Thursday, September 22, 2005

Piniella in '06?

With the news coming out that Lou Piniella won't be returning to Tampa Bay in 2006, douche bags all over the internet have been clamoring for Billy Beane to go out out and get him. In one short day, I've heard 'em all.

"We need a no-nonsense, kick 'em in the pants kind of manager."

"We need someone who acutally knows what a hit-and-run is."

"He'd be perfect."

Morons.

We don't need Lou Piniella. I think the A's have proven over the past six years that they don't need a fiery, small-balling manager to be successful.

Playing well enough to get to the playoffs is the goal.* One game out of 810 is all that separates our Oakland A's from five straight playoff appearances. And, for the sake of argument, let's say that we fall short by about four games of making it six years in a row. That'd be four games out of the 972 total regular season games played that are the difference between making the playoffs four years in a row and making the playoffs six years in a row.

Is a hell-raising manager really going to make THAT big of a difference?

Maybe.

If Lou Piniella had been the manager of the Oakland A's since 2000, would he have been able to manufacture the amount of runs necessary to make it six years in a row?

I dunno.

How many runs does Mike Scioscia cost his team with botched hit-and-runs, wouldbe base-stealers being caught, popped-up bunts, etc. And how many runs does GIVING the opposing team an out with a SUCCESSFUL sacrifice bunt cost?

Hell if I know.

But you know what, for a fact, is standing between our A's and six straight playoff appearances?

A manager that can handle a bullpen.

The A's blew 28 saves last season. Only 11 of those were because Rhodes and Dotel failed to do their job (surprising, ain't it?). That leaves 17 instances when Macha made a call to the bullpen when WE HAD THE LEAD. And as you all know, we lost the division by just one game. And we're going to lose the division again this season because of Macha's inability to manage his bullpen.

The philosophy, while far from perfect, is proven. Like it or not, it works...IF the person left in charge of executing it isn't a moron.

Managing the Oakland A's is the easiest job in all of sports. Ken Macha doesn't have to worry about calling sacrifice bunts, putting runners in motion, double switching, none of that. All he has to do is write the line-up and manage the bullpen. Unfortunately for us fans, he's terrible at both.

All I ask of our next manager (read: Bob Geren) is that he perform those two tasks admirably. If only four games are all that is separating the Oakland A's from six straight playoff appearances, Geren doesn't have to be perfect. He just can't be a liability...like Ken Macha.

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*It could be argued, of course, that just getting to the playoffs ISN'T the goal, but I (me, Roman) believe that a 162-game sample size is more indicative of how well a plan works than a five-game series followed by two seven-game series.

3 Comments:

Blogger Toni said...

humm... where have I read that before?

;-)

Thursday, September 22, 2005 1:08:00 PM  
Blogger Roman said...

It was so good, I had to make available to a larger audience.

And by "larger", I mean "smaller". IsoP

Thursday, September 22, 2005 2:06:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

I could have managed the Reds to the WS victory that Pinella did. He is overrated and not what we need.

Friday, September 23, 2005 9:00:00 PM  

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