The fans know so much more
"You Gotta Be Kidding!"
by Mickey Charles, CEO Sports Network
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The fact of the matter is that the fans,
the folks that have been watching the game, particularly baseball, know more
than the owners, managers, coaches and certainly the sanctimonious play-by-
play and color(less), self-loving describers of the action on the field.
The fans know...plain, pure and simple. They have a greater "feel" for the
game and it is not, for example, genius to simply "know."
Are the fans just smarter? In most cases the answer is a resounding "yes."
You are a run or two behind, man on first, none out, late innings (7th, 8th or
9th), and it does not take brilliance to move the runner to second in an
effort to tie the game or sneak ahead by a run with a succeeding hit.
"But we have a great hitter at bat, so why waste it?"
Because, dummy, we are not always speaking of Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Howard or
Manny Ramirez. Even worse is when they have the batter swinging away with men
on first and second and none out.
Cutting to one of my not-so-favorite subjects, Joe Girardi, current skipper at
the helm of the New York Yankees, who has the imagination of a rock. The fact
that someone, anyone, played a sport, regardless of what it is, is not a
springboard to managing, announcing or a Pulitzer on the horizon for a great
effort. They played. End of story. He managed a bad Florida team and got
them over .500. Manager of the Year?!?!?!?
Girardi is still using the Joe Torre handbook. Grave error. He has Joba
Chamberlain as a starter when the world knows he belongs in the bullpen for
7th, 8th, and 9th inning stints, the latter to give Mariano Rivera a breather.
How knowledgeable do you to be to know that Chien-Ming Wang is not ready to
return to the rotation when he is not able to make it through a turnstile on
the Metro system?
Joe Girardi is finding it tougher than expected in his second season as Yankees Manager.
Alfredo Aceves was touted by Girardi during a recent interview as a legitimate
starter ready to fit into a rotation that is falling apart faster than the
sides of Mt. Helena during one of its earthen upheaval belches. The man is
not ready for Little League but somewhere among Brian Cashman, Hank
Steinbrenner and Girardi, a vote was held. It was undertaken by a man that
cannot manage, a general manager that has lost whatever touch he once had and
the president of the SSDC (Successful Sons and Daughters Club), whose only
claim to fame is his birthright. Sad, very sad.
No fan would have Cody Ransom fill in for anyone at third base, much less Alex
Rodriguez. If there are two outs and no one on base, teams walk the next
batter to get to him. It is embarrassing. Did Girardi make the decision to
have him play, to even don a uniform with NY on it?
Yes, the fans are likely the same folks that live in a world consumed by what
happens to Jon and Kate, celebrities eating maggots and worms, folks stranded
on various islands worldwide and a nanny that comes into homes to make all
right with children that might otherwise grow up to be, so it seems, serial
killers or worse. That is the mentality of the country but, still, the fans
know, whether they watch these insults to the intelligence or not, or grab the
latest issue of the National Enquirer at the check-out line.
Being voyeurs without a life of your own does not preclude one from knowing,
without hesitation, what should take place in a given game situation or which
player belongs on a team and which does not.
Despite all of their recent ineptitudes and failures, charging out of the box
with huge leads only to surrender them in a blaze that is not so glorious,
take the 0-8 run against the Boston Red Sox and Wang's inability to win, plus
the combined disappointment of C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett at 16-10 (for
the money those two are getting), and the Yankees should be in first place by
4-5 games instead of languishing behind the Sox.
Girardi's fault? Definitely. For example, it is not always the case that a
left-handed pitcher will fare better against left-handed batters, or that the
same applies to the other side of the mound or plate, depending on who fills
those uniforms. And, we always come back to the inane 100 pitch count that
has turned into the paradigm for all. Every fan that has ever watched a game,
particularly those who were there 20-30 years ago, knows how ridiculous this
is. Better, stronger, healthier, conditioned athletes and we now have a
pitcher for just about every inning no matter how well the guy with the ball
in his hand is doing. Leave him in!!!
Stimulus means more than just doling out a trillion dollars that none of us
will ever see. It means a manager that can stimulate and inspire his troops.
Joe Girardi and other of his contemporaries cannot seem to do that. It is an
art form they never learned. Fans know when to hit and run, steal, bunt,
shift, walk an opposing batter, bring in a reliever...one that is ready and
that does not mean ready to be bludgeoned into obscurity
You do not continue to hold tryouts at the All-Star break. You do not bring
in pitchers that are obviously bad...certainly to the fans if not the manager,
and you work the tails off guys making $20 million a season to prevent them
from losing interest. What is there to laugh about with an opposing player
when you reach a base and have a moment or two to speak but are losing 5-0?
Riddle me that one.
Does the manager care, does upper management care, do the coaches care, do the
players care? I know that the fans do, the ones that agonize over a loss,
that replay the game 100 times in their heads as they wonder why this or that
was not done, the excruciatingly obvious this or that.
They want $2,500 a seat, maybe a bargain to the fan with a reduced price of
$1,250 per and the effort before you is one Joe Girardi or someone else,
somewhere, just like him. How come the fans know so much and the manager does
not? Because he does not know the game and did not learn much by playing or
hanging around the dugout.
Will the Yankees do the smart, and right thing, like hire a fan to take over?
Sadly, you have to be kidding!