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Giving up on Jerry

The regression of Manuel as manager

There was a time when I liked Jerry Manuel as a manager, a time when I thought his laid back approach and his patience with young players was going to take this organization a long way, I now realize it is taking them in the wrong direction. The Jerry Manuel that managed this team to the playoffs in 2000 was a completely different manager than the Jerry Manuel that runs a different line up card to the plate in every game of 2003, he went from being the manager that won despite the level of the talent on his team to the manager that is losing in spite of the talent on his team. Ken Williams has handed him more talent this season to work with than he has ever had on his team in the past, and instead of using that talent to the teams benefit, he is playing the part of a little league manager and making sure that everyone plays, regardless of whether they deserve to be in the line up or not. His outright refusal to play Frank Thomas at first, even though Frank has expressed a desire to play there, and it is a known fact that his average increases when he plays first, simply baffles me, and I get more confused when Jerry explains that they want Paul Konerko at first for his glove. Thatís right, he said it, for his glove. I am hoping that before the season is over Jerry will break down exactly how many games are won and lost over the course of the season by a firstbasemanís† defense, I would hazard a guess that is about the same amount as the number grizzly bears killed by raccoons on a yearly basis. The bottom line is this, can the Jerry Manuel experience please end as soon as he manages this team out of the playoffs this season?† Iím not asking here, Iím begging, I canít take another season of his random line up cards and botched bullpen moves.†

A Beef with the Hall of Fame

Gary Carter and Eddie Murray were inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame this year, Carter being the first to enter the hall as a member of the Montreal Expos, but at this point I have had it with the HOF. When the powers that be decide to take the vote away from the group of surly old men that hold it now and give it to some more enlightened voters I will remain indifferent to the hall. I am not saying that Gary and Eddie to not deserve inclusion in the hall, far from it, but I do have a problem with some of the guys that do deserve to be in the hall that arenít, most notably Billy Pierce, whose chance to get in the hall is now gone. The whole system that they use for the HOF voting needs to be scrapped and replaced with something that more reflects the game as it is today, and to honor the stars of the game in their eraís, whether they were popular to the national media or not. Don Drysdale was popular in the national media when he pitched for the Dodgers, and it bought his way into the hall of fame, Billy Pierce has similar career numbers as him, but was not favored by the national media and is on the outside looking in. Iíll go you one better, Harold Baines had a long productive career in MLB, has almost three thousand hits and over 1500 runs batted in, but the majority of it was done as a designated hitter, and it remains quite likely that he will be the first player with over 1500 RBI to not make the hall, because he did not play a position for a good chunk of his MLB career. Fix the system to honor those that deserve to be honored, donít use it to snub those that a group of crotchety old men have decided are not worthy.†

A few notes...

Billy Koch was placed on the fifteen day DL with soreness in his elbow, possibly brought on from changing his delivery entirely...† Neal Cotts was brought up from AA Birmingham to take Danny Wrightís place in the rotation when Danny was moved to the bullpen.† While I am not convinced that Cottís† is ready to pitch at this level, I agree with moving Danny to the bullpen, it might do wonders for his confidence....† Miguel Olivo has been drawing a lot of flak for his bat lately, so I thought now would be a good time to remind everyone that the catcher bats ninth in the AL for a reason, you donít expect him to hit, if he does you take it as a plus.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Daver

Dave Schmitt is a life-long resident of the Joliet area, with the exception of two years spent being the only Sox fan in the hell hole known as Baytown Texas, where the trucks are large and the alligators are hungry.† Plumber by trade, hunter by choice, and fisherman 'cause you canít hunt year round.† Married With Children, and four dogs that are confirmed Sox fans.† The kids have less sense.† You can send email to Daver at

More features from Dave Schmitt here!

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