Sunday, July 06, 2008

Tubby watch is back

Back in April, I linked you to a Wall Street Journal article about how Joe Torre is overrated.

Though I agreed at the time -- since managing in baseball is completely overrated anyway -- after watching him manage this year, I concur even more fervently.

Case in point. Andruw "Tubby" Jones. This .155 hitter batted fifth in the lineup on Saturday, relegating the Dodgers second best on base percentage guy, James Loney to seventh. Another veteran who hasn't done much in the form of contributing this year, Nomar Garciaparra batted sixth.

The Dodgers offense hasn't improved. Torre, hasn't made the necessary lineup adjustments to get them going. There's no sign that the young guys and the veterans have built the team chemistry Dodger fans were hoping to see.

There are two things keeping the Dodgers in the race.

1. The NL West is abysmal, and that's putting it kindly.

2. Dodgers pitching has been as good as advertised, for the most part, and that's with a ton of injuries. I'll give another shout out to Chad Billingsley, who threw eight innings without giving up an earned run in his last start in an economic 93 pitches.

Pitching was a strength last season and it is again this year. Hitting was a weakness and it is again. Nothing has changed. Grady Little or Joe Torre, there's no difference.

Managing is a product of the media. Would I like to have Mike Scioscia as the Dodgers manager? Yes. But I don't believe any manager is worth more than five wins during the course of the year. Would that make a difference? Sure. But let's not overstate the importance of a manager, and let's not overestimate the effectiveness of Joe Torre, who won a bunch of World Series with a Yankees team who had a payroll twice the size of any other Major League team.

By the way, Tubby went 0-4, and left three men on base. Isn't that the power hitting RBI machine you've always dreamed of?

And the young guys, Russell Martin, James Loney, Matt Kemp, and Andre Ethier, are the Dodgers top four on base guys (aside from Rafael Furcal who has been out for the majority of the season.)

Check out my articles on two amazing young athletes. If you are a baseball fan or a softball fan, you'll be hearing about both of them soon.

Trevor Bauer, a junior pitcher who throws 94 miles per hour and is skipping his senior season to go to UCLA.

Jessica Spigner, the Gatorade Player of the Year in California.

No comments: