Fire Jim Tracy

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Misty Water-Colored Memories...

Can you believe DePodesta turned an outfield of Encarnacion, Roberts and Bradley into an outfield of Werth, Finley, and Bradley. And Plaschke is worried about this offseason?

But I digress. Over the last month, I've been having these nagging memories of popping on the computer when I didn't have the Dodgers televised, and wondering one thing for several weeks. Why is Encarnacion still playing? Why is Tracy still sticking with him? There are better options in Double AA, much less currently on the roster. I didn't remember thinking "But Werth is injured" or "Grabowski sucks." I remembered thinking "Why aren't one of these two guys starting in right field?" When Jon Weisman pointed out to me (now twice) that Werth was injured in April and May, it took me aback. What a mental block! How could I sit there if Werth was hurt and want him to play instead of Encarnacion.


Let's start the ticker on June 1, around the time that Werth came off the DL. At that time, everyone's favorite "proven run producer" (guess who that's a quote from -- see name of blog) was hitting .228, with an OBP of, get this .260. .260! (This is giving him credit for his 2 for 4 June 1st). It certainly begs the question of how long you can go in a Tracy lineup hitting .225 (interminably and forever, unless you're a first baseman brought over in an unpopular trade and you can save your job by benching him, but I digress), though it doesn't implicate Werth. He then went on an un-Encarnacionion, DiMaggio like run of 16-54 to raise his average to .255 with an OBP of .295 (pause for throwing items...ok, I'm back), then diddled around the .250 mark, ending June at .243 and .295. July then brought a stint on the 15 Day DL, and finally the merciful end to his Dodger career, hitting .234 with a positively Ruthian .288 OBP. Even the rightfully much-maligned Jason Grabowski was hitting .240.

(The point. Get to the point. OK!) Tracy NEVER took Encarnacion out! The DL took him out. He started 26 games in June. A dollar to the first guy who can tell me how many games the Dodgers played in June. Werth meanwhile, was racking up (compared to Encarnacion) a .261 and .306 OBP, with an impressive OPS of .860 (His time coming out of Roberts playing time...platooning Roberts and playing Encarnacion every day...yikes. Didn't everyone, like, miss Dave Roberts when he got traded? Didn't they, like, like Dave Roberts? Didn't I have to read 700 letters to the editor whining about trading Dave Roberts? Shouldn't these same people be upset that Juan Encarnacion played every day and Roberts didn't? But I digress.). Encarnacion then started 14 games in July, but spent 15 days on the DL with a shoulder injury. He started every day from July 19-29. We can only extrapolate from other situations Tracy has mismanaged this season, but can there be any doubt that had DePodesta not pulled a miracle rabbit out of his hat (a move which justified the trade all by itself), we would have had a proven run producer playing right field for the Dodgers? With Plaschke, the master strategist, whispering in his ear? No. Werth would be languishing on the bench (or traded, God forbid, to the Diamondbacks), Encarnacion would be the toast of Baseball Tonight, and next year we would have a big fat question mark in Jayson Werth, instead of our starting left fielder. And all because of DePodesta, and the Disabled List, and not Jim Tracy.


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