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View Full Version : Manuel is in Buehrle's Kitchen (Who's surprised?)


PaleHoseGeorge
08-28-2003, 09:42 AM
I was one of Manuel's staunchest supporters in '99 and '00. I gave him the benefit of the doubt in '01 and the first-half of '02. However the series of news reports in that I've read coming from inside the Sox clubhouse this season have nearly floored me. Here's the latest one from Teddy G. in today's Cubune...

Sox's rout sets back Buehrle's next start (http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/cs-030827soxnotes,1,2472294.story?coll=cs-whitesox-headlines)

Here are the choicest bits...

Asked if he found the whole episode odd, he [Buehrle] replied: "Some people think so."

Is he one of them?

"Well, we're trying to win the series," Buehrle said diplomatically. "So it comes down to winning or losing [Wednesday]."


And there's this one from Manuel...

"Buehrle wants [Thursday's] start, and you want to reward him. You know me: I could change my mind tonight. If we win and he comes to me, I might give it to him, anyway. I think it's more of a big thing for him than it is for us."

Read that one again. Is Manuel saying he could care less whether it was Cotts--a pitcher with exactly three major league starts--pitching today vs. Mark Buerhle? Read it again!

He says nothing about injuries. He says nothing about extra rest. He has nothing emphatic to say at all--except that he might change his mind (big surprise there, huh?).

Manuel's whole decision comes down to treating Neal Cotts like he would Mark Buehrle. And you wonder why this team has struggled to get over .500 the past 3 years...

So it bears repeating (again) what I've been saying:

My best advice to the Sox ballplayers trying to win this division and reach the playoffs...

Ignore this man -----------------> :jerry

dougs78
08-28-2003, 10:06 AM
While I don't agree with every decision Jerry makes, I am not nearly the Manuel detractor that many on this board are, but this whole saga is indeed odd. It seems that he is overmanaging in this case. No matter the results that come out of it, the whole process has done nothing but mess with the head of both Buehrle and Cotts, and probably the rest of the team.

However, having said that I think I will try to trace the logic of Jerry's thinking on this decision. Again a disclaimer, this is NOT my thinking, this is what I think is in Jerry's head.

1. Getting Buehrle 1 extra day of rest, that may help him be fresh as the season winds down.

2. Getting Cotts this high pressure start to "reward" him for his other good starts. (truly don't get this one, but whatever)

3. Finally, and I think most importantly hes playing the percentages. Basically, Moose is pitching really well right now so its going to be tough for buehrle to beat him. So lets estimate that the chance of the sox winning with burly on the hill is 45%. So the odds of the sox winning with Cotts on the hill are say 25%. So clearly percentages say to play Burly if you want the best shot at winning today. However, we play the Tigers tomorrow who Burly has owned. So lets say the chance of him beating them are like 85%. Cotts being an unproven youngster might still only have 55% chance of beating the tigers. So when looking at those percentages Jerry wants to give his team the best chance to WIN THE NEXT TWO GAMES. He decides to go with Cotts today by looking at the cumulative percentages.

Thus, starting Cotts today leaves us with a 25% chance today and then an 85% chance to beat the Tigers tomorrow, for a total of 55% shot at winning the next two. However, starting Buehrle today would add 45% and 55% to average to 50% for the next two games.

I hope I have explained this well. I truly do think he is going with the logic of percentages, but I think the potential downside is how much is messes with the human element (their heads).

Either way, lets hope it works out.

voodoochile
08-28-2003, 10:11 AM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
Is Manuel saying he could care less whether it was Cotts--a pitcher with exactly three major league starts--pitching today vs. Mark Buerhle? Read it again!

He says nothing about injuries. He says nothing about extra rest. He has nothing emphatic to say at all--except that he might change his mind (big surprise there, huh?).

Manuel's whole decision comes down to treating Neal Cotts like he would Mark Buehrle. And you wonder why this team has struggled to get over .500 the past 3 years...

So it bears repeating (again) what I've been saying:

My best advice to the Sox ballplayers trying to win this division and reach the playoffs...

Ignore this man -----------------> :jerry

I couldn't have said it better. I saw that quote in the Yribune not 15 minutes ago. I was going to point it out. I am stunned to say the least.

Even for Jerry, this is extra-arbitrary...

Bobby Thigpen
08-28-2003, 10:13 AM
My best advice to the Sox ballplayers trying to win this division and reach the playoffs... Ignore this man ----------------->

That could be among the dumbest things ever said.

PaleHoseGeorge
08-28-2003, 10:16 AM
Originally posted by dougs78
While I don't agree with every decision Jerry makes, I am not nearly the Manuel detractor that many on this board are, but this whole saga is indeed odd. It seems that he is overmanaging in this case. No matter the results that come out of it, the whole process has done nothing but mess with the head of both Buehrle and Cotts, and probably the rest of the team.

However, having said that I think I will try to trace the logic of Jerry's thinking on this decision. Again a disclaimer, this is NOT my thinking, this is what I think is in Jerry's head....

Yours are perfectly rational reasons, Doug. If Manuel had said any of these things last night or the previous three days, I would be the first to acknowledge them. Furthermore, I'm sure his own ballplayers would acknowledge them and abide by them, too.

The problem is, and you noted it yourself in your first paragraph, is that Manuel has gotten into the heads of Buehrle and Cotts (and everyone else in the clubhouse) specifically because he DIDN'T say these things--or worse, contradicted himself! They are left to scratch their heads the same as us over the nonsense that Manuel has said and done the past three days. It's crazy and it's 100 percent caused by the incompetence of Jerry Manuel to be manager.

And for the record, I hope Cotts wins too. This entire episode should never have happened, and every bit of the blame falls squarely onto the shoulders of Jerry Manuel.

Ignore this man ---------------> :jerry

dougs78
08-28-2003, 10:31 AM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
Yours are perfectly rational reasons, Doug. If Manuel had said any of these things last night or the previous three days, I would be the first to acknowledge them. Furthermore, I'm sure his own ballplayers would acknowledge them and abide by them, too.

The problem is, and you noted it yourself in your first paragraph, is that Manuel has gotten into the heads of Buehrle and Cotts (and everyone else in the clubhouse) specifically because he DIDN'T say these things--or worse, contradicted himself! They are left to scratch their heads the same as us over the nonsense that Manuel has said and done the past three days. It's crazy and it's 100 percent caused by the incompetence of Jerry Manuel to be manager.

I think you make a good point. Its always better to be straightforward with people. However, I'm not sure how beneficial it would be to the confidence of your players to sit down and say, "Well, since you probably won't beat Moose anyway, and Cotts may not be able to beat the Tigers, we are going to switch it around to make it better for our team.

It would certainly make the whole thing easier to understand for us and for the players, but it might have other negative outcomes.

But either way, I am still saying that it was not handled very well.

kempsted
08-28-2003, 10:34 AM
Look at the article again. The real reason for Manuel's decision is there.... Cotts is from Downstate new york. Ohhhh Of course.

I'ts this simple. Both Buehrle and Cotts are going to pitch the next couple of days. One will pitch against the Yankees and one will pitch against the Tigers. How many managers out there really think it is better to take one of your best pitchers against the worst team and your young kid go against the team with the best record in the AL. Hmmmm

Notice Baker switched it around so Prior goes against St. Louis instead of Milwaukee.

voodoochile
08-28-2003, 10:49 AM
Originally posted by dougs78
I think you make a good point. Its always better to be straightforward with people. However, I'm not sure how beneficial it would be to the confidence of your players to sit down and say, "Well, since you probably won't beat Moose anyway, and Cotts may not be able to beat the Tigers, we are going to switch it around to make it better for our team.

It would certainly make the whole thing easier to understand for us and for the players, but it might have other negative outcomes.

But either way, I am still saying that it was not handled very well.

:jerry
"Mark, I decided to go with that 0.1% chance I was talking about the other day. Don't be confused. I told you and everyone that there was a solid chance this would happen..."

hold2dibber
08-28-2003, 10:55 AM
Originally posted by dougs78
I think you make a good point. Its always better to be straightforward with people. However, I'm not sure how beneficial it would be to the confidence of your players to sit down and say, "Well, since you probably won't beat Moose anyway, and Cotts may not be able to beat the Tigers, we are going to switch it around to make it better for our team.

It would certainly make the whole thing easier to understand for us and for the players, but it might have other negative outcomes.

But either way, I am still saying that it was not handled very well.

Well, JM should be able to finesse it a little better than that. It's like the little white lies you tell your children sometimes. The problem is the hemming and hawing, changing his mind, changing his rationalizations, contradicting himself, etc. If the rationale for his decision was as you suggested in your earlier post, than he should have just said to Buehrle: "I understand you want to start in Yankee Stadium, but I really want to keep you as fresh as possible down the stretch and we've had some trouble with the Tigers, so I want to make sure we get off on the right foot in that series, so we're going to hold you back until Friday" (or something like that). And he should have said that earlier rather than later. And he shouldn't have said that there's a 99.9% chance of Buehrle starting on Thursday if he was going to start Cotts. But of course, as is often clear with JM, he didn't know what he was going to do. He constantly changes his mind on things - he needs to learn to keep is friggin' mouth shut until he has a final decision. By hemming and hawing and going back and forth, he just confuses and pisses off his players.

With all that said, I think we're all making much too big of a deal out of all this.

Bobby Thigpen
08-28-2003, 10:58 AM
With all that said, I think we're all making much too big of a deal out of all this.

Exactly.

Clarkdog
08-28-2003, 10:58 AM
PHG:

I agree with you on your opinions about Manuel about 99.9% of the time.

However, Manuel has never struck me as a very articulate man. He says things that are cryptic - which usually means he is searching for an answer to give which he currently doesn't have.

This may be the case here. This is what I think is rattling around in Manuel's melon. The decision to push Buehrle's start to Thursday against Detroit was predicated on the outcome of the first two games of the Yankee seriees. If the Sox had lost either of the first two games of the Yankee series Manuel would have had him start today. But they didn't so he'll start in Detroit.

I think the reason is that Manuel wants to be assured that the Sox get off on the right foot against Detroit - a team they should beat but have had problems dominating. By holding Buehrle back until Thursday you have a series rotation of Buehrle (w/an extra day's rest), Garland and Loaiza. Then we come back home w/ an following an off day to face Boston. Here the rotation may be reset given the Boston series is wedged in between two off days. I wouldn't be surprised if Cotts got a start here if it helps to make sure that Buehrle, Colon, and Loaiza are all starting (as much as possible) in the remaining series against Minnesota and Kansas City down the road.

The key to winning this thing is series wins - Manuel may feel that since the Yankees series has been won - he can set the rotation to give the Sox a solid chance at picking up the next two an beyond.

Your point on Manuel getting in thier heads is a good one, but I think the players know they can win in spite of Manuel. Buerhle and Cotts are probably saying, "Whatever Jerry. Let's just win."

PaleHoseGeorge
08-28-2003, 11:11 AM
Originally posted by Clarkdog
PHG:

I agree with you on your opinions about Manuel about 99.9% of the time.

However, Manuel has never struck me as a very articulate man. He says things that are cryptic - which usually means he is searching for an answer to give which he currently doesn't have....

That's a good point, Clark. I completely agree that Manuel is not the most articulate man in the world, or even in the top-half of articulate managers currently working in MLB. It's sometimes painful to listen to him during those post-game wrap ups.

So I agree that we need to excuse what Manuel says, and thus excuse too the contradictions that result from what he does. However I would be quick to note that the last Sox manager to lose his job was Terry Bevington, and the reason offered by Schueler and Reinsdorf had nothing to do with his failure to warm up a reliever before entering a game. They said the reason Bevington's contract was not renewed was because he couldn't handle the media. As you might recall, they even sent Boomer to a school during the offseason in '96-'97 to teach him how to handle his public statements better.

I think it's obvious Manuel can't handle the media, and is unnecessarily causing unrest inside the clubhouse, too. This episode is just the latest example, and that is why it is a big deal. This is not the exception we're dealing with. It's the rule.

Shoeless Joe
08-28-2003, 12:08 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
With all that said, I think we're all making much too big of a deal out of all this.

I agree with you completely, let's just go out there and get a win so we can get this whole "controversy" done with.

jeremyb1
08-28-2003, 12:13 PM
I'm not incredibly fond of the decision but I don't understand the big problem. I think people are placing way too much emphasis on the mental side of the game again. These guys are pro ball players they should be able to handle it. The fact of the matter is whether or not Buehrle's arm is bothering him now it was around the time of his last start, an extra day of rest will help keep him fresh, and he'll have just as many starts. So take away the fact that you guys think these two pitchers can no longer be effective just because they switch days to pitch and you have the fact the Buehrle will be better rested and more effective the rest of the season and he gives us a better chance to get off on the right foot in the Detroit series where last time I checked, the games count just as much in the standings as they do against the Yankees.

PaleHoseGeorge
08-28-2003, 02:12 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
I'm not incredibly fond of the decision but I don't understand the big problem. I think people are placing way too much emphasis on the mental side of the game again. These guys are pro ball players they should be able to handle it.

Ahem, so why are you placing the onus on the ballplayers to deal with this problem? What did they ever do wrong, besides playing ball for Jerry Manuel?

Yours would be a valid point if this was an isolated incident. Of course the facts are this is just latest in a string of incidences that we know about. I'm sure there are more we don't know about, too.

:hurt
"He pulled my chain."

:jon
"He pulled my chain."

:tgordon:
"He pulled my chain."

:rwhite:
"He pulled my chain."

:burly
"He pulled my chain, but I'm too diplomatic to say much to the press."

LuvSox
08-28-2003, 02:24 PM
:burly

"I look good in red"

Hangar18
08-28-2003, 02:53 PM
Originally posted by kempsted


Notice Baker switched it around so Prior goes against St. Louis instead of Milwaukee.

Yes ...... and Oh how they tempt the baseball gods with this Move. They will incur the wrath on The Messiah and Moses for this move.....