Friday, May 14, 2004

Old School Manager

One thing we know for sure this season is that Ozzie Guillen is an "old school" baseball manager. Meaning he will let his starters throw a lot of pitches and will sacrifice bunt at any time during the game.

The starting pitchers have a few years under their belt, so the extra workload may not be cause for concern.

As for the bunting all the time, it's driving me crazy. A manager can't score any runs for the team, but he can sure cost them runs by sacrificing all the time. If he wants to bunt late in games to try and score an insurance run I have no problem with it. I wouldn't do it, but I don't think it will make much difference in the long run.

But Guillen sacrifices in the first inning to try and "put an early run on the board". And it seems he always sacrifices with runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs, unless Big Frank or Maggs is up.

Yesterday, they were down 5-3 in the sixth, with runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs. They game was in danger of being called early because of rain. The Sox needed two runs to tie and a big inning to take the lead. So what does Guillen do? He has Joe Crede attempt to bunt the runners over. As if this wasn't bad enough, Big Frank was the runner on first. Even if he gets to 2nd with one out there is a good chance he won't be scoring on a single.

So Crede lays down a bunt but the Orioles nail Maggs at third, leaving runners on 1st and 2nd, but now with 1 out. Konerko ended up hitting a three run homer so the move didn't hurt the Sox yesterday (but who knows, maybe Crede would have gotten on base and the Sox could have had an even bigger inning).

There's no denying that trading outs for bases will cost the Sox runs over the course of a 162 baseball game season. It is a proven fact.

Just like hitting on 12 even when the blackjack dealer is showing a 2 or 3 is the best percentage move to make on the blackjack table, letting your batters swing away and trying to maximize your run scoring potential is the best move to make on the baseball field. If I see someone making the wrong play on the blackjack table I can walk away and find a new game. Unfortunately, its not as easy to walk away from your favorite baseball team. So it looks like I will have to put up with Guillen giving away outs all year, and hope whatever "motivational" skills he brings to the table makes up for it.