Fire Jim Tracy

Thursday, October 14, 2004

A Modest Response

At the Fourth Outfielder (I would link to it, but I don't know how. I'm new at this), my criticism of Tracy over Alvarez pitching to Pujols comes under attack. I don't think it's a "hit piece," and I hope my response adds something to the debate.

1) If Alvarez was "pitching carefully" to Pujols (setting up way inside, etc.) then the Dodgers (led by Jim Tracy) were going to WALK him. This fact negates Tom's (Is that right?) argument that it does not "make logical sense to walk Pujols to get to Rolen." The decision to walk him isn't my criticism. My criticism is that if you're going to walk him, walk him, and don't run the risk that Alvarez is going to "miss his spot." Tom's criticism is directed at...Jim Tracy, not me.

2) Tom's got me on the numbers between Alvarez and Sanchez. This is always my weakness, though I love to read what others can do with them. But most of Alvarez's numbers are posted before August. In September, he became somewhat of an unknown quantity, having been injured and struggled through August. He did have a few good appearances at the end of the year, but was clearly struggling in the fourth inning.

3) There is clearly evidence that Scott Rolen is not playing to 2/3 of his regular ability, and there was at the time. But this links in with my first point above. The Dodgers wanted to walk Albert Pujols. Given that, the chance of getting beat on an intentional walk was zero, the added chance of Alvarez missing and getting beat was relatively, a lot of risk, particularly against a hitter notorious for spraying bad pitches all over the field.

4) You're right about Cora. I'm still mad about Izturis getting thrown out at third to start the game against Colorado a couple of weeks ago.

5) Why is Cora's lack of late production a "nit not worth picking?" Cora's defense predictably became irrelevant against St. Louis's offense, so isn't what have you done for me lately a valid question to ask?

6) Tom misunderstands my argument about the seventh inning. I don't think Gagne was a good option at that point in the game losing 5-2. I just think generally that good pitchers should do more pitching.

7) When Pujols comes up with runners on first and second and two out, we are in trouble. Do I take the risk of wasting an out to get my best option on the mound? I just keep watching these guys lose ballgames, and then it doesn't really matter whether their outs are wasted or not.

8) The one word that I'm a little stewed at is "inane." It is not "inane" to support stopping St. Louis from scoring at that point. Our offense sucks. Their offense is good. They're threatening to score a boatload of runs at that point (as they just did last night). How about trying to survive?

9) Choi over Werth is not the question. There is no debate there. Grabowski over Choi is the question.

10) I am, frankly, not sure what I would do about the Brazoban double switch situation. I know that I continue to watch bad middle relievers blow games for precisely this reason, and I would like to see any math on that question that might possibly exist. I'm willing to be open-minded on this issue, but I don't think having Brazoban bat in the fourth necessarily would foreclose his use in the fifth.

At least he's not defending Nomo at Coors. A vast improvement over the last time I went through this.

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