Sunday, May 1, 2011

Everyone loses

I'm disappointed that all the Nats beat writers took the same approach in writing their game stories for yesterday's loss. "Oh, everything would be fine if only the Nats would start hitting." Yes, the Nats' anemic offense (along with the lucky pitching and Zimmerman's injury) is the story of the season so far, but the real story of yesterday's loss is Jim Riggleman's overmanaging blowing up in the team's face.

When a 13-12 Felix Hernandez won the AL Cy Young Award last season, it showed that only one group of people still care about pitching wins: baseball managers.

If the Nats were hitting and winning games, it wouldn't mean that Riggleman is doing a good job of managing. It would mean the Nats are doing well in spite of Riggleman's overmanagerial tendencies. But the lack of offense is exposing Riggleman not only as a poor in-game tactician, but as someone who values the wrong things and makes decisions for the wrong reasons.

In his post-game press conference, Riggleman admitted he made a series of bad decisions (leaving an increasingly ineffective Lannan in the game despite having a warmed-up Clippard available, intentionally walking Whiteside to load the bases with two outs to face Huff, letting Lannan pitch to Huff instead of bringing in Clippard) for the sole purpose of putting Lannan in the position to achieve a stat that DOES NOT MATTER.*

*Sometimes you believe in the stats. Sometimes you believe in the players. And I guess sometimes you believe in sabotaging the team in a misguided attempt to get one of your players a stat. And no, the fact that Riggleman owned up to his mistake doesn't make a difference. It's his process that's at issue.

Last time I checked, getting your starting pitcher a win was not reflected in the standings. The standings don't care which pitcher gets credit for the win. I'm sure everyone in the clubhouse would feel great if the team won and Lannan got credit. I'm equally sure everyone would feel almost as good if the team won but Lannan got a no-decision. But you know what I'm sure doesn't make anyone in the clubhouse feel good? When the team loses the fucking game.

And this is why Riggleman needs to go. He values the wrong things and makes decisions based on those mistaken values.* (Joe Posnanski already said this much better than I ever could.)

*And I didn't even get into the Nix-Bixler bullshit. Seriously, what the fuck was that about?

Yeah, I videoed my laptop. So sue me.

1 comment:

CoverageisLacking said...

Your timing is as bad as Riggleman's. You should have made this post right after the Saturday game, not halfway through a game they ended up winning in spite of Riggleman's over-managing. Own up now. This one's on you.

Meanwhile, say what you will about your buddy SBF. His posts may be inane, but his timing is impeccable.