The more things change, the more they stay the same.
As a whole lot of yall have noticed, I haven’t been calling out Phil Garner near as much as I usually do. Why? Because I firmly believe, whether or not I am right or wrong about this, that Drayton McLane is actually making some of the decisions that should be left up to Phil and ALL of the decisions that should be left up to Purpura.
I believe that McLane, and yes, this is OPINION, decided that this year that he would go all out marketing Biggio and the Quest For 3000, since he decided not to deal with his other 2 primadonnas, who were who he used to heavily market the team previously.
I believe McLane ordered Phil to play Biggio leadoff and only rest Biggio when Biggio wanted to be rested.
So I will not criticize Phil for obeying orders. I also will not criticize Phil for keeping Berkman in the lineup. I also will not criticize Phil for batting Pence 5th or 6th instead of second because we need SOMEONE who can drive in runs. Berkman is still walking a lot, Lee often hits singles after Berkman gets on and we HAVE to have someone behind them who can drive them in.
And Pence is having a tough time adjusting to ML pitching – yes, I know he is getting “hits” but they have been infield dribblers to short and he has only gotten the ball out of the infield once in the past 5 games. He does NOT need any more pressure that would come from being moved up in the lineup.
I also will not poke at Phil for keeping Adam Everett in the lineup – this team is mostly groundball pitchers and there HAS to be someone who can vacuum GB and the other option, Mark Loretta, can’t catch a cold at short, as should be MORE than obvious to anyone who has seen him try to play there.
OK – now what do I have to complain about? Plenty!!!!! Phil has 2 obsessions that cause trouble
1 – his belief/hope that every player should be able to play anywhere. For example, Brad Ausmus never played any position except catcher in any regular season game until manager Phil Garner had him play games at first, second and third as a 2000 Detroit Tiger. He didn’t play out of position again until Phil took over. The only players he hasn’t done this with are guys who simply CAN’T play somewhere else. You KNOW Eric Bruntlett was his ideal player…
2 – his complete and total insistence on lefty righty matchups, both hitting AND pitching. Sorry, but I would rather see Qualls, Wheeler and, yes, Lidge facing a lefty than Trever Miller because they are simply far superior pitchers.
But he does strange things that simply can NOT be explained -
… such as – batting Palmeiro leadoff????? Refusing to play Luke Scott against lefties in spite of the fact that he hits lefties better than Lane.
… such as – not letting Qualls come back and pitch another inning if he only threw one pitch and got a GIDP to end the inning. WHY is it necessary to bring in another pitcher?
…such as – throwing Brian Moehler out there to pitch one inning when Qualls needed work and hadn’t been used in 5 days. It’s not football we’re playing – there aren’t strictly offense/defense players and there shouldn’t be pitchers you ONLY call in to pitch in the 8th if we’re winning. I’ve heard of “roles” but that is absurd.
One of my personal friends emailed me and said:
“Mark Loretta playing first base and batting third? Are you freaking kidding me? Garner continues to use Jason Lane against lefties. That has to stop like RIGHT NOW.
I’ll tell you another thing that has to stop. Playing Mike Lamb and batting him second. 0-3 so far tonight, with 3 strikeouts and (EVERYONE GASP IN ASTONISHMENT) an error that led to three unearned runs. He’s batting .300 in May, but that’s only because of a 3-for-5 performance against Arizona on the 12th. Since that game, including his 0-3 so far tonight, he’s batting .080. No kidding. .080 WITH 7 strikeouts in 25 at-bats. And this is the guy he keeps batting second in the lineup. Completely absurd.
I know this isn’t the same team that went to the World Series, but Phil Garner has got to go. This team is too good to be playing this badly, and these managerial decisions are just too stupid for words.”
My friend is NOT one of the many people who insist that Lamb should be made the regular 3B and Mo Ensberg traded/released. As I keep saying, even the Rangers discovered that Lamb does NOT have the glove to play third and that was when he was YOUNGER and fielding ability DECREASES with age.