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Saturday, August 17, 2013

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Pitching Duel™.

I love Charlie for all he's done and will disagree with anyone who tries to take away his accomplishments.

I will also gladly accept that he came up short in numerous instances and ran his course in Philadelphia. I wanted Charlie gone at the end of the year. I would have probably even been OK with a midseason firing if he was given at least 1 home game where the fans/players knew it would be his last.

The Phillies stole a memory away from their fanbase by not letting Charlie give one last wave to the crowd. Instead they have gave us a press conference at 2:30 on a Friday afternoon.

bittel - don't get me wrong...i think he's still a very good manager. he just has his own strengths and weaknesses, and unfortunately they don't mesh well with a team like this that is in transition. the teams from the "good" years had talent (as does every team who wins or at least contends for a title), and he helped them realize and maximize that talent during the regular season (playoffs, different story, but part of that is due to their nature). this team just doesn't have much talent to maximize right now and (probably) the next year or two.

Dodgers are at -200 to -225 and makes the Phils the biggest dog in MLB. Back to the days of being an also-ran.

I'm still in complete shock how the Phillies handled the end of Cholly as their Manager. Cholly earned to leave in a respectful manner. This was poorly handled and I blame Rube. I will never give Rube the benefit of the doubt, anymore. I'll be glad when he's gone.

I hear you AS, but what I think you're saying is that Manuel is a good manager for a team full of good, established players. But who wouldn;t be?

Earlier the comparison to Joe Torre was bandied. Torre was spomeone who appeared to have similar "rapport" strengths to Charlie, but who also had a good mastery of the things managers need to master, like executing a platoon, managing the bullpen [I know, he had Mariano], choosing the right pinch hitter, etc.

Charlie was clearly good at developing rapport, but that's relatively easy to be good at. Many managers can manage star players by essentially leaving them alone to play.

What's proved more difficult (for Charlie at least) is knowing that, in a tie game on the road, it's better to USE YOUR CLOSER in the 10th inning rather than save him for some possibly non-existent save situation in later innings. Or to make sure guys who hit LHP are actually in the starting lineup against LHPitchers. Or that, when Jimmy Rollins and Ben Revere are on 1&2 and MYoung is at the plate, there is great value in double stealing.

Absolutely time for Cholly to go and there was no point in bringing him back next year for several reasons.

Change for change sake is often a necessary and sometimes a good thing.

It was just handled poorly by the Phils in a couple of different ways.

From the last thread:

As and bittel, your post about Charlie's deficiencies and not wanting him back ass-u-me one thing:

That Sandberg, or whoever, is the manager that CAN properly platoon and never miss on an in-game decision, no?

I guess I'm just amazed at the assumption that the manager's in-game decision are THAT important. As I pointed out in the previous thread - statistically, they're just not.

If a manager, any manager, bring in a LOOGY to face a LHB and the LOOGY fails then how can that be the manager's fault.

So, let's look at two examples the last couple of seasons:

In Atlanta, a couple of guys get on base in the 8th with a tough LHB coming to the plate and Gonzalez goes to Venters, O'Flaherty or Wood.

In Philly, Charlie had the pleasure of bringing in Bastardo, at best, or Horst, Diekman or Valdes.

Obviously, in Philly, the failure rate has been much, much higher, almost entirely due to the talent of the relief pitcher. Did that make it a bad in-game decision, or did the manager play the percentages and just had to use a reliever who did have the talent?

Meet the new thread.

Same as the old thread.

"I hear you AS, but what I think you're saying is that Manuel is a good manager for a team full of good, established players. But who wouldn;t be?"

You're exactly right bittel. In fact, I can't think of another team in the division, or even in the entire league, that was loaded with good players and completely underperformed this year.

awh - No idea what kind of manager Sandberg will be or even if he gets the job next year now at this point.

Cholly had been here for 9 years and he was back next year on a 1-year deal he would have had the same lame-duck status. It's time to move on one way or other.

Scott - I do want to Kershaw pitch today a bit but there isn't one really compelling reason right now to watch the Phils especially with a struggling KK on the mound.

"...like executing a platoon, managing the bullpen ..."


bittel, for all the criticism of Charlie's handling the bullpen, when he had the talent there, he did just fine.

Go look at who was in those Yankee bullpens that Torre managed (besides Mariano) and tell me whether across the board you feel the Phillies' bullpens were just as talented.

bittel - you're right, BUT Charlie also got them to maximize that talent in the regular season and even maybe exceed their expectations (i think someone mentioned their pyth. W-L in the last thread and that they exceeded it many times during their run). During the regular season during that run of 5 or so years, did the ever really fail? there's LOTS of other teams that have failed to meet their talent level in the season, including one that iceman is alluding to.

as for the closer issue, i don't even want to start that up, but i would like you tell me all the DOZENS of mlb managers that actually follow that. i'm sure there's a few, but that is more of a problem in the league itself, not purely a charlie problem.

AS- there are actually three teams that I am alluding to (Washington, Toronto, Anaheim). It is quite common, despite what bittel is claiming.

For five years in a row, Manuel got the most out of that talent. I also agree with what lorecore said earlier about the '08 team. They weren't a juggernaut by any stretch of the imagination.

awh - i'm not assuming that at all. personally, i don't think sandberg will be much different, but then again i haven't watched him manage the iron pigs a whole lot. i think he will be similar to charlie but i can give him the benefit of the doubt for now. no matter who manages, there needs to be more talent, and that's a no-brainer.

"Manuel is a good manager for a team full of good, established players. But who wouldn;t be?"

So every team with good players makes the playoffs? Are you kidding me?

Again, the Phillies 5 straight playoff appearances were tied for the 3rd longest streak in MLB history. Not even Sparky Ansderson and the Big Red Machine accomplished that. Goa head and point out Manuel's weaknesses, but stop trying to diminish his accomplishments.

oops, missed the "or even in the entire league" part of that post, iceman. i was just thinking the nats based off what i thought i read, but yeah, you're absolutely right

You're exactly right bittel. In fact, I can't think of another team in the division, or even in the entire league, that was loaded with good players and completely underperformed this year.

Posted by: Iceman
***********
So the Washington Nationals are a "good, established" team? What did they establish?

And don't say no one knew the Nationals wouldn't be worldbeaters this year, because plenty of people said that (I wasn't one of them, btw).

"Again, the Phillies 5 straight playoff appearances were tied for the 3rd longest streak in MLB history."


lorecore, just stop. You're never going to convince Charlie's detractors that the manager had ANYTHING to do with that.

They've got their minds made up and have zero ability to accept information that contradicts their worldview.

bittel, I'll pat myself on the back about the Nats. Go back and look at my posts from early in the year. I have always maintained that the Nats were overrated going into the season.

Mayberry at 1b tonight. Frandsen at 2nd, Young at 3rd. Wells in CF.

Tell that to Iceman. Because Davey Johnson apparently blows next to Charlie Manuel, even though his lifetime wpct is HIGHER than UC's over more years with more teams.

And I never said Manuel deserves no credit for their five year run. He deserves credit for it. He didn't f*ck it up.

What he also did was fail to capitalize on the opportunity to have a truly historic run. One WS, and one lost WS was average to below-average for the talent he had on those teams.

How can we lose?

bittel: go back and read my posts on the Nats if you want to waste your time on it. awh will tell you that we were actually aligned on them being overrated.

This doesn't mean, of course, that they don't have good, established players on their team. Look up and down the Angels and Blue Jays roster. I see a lot of good, established players. Accordingly to you, no manager could possibly lose with those good, established players- except Mike Scioscia and John Gibbons, who are currently losing with them.

Again, no one here has given me any rational reason that Charlie could not have come back next season.

Take a look at this guys record:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/managers/alstowa01.shtml

1955 WFC
1956 Pennant
1957 84-70
1958 71-83
1959 WFC

Go read his bio about the ups and downs:

http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/cfc65169


Please explain to me why you feel Charlie is so limited that he couldn't handle young emerging players, despite his proven ability to do so in 2005 and 2006.

Your assessment that it was/is time for him to go is completely arbitrary and based on little or no evidence.

"How can we lose?" was meant in reference to Sil's post about Mayberry at 1B, Frandsen at 2B, Young at 3B and Wells in CF.

I like M. Young at 1B, by the way. But I guess Sandberg wants to give Wells an opportunity to start a game, and that's fair. Especially since we aren't playing for much. KK should be easily outpitched by Kershaw. Except for about once or twice a week, out guys can't score off serviceable starters, much less Kershaw.

Sandberg IS playing for something, however. It'll be interesting to see how the rest of the year goes. I agree with whoever said yesterday that he's in a difficult position. What would be considered a turnaround for the team? A .500 record from here on out? Can we get a .525 record? .600?

Cholly and Nats,perfect match.Would Cholly like to stick it to RAJ? He'd have lots of company.

"And I never said Manuel deserves no credit for their five year run. He deserves credit for it. He didn't f*ck it up."


So, you're saying he contributed nothing positive to those teams, no?

What was more established on the 2008 team than the Nats had established going into this year, btw? I'd be curious to know that. One division title aided by a historic collapse and a first-round playoff sweep.

"One WS, and one lost WS was average to below-average for the talent he had on those teams."

I must admit, for a stats guy I am pretty embarrassed that I don't know where to find the average managerial result / player talent ratio. I hope bittel would mind sharing.

"What he also did was fail to capitalize on the opportunity to have a truly historic run. One WS, and one lost WS was average to below-average for the talent he had on those teams."


Really? Were the 2009 Phillies better than the Yankees that year?

In 2010 and 2011 they lost to the eventual WS Champs.

Please show me another team or manager other than the older great or more recent high payroll Yankee teams that did anything like you describe.

Since free agency began in the mid-70's it just hasn't happened.

But don't let me disabuse you of your delusions of grandeur.

lorecore, good post. I'd like to see bittel provide us with that data too.

Accordingly to you, no manager could possibly lose with those good, established players- except Mike Scioscia and John Gibbons, who are currently losing with them.
**********
Another time I'll gladly have the argument (want to enjoy the day before tonight's misery). But neither Toronto or the Angels remotely resemble the 2007-11 Phillies, a team of generationally-talented stars entering/in their prime, surrounded by good role players and, on the whole, a very good pitching staff.

The 2009 Yankees really were the better team, especially with roidin' A-Rod playing out of his mind and Burnett's career peformance in Game 2. But that Phillies team had talent, so there's no excuse for them not winning the series. That's right, right?

And the 2010 Giants had the best starting pitching run of any team in postseason history. But the Phillies had talent. No reason they shouldn't have overcome that.

awh - personally i wish charlie didn't have to go, especially because i don't think sandberg is any better for the job. my only issue with your argument about the 05/06 thing is that those teams had very good young talent. other than brown, who is all star-caliber and young on this team? revere is a nice piece, but i don't see asche or ruf as the next rollins, howard, or utley, or even werth/victorino.
the point about the other manager is not relevant. different manager, much different era, different team, and just a different situation.

"...on the whole, a very good pitching staff."


bittel, put down the crack pipe. The pitching staffs were "on the whole...very good" in 2010 and 2011.

Before that, they were slightly above average, except for 2007 when they sucked (11th in the NL), and the data bear that out.

AS, so what? It's a defferent situation. I get that.

That still doesn't rationally explain why Charlie couldn't handle a "different situation".

You just don't think so, and that's fine, bu tit's only your opinion and not based on any empirical evidence.

Too bad Charlie lost his managerial mojo the last two years. But I agree he had quite a run before that.

awh - you're right, which is why it kind of sucks, but sometimes teams just have to move on (yes, just my opinion and others' here).

but once again, i don't see any "empirical evidence" on your end either. the stats about the other manager have zero relevance, unless you think that that guy's soul possessed Charlie Manuel and that suddenly it's 1959 again. this team is far different from the one in 2005.

So you're argument boils down to:

The Phillies were what they were.

In other words: managing doesn't exist. Assessments of talent don't permit a reevaluation of performance. You are what your record says you are. Except of course, the Cardinals had zero business being in the playoffs, and there is zero doubt that a Tony LaRussa, Mike Scioscia, or other sharp manager would have found a way to give his team less of a chance of winning three games in a row to finish the 2011 season.

Gday.

Citing Cholly's ability of being a good manager in '05-'06 is puzzling. There is a reason why Jimy Williams got hired after the '06 season as his bench coach & revamped his coaching staff.

bittel, be careful or you're going to lose credibility.

"...Mike Scioscia, or other sharp manager..."

Scioscia has the exact same number of WS victories as Charlie, LESS Pennants than Charlie, all in more years as a manager than Charlie. And his record this season is almost identical to Charlie's.

So what's your evidence that Scioscia, who also has an owner who spends like crazy and gives him the talent, is any sharper baseball-wise than Charlie, other than that's what you think?

http://www.baseball-reference.com/managers/sciosmi01.shtml

You could be Connie Mack, John McGraw, Joe Mc Carthy, Miller Huggins, Casey Stengel, this list does on. All of those guys won the WS. So did Charlie. And he just missed 2 more.

Point is you could be the greatest manager in history, but if you have crap to work with, you're not winning anything. I said before & I'll say it again. the team's demise falls on Amaro, not Charlie. Sandberg may communicate better with younger players but if RAJ doesn't step and bring in the right players, Ryno isn't winning either.

MG, now you're being silly... again.

Why? Simple, you're asking someone to disprove a negative.

Rather, I think it's incumbent on you to prove why Charlie WASN'T a good manager in those seasons.

That is, do you think he ought to have won the division (if that's the standard of being a good manager) in those seasons, and if so, how and why?

Please elaborate.

" I said before & I'll say it again. the team's demise falls on Amaro, not Charlie."

DPat, you and I have gone at it many times on these pages, but on this point you are absolutely correct.

That is why the Montgomery/Amaro firing of Charlie - and how it was done - was so utterly classless and clueless.

BTW, we still have no Dave Montgomery siting.

What a coward.

"Sandberg may communicate better with younger players but if RAJ doesn't step and bring in the right players, Ryno isn't winning either."


DPat, do you think Amaro is the guy to do it.


IMO he hasn't proven he can turn around a franchise, so the jury is still out on r00b.


OTOH, I'm more convinced Charlie could keep the ship steady until the talent level returned that I am that r00b is capable of bringing that talent level back to where it needs to be.

" THAN I am that r00b is capable of bringing that talent level back to where it needs to be."

If the team performing well in 2007 - 2011 is evidence that Charlie is a good manager, why isn't the team performing badly in 2012 and 2013 evidence that Charlie is a bad manager?

right on ramsey.

"my only issue with your argument about the 05/06 thing is that those teams had very good young talent. other than brown, who is all star-caliber and young on this team?"


AS, on the 2005 team, Rollins was the only young position player who had made an All Star team.

Utley and Howard were just emerging. Abreu was there, but he was over 30, and so was Lofton. Burrell was an above average hitter, but never made an AS team. Lieberthal and Bell were both on the downside. Yep, there were 4 starters on that team who were 31 years old or older. AAMOF, the Phillies were the 6th OLDEST team of batters that season, and the 5th oldest teams of pitchers.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/NL/2005.shtml

Gillick came aboard and filled in talent around the young emerging core - some of it younger like Werth and Chooch, and Charlie handled it well.

No reason he couldn't do it again.

I don't want to take anything away from CM he was there for the WS great. His time to go was 2 years ago when the team's ability to execute was rapidly going downhill. Certainly at the end of last year. Again it was RAJ who blew it and made a mess. CM should have had the ability t o come out and be celebrated. Its just further proof of RAJ's lack of class not to mention common sense.

Here's a phrase from a bittel post I never thought I'd read: "the love for Manuel on Beerleaguer"

The truth is Charlie got very little love here, but posters being posters, hypocrisy rules the day. Now he's a saint.

And I thought I would never agree with Clout, whose comments are often needlessly nasty.

ramsey, that's an excellent question, and right to the core of on what basis managers can or ought to be evaluated.

So, if we use just winning and losing as opposed to other criteria, is that a rational basis on which to evaluate?

If not, what objective criteria can we use?

In-game moves? OK, but ought there to be some adjustment based on the talent level? If not, why not?

Lineup construction? Same follow-up questions.

So, if you're going to try to evaluate managers based on objective criteria (and I agree W-L ought to be one of them) then set the criteria.

MG cites LaRussa, but he was only 12 games above .500 in 8 years as the White Sox manager.

He won the WS with A's teams that were steroid tainted.

He had a great track record in St. Luois, but was he a great manager or more a creature of the best run organization in the NL?

I could ask the same questions about Torre who had a losing record as a manager before George Steinbrenner's money bought him a ticket to the HOF.

We can play all types of games trying to evaluate managers.

What are the OBJECTIVE criteria?

clout, Charlie's no saint. Just on-the-whole an above average manager who deserved to go out on better terms.

I guess you feel the organization did the right thing and handled it well, no?

awh --

My general stance is that evaluating managers is really hard. I think they do matter, though not TOO much (i.e. over the course of a year a top-5 manager might win 5 more games than a bottom-5 manager).

So what can we do? We do our best to evaluate lineups and in-game moves. We listen to what players and other managers say about them. We look at how their teams perform relative to expectations. We listen for reports on dysfunctional locker rooms.

But at the end of the day, evaluating managers is like judging the size of an iceberg by the part above the water. You make your best guess based on what you see, but you acknowledge that there's a lot you don't see.

Managers matter more than a "few games". They matter most in the proverbial "crapshoot" when the manager's knowledge of the other team and his own team's strengths and weaknesses can make the difference.
We saw that first hand against St. Louis 2 years ago.

Please insert a penis in my mouth. I am too tired to sweet talk.

I am getting a tattoo of Charlie on my back next to the portraits of James Baldwin, Harvey Feirstein and Oscar Wilde, my idols.

I don't feel so bad now. At least the Eagles front office let me finish the season before giving me the heave ho.

Andy --

I hear they tried, but couldn't quite pick you up.

Why is Asche sitting? He should play everyday regardless the rest of the way.

Clout I have not noticed this penis talk until recently are you coming out?

TTI - That certainly would be unique.

I understand that there is no science or statistic behind evaluating a manager and what he can get out of his players. There probably never will be.

But it's a fact that talented teams don't always have their full potential realized, and the Phillies realized that potential between 2007-2011. It's also easy to evaluate that the 2012 & 2013 versions of this team were not even close to having the ceiling of those teams, so judging Manuel equally based on those two respective sets of talent is a little disingenuous.

Managers are surely helped by the talent they have, but in many cases, they are brought down by the lack of talent with which they are provided. Manuel has been at the helm for both of those phenomenons to occur. I think the bottom line is he deserves at least some of the credit for their sustained run of success (that not all managers could have seen through), and deserves less of the blame (proportionally) for the last two seasons, with a group of players that no manager could have made champions.

Iceman --

Do you agree that the 2012 and 2013 teams underperformed relative to expectations entering the season?

"Managers matter more than a "few games". They matter most in the proverbial "crapshoot" when the manager's knowledge of the other team and his own team's strengths and weaknesses can make the difference."


This is just silly and self-contradictory. If the playoffs are a crapshoot then how can managers matter?

For instance, Charlie put Cliff Lee in a position to win in 2011. He even constructed a lineup that gave Lee a 4 run lead.

It's too bad he made Lee throw those meatballs that allowed the Cardinals to score 5 runs.

BTW, RK, you've probably forgotten that the Phillies outscored both the Giants and Cardinals in those series.

Pretty bad managing, right?

"Do you agree that the 2012 and 2013 teams underperformed relative to expectations entering the season?"


Yes, ramsey, but were those expectations realistic to begin with.

In hindsight (which I acknowledge is always 20-20) it appears they were not - my own included.

I have never really been in the closet. I attribute my recent flamboyance to the bullpen.

awh* I was not aware that the purpose of baseball was to score more runs then the opposition I thought it was to score more runs per game.
Again they out played us and they out managed us.
CM was in for constant criticism throughout the games and mostly for good reasons.
Face it he is a nice likeable guy he is no management genius.

How much talent managers are "given" isn't independent of the job managers do. They have a say in team construction, they have a say in how the team plays, they interact on a daily basis for 162 games with the players and motivate them, kick them in the ass, suggest doing things a different way, they find them a place in the lineup, they decide when they need a break, etc.

There's no statistic for that but it definitely matters. When you look back at a player's numbers, you can't dissociate the role of the organization and of the manager in those numbers.

Anyhow, over such a huge sample size, I still say winning percentage is least imperfect measure to get a general idea of how good a manager is.

awh - i still don't get your point. rollins was an all star, utley and howard were emerging, as did hamels and victorino in 2006. brown is now emerging like utley and howard did, and he even made the all star team. where is this young, emerging core that they have again?? unless you think asche, ruf, or revere are going to be THAT good, there is no "young core" for charlie or anyone to manage. it's still an aging core with some cheap, young complementary pieces being put around them (like Ruf, Pettibone, etc.). The next "young core" is at least two years away (Biddle, Franco, maybe some others) but that is no guarantee. There is very little to compare between 05/06 and now.

Have to agree with MG. First of all, why the F is Michael Young still taking the field for the Philadelphia Phillies. Is the plan to keep playing him every day until even a grade schooler would know he has no value and he can't be traded even for simple salary relief before the end of the month?

Asche and Ruf need to play every stinking game. Tough righty. Tough lefty. Who cares? They have to learn to face those guys. And Martin, even though in the long run he may not be a starter, needs to take every turn in the rotation. And maybe Cloyd needs to come up and do the same.

Oh, and Cliff Lee looked good enough to trade last night. Anyone against giving the Dodgers Cliff Lee 7 million per season for their top three prospects?

Yes,the dodgers.

Isn't it about time to sit Jimmy Rollins? In fact, I'd sit him so much that he'll want to waive his 10-5 rights. And I'd sit him for most of next season too. Anything to keep that option from kicking in.

And let's face it. He looks like he needs a rest.

Travis D'Arnaud set to begin his Hall of Fame career tonight.

If it were Manuel, I'd say Asche's sitting because he wants to cultivate his confidence and thinks Kershaw will discourage him greatly. Since it's not him calling the shots, I guess we have our first 'WTF Sandberg?' in aks' 4:49 post.

Yeah, Sandberg is cutting his honeymoon short with this lineup of hasbeens and neverwillbes.

And good to see Ryne continuing Charlie's clever tactic of leading off with the worst OPS in the entire starting 8.

We're only +195 on the moneyline, I expected it to be higher.

Let's face it -- you don't become manager of the Phillies by being an innovator.

Can I go back and add more money to Dodgers -1.5?

On Rollins' line from the past sixty games...yikes. When your bat's the reason for keeping you at SS instead of Galvis, it's not a good thing when you're posting a line that he could probably better. ...probably.

And after that dribbler from Crawford, can we start a Galvis Would've Had That riff the sort that sprouted up after Ruf was moved to RF, save that it's played straight?

Looked like frustration on Kendrick's part. 3 grounders for hits and then WHOOPS.

Glad to see Kendrick continues to have issues since being hit in the head. Must hae knocked the Halladay right out of him.

Pitching and defense. It's what this team is built around!

All that and the Dodgers only scored one (unearned) run. Man they suck.

That's good management.

Kendrick struck Crawford out on a beautiful two seamer. The ump missed it. Then he was save on a dribbler toward short.

Michael Young waved at a grounder going past him as he stayed encased in concrete. Then Mayberry looked like he had a stroke prior to missing a grounder just to his right.

None of this is KK's fault. It's disgusting that he had to give up a run and throw about ten extra pitches because of the ump and the fielders behind him.

And that's why Asche plays third the rest of the season. Young stinks. And that's why Mayberry is no savior as a backup anywhere. His glove has gotten progressively worse the more he plays.

Just got here - What'd I miss? How did the Dodgers score in the 1st? An error, is that what I'm reading?

If Kershaw pitched against this lineup 10 times, he'd be guaranteed at least 1 no hitter, and probably 7 shutouts.

Now that I see it, aksmith summed it up, I think.

I like Asche at 3B and Young at 1B.

Aksmith:
Agreed re: Asche. On Mayberry at 1B...man, it'd be great if we had some kind of man on the roster who was a RHB natural first baseman, with decent plate discipline and who can flash a little leather when needed. So that, you know, we could put him at 1B and have the fourth outfielder actually play in the, you know, outfield.

Excuse me, with my facetious commentary taken care, I have to go throw up at the realization this organization has degenerated to the point where it's running John Mayberry out at 1B and Darin Ruf in RF at the same time.

[And as I typed this post: Galvis Would've Had That™ re: Uribe's single.]

That was really dumb on Uribe's part.

Mayberry not having a good night at 1B.

Why do you suppose Sandberg IS playing Mayberry at 1B and Ruf in RF instead of vice-versa??

Got my answer:

Chris Branch ‏@ChrisBranchTNJ 1m
They're trying to get Ruf more experience in RF.

GBrettFan:
If we're being generous, it's because the organization's committed to Ruf becoming an OF, and that he should start every game in the OF, even when it might make sense to move him back to 1B for a game or two. This could, if we're still being generous, be the result of the same logic that keeps Dominic Brown in LF: That he needs to be left where he is in order to become comfortable.

If we're being less generous, Sandberg's emulating Uncle Cholly's lineup construction during the transition phase, in the name of maintaining continuity. Including the stupider aspects of it.

If we're not being generous at all, it's because Sandberg's cut from the same managerial cloth as Uncle Cholly, which means we'd better get used to the new boss, who's the same as the old. Or that Amaro's the one who made this call. Either or.


They're obviously still contemplating fielding the worst OF ever next year, in which case Ruf needs all the practice he can get out there.

GBrett - only explanation is organizational imperative. They feel they have a 1B next year and want to groom Ruf to play the outfield. Now, if that makes sense to you, okay. But, if he's going to play teh outfield, it should not be right field. That's how this team is run, in 2013, though.

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