Fire Jim Tracy

Monday, October 18, 2004

The Man Got My Back

My friend Land Murphy, an inveterate (or is that, invertebrate?) Cardinal fan, is incensed that Jim Tracy could be favorably compared with Tony LaRussa and Dusty Baker, not to mention the rest of the National League. I think he misses the point only slightly. Of the list, I think that LaRussa, Bochy, Bobby Cox (with an assist to Leo), Jack McKeon and Robinson (when he's awake) are decent enough (relatively, see below); Baker, Garner, and Alou would be better if they figured out how to use a pitching staff ; Art Howe, Lloyd McClendon, and Larry Bowa are terrible managers; and the rest are non-entities. I mean, judge Al Pedrique. Or Ned Yost, who had the Brewers playing over .500 for the first part of the season. The problem is the ENTIRE LIST. What kind of organizational structure produces these kinds of non-entities as manager? Perhaps besides Bowa, they look like the PTA Volunteer committee, and Bowa may have been the worst manager in baseball.

Dodger fans seem to believe that there is something predetermined about Major League Baseball and bad managing. It's in the water. Mike Scioscia and Phil Garner do it, so why do we worry about it when Jim Tracy does it?

Because we don't care what the Angels or Astros do to blow up their season. We're not Angels fans, and they can police their own team. If Jim Tracy is the guy who can break the mold, then I hope he's here for 25 years. The problem is that I can see almost no evidence, outside of the occasional (and it is occasional) correct use of Gagne, to suggest that Tracy will do anything other than what he's already done. And that is not acceptable. My initial reaction to the Garner Game 2 decision was that Jim Tracy would never do anything like that. Upon reflection, I can't be sure of that, and neither can any of you. Until we have a manager who would, without hesitation or question, try to win that game, I don't see how comparing him to what "others" might or might not do is of any relevance at all.

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