It is every fan’s god-given right to second guess. Half the fun of the game is the “Why is he bunting?” or “He has Dunston pinch-hitting?” chatter. BP is built on the idea that baseball can be made better by looking at it from a different perspective, which is an academic slant on second-guessing. If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say “Just because it worked doesn’t mean it was smart” when it comes to a Dusty Baker move–especially if this includes my own utterances on that theme–I’d be able to afford one of those cool Segways.
At some point, however, there has to be something more to it than mere luck. While it’s tough–if not impossible–to isolate managerial performance, Baker is demonstrating that he more-or-less knows what he’s doing in the face of so much evidence to the contrary. At some point, Baker ceases to be a fluke like the 2002 Angels–a house built on sand–and becomes, well, something else entirely.
Powered by a software update to my Nokia 3650 and Apple’s iSync, on to the injuries…
The White Sox go through a demoralizing series against the Twins. Bud Selig thinks the game is great (funny how things change). Ron Santo is just proud to be a Cub. And a bunch of Tigers weigh in on who’s the best pitcher in the AL this year. All this and many more quips from around the league in your Monday edition of The Week In Quotes.
The Marlins’ Jack McKeon deserves the National League Manager of the Year award. The Yankees start thinking about their playoff roster. The Pirates start thinking ahead to 2004. These and other news and notes out of Florida, New York, and Pittsburgh in the Monday edition of Prospectus Triple Play.
The Detroit Tigers, who opened September by winning three of four from the Indians to make it appear that they would avoid baseball’s all-time lists for incompetence, have reopened all those discussions by going 1-15 since that set, including an active nine-game losing streak. With a week to go, the Tigers have tied the American League record for losses in a season with 117, a mark set by the 1916 Philadelphia A’s, the wreckage of a very good team that was scattered to the four winds by Connie Mack. (Think post-1997 Florida Marlins for the Wilson Administration.) They’re just three losses from tying the all-time mark for defeats in a season, set by the 1962 New York Mets–a first-year expansion team–at 40-120. The Tigers also have a chance to be the first team since the 1935 Boston Braves (38-115) to not reach 40 wins in a full season. Can they get there? What is the most likely coda the Tigers will put on their long and dreary 2003?