Fire Jim Tracy

Monday, April 04, 2005

Jon Nails It

Exactly. Why this has happened to the Dodgers, I will never know. They seem to be just one team out of thirty. And yet, it is an incredible victory just to read or hear something halfway interesting about them, never mind whether right or wrong. That factor has become ancillary, as Tom Verducci inserts Alex Cora into his perfect lineup. The absurdity compounds as media hounds gleefully nod their assent and make excuses for Minaya's contracts with Pedro Martinez and Kris Benson.

Thoughtlessness. Plaschke and Simers are rooted in it. Newhan's (alleged!) theft from Jayson Stark was inspired by it. Steve Phillips no longer has a baseball job because of it. John Kruk and Harold Reynolds define it.

And at the end of the day, the guy who is going to have to pull this team through is Jim Tracy. Every grounder into right field will be Jeff Kent's fault. Every ball down the third base line is one that Adrian Beltre would have snagged. Every Hee Seop Choi ground out to the first baseman would have been a Shawn Green three-run homerun (how's that for irony). While Eric Gagne's $10 million contract sits on the DL, if Derek Lowe should end up on the DL, calumny and defamation will be the words of the day.

I have no idea how Tracy is going to handle all of this. But it strikes me that he, and this team, are in a far different position going into this year than they are going into the last year. As I said the other day, this brings a blogger with the conceit necessary to believe he is thoughtful and introspective to a far different purpose than the one for which this blog was created many months ago.

At some point, those of us with some shred of integrity left found ourselves in the same boat. I have no idea what 2005 will bring. I am certain, however, that it will bring the same drivel and nonsense from the media that we have suffered through for months.

In short: Same job, different Aegean stables. Compared to Plaschke, Jim Tracy is the soul of good sense and charitable living.

With that said, a man cannot change his nature. As stated before, managerial moves are going to get plenty of notice around these parts. And I'm not likely to fall in love with the man.

But there are larger, more obvious issues to deal with, and to the extent of my puny reach across the blogosphere, I fully intend to spend my energies dealing with them.

Govern yourselves accordingly.

Thank you,

The Management

UPDATE: And follows it up with a home run on The Hardball Times. He has given voice to the problem -- the Dodgers as "political animal." I wonder if perhaps, with Billy Beane firmly ensconced in Athletics lore, Theo Epstein having won the World Series with the Sox (and its accompanying 500-year grace period), and Ricciardi apparently having given up the concept with the Blue Jays, whether the anti-Moneyball crowd sees DePodesta as weaker than the others, and particularly so given his association with McCourt. The anti-Moneyballers need a scalp. But they mock what they do not understand. It's a book about markets. Economics professors probably assign it now in what we called "Econ. 50" at Claremont. The baseball was almost entirely secondary; it could have been a book about Nissan making cars or Jet Blue flying planes. It just happened to resonate with certain influential people who recognized the words "stolen base" and never bothered to get any further.

But here we are. And I fancy I know a little something about politics too.

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