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The W - Baseball - Stupid ESPN
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Stefonics
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Since: 17.3.02
From: Queidersbach

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.00
From and article written by Rob Neyer, published today on ESPN:

    As a rule, managers don't win or lose World Series games.

    Who wins and who loses depends to a great degree on how well the players play, to a lesser degree on which team gets luckier ... and to a significantly smaller degree on what the managers do.


Am I just retarded or is this absolutely false? Managers make the decisions that win or lose ballgames. Especially in the World Series. In 86, McNamara lost it for the Sox before Buckner did. In 88, Lasorda won game one by having Gibson pinch hit. He won the series because he used Orel out of the pen. Fastforwarding to present times, Brenly lost two games in the Bronx because he went with Kim. The first time couldn't be avoided. But he could have thought about it a little more the second time he called on the sidearm righty. In that same series, Brenly pulled out his ace three times, and although he didn't win game 7, Schilling pitched well. Brenly also won that game because he brought Unit in for relief. Managerial decisions are just as important as how the players play. Calling on a guy who has the tendency to come through in the clutch is imperative to a team's success. Knowing who that guy is at any given moment seperates great managers from average ones. Scioscia's decision to stick with K-Rod in the playoffs/World Series had a huge impact on the Angels' postseason. Even in the playoffs, managerial decisions are extremely important. Grady Little shouldn't have listented to Pedro. He should have pulled him out of the game. As Bill Simmons stated, that's why there are managers in baseball: to make managerial decisions. The same goes for Dusty Baker. Not pulling Prior when everyone in the free world thought he should was a horrible mistake. The sad thing is that I know that I'm missing a plethora of managerial decisons that won or lost games for a team in the post season.

Sometimes I get so sick of ESPN writers writing articles that they expect to be treated as gospel. With the exception of Gammons, they are fans just like we are. The only difference is that they are professional writers for a sports webpage.





"Behind that twinkle in your eye, I can see the bitch in you."
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Big Bad
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Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.54
I agree. Just look at how Joe Torre's moves almost always pay off, and you can understand how New York has been so successful in the past seven years.



Of all the gizmos forced upon us by the modern world, is any more melancholy than the leaf blower? The device is manifestly useless. It blows leaves from one place to another, and then the wind blows them back again. -- Roger Ebert

Watching that movie was like watching a young child be repeatedly punched in the face.-- my friend Dave after watching Bad Boys II

Your children will laugh when you're dead!-- Jason Robards in "A Thousand Acres"

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I would gladly pay $10.00 to see a kangaroo kick the shit out of Jeff Jarrett.-- Bubblesthechimp
pieman
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Since: 11.12.01
From: China, Maine

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.21


    Originally posted by Big Bad
    I agree. Just look at how Joe Torre's moves almost always pay off, and you can understand how New York has been so successful in the past seven years.


Oh come on. Joe Torre has the team with the highest freaking payroll on the planet every year, too. His choice is which $10 million dollar pitcher to start which day. When Steinbrenner can go out and buy whatever spare part is needed whenever he wants that is a huge advantage. If Torre is so smart, explain his managerial record before he came to the Yankees. Was he a complete moron before? His record with the Mets would seem to indicate so. Ohhhh, he had lousy players then? My point exactly! Click Here (baseball-reference.com)


I think what Neyer is getting at is that it's almost always the performance of the PLAYERS that determine outcomes. Despite whatever a manager chooses to do, the player has to perform.





Gabba Gabba Hey!
Stefonics
Bockwurst








Since: 17.3.02
From: Queidersbach

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.00
I agree with you, to an extent, pieman. But my point (in that whole rambling mess) was that the players wouldn't get the opportunity to perform if their manager never put them in the game to begin with. Everyday starters are one thing, but, it seems to me anyway, postseasons are won and lost in large part because of how deep a team's bench is. Granted, Torre has had the highest payroll the last few years, but I don't think his success has as much to do with that than it does with the fact that he is a good manager. Or at least someone who manages a high-salary club very well. He knows how to keep the egos in check and it works. In that sense, he's more of a babysitter than a manager, but he is a babysitter who has four Rings in the past seven years.

(edited by Kidbrooklyn on 25.10.03 1412)


"Behind that twinkle in your eye, I can see the bitch in you."
- 50
Big Bad
Scrapple








Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.54
Despite the Yankees' obscene payroll, it is Torre that is the glue that holds that team together. There are lots of high-payroll teams (i.e. Los Angeles, Boston, the Mets) but only the Yanks are able to win every year because Torre is a much better manager than anyone that those other franchises have ever had.



Of all the gizmos forced upon us by the modern world, is any more melancholy than the leaf blower? The device is manifestly useless. It blows leaves from one place to another, and then the wind blows them back again. -- Roger Ebert

Watching that movie was like watching a young child be repeatedly punched in the face.-- my friend Dave after watching Bad Boys II

Your children will laugh when you're dead!-- Jason Robards in "A Thousand Acres"

I can tell you with no ego that this is my finest blade. If you should encounter God, God will be cut.-- Sonny Chiba in "Kill Bill: Volume 1"

I would gladly pay $10.00 to see a kangaroo kick the shit out of Jeff Jarrett.-- Bubblesthechimp
Dagent913
Bockwurst








Since: 18.11.02
From: Strong Island

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.91
The managers are probably the most important cog in the wheel of any team. I don't see how anybody can say otherwise. They are the ones in charge of keeping tabs on how deep their roster is, knowing how deep the opponent's roster is, and who does what when, not the players. They're basically playing chess out there. Granted, the players obviously have to do their job, but only after the managers do theirs. Even Grady Little, despite what I guess was a mental hiccup in Game 7, did a great job doing just that for the Sox all year.

As I watch game 6 of the World Series go into the ninth inning right now, I see two major reasons why the Marlins are shutting the Yankees out: 1.) reliable pitching staff, and 2.) Jack McKeon's masterful managerial decisions.



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FurryHippie
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Since: 29.10.02
From: New York

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.42
    Originally posted by pieman
    Oh come on. Joe Torre has the team with the highest freaking payroll on the planet every year, too. His choice is which $10 million dollar pitcher to start which day. When Steinbrenner can go out and buy whatever spare part is needed whenever he wants that is a huge advantage. If Torre is so smart, explain his managerial record before he came to the Yankees. Was he a complete moron before? His record with the Mets would seem to indicate so. Ohhhh, he had lousy players then? My point exactly!


But then you look and see that the Yankees couldn't win shit in the 70's, 80's, and early 90's....how do you explain that one? The Yankees still had that high payroll, but they didn't start rolling until now....because they have the right COMBINATION of players. You can have all the money you want, but players aren't machines. The past three decades have shown that for the Yankees. You gotta deliver, and the fact is that they deliver when they need to.

It seems everybody has an out when talking about the Yankees. If the Yanks lose, the Yankee-haters go nuts and shove it in New York's face....but if the Yanks WIN...then it's the same old pussy story: "They have more money so it's not fair anyway".
Downtown Bookie
Morcilla








Since: 7.4.02
From: The Inner City, Now Living In The Country

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.36
    Originally posted by pieman
    If Torre (Stengel) is so smart, explain his managerial record before (and after) he came to the Yankees. Was he a complete moron before (and after)? His record with the Mets would seem to indicate so. Ohhhh, he had lousy players then? My point exactly!


Just wanted to add a little historical perspective. One of my favorite quotes on the subject of how brilliant managers can be comes from Hall-of-Fame pitcher Warren Spahn. Spahn played for Stengel with the Boston Braves in the 1940's, and then again with the New York Mets in the 1960's. Reflecting on his time with Casey, Spahn remarked that he got to play for Stengel both before and after he was a genius!

Still, as others here have pointed out, saying that great players make a great manager is definitely an over-simplification. One reason is because teams with great players often don't win. For example, consider the Braves from 1953-1965. In their thirteen years in Milwaukee, the Braves won two pennants and one World Series. Now compare this to the twelve years (1949-1960) that Casey Stengel managed the New York Yankees, and you'll see that with one less year to work with Stengel won eight more pennants and six more World Series. Yet, as Bill James points out in his book "The Bill James Guide To Baseball Managers" the talent on the Milwaukee Braves was superior to the talent on the Yankess during the years that Stengel was their manager. So it's not enough just to have the horses; to win, you also need to have the right man leading the pack.

Another reason for giving the managers his due when his team wins is because a good manager should make his players perform better than they otherwise would. Consider Joe McCarthy, for example. If you look at the career of Hack Wilson, and divide his numbers based on whether or not McCarthy was his manager, you'll think you're looking at two different players. Wilson played like a Hall-of-Famer during the five years that he played for Joe McCarthy, and like a marginal major-leaguer when someone else was his manager. Do the same thing with Vern Stephens' career, and it becomes obvious that McCarthy could extract performances out of players that other managers could not.

I could give other examples of the effect a good manager can have on a team (for example, knowing which players to play and which to sit, knowing which players to push hard and which to coddle, teaching players to accentuate their strenghts and minimize their weaknesses on the field) but I think the point has been made that the manager isn't just a spectator on the bench with no influence on how often his team wins. So, to get back to the original post, Rob Neyer should know better. Yes, to quote Neyer, "Who wins and who loses depends to a great degree on how well the players play", but how well the players play depends a great deal on who their manager is.



Patiently waiting to be Stratusfied.
darkdragoon
Bockwurst








Since: 26.8.02

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.25
Neyer's usually good, this just seems like the usual rushed "don't blame managers" spiel.

It's probably easier to manage a great player than an average one, but then again maybe without a great manager the great player is only solid and the average one is crap.

The bench coach is often sorely underrated as well...
pieman
As young as
he feels








Since: 11.12.01
From: China, Maine

Since last post: 7 days
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.21


I went back and reread my post and still think I am okay. I was initially responding to Big Bad's statement that Torre's moves almost always work out. I think that statement is a crock. When you have the best hand dealt to you, it's a hell of a lot easier to play the hand. He made numerous mistakes in this postseason and still almost won. Dropping Almonte (his pinchrunner) for a third lefty (Chris Hammond) was a boneheaded maneuver at best. The Marlins have no lefthanded threats to use even one lefty specialist, much less three.

Still, I haven't seen any evidence that Torre was a genius when he was managing the Mets. What? They couldn't have finished last without him? Torre is a very good manager obviously, but once the game begins, the players will ultimately decide the outcome.





Gabba Gabba Hey!
darkdragoon
Bockwurst








Since: 26.8.02

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.25
Delucci became the pinchrunner. Almonte probably would have been more useful than Wilson though.
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You're right, of course. But through the snark aimed at my emotional posting, you didn't address the issue. Not doing anything of course means nothing happens, nothing changes. But what is the benefit of that? What does it do except just that, nothing?
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