Fire Jim Tracy

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Don't Forget Koyie Hill

Like most Fourth Outfielder posts, this one's over my head numbers-wise, but I agree with the conclusion. The reason Tracy benched Choi in the first place (as I have tried to continually point out -- remember, this was no ordinary benching, but a ban from the field to the point that Jason Grabowski set the Dodger record for pinch hitting attempts while hitting .100 for the last three months of the season) was to try to save his job by embarrassing DePodesta. One key hit (which Choi got, in the Colorado game, then the key walk in the Giants game) and Tracy's gambit was over. Just like his slavish devotion to Nomo, Tracy gave up any number of outs for free while chaining Choi to the bench for no reason (go ahead -- argue that Choi isn't a good pinch hitter. Grabowski must be Polish for Manny Mota.)

I particularly like the reference to "LoDuca-crazed Dodger fans."

By the way, another Press Conference-free week at Dodger Stadium, as the Dodgers and Tracy maintain their wild, passionate love affair with each other. It should be fairly obvious to all observers that DePodesta can do without Tracy, Tracy can do without DePodesta, and why not? Bob Daly is gone, Kevin Malone is gone, that Fox bastard who ran the team and traded Piazza is gone (I don't even have the respect for him to look up his name), Paul LoDuca is gone; all of Tracy's best friends and handlers are gone. Sign the contract. Or get out.

If this was Adrian Beltre or any of the players, you would have thousands of fans in peak LoDuca-scale whine mode, complaining about the lack of loyalty and the obscene amounts of money Big Leaguers make and if they don't like the Dodgers they can go find some other team, etc. There is no bargain to be struck here. There is nowhere else for Jim Tracy to go. There is no reason to pay him outlandish sums of money. He is eminently replaceable -- I found out the hard way that there were seemingly hundreds of Dodger fans more excited about the 2004 version of Hideo Nomo than Don Drysdale in his prime, so we couldn't have done any worse with any of them (not to mention the LoDuca-flavored Kool-aid seemingly fashionable to subscribers of the Los Angeles Times).

As I've continued to say all along, you can not use Nomo and Grabowski over and over again, knowing they are going to fail, when you have other, obviously better, options available. Just because you say you don't have other options available, doesn't make it true. Grabowski's case is self-evident. Nomo, as the worst pitcher in the National League (and by no small margin), was by definition a worse option than not only anybody on the staff, but possibly anybody in the entire Dodger organization. Tracy lying about it for weeks on end, then trying to turn around in the offseason and trying to take credit for overcoming our "warts," is ludicrous in the extreme. Nomo doesn't put himself on the mound -- Tracy does. In the law, that's called an intervening act with the actor serving as the proximate cause of a reasonably foreseeable (not to mention metaphysically certain) conclusion -- in other words, classic tort negligence. Although I would still hold out for the intentional torts of assault (on good sense) and intentional infliction of emotional distress (on the fans).

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