St. Louis' slump, and some final musings on Mike Matheny.
The story of the Cardinals’ loss, both in Game Six and in the World Series as a whole, is simple: they didn’t hit, recording only a collective .224/.273/.299 line. And when you come right down to it, that’s not a very interesting story.
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How the Red Sox sent the series back to Boston with a one-win lead.
This series has been compelling from the start, but it took until Game Five for it to look like a contest between two of the best teams in baseball. Game Five was the first without an error. It was mercifully free of egregiously bad baserunning, and it didn’t end with a debatable call. With the memory of Dana DeMuth's floating strike zone still fresh, it felt well-officiated behind home plate, aside from this third-inning strike three to Matt Carpenter.
Throughout the World Series, we'll be providing two recaps of each game, one with a focus on the winner and the other devoting a longer look to the loser. This is the Cardinals entry for Game Four. The Red Sox edition is here.
The Rockies and Marlins recently hired managers without any prior major-league managerial experience, and they're not the only teams to do it. Colin explains it all.
The Colorado Rockieshave announced the hiring of new manager Walt Weiss, and it’s an interesting case study in what might be a new trend in managerial hiring. Weiss had a long and fine career as a player, split mainly between Oakland and Colorado. After that, he turned to coaching… at the high school level. Weiss is making the jump straight to the majors from Regis Jesuit High School (although notably he has been a minor-league instructor and scout in the Rockies’ system until now.)
Weiss wasn’t even the most inexperienced manager under consideration by the Rockies; they were seriously considering Jason Giambi, who actually played for the team in 2012. Such a thing would not have been entirely unprecedented—through much of baseball history it wasn’t unheard of to have players themselves managing—but it’s certainly not very common these days.
A's assistant GM David Forst has seen the team go from post-season pretender to legitimate contender, and a conversation with Mike Matheny.
David Forst certainly knows how to describe the Athletics' amazing 2012 season as well as anybody. After all, he has lived it as the club's assistant general manager and right-hand man to veteran GM Billy Beane. Forst was there at the start of spring training when seemingly no one outside the organization gave the Athletics any chance of contending. And he is here now, as the Athletics have become one of the biggest surprises in baseball by putting themselves in post-season contention for the first time in six years, even after being swept at home by the Angels in a three-game series this week.
It's hard to draw conclusions about manager abilities, but Ben looks at how each of five managers hired before the season have performed this year.
Every year, the new edition of the Baseball Prospectus annual contains a comment about every major-league manager. These comments typically run 200-250 words, which means that each one makes up a very small part of a chapter that runs close to 10,000. But the manager comments might be the part of the book most dreaded by BP authors, so much so that some authors have been known to turn in their chapters without a manager comment and disavow all knowledge that manager comments exist or that they were supposed to do one.
There’s a pretty simple reason why manager comments inspire such fear: it’s very difficult to say anything conclusive about people in baseball who don’t play in games. When we write comments, we like to sound smart, or failing that, at least snarky. It’s very difficult to sound either smart or snarky when we say “We don’t know.” If we said “we don’t know” as often in the rest of the book as we do in the manager comments, you might not buy it. We do track some manager statistics, but they’re less helpful than the ones we have about players. They tell us what happened, but not necessarily whether what happened was good, or even how much of it was attributable to the manager as opposed to the team. And they don’t help us at all with what happens off the field, which might be more important anyway.
The Rockies use one word to describe Jamie Moyer's return to the major leagues, and a conversation with Mike Matheny.
Jim Tracy is a man of many words. The Rockies manager can wax poetic about many of his players, both past and present, and is more than willing to give long and thoughtful answers to all baseball-related questions. However, when it comes to describing his number-two starter, Tracy keeps coming back to one word.
Were Mike Matheny's complaints about a rain delay justified?
There are few more frustrating experiences for fans than going to a game, watching four-plus innings of baseball, and then having a rainstorm set in that forces the grounds crew to bring out the tarp. Those rain delays are at least equally loathsome to the players, particularly when they happen amid a rally and dim their team’s momentum.
It’s understandable, then, that first-year Cardinals Mike Matheny was miffed by the fifth-inning hiatus during the game against the Marlins on Saturday. But what really irked Matheny was the MLBPA’s decision to hold a mandatory meeting with the Marlins, even as the showers moved away yielding clear skies and playable conditions.