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View Full Version : Has Ozzie Managed Differently Than Last Year


soxtalker
09-18-2006, 08:08 AM
I was listening to WSCR this morning, and one of the guys mentioned that Ozzie was managing differently this year than last. Is this true, and, if so, how has he changed -- and why?

For example, I don't recall the resting of position players (maybe dictated by righty-lefty matchup considerations) to the same degree last year. That might be driven, in part, by a much better bench.

I don't mean for this to turn into a debate on whether Ozzie has managed well or poorly this season. There have already been several of those threads, and there will be a lot more.

PatK
09-18-2006, 08:18 AM
To me, it seems like he's playing the bench players a lot more than last year.

Sometimes it seems like he's putting pitchers in for the lefty ot righty matchup more than he has, but that could just be something I'm seeing more because the pen has been terrible this year IMO.

ChiSoxGirl
09-18-2006, 08:25 AM
I have two issues with regard to Ozzie's managing this season:

1. The obsession he seems to have with match-ups. I don't remember Podsednik sitting near as much as he has this season. Maybe his games on the bench this season are reflective of his slump, but there isn't anyone out there who can say that Pods didn't slump at all last season, yet there he was at the top of the lineup almost daily (excluding when he was on the DL).

And don't even get me started on his excessive use of the bullpen, which coincides with the match-ups obsession. I can't remember him changing pitchers three & four times an inning last season, regardless of who was at the plate or who was announced as a pinch-hitter. He managed with his gut in '05 and it paid off tremendously.

2. Seemingly viewing Anderson as a liability at the plate. This is the only reason I can come up with as to why we're seeing Mackowiak in center field at least a couple times a week. This may also tie-in with the match-ups obsession he seems to have, I don't know. It seems like Ozzie's forgetting what it was that won those 99 regular season games in 2005- pitching and DEFENSE! Anderson's defense far supersedes that of Mackowiak. For a guy who was finally showing signs of life at the plate, I really believe Anderson deserves a fair shot, which he clearly hasn't been getting from Ozzie, especially lately.

jenn2080
09-18-2006, 08:28 AM
I have two issues with regard to Ozzie's managing this season:

1. The obsession he seems to have with match-ups. I don't remember Podsednik sitting near as much as he has this season. Maybe his games on the bench this season are reflective of his slump, but there isn't anyone out there who can say that Pods didn't slump at all last season, yet there he was at the top of the lineup almost daily (excluding when he was on the DL).

And don't even get me started on his excessive use of the bullpen, which coincides with the match-ups obsession. I can't remember him changing pitchers three & four times an inning last season, regardless of who was at the plate or who was announced as a pinch-hitter. He managed with his gut in '05 and it paid off tremendously.

2. Seemingly viewing Anderson as a liability at the plate. This is the only reason I can come up with as to why we're seeing Mackowiak in center field at least a couple times a week. This may also tie-in with the match-ups obsession he seems to have, I don't know. It seems like Ozzie's forgetting what it was that won those 99 regular season games in 2005- pitching and DEFENSE! Anderson's defense far supersedes that of Mackowiak. For a guy who was finally showing signs of life at the plate, I really believe Anderson deserves a fair shot, which he clearly hasn't been getting from Ozzie, especially lately.


Well said Jen. It also seems our bench players have turned into more of our starters.

kevingrt
09-18-2006, 08:47 AM
I'm going to disagree with you two here. Ozzie I believe is not managing differently this year, it's just the players aren't getting the job done. Last year he loved matchups. How many times did we see Marte in the their versus lefties. How many times did Timo come in to PH versus righties. I mean this year is the same the team is just not getting the job done. Last year Ozzie made some crazy arse moves but they almost always seemed to work, this year they aren't.

southside rocks
09-18-2006, 09:17 AM
I'm going to disagree with you two here. Ozzie I believe is not managing differently this year, it's just the players aren't getting the job done. Last year he loved matchups. How many times did we see Marte in the their versus lefties. How many times did Timo come in to PH versus righties. I mean this year is the same the team is just not getting the job done. Last year Ozzie made some crazy arse moves but they almost always seemed to work, this year they aren't.

I agree.

It seems like Ozzie is managing differently this year but IMO that's only because the results are so different.

And the failure to play Ozzieball is directly related, I believe, to the lack of speed in the lineup. From #3 through #7 in the batting order, there is not only no speed, there are double plays waiting to happen. It's kind of hard to get a hit/run/steal/bunt inning going with that.

Add to that the fact that the bottom of the order is not particularly productive this year, and that Pods is having a terrible year, and Ozzieball isn't an option. :(:

Jerko
09-18-2006, 09:22 AM
I think he is managing differently than last year, but not being in first from the outset may have had something to do with that. I don't think the opening day lineup has started 30 games together, (it's close), and I don't remember using 6 or 7 pitchers in games that are blowouts and then having so many pitchers "unavailable" for the next game or 2. Granted, he's been "forced" to pull the starters much earlier this year than last, but the same mistakes happen over and over and over and yet they still get made (Mack in CF, Cotts against lefties that are batting .500 against him, Riske after Cotts, sitting 2 or 3 starters daily, which takes away the "rhythm" that Hawk so dearly says is on its way, etc.) I know we have a good bench, but for the defending World Series champs NOT to put their "A" team out there more than 25% of the time is inexcusable, especially since they've been injury free for the most part.

INSox56
09-18-2006, 09:28 AM
I think he is, and is not managing differently. With regards to the insane job with the bullpen, he did the same crap last year, but got away with it. With "playing favorites" he did the same thing last year as this year, but got away with it....last year Freddy would look like garbage, get out of an inning after a run or two, Ozzie would throw him out again to give up a few singles or a double and pull him for a reliever. Also his extreme use of Marte, who was really seeing a steady decline from a few years ago.

As for this year and managing differently, I think the only thing he's doing much more of is screwing with the bench guys. Mackowiak playing every other day OUT OF POSITION is ludicrous....Everyone quoted Ozzie early/before the season "If we have to rely on Brian Anderson's bat, we're REALLY in trouble".....THEN WHY ARE YOU TAKING HIM OUT CONSTANTLY FOR A "BETTER BAT"?? The other bench guys clearly don't have to be played nearly as much as they are, with exception to Gload. Don't get me started on the waste of talent we have there with him buried under Konerko or Thome...

PaulDrake
09-18-2006, 09:28 AM
I pretty much agree with the ladies here.

oeo
09-18-2006, 09:34 AM
One of the biggest things he does differently, is how he manages the bullpen.

For example, on Saturday, one of two things would have happened last year (both of which were better).
1. Keep Vazquez in.
2. If not, LET THORNTON GET THE LAST OUT.

Thornton has been the only good guy out of the bullpen of late, he would have gotten that final out in the 7th (I think). That was a stupid move to put in MacDougal, who just came back from shoulder stiffness. Not to mention he goes to scrubs like Logan, Hermanson, and Tracy afterwards.

Most of this disappointing season is due to underperforming...but lately, it's been Ozzie's need to micro-manage. If the starters go 7-8 innings and we're leading, then we should win the game. He needs to put the guy out there that can get the outs, and keep him in there. If he has so much confidence in Cotts or Logan to get a big out, then where the hell is his confidence in Thornton...who has been our most consistent guy out of the bullpen after Jenks.

That's the end of my rant. It just pisses me off when they throw games away like all weekend. They got swept, but it should have been the other way around.

jdm2662
09-18-2006, 09:37 AM
Ozzie was obsessed with match-ups last year as well. He also played his bench quite a bit. The difference of course is that they were way ahead in the division last season. They could afford to give their starters extra days off. This season, they've been chasing DET and now MIN all season.

Of course, it is not Ozzie's fault the starters haven't performed up to task. However, there are things he can control, and did a bad job.

My biggest beef with Ozzie this season is how he's handled Brian Anderson. If Mackoiwak was at least decent in center, it be ok. However, it's been proven time and time again Mackoiwak can't play the position. It made some sense before June when Anderson wasn't hitting. Now, Anderson has been hitting the ball very well, yet Ozzie still trots Mack out there. The final straw for me was on Friday. We all saw what happened. Ozzie just flat out doesn't like Anderson for some reason, and his ego and "lessons" to the young man has hurt the team. Ozzie's big mouth and ego won't last long if the team doesn't make the playoffs.

harwar
09-18-2006, 09:40 AM
Ozzie wants,so bad,to be like a national league manager that he tends to over-manage.
The fact that everything that he did last year went right and everything that he does this year goes wrong doesn't help.
One thing that i wish that he would have done is leave Anderson alone and put Mack in left field and put Pods ass on the bench and leave it there.
Also,the fact that Thome insisted on playing hurt most of the year tied his hands some.
I mean Big Jim is one tough SOB but someone needed to step in and put him on the 60 day because its painful to watch him swing and has been for quite some time.

southside rocks
09-18-2006, 09:47 AM
One thing that i wish that he would have done is leave Anderson alone and put Mack in left field and put Pods ass on the bench and leave it there.


Unfortunately, that's not a move that any MLB manager would make, benching a starting player whose salary is a few million dollars, for more than a game or so. One, the team is then essentially paying the player to do nothing (which will not be okay with the GM of any club, or the field manager either); and two, if the club wants to trade that player, they've got to trot him out there and get him some playing time.

So while it may be nice to think of Pods just vanishing from the field/team, it isn't even a remote possibility.

Chicken Dinner
09-18-2006, 10:08 AM
It's very hard for a team to get consistant when the team is micro-managed and rarely the same lineup is in the game. I would also like to know how righties are supposed to learn how to hit righties and lefties/lefties when the whole lineup is based on matchups.

It's easy to manage a team when they're winning but a good manager is one that can stop the losing. Ozzie, obviously doesn't have the skills to do that.

TomBradley72
09-18-2006, 10:35 AM
He's managing differently in three ways:

Less emphasis on defense as the foundation of his philosophy (ie. Mac in CF vs. Anderson)
Less emphasis on "grinder ball"
Less accountability for his players...less of "throw under the bus" philospophy...which had his players playing with a certain "edge".

stl_sox_fan
09-18-2006, 10:48 AM
It's very hard for a team to get consistant when the team is micro-managed and rarely the same lineup is in the game. I would also like to know how righties are supposed to learn how to hit righties and lefties/lefties when the whole lineup is based on matchups.

It's easy to manage a team when they're winning but a good manager is one that can stop the losing. Ozzie, obviously doesn't have the skills to do that.

My sentiments exactly. You can't expect to get better when your fanny is sitting on the bench watching how to hit.
Another reason for this season (IMHO) "Can anyone tell me what exactly our starting lineup is"? Other teams have a "regular" lineup switching out subs now and then. Not with the Sox. This team hasn't had a stable/consistent lineup since back in May/June.
Playing people out of position. Yeah Mack has a nice average, but the dude cannot play CF. Examine this sentence "Man, Dye is hitting the cover off the ball, but why does Ozzie keep playing him at Shortstop."

Until they are "done", they are "not done"!

BainesHOF
09-18-2006, 10:55 AM
Sometime in the offseason Ozzie morphed into Manuel. He's become incredibly passive and his baseball sense has gone haywire.

Chicken Dinner
09-18-2006, 10:59 AM
Last year:

No "A Mi Manera" ("My Way")

No Chevy commercials

No fight with Jay Mariotti with subsequent suspension and sensitivity training.

No dugout player bashings (Sean Tracy, Jon Garland).

batmanZoSo
09-18-2006, 11:18 AM
Ozzie has had to manage differently all year, for a few reasons.

1. He's had an unproductive leadoff hitter virtually all year. This is something he didn't have to worry about last. He also had a number 9 hitter who was an automatic out for three months and really didn't have another option, save for Mackowiak, whose very presence in the lineup gets him called an idiot.

2. His pitching staff's ERA is a full run higher than the previous year. Uh, yeah, that's going to make you manage differently 112% of the time. And this affects both his offensive and defensive management.

He's made his share of mistakes, but so has everyone. KW did by not building a good enough bullpen and by evidently misevaluating Vazquez. But most importantly, the team simply hasn't done the job.

duke of dorwood
09-18-2006, 11:23 AM
He has used the bench differently-because its a better bench.

He didnt use it correctly.

RockyMtnSoxFan
09-18-2006, 11:39 AM
I think one of the biggest differences seems to be in attitude. When he first came to the Sox as manager, Ozzie was all about "playing the game right" and having fun. He seems to be working really hard to present the image of World Series Champion this year, rather than keeping the focus on the things that got him there. Last year, I do not think he would have let the team get away with the horrible bunting and situational play that they display this year. He would have had a conniption and required bunting practice every day until they got better. This year, he's always worried about protecting somebody, whether it's a player or himself. He says all the wrong things to the media, thinking that is the way to present a tough, winning image.

Ultimately, however, I think the Sox managed to catch lightning in a bottle last year. Yes, they had a lot of talent, but everything went their way when it needed to. I think Ozzie and Cooper, and especially Kenny, got more credit for winning last year than they deserved.

Flight #24
09-18-2006, 11:51 AM
I'll take it a small step further. Ozzie's managing differently than he did in the early part of the season. Early on, he seemed to be more willing to do things like he did last year with bunt attempts (albiet often failed ones), leaving starters in longer, and a focus on D over O if necessary (witness his early comments on BA).

Now, whether that changed because after his various verbal fiascos at midseason he's in CYA mode or because he's overreacted to the problems from the first half, there's no denying that there's been a lot less attempts at ozzieball, a tendency to pull pitchers early (and relievers too) rather than giving them chances to work longer if they're dealing well, and the inexplicable Centerfield for Bribes fiasco.

I can only hope that Ozzie learns from this so that next year we're back to the Sox we knew and loved so well last year that executed. I certainly don't think this team needs significant changes, a couple of tweaks would put the Sox back on a high-90s win pace and a likely playoff berth.

kobo
09-18-2006, 12:15 PM
Ozzie was obsessed with match-ups last year as well. He also played his bench quite a bit. The difference of course is that they were way ahead in the division last season. They could afford to give their starters extra days off. This season, they've been chasing DET and now MIN all season.

Of course, it is not Ozzie's fault the starters haven't performed up to task. However, there are things he can control, and did a bad job.

My biggest beef with Ozzie this season is how he's handled Brian Anderson. If Mackoiwak was at least decent in center, it be ok. However, it's been proven time and time again Mackoiwak can't play the position. It made some sense before June when Anderson wasn't hitting. Now, Anderson has been hitting the ball very well, yet Ozzie still trots Mack out there. The final straw for me was on Friday. We all saw what happened. Ozzie just flat out doesn't like Anderson for some reason, and his ego and "lessons" to the young man has hurt the team. Ozzie's big mouth and ego won't last long if the team doesn't make the playoffs.
I agree. Since we have been chasing 2 teams now for the majority of the second half of the season, Ozzie has managed like the Sox are leading and not chasing. To continue putting Mack in CF even after Mack came out and said he can't play the position is mind boggling. Why is he doing this in the middle of a pennant race? The Sox do not have the luxury of sitting back and dropping a game here or there, they have needed to win games over the last month and a half and they have not done so.

The bullpen was overused for the first 4 months because of the inconsistency of the starting pitching. Now that the SP has started to come around, the bullpen is weak, and can't get the job done. I know the bullpen was a weak link to begin the season, but KW did make moves to strengthen the pen and the pen should be solid, but overuse has done them in. And the costant game of playing matchups has hurt more than helped this year. Ozzie did the same thing last year, but the team was able to overcome the moves he made.

Another thing I don't like is that last year Ozzie didn't seem to be afraid to make a move if he knew it was going to be good for the team. This year, he seems to be pretty set on playing who he wants when he wants instead of looking at the bigger picture. It would be nice to see the same lineup play the majority of these last 13 games, but I know it won't happen.

Lip Man 1
09-18-2006, 12:27 PM
Ozzie is managing differently this year and it's from a combination of things.

He knew early on this club was going to have 'motivational' issues which is why he called that meeting the first week of spring training games. He also has been quoted four times as saying how bad the fundamentals are and the fact that he can't play the game the way he wants to because he knows his guys can't execute what he wants.

That changes the aggressiveness factor that he had in 2005.

This does not however excuse his fetish with 'match-ups' where he tries to become Tony LaRussa junior or his waffling over them. It was just pointed out over the weekend in one of the stories how in this case Ozzie went with his 'gut' and it blew up in his face.

Either go with your gut Ozzie or go with the match-up's...one or the other but you can't have both!

Also keep in mind, this is still a learning experience for Ozzie. He's only been managing for three seasons now. I expect he gets better as he gets older.

We'll see.

Lip

Sox-o-matic
09-18-2006, 01:07 PM
Ozzie has been managing his bullpen the same way he managed last year's bullpen. The problem is last year we have several guys who could get the job done and now we have only three.

I don't like how he's handled Brian Anderson this year as I think he should have played a lot more than he has, struggles or no struggles. Besides that, I don't have any problems with the way he has managed the starting lineup.

Ozzie has put his bench in more than most managers do by far, but I think that has only helped this team. He has done everything he can to make sure his starting lineup will be ready for the playoffs and his GM has given him a terrific bench to fill in. I'm sure the team will be rested enough to play in October, and when they are sitting at home in October instead of taking the field it will be of no fault of Ozzie because the players themselves are the ones who didn't do enough to get there.

SOXandILLINI
09-18-2006, 02:19 PM
I think he is, and is not managing differently. With regards to the insane job with the bullpen, he did the same crap last year, but got away with it. With "playing favorites" he did the same thing last year as this year, but got away with it....last year Freddy would look like garbage, get out of an inning after a run or two, Ozzie would throw him out again to give up a few singles or a double and pull him for a reliever. Also his extreme use of Marte, who was really seeing a steady decline from a few years ago.

As for this year and managing differently, I think the only thing he's doing much more of is screwing with the bench guys. Mackowiak playing every other day OUT OF POSITION is ludicrous....Everyone quoted Ozzie early/before the season "If we have to rely on Brian Anderson's bat, we're REALLY in trouble".....THEN WHY ARE YOU TAKING HIM OUT CONSTANTLY FOR A "BETTER BAT"?? The other bench guys clearly don't have to be played nearly as much as they are, with exception to Gload. Don't get me started on the waste of talent we have there with him buried under Konerko or Thome...
this is a very insightful post... ozzie got pulled out of the fire last year by the players. i have said it before, and i will say it again, we were a team of destiny last year, everything just seemed to go our way. and it doesn't take a genius to win when it's just your year. now this team is the best team in baseball on paper, and the results speak for themselves. the players have to share greatly in the blame, but our manager is a bottom tier manager. i just hope there is enough beer for ozzie to help him thru the offseason.

BeviBall!
09-18-2006, 04:27 PM
Part of the reason the Sox are failing is because Ozzie is doing the exact same managing this year. The rest of the league adjusted.

His faith in the pitching staff has bitten him badly throughout the course of the season. The players aren't responding this year and I think the glare of the ring is a big part of it. The 2005 pen was light years better than this assortment.

Playing all the bench guys works well when you have a 15 game lead, not when you're trailing all season.

Match-ups, match-ups, match-ups. This was here last year and will be here next year.