|2010-10-20 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Does the Rasmus-Larussa feud have a happy ending, or should we prepare for Capulet v. Montague part deux?|
(Shane from Miami)
|For the Cards' sake, it had better have a happy ending. Remember when Joe McCarthy, Mr. Professional Dress Code, went to the Red Sox, where Ted Williams refused to wear a tie? He was asked how he would handle that, and he said that a manager who couldn't figure out a way to get along with a .400 hitter ought to have his head examined. The moment that a manager becomes an impediment to playing a 23-year-old center fielder with the ability to hit .276/.361/.498, it's time to get a new manager. Maybe Rasmus is a lot less fun to be around than it is to watch him play, but he can help the Cardinals win if they just stay out of his way. They're not exactly drowning in hitters after Pujols and Holliday, so they need to get over it. They can't possibly get enough back in trade to justify moving him. No manager is so good that he's worth ditching a four or five-win player. (Steven Goldman)|
|2010-03-17 14:00:00 (link to chat)||But wouldn't it be beneficial for ALL wannabe managers to play lots of Strat and see how to construct a lineup, work through double-switches, warm up relievers, engage in situational hitting?|
(dianagramr from NYC)
|A few years ago, I suggested that it would be really cool to launch sort of a seminar series, where you could have minor-league managers and coaches listen to Chuck Tanner or Whitey Herzog talk about the running game, or to Earl Weaver or Dick Williams about in-game tactics, or the late Johnny Sain to talk about workloads. But that would be collective, and the industry favors competition; why let Whitey Herzog talk to anybody else, if you want to hear what he has to say? Put him on the payroll as an adviser, and don't share. As is, in-game tactics aren't exactly rocket science--indeed, much of the stuff sabermetrics "discovers" on this front simply documents previously observed and understood phenomena, going back not just to Earl Weaver or Whitey Herzog, but Casey Stengel or Joe McCarthy. (Christina Kahrl)|
|2009-05-12 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Along the 'sportswriters covering for ballplayers' line, what are the most interesting euphamisms you've come across for 'too drunk to play' in the old sports pages?|
(BL from Bozeman)
|The great Yankees manager Joe McCarthy went on periodic drinking binges. It always seemed incongruous to me given what a hyper-organized guy he was, as well as the fact that he lived to be 90. Sometimes he couldn't be pried out of the bottle and would miss a game or two. The writers knew but would cover for him by writing that he had stomach problems or "exhaustion." (Steven Goldman)|
|2009-04-10 16:30:00 (link to chat)||Christina,
Really enjoy your work, and thanks for chatting.
Besides closer usage, how do you think game strategy would change if the only statistic that anybody kept was wins and losses?|
(mkb from Dallas)
|Thanks mkb, I appreciate the compliment... and I'm thinking about your question, and thinking, and I guess I have a vague sense that there would be more in-game tactical gambits getting used than we see at present, but that's because I'd infer the absence of the math to encourage a certain brand of aggressive managerial activism. On the other hand, in such a math-free environment, I suppose it's possible that a more Taoist approach could arise; Joe McCarthy wasn't a particle physicist, after all. (Christina Kahrl)|
|2008-03-14 13:00:00 (link to chat)||In your first, and very moving, article at BP (yes, I should have asked you this 4 years ago) you wrote:
"There's Joe McCarthy, a manager who never ripped a player in public...until the day he did."
I've always wondered who that player was. This can't be Babe Dahlgren is it?
(JimmyJack from Newcastle, WA)
|No... It was Joe Page, future ace reliever. He had great stuff but was highly undisciplined off the field. Jerry Coleman told me he was self-destructive, a guy who couldn't let himself succeed. Later, of course, he had a couple of Cy Young-type years as the Yankees' fireman (closer would be the wrong word), but at that time he was still a starter, and failing. McCarthy was under a lot of pressure - drinking, dealing with wartime ballplayers, dealing with Larry MacPhail, who himself was a highly erratic personality due to alcohol, and something about Page just made him snap. While the team was waiting for a flight to take off (and McCarthy didn't like flying either - that was a MacPhail thing), McCarthy sat down next to Page and tore into him in front of the whole team. McCarthy resigned the next day. (Steven Goldman)|
|2008-03-14 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Steven I'm a big fan of your "you could look it up" series on BP. I'm getting the chance to meet Dominic DiMaggio next week, and have been researching some fun things from his career to talk about. I want to get into current players, and my question regards the comparison of DD to Ichiro: is this a good comp? It strikes me that both were excellent defensive outfielders, and although Ichiro's production volume on offense is greater they're both consistent hitters who sustained peak performance after age 30. Do you buy that?|
(cjenks from SF)
|The Little Professor was more selective at the plate than Ichiro, so I suppose you're in the same ballpark, but we're not quite talking the same model here. I'm also willing to bet that DiMaggio got lots, lots, lots of inflationary help from Fenway, and that in the same ballpark Ichiro is probably the far better player... I'd love to have you ask DiMaggio about working for Tom Yawkey, about the personalities of Joe Cronin, Lefty Grove, Jimmie Foxx - all of whom he played with in the early days, of Joe McCarthy, if he believes, as Birdie Tebbets alleged, that McCarthy went with Denny Galehouse in the 1948 playoff because the other starters said "pass." Man, I'm jealous. (Steven Goldman)|