Annoyance #3 lately after Manny Ramirez and the bridge jumpers...those who are trying to blame every loss on Terry Francona.
- Managers aren't as important as you think they are. They have no say in what players they have. Many times they have little say in what players they use. If a team goes out and gets a $40 million shortstop to bat second, then that $40 million shortstop is going to play every day and he's going to bat second. A manager is given the pieces and he is told how they fit.
- Baseball isn't a game of strategy. I never understood why people would say that. Football, with all the formations, styles of play, types of players, and ways to build a team...now that's a game of strategy. In baseball you get the 9 best hitters you can, send them up to the plate, and cross your fingers hoping that they smack the ball around. Sure, there's the occasional hit and run or stolen base, but even those don't come into play all that much and have small effects on a team over the course of a season. Besides, a lot of the time, whatever little strategy is used in baseball isn't controlled by the manager. The front office brings in someone to put at the helm of their ship, but they tell them where to stear it. Is Francona a bad manager because he doesn't let the baserunners go often enough? No. He has no say in that.
- Playing percentages is all well and good, but those percentages are pretty small. Scream all you want about how if Nixon had been up instead of Kapler, the Sox would've won the game. It's not true. The difference between a good hitter and a bad hitter is about .050 points of OBP. That means a good player will suceed one more time in 20 than a bad player. So once every 20 times, when a bad hitter fails, a good hitter will suceed.
- The manager knows more than you. Why didn't he put in Chad Bradford to get out that final out? Well, maybe Bradford is tired. Maybe the pitcher on the mound has success against the player at the plate. Maybe Bradford is having trouble getting warm. Whatever. There are 1000 situations in every baseball game that you know nothing about, but the manager does.
- Of course you know that he should've pulled Timlin before he let up that home run because he just let up that home run. No one likes a Monday morning quarterback, but everyone takes their turn at being one.