- Most of us have realized it's poor form to want to fire the manager. It's just scapegoating.
Re-reading Joe Posnanski's blog post from a month ago where he fantasized about being a baseball owner has helped melt away the rage. Poz imagined firing the manager in the middle of the game, but in the tone of, "I would be a total idiot to do this."
Contriving to lose to the worst team in the American League when your bullpen didn't give up a hit from the seventh inning on and the team failed to score in a tenth inning that had an error, two walks and wild pitches, yep, that is the stuff of a firing offence -- in Fantasyland.
That being said, a couple acquaintances (real people, not the unnamed "friends" always cited in Leah McLaren's columns) have wondered why none of the Toronto baseball writers have called for John Gibbons' head. Some of Homer Simpson's financial decisions ("Extended warranty? How can I lose?") have made more sense than Gibby's brainstorm to use John McDonald as the designated bunter, but what else would you expect from a guy who admires Bush?
Down 2-1 in the seventh inning, runners at first and second with none out, and the lefty-swinging team leader in home runs, Matt Stairs, gets pulled after the Mariners bring in lefty Arthur Rhodes to face Stairs (thank you, Ian) McGlovin can drop down a sacrifice bunt. Stairs can't hit lefties, and Miguel Batista career platoon splits explain why the Mariners yanked him, but it still seemed like a give-up play, like when a football team calls a screen pass on third and forever.
It beggars metaphors to describe it -- there's no good analogy. You're in an epic struggle to score runs, so you pull a good hitter and give up one of your remaining nine outs instead? This is the kind of logic that leads people to go payday loan companies.
Also, even if it had led to the Jays taking the lead, McDonald was lost as a defensive replacement at shortstop. unless they wanted to put the pitcher in the batting order.
That move didn't cost them the game. The Baseball Gods were creative, though, about punishing the Jays. Thanks to McGlovin's sac bunt, the tying run was able to score from third when Mariners shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt threw high and wide of first base on Vernon Wells' two-out grounder. So the game goes to extra innings, and the Mariners score without benefit of a hit, then the Jays come up empty after loading the bases with none out. That was inspired.
Anyways, here's everyone's baseball-owner fantasy brought to life through the magic of beer advertising:
- Mike Wilner didn't criticize the pinch-bunt in his post-game blogtastic voyage, but did point out that a suicide squeeze might have been called for when the Jays had the tying run on third with none out in the 10th.
- Society makes all of us into dollar-store psychologists sometimes, when we should probably just drink a glass of shut-the-hell-up. Erik Bedard's dealings with the media, though, seem weird. He said thanks but no thanks to the Toronto writers who wanted to interview the Mariners' Canadian left-hander. It might a trust issue. Thing is, Bedard's $7 million US salary isn't just for the mechanics of his job; a lot of that is due to the media and fan culture that's built up around baseball.
The Seattle Times (much obliged to the urban chemist for the link-up) reported that the Jays have "cooled" to the notion of picking up Bedard. There could be a link between Bedard's reticence with the media and the Jays being paranoid about P.R., but the real reasons are never that obvious. It probably has to do more with what's to come when the Rogers bean-counters shut off the spigot after this season.
- The Jays face Cincinnati (Joey Votto), Pittsburgh (Jason Bay) and the Chicago Cubs (Ryan Dempster) in interleague play, so the Toronto writers will have plenty of Canadian ballplayers to interview.
That's all for now. Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.