Fire Jim Tracy

Monday, October 11, 2004

And People Think I'm a Broken Record

Bill Plaschke wins the Idiot of the Year award by so much, it's not even close. If the Dodgers were to fire Jim Tracy and hire Bill Plaschke, I would have to start another site called "HIRE BACK JIM TRACY." I only just now got around to reading his "analysis" of the last night's game, and it borders on dementia. If Bill Plaschke and logic were in a boxing match, they would spend fifteen rounds shadow boxing. If Bill Plaschke and good sense got married, they wouldn't be able to procreate. Blaming the trade for last night's debacle? Trading Guillermo Mota forced Jim Tracy to use Wilson Alvarez? Let's walk through this...again.

1) NO ONE should have been pitching to Albert Pujols in that situation. Not Brazoban, Mota, or anyone short of Gagne (maybe, though I doubt it). We don't pitch to Bonds in that situation...why would we pitch to Pujols, who is a BETTER BAD-BALL HITTER, especially with .100 and hurt Rolen behind him?

2) Plaschke can't see the forest for the trees. WHY COULDN'T TRACY BRING IN BRAZOBAN IN THE FOURTH INNING IN THAT SPOT? WHY? Because the sacred code defies it? Because Wilson Alvarez was just in a groove? If Brazoban gets Rolen, then pitches the fifth, you have the sixth (and the bottom of the order) to go with Sanchez. Then in the seventh you get Gagne, who Tracy said before the game (quoth the Fox announcers) was available for three innings. Again, Tracy defied logic leaving Lima in the game, it paid huge dividends, AND THEN HE SQUANDERED THEM ON NOTHING! We got four meaningless innings from two of the best relievers in baseball.

3) Plaschke tries to make the nonsensical claim that Brazoban was tired in the Seventh and therefore struggled. Brazoban had made 19 pitches to that point, and frankly, if he can't make more than 19 pitches, he's no better for us than Mota was. In understated fashion, Plaschke under-reports that in the Seventh, "In his third inning, he walked two guys, hit a batter and gave up the final run." Plaschke does not point out that Larry Walker led off the Seventh, followed by Pujols, Rolen, et. al. . In the Haskins plan, Eric Gagne pitches to Walker, Pujols, et. al, in the seventh, not Brazoban after two innings of work. In the Plaschke-approved Tracy plan, nothing after the fourth matters anyway, because you've already lost the game.

4) Plaschke, hoping that his readers have only picked up the paper to follow the playoffs and that they haven't watched every game this season, spins this wonderful web of Mota-mania spiraling across So. Cal. Please. Besides the DUI rap (or whatever that was), Mota was overrated when he was here (we can discuss this further if you would like). He completely lost it in September, giving up multiple runs in multiple games for multiple losses, including two in the last week of the season. Mota would have been playing catch with Scott Stewart, if not giving up three run home runs to Albert Pujols. And now the Marlins have to worry about paying him. HA! Welcome to 84-78, Marlins fans. But I digress.

5) In a classic, classic, classic bit of out and out reporting shame, Plaschke gives two options for Tracy. 1) Walk Pujols or 2) Bring in Brazoban to pitch to Pujols. Whenever you see someone giving you only two options start your mind a-workin'. How about a third? Bring in Brazoban to pitch to Rolen! Those little facts that shoot your argument all to hell. Just leave them out.

This is a classic example of media bias, and a reporter spinning the story to favor his desired goals. Not as obvious, or even as important, as when the New York Times (or Plaschke's friends in the Metro section) do it, but it is obvious. Plaschke (and I guess Ross Newhan, but I digress) likes Tracy. Plaschke dislikes DePodesta. Therefore, he glosses over the obvious, in order to come to his own untenable conclusion. Tracy benches Choi; Plaschke applauds from the box, because it supports what Plaschke thinks about the trade. Tracy sends Grabowski and his .297 OBP to lead off innings; Plaschke applauds, because then he can write meaningless sentences like "Choi didn't even appear in the NLDS." Well, of course not. Tracy was too busy giving .100 hitting Grabowski more undeserved at-bats.

Plus, Bill Plaschke is the ultimate contrary indicator. Whatever he believes, you're fairly safe taking the opposite approach.


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