwed the game. Sure, there’s no telling how it’d of ended if Hill had continued but trusting Jansen to not blow a save is easy and that’s what it boiled down to. The last time Jansen blew a save he got the win and if I’m remembering correctly the was his only blown save during the season. But at any rate, until that HR hit off our super closer I had complete faith Jansen would do his usual. Sadly that wasn’t the case. Would Hill of been able keep any runs through their lineup’s third facing? Frankly I’d figured better betting on Jansen even though at this point it’d prove not the bet to make. Roberts gets a pass through my lens and I liked the odds he played. Damn pesky Astros! Darvish will get em!!!!

    1. Tell me, how many times and what were the results when Jansen was brought in to get 6 outs the night after he had pitched (I think) 3 outs? That was too much to ask of him even tho he is a supercloser.

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