Tuesday, May 29, 2007

And Torre continues to piss me off

Yesterday he brings in Vizcaino who manages to pitch out of a bases loaded jam by striking out Frank Thomas and then after a walk in the next inning, induces a double play and a weak popout. He is actually pitching well. Gotta figure it's worth letting him take the 7th inning, too. You don't want to eat up 3-4 guys in your bullpen for this game. Wait, he was pulled?! Why might you ask? Why in the name of all that is holy, sacred, blessed, stoned, shitfaced and mildly retarded? Because Joe Torre said so and he knows best. He's going to bring in Ron Villone (speaking of holy and sacred, Jesus himself had to be responsible for repairing this guy's left arm and shoulder after Torre used him in like 148 games last year because only Jesus could repair the destructive results of Joe Torre bullpen management). Villone comes in and sucks, then Myers comes in to continue his tradition of lefty specialist suckage. And guess what, we have then used 3 pitchers from the bullpen for the night. Brilliant, Joe, just brilliant.

Of course there are those who defend Torre to death with shit like, "He managed the team to 4 World Series in 5 years along with 2 other trips to the World Series and the AL East title in every year but 1997! And he made lots of brilliant, gutsy moves that paid off"

Let's break down some of Joe Torre's "brilliant, gutsy" moves in the World Series Championship years:

1. 1996 World Series, Game 5:
Top 9th, runner on 3rd, 2 out
Doesn't pinch hit for Pettitte so he can pitch, who flies out, and then allows a double to Chipper Jones to lead off the bottom of the 9th. That was gold.

2. 1998 World Series, Game 1:
Starts Ricky Ledee in Left Field instead of Spencer.
Ledee hits a big 2 run double and draws a big walk off Kevin Brown in the game. This was a genius move? Left fielders for the Yankees in 1998 were all pretty ordinary aside from Shane Spencer's 67 video game at bats. And at by that point, the video game had been turned off. So he puts in Ledee, an unproven player at that point, who has proven to be terrible, and got lucky.

3. 1999 World Series, Game 3:
Starts Chad Curtis in left field instead of Ricky Ledee who actually had been hitting pretty well in that postseason (3 doubles, a grand slam, 3 walks). Curtis had never had a hit off the Braves' starter that night, Tom Glavine. Curtis got a ball in the air to right, the ball was carrying ridiculously well that night, and it found its way into the right field seats. And then he hit probably the longest HR he ever hit in his life off Remlinger to win the game in the 10th. Great move by Torre? It worked, but not everything that works is necessarily a genius move and is sometimes a dumb move. And in this case, starting mediocre-to-bad Chad Curtis instead of hot-hitting Ricky Ledee was a dumb move. Oh wait, now I know why. Lefty vs. lefty! Even if the lefty is OPSing 1.500 against the southpaw, the righty (who is 1 for 197 with no walks) will get the start because Torre knows in his own mind that lefty vs. lefty = bad and lefty vs. righty = good.

Those are the ones that stick out the most to me. But the general idea is this: Joe Torre did not win these championships by great managing, he won because he had an offense that put up OBAs over .360 in 3 of the 4 championships (.354 in the other year) and a pitching staff that boasted above average to good ERAs in all four championships. If I were manager, I think just sitting back and letting these guys handle all the shit would be the intelligent thing to do. You know? That's just me. I don't think even Ozzie Guillen or Dusty Baker could have fucked up those teams.

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