Rays “Headlines” 9/11/13

“Clueless Joe,” Rays manager announces that he has signed up for an online course involving “the art of smallball in baseball management.”  Joe was interviewed last night after being beaten for the twentieth time this season by a trained baseball manager with a better coached team.  The Red Sox scored on a misplayed fly ball followed by the usual single up the middle where Joe always seems forbid his infielders to play when 95-100 mph fastball pitchers are on the mound.  The ensuing baserunner was advanced on a bunt and was driven in on a sacrifice fly, making the score 2-0.  Disdaining any attempts to advance base runners or to play the accursed “smallball,”( except for poorly timed steal attempts) Joe and his coaches could be seen in the dugout playing with prayer beads and chanting incantations instead for the rest of the game.  As a result of the Rays prolonged losing streak, Joe plans on taking the online management class at the end of the season instead of watching the American League Playoffs on TV.

In a very revealing statement, the beleaguered manager pointed out if his personal choice for batting coach, Peter Principle[1], who could never hit a baseball, could learn all he knows about hitting from online coursework, then Joe should be able to pick up all of the necessary “smallball” skills which he has so far failed to master.  Included in the course are workshops in bunting, hit and run plays, hitting the ball where it is pitched, moving batters farther up in the box to enable them to hit late breaking pitches and aiming at holes in the infield to lead off an inning instead of trying to fly out to the warning track.

In a surprisingly candid conversation with this reporter, Clueless Joe admitted that he was quite excited about his upcoming computer experience.  In fact, he is considering increasing the use even more here-to-fore irrelevant computer information to formulate his lineups instead of the usual ouija board.  Apparently, in fact, there are other courses available in the art of positioning infielders and outfielders toward the center of the field when the pitcher throws at 95-100 mph since it seems to be the only place most of the hitters can hit the ball against them.  This information can actually be found in cyberspace, but the non-baseball people feeding information into Rays computers have never had anyone capable of teaching them exactly what information is actually important!

After the Rays disappointing performance last night to the “smallball” tactics of John Farrell and the “mighty” Boston Red Sox and the refusal of his team to do the same, it surely seemed as if Joe had finally realized that he had added still another needless loss to the growing list of some three dozen over the past two or three years.  Last year, the Rays wasted possibly the best pitching staff of the last half century, while this year they have wasted the best hitting team tht they have ever had and so far have managed into oblivion.

As this reporter was leaving the interview, I thought I could see a tear in the venerable manager’s eye as he admitted that he might have to stop praying to G-d for base hits in key situations and start managing and coaching instead.  Baseball is important, he reminded me, but G-d has better things to worry about, especially on the anniversary of “9/11.”

[1] Peter Principle: a proposition that states that the members of an organization where promotion is based on achievement, success, and merit will eventually be promoted beyond their level of ability.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Principle