Monday, June 27, 2005

Clever Like a Fox.....A Moron Fox

Biologists have determined a direct lineage between modern day humans and the one-celled trilobites that used to burrow on the ocean floor more than 600 million years ago. Ken Macha is living proof that some of us never bothered evolving.

Waiting game: The A's have two days off before the All-Star break, and Macha said the club will tweak its rotation to maximize the number of starts for Barry Zito, Rich Harden and Haren.

That means Saarloos, who last worked Thursday in Seattle, won't make another start until July 2. He'll then have to wait until the following Saturday, in Chicago, for his final start before the break. Blanton will get a week between his final two starts of the half, too, going June 29 and July 6.

If there's any person you want around to stamp out the non-existent fires that plague our lives, it's Ken Macha. To wit:

Athletics' Starters
June Stats
...............IP... ERA.. WHIP
Joe Blanton... 35.. 2.02.. 0.90
Kirk Saarloos. 26.. 2.08.. 1.23
Dan Haren..... 37.. 3.11.. 0.88
Rich Harden... 12.. 0.75.. 0.42
Barry Zito.... 31.. 3.45.. 1.21

So you can see why Macha would be so quick to skip Saarloos' and Blanton's turns in the rotation, right? I mean, outside of Harden and his 12 innings, these guys have been our best pitchers for the past month. Sure, Zito (3.45) and Haren (3.11) have hardly been slouches, but they still haven't matched up to the performances of Blanton and Saarloos. Every member of the rotation, for the better part of a month, has been absolutely dealing. What possible reason could there be to mess with a good thing? Why rock the boat? If Macha's dumb ass is that determined to take on water, he should drink more beer. At least then he'd have a great excuse for the press when they call him on yet another of his idiotic moves.

Press Guy: Why'd you leave him in, Ken? He was clearly done. Were you asleep or something?

Macha: Hey! I wasn't asleep, I was drunk!

Press Guy: I believe you, Ken.

Further, Saarloos (75), and Blanton (84) have thrown fewer innings this season than Haren (104) and Zito (100), by a long shot. So Macha looks at the available information and determines that the two guys (did I mention that these guys are 24 and 26 years of age?) who have shouldered about 12% more of the pitching load, and had less recent success, should add even more pitches and innings before the All-Star Break.

When scientists open up Macha's brain so that a classroom of future coroners can study it, what they're going to find is a hamster whose been dead for years, and a wheel that's so rusted that not even ten new hamsters could turn it.

On May 26, our beloved Athletics had just finished being swept by the Devil Rays. Yes, the Devil Rays. Worse, it was the A's 14th loss in their last 17 games. At that point, they weren't even scoring four runs a game for the month of May. Nobody was hitting. Nobody was comfortable at the plate. Fans were screaming for the lineup to be tweaked. Nothing happened. Jason Kendall and Mark Kotsay, the team's leaders, begged Macha to change the lineup. They even inconspicuously handed him a piece of paper with a suggested lineup on it. They weren't looking to show Macha up and make him look stupid (as if that's hard to do), they just wanted the best possible lineup out there. Nothing happened. Even the writer for, after that horrible loss to the Rays, had this to say:
"As a team, the A's hit .216 in the series, which would indicate the possibility that there could be a shakeup in the lineup Friday in the opener at Cleveland."

--Thomas Simonetti, contributor
What was Macha's response to that? Clearly, some kind of change was in order, right? Isn't it pretty obvious that something needed to, and would be, done about this? Well normally yes, but not when you got Captain Cockface steering the Good Ship Athletics straight into the Rocks of Retardation. Let's see what he had to say:
"We'll have to see when we get to the ballpark tomorrow. But I don't see how moving a guy from three to four [in the lineup] or from four to five is going to help us very much."

-- Ken "Professor Fuckstick" Macha, May 26th.
You don't know how moving a guy from "three to four" or "four to five" is going to help, eh Kenny? Well, through the magic of not being a complete imbecile, I've decided to help you out:

Well, Jason Kendall was (more or less) permanently moved to the leadoff position on May 30th. At the time, he was hitting .240/.317/.285. Since then, he's hit .317/.411/.354. Yeah, nice call Ken. His OPS has only improved 163 points since then. Pretty sad that you were the only person in the world who couldn't figure it out.

Eric Chavez was permanently moved from "three to four" in the lineup the next day, May 31st. At the time, he was hitting .218/.276/.317. Since the move, he's been hitting .374/.441/.725. Chavy's OPS has only improved 573 points since the move. That's right. 573. Not a typo.

Oh, and the A's winning percentage before the change? .346 (17-32)

The A's winning percentage after the change? .692 (18-8)

Yeah, that's not a typo, either. I doublechecked.

So let's take this opportunity to revisit Macha's positively Emersonian Poetry:
"I don't see how moving a guy from three to four [in the lineup] or from four to five is going to help us very much."
Yeah, me neither, Ken. Me Neither.

When the pitching staff is dealing, Macha can't change up the rotation fast enough. When the offense couldn't hit its way out of a god damn paper bag, Macha "doesn't see how making a change" could possibly help. Honestly, I'm having a tough time wrapping my mind around that. Just when you think you can't possibly have a lower opinion of somebody than you already do, Macha goes and pulls shit like this. As a fan of the team, it's beyond frustrating. It's like watching your best friend slowly kill himself with drugs or alcohol, when what you'd really like to see is your best friend quickly killing Macha with guns and baseball bats.

If being a good manager consisted of doing nothing but constantly chewing gum and standing there with a dopey look on your face, Macha would be the best manager in the history of the world. Unfortunately, being a good manager requires discernible brain activity. And darnit, but wouldn't you know, that's the one quality Macha seems to lack.

Go team.


Blogger Bobby said...

Greg > Roman


Monday, June 27, 2005 8:20:00 PM  
Blogger J Koo said...

I wonder if Macha's calling the shots on the rotation. It's been the idea since Moneyball that Macha has been a shill for Billy Beane. While I do think Macha has control of the lineup, the rotation seems different. The lineup feels like more of a day-to-day thing while the rotation goes over the course of a season.

That does leave a question, however. What the $#@! is Billy thinking?

Monday, June 27, 2005 9:50:00 PM  
Anonymous smac said...

this new guy, he is a very angry young man.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 11:25:00 AM  

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