Gently, Gently

August 30, 2009

I’m trying to say this as gently as possible, but the other night, Mr. Maddon mismanaged his team to another loss.  He pitched his right hander against the tying run.  The batter, hitting .181 against lefties and .287 with great power against righties, was basically walked on purpose enabling the winning run to come to the plate.  Pitching coach Jim Hickey was his usual calm self, adding nothing, as is his custom, to enlighten Mr. Maddon.  What were they saving the left hander for, a rainy day?

This marks, perhaps, the 12th or 15th game, this season, served on a silver platter, to the opposing teams.  From batting his 340+ hitter in the 9th spot until the 106th game to failing to guard the line or play outfielders deep enough with the lead late in the game to running gaffs, lack of bunting and the hit and run plays, Mr. Maddon keeps waiting for lucky hits  or superhuman pitching performances.  It is the strategy of losers.  It is time for Andrew Friedman to assert himself.  He’s done his job selecting an overall more talented team than he had last year, but his manager, a highly intelligent man, refuses to manage and his pitching coach doesn’t seem to coach.

Please remind Mr. Hickey that Leo Mazzone is out there and remind Mr. Maddon about “Baseball 101.”  Remind Carlos Pena to turn his shoulders, not lean in to the plate, and Longoria to step up in the box a little with two strikes to better hit those breaking balls in the dirt that are hittable as they cross the plate.

Allen Finkelstein, D.O.