Stupid Manager Tricks, Mike Matheny Edition

So, for those of you not following along at home, Mike Matheny lost the NLCS last night by managing worse than Fredi Gonzalez ever even thought about doing. I’ll throw it over to Deadspin for the details.

Matheny, when asked about not using closer T. Rosenthal in 9th: “We can’t bring him in, in a tie-game situation. We’re on the road.”

Suffice to say, when it comes to Fredi, it could be a lot worse.

The Giants play the Royals for the title of World Series of WildCard Teams Championship.

52 thoughts on “Stupid Manager Tricks, Mike Matheny Edition”

  1. We can be grateful, thankful and proud that we now know Fredi was never the problem. It was always Wren.

  2. Or we can be adults and see what Fredi does under new management. Alternately, we could prance about the intarwebs selfrighteous in our own nerd-based fury, demanding the heads of anyone who slighted us last week.

  3. Royals or Giants? I usually root for the NL team because I have a hard time rooting for a league that is a short fielder short of being slow pitch softball.

    sigh – Royals.

  4. We’ll definitely see what Fredi does under new management; we don’t have a choice. But I’m not going to be an adult about it.

    “Kill him! Kill the [Laird-clone]!” is my rallying cry as I brandish my needle.

  5. Reasons to not root for the Royals: 2nd WC team getting hot; a winter’s worth of “Dayton Moore and Ned Yost are secret geniuses!” bullshit; a Lorenzo Cain bubble that is already beyond the point of bursting.

    Reasons to root for the Giants: NL team, no DH; Tim Hudson’s first trip to the World Series in a 16 year career; crazy Hunter Pence eyes.

  6. I guess I’m on Team Huddy, but it wouldn’t bother me if the Royals won.

    I’m worried we’re going to struggle to find a GM (or hitting coach) that will take on a payroll (or offense) so laden with deadweight.

  7. I’m not suggesting there aren’t valid reasons to root against the Giants, merely that they are also perfectly valid reasons to be over the Royals bandwagon, and a few good reasons to root for the Giants. Me, personally, I think I’m sliding into the “screw it, the Posey thing was 4 years ago, it wasn’t his fault the umps were incompetent” camp, and I really don’t want to deal with an entire winter of Harold Reynolds giving himself a small-ball, productive-outs reach around. Also, I actually have a couple of reasonably close friends who are Giants fans. Closest I ever got to knowing an actual Royals fan was following Joe Posnanski on Facebook or that one time I sloshed a gin and tonic on Rob Neyer’s khakis at the SABR convention in Cleveland.

  8. I pull against some teams because I can’t stand the players, others because I can’t stand the fans. The Giants are definitely in the latter category. The Mets have the distinct privilege of falling in both categories.

  9. I guess teams have to submit qualifying offers to players, what 5 days after the WS? I assume we will want a GM in place by then. If it’s Coppolella then I’m not sure why they are waiting.

  10. It looks like Hart will have to deal with QOs. It also looks like the Braves may legitimately think Coppolella is not yet ready for the job in some way. I thought maybe all the Dayton Moore talk was a show to leverage Coppolella into a lesser salary or something, but this has gone on for a while now.

    EDIT: And the leak that Hart was out of the running, and then JS contradicts it? Looks like Hart walking away forced JS to sweeten the pot.

  11. My tinfoil hat theory is that Coppolella is going to be the GM no matter what and they are waiting on Moore to offer him a job as the “President Of Baseball Operations”, or some similar title. If he says no, Hart has agreed to take the title for a year or two. That obviously doesn’t jive with Jeff Passan’s report, but we all know homeboy upstairs shot that down with his usual gusto. Or, to put a thicker layer of foil on my head, it was misinformation intentionally fed to a natIonal writer to send the signal to Moore that Hart isn’t pursuing the job and it’s his if he wants it. I know Moore has his warts, but if the Braves want to be back at the top of the best farm system discussion, he has proven capable of getting a system there, albeit slower than most fans will want.

  12. I just noticed that Buster Posey looks like that guy from “Blades of Glory.” Not Will Farrell, the other guy.

  13. If Dayton Moore leaves KC for Atlanta, assuming he’s been offered the GM job, it means one of a couple of things.
    1. that the Royals have peaked and maintaining a play-off caliber club will be difficult between salary constraints and farm system talent.
    2. Moore believes whatever JS (and BC) are spouting and isn’t concerned about either deadweight contracts and/or Liberty Media’s grip on the purse strings.

    My suspicion is that JS wants Moore but Moore may not want Atlanta.

    Regarding Giants vs. Royals, my inclination is to prefer the NL team since I hate, loathe and despise the DH. However, for totally illogical reasons there are a few AL teams I can root for, especially if they’re playing the Dodgers! This year it’s the Giants.

  14. @19 & @21 I read somewhere after the Royals clinched the pennant that KC’s brass said they weren’t going to let Moore go anywhere. If KC won’t release him from his contract, then speculation about him being offered a position in ATL means nothing. If JS et al. was waiting to see if Moore would come back in some capacity, then I think they’ve already been given their answer.

  15. Wasn’t Moore also second choice for the Braves behind Wren? I can’t imagine that’s helping to luring him back to the ATL.

  16. Who cares about the post-WS narrative?

    KC has exactly one WS title (’85), exactly one Super Bowl title (’70) and NBA & NHL clubs that left town.

    I love the city of San Francisco & all, but it’s really OK to let KC win something.

  17. I haven’t been paying attention, but if they’re not reviving the Wilbert Harrison, Fats Domino, or Little Richard versions of “Kansas City,” that’s a clear point against them. No thank you to the white boy version.

  18. Smitty: Aren’t fans looking for someone who won’t make moves like that? We already know Fredi will, and now we know Matheny does too. I want a manager who will actually pitch the closer in situations like that.

  19. It’s too much to expect a manager to deviate from the norm, re: bullpen management, on such a big stage. Right now, I’d say it’s incumbent on the GM to make sure your ‘pen has a Venters to deploy at will, to pair with your Kimbrel.

  20. @26

    They’ve been playing the Wilbert Harrison version, too. Which is the best. He sounds like he’s slobbering out “crazy little women” through a kazoo while drunk–I mean that in a positive way. And the Beatles’ “Kansas City” isn’t very good.

    But, come on, those early Beatles cover tunes are mostly awesome and do not deserve the derogatory epithet “white boy version”.

  21. Just gonna throw this out there too: whenever someone says, “I don’t like the early Beatles,” what I actually hear is, “I want to be punched in the face.”

  22. #34
    Kinda weird watching from a Euro streaming site, but hey… I will take it.

    Two weeks off & maybe an backfield addition in time for Jacksonville.

  23. I don’t think Georgia is going to need to make too many changes to walk out of Jacksonville with the W. This is the worst Florida team I’ve seen in my lifetime. Last year could be chalked up to injuries; there are no excuses this year.

    My prediction is that Muschamp is allowed to finish the season, but they announce tomorrow that he won’t be returning. That way he can still handle the “head coach” duties while Roper and Derkin still get to work on their sides of the ball. Making Roper an interim head coach would be unnecessary and prevent him from continuing to work with this offense. After all, he’s being deemed a failure after only 6 games. He needs time to work.

  24. 1. Sad Gator fans is as good as sad Cardinal fans.
    2. I fully expect Gurley to be reinstated and run all over Florida in two weeks.
    3. The Beatles; meh.

  25. Sam, who is sad? Florida has won three NCs in the last 18 years. Nothing to sneeze at. Certainly more championships than our Braves have won. What we consider a disaster is when we don’t run the table at home and we’re the passenger in an SEC East race. Even as bad as things have been, we can still win the SEC East, the SEC championship and play in a major bowl this season. Probably not going to happen, but if we win out the rest of the way, we win the head-to-head with Georgia and Kentucky.

    But aside from the optimism, it is amazing how quickly Will Muschamp’s career has been derailed. The guy dominated at every DC stop he was at (including being in the top half of the NFL his only season as an NFL DC), gets tabbed “head coach in waiting” at a huge program (doubling his salary to almost a cool million in the process), gets hired almost on the spot at Florida, wins 11 games and gets to a BCS bowl in his second season, and then proceeds to torpedo his career in less than 18 months. Sadly, this might be more about how impulsive Florida fans can be (we want undefeated home records and high-flying offenses and we will accept nothing less), but Muschamp is now persona non grata in Gainesville.

    I think the beginning of the end of Muschamp at Florida was the first move he made: hiring Charlie Weis. The way things have bore out, Muschamp needed Driskel to develop into a top-tier quarterback to supplement Muschamp’s stingy defenses, and by hiring Weis, it set up a chain of events that caused Driskel to have three OCs in four seasons, essentially killing his career, Florida’s offense for almost half a decade, and ultimately Muschamp’s tenure at Florida.

    Florida is still a top job, however, and Florida will go back to its blueprint of hiring unknown head coaches who had offensive minds and success at small programs (Spurrier/Meyer), and avoid the DCs from top programs who have no head coach experience (Muschamp/Zook). We’ll be back!

  26. Cracks me up that so many are deathly afraid that the 2014 WS is the place where the gods of Analytics are revealed to be only (very smart) men.

    Such a shame: the sabremetricians have added so much to the evolution of the understanding of the game, but the off-putting hubris and the stubborn clinging to such – how to say this nicely – counter-intuitive principles such as strikeouts don’t matter and stolen bases and bunting are ALWAYS a bad idea keeps the two sides at loggerheads with both believing their way is the only way.

    I think this year’s Braves may be Exhibit One that strikeouts are a rather large problem indeed and that without the stolen bases and the pressure the run game so obviously placed on the Royals’ opposing pitchers that there’s no way they’re even close enough for any of the out-the-arse home runs to matter.

    I think that a Front Office that found a way to willingly embrace the best of both FOR THEIR TEAM’S UNIQUE SITUATION – will start to witness long-term success.

    Can’t we all just get along?

  27. Strikeouts are worse in the offensive context of the post-2008 league. Walks are still better than bunts or sacrifices that don’t score a run. Nothing in this postseason has changed those facts.

  28. @41, Even if “strikeouts don’t matter” and “stolen bases and bunting are ALWAYS a bad idea” weren’t both straw men, a mere handful of games wouldn’t suffice to disprove them.

  29. The funny thing is that the Royals have won a lot of their postseason games with unbelievably clutch HRs. The “playoffs are a crapshoot” thing does ring true…good luck trying to explain the Braves’ futility and the Giants’ success.

    Nothing about the Giants impresses me much except for MadBum. And yet here they are again.

  30. Is this the year when all three Atlanta professional sport teams have to change GM in the same year?

  31. We’re using national reporters to make kissy faces at Dayton Moore.

    I’m starting to think maybe he wouldn’t be a terible hire. He just might know what he’s doing.

  32. This may be the worst football weekend of my life.

    As a long-time fan of:

    ~ University of Kentucky
    ~ Atlanta Falcons
    ~ San Diego Chargers

    I got used to the O-Fers in the past, but it’s been awhile since I’ve suffered through such ineptitude and/or frustration witnessed this weekend across the board. No wonder I need a new heart.

    At least the 49ers are getting humiliated, as well.

  33. @40-

    The Zooker was a Special Teams guy, not a DC.

    I’m done with Muschamp because his teams have consistently found ways to lose these past two years. Chalk the offense up to injuries last year (and they definitely had a TON of issues with that), but even when you lose your top two QBs, you need to at least have an offense that doesn’t just collapse. And while you could say they were incredibly close to beating LSU and being in very good shape, they were a 4th and goal away from losing to frickin Kentucky. (Who is actually good this year but is still Kentucky.)

    The thing this year is that the defense hasn’t been as good as previous years, and the offense we were supposed to see hasn’t materialized. Guys who could be our big hitters (Andre DuBose, etc.) touch the ball so rarely is boggles the mind. But regardless of all that, for two years running, Florida has straight up lost games it should have won. When you add in the embarrassing way they lost to a 1-dimensional Missouri team, it’s over.

    When he fired Zook, Jeremy Foley said, “What must be done eventually must be done immediately” (or something like that). The same applies here.

  34. #48
    Well, UK hoops is right around the corner.

    #40/49
    While I certainly hope Muschamp maintains his perfect record in Jacksonville—he’s never won there as a coach or player—I’m pretty sure UGA will find a way to keep it close.

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