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This blog is the work of an educated civilian, not of an expert in the fields discussed.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Baseball Chat

I addressed local sports action last Sunday. A few more words. Monday was a throwaway game for the NY Yanks. A minors call-up had to fill in for Kevin Brown and he was not up to snuff. The Yanks almost still one, since Tampa Bay has a habit of blowing leads of three or more. The score was 5-0 in the eighth, but once the starter was removed, it was 5-4 in a hurry. Tampa Bay hung on all the same, continuing their winning record against the Yanks.

The Mets had a horrible road trip. They did get rid of Dejean, the guy who blew their chance of winning on Sunday, and has not played well all year. The team has a worst record than they did this time last year, though the proof in the pudding will be the Summer -- last year, they went into freefall, which they CANNOT do this time. The local paper suggested a couple key problems: taking too long to put people on the disabled list and lack of adequate hitting.

I'd add a third: some questionable managerial moves. Randolph's decision to save Heilman for today (with an off day on Monday!) instead of leaving him in to try to salvage the series (ending things on the right note) was ridiculous. Also, when Mike Piazza was thrown out of the game last Sunday for comments from the dugout (off camera), Randolph himself might have got himself thrown out of the game.

Yes, Piazza was wrong for risking removal, and thus hurting his team. But, he had a real gripe, one the usually sedate television announcers pointed out (they too felt the First Inning ejection unjust). After a late night extra inning win the night before (it was somewhat surprising he was even starting the game), he also might have been a bit emotionally tired. I respected his emotion and encouraging such passion is a good thing. Yes, not quite this sort of thing all the time, but sometimes you have to make exceptions.

Randolph said that he is guided by his former manager, Billy Martin. Martin was a "win today" sort of manager as well as surely as passionate one to boot. Randolph is learning the managerial ropes, so I will give him somewhat of a pass, but Summer is a sort of dividing line of the season: time to buckle down. After being four games above .500, they are now three games below. This cannot stand. Time to shape up a bit and make sure we do not have another forgettable summer. A bit more care and some more emotion will help.