Rays Diary: Off Season Entry- Some “Hideous” Questions


     In the “hideous “ absence of baseball, as Tom Krasniqi would say, some equally hideous ideas have crossed my mind this “off season.”  First and foremost, of course, is the question of whether Joe Maddon will be successful in Chicago or will he duplicate the apparently inept job he did last year with the underachieving Rays?  If he refuses to bunt in grossly obvious bunting situations and again forces his team to hit into the subsequent record setting double plays (the majority of which were, of course, due to not bunting in bunting situations, which even many tuchus licking Tampa Bay press cowards could see if they dared to review last season’s games), if he has his hitters swing away when all that is needed is a grounder to the right side, if he fails to have an infielder playing up the middle with a hundred mile per hour pitcher on the mound, he will not have the excuse that wannabee little league manager owners “made him do it.”  No, for the first time, Joe may have to take responsibility for a team’s failure, not just its success.  Worse yet, if he gets rid of one more good hitting catcher, belying the fact that his inept coaches don’t have the necessary patience or ability to teach the player defensive skills, then we’ll know it’s because Joe prefers a catcher like himself, one that could never hit.

     Considering Joe’s relatively high IQ and the fact that he worked under Mike Scioscia for so long, not to mention that he is a valuable asset to any community lucky enough to have him, I’d like to believe that most of his “obsessive compulsive” managerial blunders were forced on him by a combination of meddling Rays administrators and faulty computer operators.  Anyone who has followed my Rays Diary can follow their folly almost game by game, as well as their amateurish “philosophy.”  Firing Steve Henderson after his players all had career years and after setting all sorts of records on offense, not to mention a World Series appearance, was not a wise baseball or business decision.  Instead, it was a naive and amateurish philosophical decision which has plagued ownership for several years.  I repeat my most “hideous” question:  “How many games did Aristotle and Plato win with their philosophies and which teams, exactly, did they manage?

     The other really “hideous” question that I must ask, may be the most important.  Did the final three “lucky” Rays managerial candidates have to swear that they would subjugate their brains and better judgment to the fickle fate of “Psychometrics,” and agree that despite repeating the same mistake again and again, the result will somehow turn out differently.  Even more hideous is the assumption, that somehow, Davie Martinez may have refused to “sell his soul” to the amateur sabermetric “devils.”  Then there is the one question that almost everyone seems afraid to ask:  “Under the new field manager, will half the team still be able to go out drinking until four o’clock in the morning the day of a home game?”  I warned you that these really would be “hideous” questions.  I just hope the answers are not as “hideous” as the questions.

Al Finkelstein (Ofinky) 11/21/14