Sunday, July 27, 2008

It Would Have Been Nice


It would have been nice if FLop had ran out a strike three passed ball in the top of the first. Instead, Felipe Lopez jogged and was easily thrown out by The Los Angeles Dodgers Catcher Russell Martin.

It would have been nice if Jason Bergmann could have laid down a bunt in top of the third. Instead, Our Number 57 tapped the ball directly back to Dodger's Pitcher Clayton Kershaw--who immediately threw to Nomar Garciaparra for the first out. The Dodgers shortstop relaying the baseball to first for a key double play. Why is it, that so many pitchers, in the short History of Our Washington Nationals, can not bunt?

It would have been nice if Lastings Milledge had not gotten himself thrown out at third base on a routine ground ball to Casey Blake at third base in the top of the fifth. Being aggressive, Our Number 44 never stopped rounding second base on Blake's toss to first base on Paul LoDuca's grounder. Dodger's First Baseman James Loney relayed a perfect toss to Nomar Garciaparra backing up the play at third for the very odd 5-3-6 Double Play. The Defensive Play of This Game which immediately found Milledge apologizing to Our Manager Manny Acta when Wil Nieves followed this odd twin killing, with a double down the left field line. A two baser that would have scored Lastings and tied this game at one run apiece. Yes, that would have been nice.

It would have been nice if Milledge and Willie Harris had communicated on a routine pop fly to left centerfield by Matt Kemp in the bottom of the 5th. A sure out misplayed when both players backed off calling for the ball. A muffed single that proved costly, when Russell Martin followed with a clean single to left scoring Juan Pierre--running one base ahead of Kemp.

It would have been nice, if Jason Bergmann, like John Lannan, could receive some offensive support from Our Washington Nationals when he pitches well. Unfortunately, few pitchers are perfect. And when Our Number 57 allowed a NO DOUBT Home Run to James Loney in the bottom of the second--you had to get that feeling--this game was lost--again.

Yes, it would have been nice, to think otherwise. But, after losing 2-0 to The Los Angeles Dodgers, shutout three of their last four games, and going Zero For California--Our Washington Nationals head back across the country tonight on pace to LOSE 103 Games. That's pretty remarkable considering all the high hopes during Spring Training for 2008.

It would have been nice if Washington had won ONE GAME in either San Francisco or Los Angeles.

And how nice would it be NOT to lead The Major Leagues in Being Shutout. Today--Washington's 15th Whitewash of 2008.

Still, I would love Our Washington Nationals to shutdown The Phillies & Their Fans this coming Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday--this coming week at New Nationals Park. It would be nice to beat Philadelphia--at home. That would be bring me Great Joy!!--Again.

Game Notes & Highlights

I guess Ryan Langerhans' terrific efforts earlier in the road trip meant nothing. Hot, consistently stroking some nice hits, and knocking in some key runs--Langerhans just sat on the pine--most of the West Coast Swing. I understand that Milledge needs to play, but you need to find a way to get Ryan's hot hitting bat into each game--in a meaningful way. He needs to play. Let's not waste his talents--again. Interestingly, On ESPN's Baseball Tonight this evening--they named Langerhans' catch over the leftfield wall at Petco Park in San Diego earlier this season--the finest catch of 2008--thus far. The man can play some "D".

It would also be nice if Our Washington Nationals had let Pete Orr know that they would not be using him anytime soon. Our Canadian Infielder was offered the opportunity to play for his native country in The 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. The last time Baseball will be played in this international competition, for the near future. Since telling Washington he decided to remain in The Majors, Orr has not played one inning of any game. That's sad. Pete Orr may be far from the best infielder out there, but he hustles and gives his all every time. Someone should thank him for turning down a big personal achievement--in his baseball career--and play him--every once and awhile.

It would also be nice if Our Washington Nationals start playing as many of their hungry youngsters as possible. I can root for youth. It's difficult to cheer for Odalis Perez, FLop and Paul LoDuca right now. That threesome has no collective future in Washington. None whatsoever. Put Our Future Out There On The Field--we have nothing else to lose.

Sorry to hear that "The Guz" has a thumb problem--apparently from being hit while batting in San Francisco earlier this week. Why do I have this feeling that Cristian Guzman is going on the Disabled List and eventually will be lost for an extended period of time?

Finally--it would be nice to know what maneuvers Our General Manager Jim Bowden is not only considering, but has been actually offered so far, for the potential July 31st Trading Deadline Deals. Having no idea what might transpire--I am curious to know whether Our Washington Nationals have ANY CHANCE of picking up a useful part in Our Future. Seems we already traded our most useful commodity, Big Jon Rauch, to Arizona earlier. This coming Thursday is going to be pretty interesting. Will Some Team Get Desperate--To Our Advantage? We can only hope.

PS--Never have I been a big fan of ESPN. The Sports Network which has become to big for itself. A Brand Name that many times means less sports reporting for hype. So, It really hurts when ESPN's Karl Ravech on Baseball Tonight makes the comment that The Los Angeles Dodgers Clayton Kershaw is looking for his first victory in 10 starts. And John Kruk replies--"Well no EASIER TO TEAM to gain a victory from than Washington." The fact may have some truth to it--but the way ESPN always makes fun of any team outside of New York & Boston--shameful. No respect. Last time I checked--John Kruk played for some pretty awful teams, as well, in his career. He must understand how it's difficult to perform, at times, when the media continually kicks you down.

Today's InGame Photo--(AP) Francis Specker

45 comments:

JayB said...

SBF,

Time for me to ask.......do you still have confidence in Manny Acta?

Almost two years we have been watching his team not run to first (more than just FLOP), Pitchers who can not bunt and outfielders who can not call balls.

I really want to know if you think 2 years, 2 spring trainings, 260 ball games.....is enough time for Acta to put in place the baseball culture that was promised?

I really want to know if you think he even cares anymore.

Jeremy said...

Felipe Lopez makes me sick. If he's not tradeable by 7/31, we absolutely have to DFA him. He's a cancer on this team.

paul said...

Great post, SBF. I really appreciate it on such a desultory day for the team.

BTW was anyone else impressed with the presence that Garrett Mock had last night? I think he and Perez might swap roles at some point.

Dan in Richmond said...

im so sick of this sh**. A team in a slump like this, that goes on these terrible streaks of losing needs a good manager that can step in and do something to slow the bleeding. Every team loses, but when a team with half decent talent that goes 0-5 against the weak n.l. west, well, that team needs a better manager. damn it

An Briosca Mor said...

Every team loses, but when a team with half decent talent that goes 0-5 against the weak n.l. west, well, that team needs a better manager. damn it

Who is this "half decent talent" you speak of? Don't name players on the DL. Base it on actual performance, not potential. Then give me your half decent roster. Remember, you need eight half decent position players, five half decent starters and a half decent relief corps. And they all have to be playing half decently in any given game if you want to put together a win. You can't blame Manny for this one, much as you'd like to. Even a great manager can't put together a half decent team unless he has half decent parts to work with, and Manny doesn't have that.

JayB said...

As usual ABM blusters yet again....just like the "how do you know Bowden did not tell Chad first".......we know......ABM, we know……..

On Manny Acta, we know he has had enough time teach Bergman to bunt.....we know he has had enough time to bench for all time players who do not hustle......we know he has had enough time to throw Jim Bowden under a bus for tying his hands; for making him hire and keep Lenny Harris on the staff and for making him play Lopez, Pena, Estrada, Lo Duca instead of players who want to be here.

We should hold Acta responsible for the effort and fundamentals of the team regardless of the players the Nationals put on the field. If Jimbo is making out the lineups and picking the coaches then Acta must call him out to earn the respect of his players. If his players see Acta as a puppet of Jim Bowden who can blame players for the lack of respect they are showing Acta and the game. Acta is showing them he does not care about the game, the record or his players.

Anonymous said...

Any one notice the team played better with the no-regulars. One reason, the care. The so called future "know" they are going to play. I'm not down on Manny, because he can't control this team if he doesn't control the lineup. But, I won't ever trash Frank. He would have everyone playing hard.

phil dunn said...

It would have been nice---if the Lerners had never hired Jim Bowden

Anonymous said...

Milledge is a dumb, dumb baserunner and his throwing arm is pathetic. If this guy is the future of the Nats, then the future is as grim as the present.

An Briosca Mor said...

As usual ABM blusters yet again....just like the "how do you know Bowden did not tell Chad first".......we know......ABM, we know……..

As usual, JayB shows that he doesn't have a clue about anything. First of all, if I "blustered" about the Cordero thing (which was merely asking the "how do we know" question when indeed we didn't know) I also recanted my comments immediately when the truth came out. When has JayB ever recanted anything?

On Manny Acta, we know he has had enough time teach Bergman to bunt

Manny is the manager. It's not his job to teach pitchers who never learned how to bunt in the first place to do it in the midst of a season. If he did that kind of thing with all the players who need that kind of instruction, he'd have no time left to manage. Bergmann should be seeking out bunting instruction from wherever he can find it (hey, he could ask Shawn Hill). If he's not doing that, it's on Bergmann, not Manny Acta.

.....we know he has had enough time to bench for all time players who do not hustle...

If he does that, then who's going to be left to play the games? You want him to start every game out with a 15 to 20 man roster and go from there?

...we know he has had enough time to throw Jim Bowden under a bus for tying his hands; for making him hire and keep Lenny Harris on the staff and for making him play Lopez, Pena, Estrada, Lo Duca instead of players who want to be here.

When it all comes down to it, JimBo is Manny's boss. Name me any profession where a subordinate can throw his boss under the bus and not end up losing his own job in the process. There are many problems with this team, but contrary to the drumbeat JayB continues to put out, Manny Acta is not one of them. Manny is far from perfect - as would be any manager - but he's doing the best job possible of painting lipstick on the pig that is this year's Nationals team. At the end of the day, it's still going to be a pig. Don't blame Manny for that, blame the guy who bought and assembled the pig: Jim Bowden.

JayB said...

Manny is responsible for the teams fundamentals.

While ABM masters the obvious (no Manny does not need to teach him personally), Manny can make sure Pitchers put in the time with his staff to learn this skill. While ABM masters his skills of misdirection (Bergman has been in 2 Acta run Spring Trainings) I ask why Acta has not made these priorities over the past 2 years. If your boss is making you look bad and turning in your work under your name, you call him out, and nobody would accept Manny being fired by Jimbo....get real ABM you know that!

Point here is Acta seems to given up on this team. He should play the people who will play hard. If Jimbo does not like it then go public with it, if not he earns the blame for this PIG.

Sam said...

SBF,

Unfortunately Krukie was right. We have become an almost automatic "W" for other teams, even sub .500 teams. More than once I've heard the opposing team's announcers on XM broadcasts point out we were a team to "get back on track" against. So Kruk did his job as an analyst - pointing out the facts, albeit them sad facts.

Take me out to the Ballgame!

Sam

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is getting ugly. My opinion is the players ultimately responsible for not being able to come with the fundamentals but Manny as a manager has to evaluate his players and make sure they can do the job and we are a HORRIBLE bunting team. Tim Redding, Ryan Zimmerman, and CGuz (at times) can lay down bunts. Willie Harris has been miserable at bunting. Roger Bernandina comes up and the talk was what a great bunter he is and he struggled. We play interleague and watch the Orioles pitchers who rarely bat lay down bunts. What does that say for this organization???

I blame Manny too.

Baserunning blunders. Milledge got thrown out twice early in the year on similar plays. Less than 2 outs without a force with a ball hit to SS and Milledge on 2nd. Both times he runs to 3rd and thrown out. It should happen once and only once. It is on Milledge but the coaches/manager must take some responsibility too on these type of plays.

On ESPN with Kruk, can't blame him in this instance for speaking the truth. We have the worse record hence the easiest to beat by definition.

An Briosca Mor said...

Oh, I see. If I bring JayB over to my school for two years to teach him the fundamentals of English language grammar and spelling, and after two years JayB still can't put together a coherent sentence, then it's all my fault and I should be fired.

Tell me, JayB, how many of your grade school teachers ended up being fired? Or were they able to throw the principal under the bus and save their jobs?

If your boss is making you look bad and turning in your work under your name, you call him out, and nobody would accept Manny being fired by Jimbo

Sure sounds like you would accept Manny being fired by JimBo, JayB. I guess that makes you a nobody, eh? And to get real with it, probably only a handful of major league managers aren't basically puppets of their GMs. Torre, Piniella, Cox, Francona. Who else? Those are probably the only managers who could risk throwing their GMs under the bus without getting fired themselves. Hell, Frank Robinson probably contemplated throwing Bowden under the bus a few times, but didn't. And he got fired anyway, didn't he?

SenatorNat said...

It is a wonder that the Nats are not fodder for late night T.V. monologues - they are fast becoming a team ready to give some of the early expansion year Senators (1962-64)a run for their money on both futility and total absence of fire or starpower. The slogan for 1964 Senators, incidentally, was "Off the Floor in '64" (I have another infoamous 1964 slogan for JayB re: ABM "In your heart, you know he's right!")

The best thing for Nationals fans for the longrun well-being of the team is for the 2008 version which played the inagural year at Nationals Park to lose 105 games. Only then, will Fast Eddie Cohen have to concern himself with whether this $55 million payroll is costing the family real money.

Right now, the Nationals are averaging 50,000 fans per victory or so, taking the 20 wins and dividing them into 1 million fans thus far. This should continue to be the average: should the gate be 2.2 million this year and about 40 home wins, it should actually go up a click or two. Thus, compelling case can be made that each victory is actually worth more fans per than Nationals Park has capacity to seat. While this may seem wholly illogical accounting, I suggest that a winning team in D.C. is worth another million or more in attendance - that the demand function is highly elastic. Thus, if the CFO were to feed the meter with, say, $75 million payroll, the ROI would be tremendous.

The flip side: counting on Dukes; Milledge; Bonifacio; Flores; Lanan to sell season tickets in 2009, along with the face of the franchise and perhaps Adam Dunn is going to see a drop-off in season ticket sales of at least 10% should this team finish with over 100 losses.

Manny Acta is experiencing a sophomore slump as manager, with many good excuses for it, but he should remain. For Bowden, it is a matter of time, only, before he is dismissed. Another DWI could mean sooner rather than later; but, his No Tender to Cordero admission on a radio program which openly mocks the Nats is a clue as to why no one in MLB has any respect for the guy. His presence suggests that D.C. has no serious mouthpiece or negotiator for the team - he is a caricature of a GM - looks one of those ESPN mini-series types, or one out of North Dallas Forty.

Cordero came across on TV Saturday as such a decent boyish guy - makes Bowden look even worse than had #32 been a typical MLB brat.

The mystery man amidst this choas is Kasten - is he just riding such a tiger in the Lerner Family quest for ROI that he cannot suggest anything mature like a sophisticated GM, given a rational payroll to work with, without being eaten?

This team is where we thought it would be when it moved here four years ago. By now, we would have seen progress. Other than a number 3 pitcher in Lanan, and a number 5 in Bergmann; a wonderful young better than average third baseman; and a shortstop having a career year, what have we seen in ANY OHER player that is dependable for 2009 and beyond?

Trust in the power of the blog and abject failure to force ultimate success. All Good.

An Briosca Mor said...

what have we seen in ANY OHER player that is dependable for 2009 and beyond?

Our attempts at stockpiling Jesus (like some deranged priest up at the altar in a frenzy of consecration) have been 50% successful, I'd say.

Anonymous said...

An Briosca Mor said...
Oh, I see. If I bring JayB over to my school for two years to teach him the fundamentals of English language grammar and spelling, and after two years JayB still can't put together a coherent sentence, then it's all my fault and I should be fired.


No, you are in charge and you should fire the one that can't do the job then, but if the person can be teached then make sure they get the lesson!

Anonymous said...

If the person can be "taught", is relative to the student.

Ryan Zimmerman barely spent time in the Minor Leagues and knew how to bunt so he didn't learn it there.

I think every player that moves up the ranks has their own skill level and we have specialized coaches such as the Hitting Coach to teach the finer points.

Zim would not need the work at bunting, but clearly most of the pitchers and as mentioned Willie Harris, Bernandina, and some others would.

As also has been said before, when you are at the bottom, the only way to go is up so these coaches have their work cut out for them.

I am still going to games and will cheer the great plays and have no problem complaining about the bad ones.

What I don't want to see are players not hustling and taking things for granted. They made a right move with Estrada and they have a few more to make.

No excuse for not hustling and lack of fundamentals.

JayB said...

ABM,

You might have a point if teachers could pick their students and if the pool they pick from was only the top 1% in the world and if they were able to pay their students several $100K and have them be in their class full time every day for 8 Months a year.

Alas, teachers get what they get and all 100% of kids must attend school so……………………….as usual you have no point at all. Oh and I do not depend on my spelling to provide for my family so don’t feel bad for being such a jerk, you are who you are.

SenatorNat said...

"Why can't we all just get along" - by hating FLOP unanimously?

We can bicker, but everyone knows a player who is smart and hustling - you cannot hide stupidity and laziness behind some tired "Sportsspeak quotes." Zimmerman never gives these stupid quotes, for example. Manny is so resigned to a team playing with no energy that it filters down to the whole squad. What happened to Belliard's bat this year?

Finally, rookie pitcher Kershaw tells ESPN after first victory: "We know the Nationals are anxious at the plate - that they swing at the first or second pitch..." He is 20 years old, yet he knows that this tendency is a grave disadvantage for the Nationals. Manny has to demand, at a minimum, a major league hitting coach to complement his major league pitching coach.

Trust in the power of negative thinking. All good.

An Briosca Mor said...

ABM,

You might have a point if teachers could pick their students


You think Manny picked any of these players you fault him for not being able to teach? He's working with what he's given to work with - and you're expecting him to perform miracles with them. There are two guys named Jesus on the team, but no one who can immediately solve all the team's problems just with a laying on of hands. But yet you expect Manny to be able to do that, in each and every case or it's him that's the problem. No exceptions, right? Doesn't matter that the cast of characters he has to teach these fundamentals to is a continuous revolving door of players coming in and going out. Having a system like the Oriole Way of the '80s would be great, but remember this: Rome was not built in a day. Although I'm sure that if you'd been in charge back then, JayB, it would have been, right?

JayB said...

ABM,

Acta and his coaches can teach pitchers to bunt....trust me this is something I know about...it is not that hard.....just takes practice.

Acta does not need the top talent of professional baseball players to teach them fundamentals and insist they play hard.

Anyone want to supports ABM's premise that Nats players are so bad they can not learn to bunt?

ABM...Try again....you still have no point

SenatorNat said...

"Aristeia:" great energies are gathered for a day; dispersed; and then regenrated for yet another day, in an epic wonder of consistency.

This, according to George Will in his book "Bunts" is what makes baseball and its intricacies so absorbing and classical. And, since he used the metaphor Bunts as his title, so shall I suggest that the little things done repeatedly, with effort towards proficiency and refinement, are the embodiment of the game. And, yes, all pitchers should be working on this FOR THEIR OWN GOOD; as well as all players. And, run out every ball, too. And ALL managers can demand at least this of ALL players. Manny being Manny - nevertheless...

Trust in Groundhog Day. All Good.

Anonymous said...

I agree with JayB although I don't think Manny Acta is to blame for everything.

With that said, Manny shouldn't be fired this year as has been the hot topic on the Nats Board along with firing JimBo....

Lets hope he learns something because this is a team that has to play at 100% or they won't win. Plain and simple.

No mental mistakes and no base running mistakes and hit the cut-off man and get the bunts down and most of all----hustle!!! The negativity is contagious!!!

It starts with Manny and filters down.

JayB said...

Agreed, Acta does not be fired but he does need to step up and get his team functioning for the rest of the year and YES....next spring training he must focus on fundamentals and effort.....no more stories of Pena, Dukes and Milledge swinging for the fences in BP....they all have things to work on and it and hitting BP pitches into the woods.

An Briosca Mor said...

Anyone want to supports ABM's premise that Nats players are so bad they can not learn to bunt?

ABM...Try again....you still have no point


That's not my premise. I'm saying that Manny Acta has been saddled with so many players who are weak on fundamentals that there's no way he or his coaches can teach them all one-to-one as you suggest. (Why? Because they've never been taught these so-called fundamentals at lower levels. Pitcher's bunting, for instance, is not a fundamental when the only pitchers who even bat in almost all of baseball are in the National League. It's a wonder any pitchers can bunt when they first come up.) Also, growth and change, even when taught, do not happen overnight. You can blame the organization for not having a "back to fundamentals" attitude (e.g. the Oriole Way of old) but you can't just pin it all on Acta because he says he wants things to be that way and they haven't been. He did not pick these players or even all of the coaches. Veteran players should be preaching this. So should coaches throughout the organization. If they're not, don't blame Acta, blame the guy who hired these veteran players and coaches: Bowden.

JayB, try again. You still have no clue.

JayB said...

ABM,

"Pitcher's bunting, for instance, is not a fundamental"

When in a hole...stop digging.....

Clueless about baseball....that is our boy ABM....he just thinks is he says it loud and often he must be right.

Facts are that Bergman has gone through 2 Acta spring training (not worth much it seems) and most of two seasons…..It is an issue of lack of Acta leadership.

Anonymous said...

ABM - You try again. How come when we play American League teams at Nats Park the AL teams can bunt? I saw the Angels pitchers bunt? Why, because it was an emphasis with their pitchers in late May and early June as Mike Scioscia said in a Press Conference talking about "preparedness" for Inter-league.

These are professional players who know how to do it. Practice makes perfect and if they can't per-fect it then they have a place called the bench or AAA.

There is no excuse for not knowing fundamentals and don't make up excuses for Manny Acta.

Manny promised us when he accepted the Manager's job how this team would hustle and do the little things.

It is his fault that he has allowed this atmosphere and that is the frustration of JayB and others here.

We can blame JimBo for a lot of this team's mess but the fundamentals are on the Manager.

JayB said...

Oh and SBF,

Jump in any time, or do you agree that “bunting is not a pitcher fundamental” like ABM?

An Briosca Mor said...

Bunting is something every pitcher ought to be able to do, but it's not taught as a fundamental any more as pitchers come up through the ranks, because pitchers don't bat any more as they come up through the ranks. It's as simple as that.

I agree that fundamentals should be part of spring training - a big part. But in order to do that, it helps if the players you're drilling on the fundamentals during ST are the same players who'll be on call to execute the fundamentals during the season. In other words, you want to teach those pitchers to bunt who will be your starting rotation during the season. How many starters did the team go through last season, thirteen? How many pitchers entered ST this year knowing they would be in the rotation, so they could focus on things like bunting instead of focusing on just making the team? One, maybe two.(Hill and Perez.) Same for position players. Very few spots in the lineup were certain. It's one thing to cavalierly say that the manager should just make sure every player has his own personal fundamentals coach, and a whole different thing to try to implement that in the face of a revolving door of personnel changes. This team needs to stabilize itself, stop wasting time with stopgap third-tier veterans, and just start playing the kids. Only then will Manny's preaching of fundamentals have a chance to pay off.

An Briosca Mor said...

A Hall of Fame manager once took stock of his last-place team and lamented Can't anybody here play this game? Hall of Shame wannabe GM JayB would have fired that manager on the spot.

JayB said...

ABM,

You really have no idea what you are talking about here.....and you are not smart enough to take good advice on digging holes either.....oh well you are who you are.

An Briosca Mor said...

Okay, JayB. You're the manager. Bergmann fails to lay down a bunt. What do you do?

(a) Pull him immediately and make him miss his next start in penalty. Who pitches in his place on short rest?

(b) Ship him to the minors until he learns how to bunt. (Insert name of replacement starter here;_________. Remember to include all roster moves necessary to complete this move, including implications for the rest of the season as you remit this same punishment on every other player who fails to lay down a bunt.)

(c) Commit hara-kiri. (And no, that's not the late Cubs announcer. I know how to use a spell-checker.)

(d) Continue to preach and teach, hoping eventually it will sink in.

Seriously, what would you do here? Or if I'm so clueless, name me another feasible choice of action.

JayB said...

Or, instead of all the hyperboles you could just do the obvious.....

Require him to spend two one hour sessions each day in the batting cage bunting (only bunting). Instead of sitting on his butt during the games he is not pitching....he needs to be under the stands bunting every day until he gets it right. It really is not rocket science....it is a commitment to doing it, that is all it takes. I had a coach that would set up cans in an arc around the plate and we had to be able to hit the cans with bunts. You learn when you can not get out of the drill until you can do it.

Since you obviously have never done it, I guess you have to nonsensical solutions......

Anonymous said...

Before you try to save face ABM....if that is what Acta has been doing for 2 years with Bergman it would show. He is as uncomfortable bunting today as he was as a rookie. Acta has not been Teaching at all in this case.

An Briosca Mor said...

No, you're right, I have never done it. But I know enough to to know that bunting in the cage against a pitching machine can only take you so far. Eventually you have to practice against some semblance of real pitching. if you have one guy on a team who can't bunt, then it's feasible to find time for him to work on bunting during your 40 minutes or so of live BP each day. But if your entire pitching staff needs to work on bunting, then not so much.

If Bergmann hasn't been in the cage practicing bunting, that's on him, not Manny. These are professional players. They shouldn't require hand-holding. So tell me, if you're Manny what do you do when Bergmann or any other player doesn't do the work he should be doing as a professional? Don't duck the question now by telling me I don't know what I'm talking about, either.

JayB said...

If I am Manny, I am in charge. I tell Bergmen what he will do and when. I lead the team not wait and hope that players do the right thing. IF and this is not likely at all, Bergmen does not do what I have told him, he runs and then he sits a start and then he goes to AAA. Nobody, ignores a direct instruction from the Manager.

But again....you really have no clue how a baseball team functions do you?

Andrew said...

An Briosca Mor said...
So tell me, if you're Manny what do you do when Bergmann or any other player doesn't do the work he should be doing as a professional?


Ask Frank Robinson what he did with superstar Alfonso Soriano when he was very very reluctant to play LF.

We didn't have a bunting problem when Frank managed here. Frank also had no problem when Ryan Zimmerman bunted for numerous hits in 2006.

Here's the short story, Manny's team has not been fundamentally sound.

Mistakes will be made when you are a young team but don't make the same exact mistakes twice.

An Briosca Mor said...

Mistakes will be made when you are a young team but don't make the same exact mistakes twice.

I wouldn't argue with that. But JayB railed last season when Nook Logan made mistakes in CF, not calling fly balls and such. Nook Logan is gone now, and it's Milledge making those mistakes and on the learning curve. Same goes for many other positions, as well as pretty much the entire rotation. Why is that Manny's fault?

My point, which JayB seems not to grasp, is that there's only so much a manager can do if his entire team is fundamentally unsound. He can't bench them all in retribution, nor teach them all at once. Someone has to go out and play the game every night. Manny didn't ask for a team that is fundamentally unsound, it was given to him and now he has to deal with it. It's not his fault, and he hasn't given up on the team nor does he "not care any more" as JayB said. He's certainly not a perfect manager (nobody is) but really it's not his fault the team sucks.

Tom said...

This bunting problem is just another reason teams need more than one pitching coach. All this talk about Manager Acta leaves out the role of pitching coach St Claire. Shouldn't he have some responsibility? Yes, but bunting isn't high on his list because he has other more important pitching issues to resolve.

An Briosca Mor said...

Yes, but bunting isn't high on his list because he has other more important pitching issues to resolve.

As does pretty much every pitcher on his staff. So the Angels pitchers can bunt, whereas the Nats pitchers can't. Well, what else is different about those two staffs? The Angels staff has the pitching part of the game down pretty well now, so they can take the time to perfect their bunting. The Nats pitchers are still working primarily on their pitching. They do that every game, whereas relatively speaking bunting is not such a high priority for them now. A bad pitcher who can bunt is still a bad pitcher, after all.

Jim H said...

Andrew...

I think you're being a bit romantic in your memories about Frank's stewardship. I remember just as many failed bunts. There may have been more successful bunts as well...but that's because the Nats were bunting from the second inning on.

There were a ton of missed bunts. That's what made those managerial decisions so frustrating. The team was lousy at bunting, but Frank kept giving the bunt sign, anyway.

paul said...

Can we get Jayb and ABM to square off in a mascot race?

An Briosca Mor said...

I call dibs on the Abe suit. JayB has to wear Teddy.

Anonymous said...

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