|(photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)|
So that's essentially my Mattingly rant for the day, but I guarantee you there will be many more as long as Freidman and Zaidi continue to put up with a manager that simply is set in his Torre-esque ways.
- Burning up his bullpen for one out at a time, pigeon-holing certain relievers into roles that they probably shouldn't be in.
- Double-switching and taking out offensive threats in his lineup (like Guerrero) in exchange for perceived defensive upgrades or to move the pitchers spot in the batting order.
- Giving up outs with the call for the asinine sacrifice bunt, even with hot hitters at the plate.
- Putting out a batting order with a .180 hitting Jimmy Rollins on top at lead off.
If you're a sabermetrician, it is easy to see that Mattingly hasn't changed his ways and he never will. (The only exception to that are the defensive shifts the team has put in place that have saved the clubs a number of runs in this early season). The Mattingly tendencies otherwise continue as always and I wonder if Zaidi and Freidman's patience is running thin. This team would already have 3 more additional wins in this young season had Mattingly not been at the helm. First place or not, Donnie needs to go. Some may see that stance as paranoid, but the one missing ingredient of this team is a manager that will make decisions that maximize this ball clubs strengths.
You've got a guy like Paco Rodriguez that can get everyone out, but Mattingly uses him as a loogy. Then you have a rookie centerfielder that has a history in the minors of leading off and nows how to work a walk, with an OBP hovering around .400, but our manager insists on putting him in the 8th spot of the lineup while a .250 OBP leads off, getting the most plate appearances on the team.
I could go on and on. Here's the thing though. Eventually this managerial weakness problem will really be exposed, and we already saw it in post season play last year. Are we really going to put up with that, have a winning season, only to falter in the playoffs when those vital decisions are magnified ten-fold?
I'll say it. Pull the plug now and make a managerial change. And while they're doing it, Andre Ether is red hot, time to trade him while he has value. Yes, I know Puig is hurt, there there's a glut of outfielders that can fill in: Van Slyke, Schebler, Guerrero, Kike Hernandez to name a few.
Rant over...for now anyway.