Re: Who would be the best manager to lead this present 2011 edition of the Boston Red Sox?
posted at 5/7/2011 2:52 PM EDT
In Response to Re: Who would be the best manager to lead this present 2011 edition of the Boston Red Sox?
[QUOTE]The question supposes Francona critics (of which I am one) know the contractual status of other MLB managers, and who the managerial talent is at the AAA level. If I had to name a manager that gets more out of less, Joe Maddon certainly comes to mind. The notion that Francona is untouchable is hard to fathom. Yes he presided over our two titles, but c'mon, he has been give a wealth of talent to work with. Pedro, Schilling, Lowe, Papelbon, Lester - he had some of the best pitchers in Sox history. Same thing with the offense - consistently loaded with talent other managers would give their left nut for. He is not without positive attributes. Loyalty, patience and ego management have their place, but this team has gone from 2007 WS champ, to 2008 ALCS loser, to 2009 first round exit, to 2010 no playoffs, to 2011 losing record. So I turn the question around for Francona supporters. At what point should the manager be held accountable for his team's continual decline in performance?
Posted by Encinitas[/QUOTE]
What you casually give no credit to is the fact that the Sox made the playoffs in 2008 and 2009. What -- they "declined" because they didn't win the W.S every year. Are you serioius.
In 2008, they did take it to the game 7 despite injuries to several key players. Remember, they were w/o their starting 3B and their start DH, SS and C were all playing hurt yet it still was a game 7.
It's hard enough to win when you're healthy let alone beat up like they were. In 2009, they simply were outplayed. What -- a manager is supposed to be fired every time another team plays better? Was it Francona's fault that Papelbon blew Game 3? He's the closer. He didn't do his job. Simple as that.
And last year is why Francona's critics have absolutely no credibility when they said the Sox still should have been in the playoffs depsite all the injuries. Really? Losing All-Stars at three postions plus 2/3 of the starting OF means nothing.
How many of you were calling for Francona to be fired after 2006 when the Sox were hit by all the injuries. What happened? They won in 2007. You're going to blame him for 2006 but not give him credit for 2007. Pretty patheic if you ask me.
OK, we'll let the critics pick the manager of their choice adn field a team of minimum-wage rookies. Why does the team need All-Stars. According to the critics, losing All-Stars doesn't matter if you have the right manager.
And you yourself say the Sox had a great lineup so they should win. OK fine, but the fact is, in the second half of the season, they didn't have that great lineup so your argument doesn't hold up.
The fact is, last year the Sox got off to a slow start but were a half-game out at the mid-season point when they were relatively healthy (the loss of Ellsbury, Cameron adn Hermida when he was productive notwithstanding). When injuries to All-Stars like Pedoria (three months), Youk (two months) and Martinez (one month) started to pile up, they fell off the pace. You don't think that they might have made a difference in one win per month each. That's six more wins and 95 wins instead of 89.
And before the injuries during the early slow start, Francona was patient, tweaked the lineup to account for slumps and what happened? They became the hottest team in baseball to move to a half game out. No credit for that?
Critics/bashers also have no credibility because they blame every loss on Francona. Even a 100-win team is going to lose 62 games, but if you read their posts after every loss, Francona should be fired for not going 162-0.
Managers aren't going to make the right decisions all the time and the in-game stuff is tremendously overrated. This baseball, not football or basketball where a coach can call plays on every offensive or defensive play. Baseball managers don't have that kind of in-game control. They don't have a video-game controller where they can affect every play, yet the bashers refuse to acknowlege that. Stats show that 'small ball' is a low-percentage way to manage and they refuse to acknowledge that. All managers use pitch counts (even the Rangers); all managers will try to get five innings out of the starter even if that means that the starter gives up six or seven runs; they refuse to acknowledge that. They make it sound as if Francona is out on an island.
A common criticism is that Francona coddles his player, but if you listen to the players themselves, they'll tell you that he gets on their case. He does it behind closed doors, not in public. Is that coddling. If you mess up at work, does your boss rip you a new one in the middle of the office in front of everyone or does he/she talk to you behind closed doors.
I asked a question on other threads that blamed Francona's handling of spring training as the reason why the Sox got off to a slow start. What did he do different this year compared to other years when they got off to solid starts? After having success at the beginning of the year in other seasons, did Francona all of a sudden change what they do? I asked that question a couple of times. The answer -- crickets.
How about holding the players accountable? Gee, that's a novel concept -- having someone take responsible for their own actions.
Francona isn't above criticism. No one is. But there is a difference between constructive criticism and mindless bashing. You hold up Maddon as a great manager. Really? I live about 45 minutes or so from Tampa. You should hear the fans rip him. You people would be on him like vultures in less than a year.