Friday, September 24, 2010

Rock Solid Recrap: How Not To Manage A Must Win Game

This was awful. The way Jim Tracy handled the game tonight was embarrassing and bordering on asinine. You can't label a game a must win (which it was) and then turn around and manage like it's April 27th.

Why the hell are you saving Betancourt and Street and Belisle and Reynolds?

For what?

For when?

For who?

This was a game you absolutely had to have, and here are the arms our genius manager used.

  • Franklin Morales 
  • Esmil Rogers (he actually made sense in his role, but was left out there to die. No excuse for that.) 
  • Manny Delcarmen 
  • Joe Beimel 
  • Octavio Dotel

Either that's a manager saying I don't believe my offense has what it takes to turn this game around, or he's just clueless. Either freaking way, he didn't give his team the very best chance to win a must win game tonight.

Inexcusable. Unconscionable. Downright hideous managing.

Because guess what? His team had fight in them tonight. His team battled their asses off to turn an 8-2 game into one run, one swing from taking the lead game. Not just one swing, but on two separate occasions they were mere feet or inches from taking the lead.

Yeah, I know Jeff Francis didn't give the team as much as they needed. Yeah Rogers didn't pitch well. The entire team obviously needed to play better tonight, the entire series, and at various points throughout the season, but if Tracy had just used the best arms he had available to keep the game from snowballing in the 6th-8th innings, the results could have been so much different.

He failed at his job. Miserably. No excuse.

He failed his players. He failed the organization. He failed the city of Denver and the state of Colorado. And above all he failed the diehard Rockies fans.

His legacy in Colorado will not be all the "Tracy is My Homeboy" nonsense that followed 2009. He was merely along for that ride just like the rest of us were.

His legacy now is how he unsuccessfully managed arguably the most talented roster in the NL (for sure the division) into a longshot playoff hopeful.  A no doubt 95 win caliber team is very unlikely to even reach 90.

This tweet by Joe Sheehan last night will be forever remembered by me because it tells the story so well.
@joe_sheehan There's an alternate universe in which Jim Tracy retired before the season, the Rockies hired [anyone else] and went 98-64. #rockies

Of course now they will sweep the Giants and the Padres will manage to lose two of three over the weekend to make the final week interesting again. But even then it won't matter because as much heart as this Rockies team has -- and they DO have heart -- they don't have a brain in the dugout.

If they only had a brain.


David Martin said...

Well said...its awful. Must win and Franklin Morales is even a thought???? Sorry...I think Clint Hurdle is a better far.

PoseidonsFist said...

I think you are being unfairly critical of Tracy, here. The biggest complaint I have of Tracy is riding is big guns into the ground. We have seen it with Ubaldo, with Olivo, with Belisle.

Let's face it - every September game has been MUST WIN. But Belisle, Betancourt and Street can't pitch every game. A four man bullpen can't work and will kill those arms for next season. You pick your spots. And when you're down big mid-game, you use your Delcarmens and Dotels. Rogers has been fantastic in the pen this year. He just screwed the pooch.

Mark Townsend said...

Unfairly critical? This is a game he himself termed must-win. If he's comfortable running those guys into the ground in May and June, why not go to your best in a MUST WIN.

He couldn't afford to use Betancourt in the 8th on the outside chance his offense could score 3-4 in the 9th? Neither he nor Street had pitched since Sunday, so what exactly is he saving them for?

Losing that game 10-9 knowing our best wasn't used leaves with me with a sick feeling. If you're comfortable with it, well, I'm happy for you. You're more tolerant of bad managing than I am.

PoseidonsFist said...

I'm not convinced it was bad managing. They were undone by Rogers. They are 3 days into 10 games in 10 days, and with Hammel's arm soreness, they couldn't afford to go deep with the bullpen. Rogers just failed.

He got two outs before he allowed a single run, so it would be hard to yank him early. Belisle was unavailable after 32pitches the night before. Not a single manager would have used their closer.

I'll give you that Betancourt ought to have pitched. He hasn't since Sunday. But even then, they trailed 9-6 at that point, and that's a very atypical juncture to bring in your setup man.

I hear your argument about Tracy calling it a must-win game, but he's said that before most every game, and killing our most important pen arms before the Giants series is a far worse offense. I'm not saying it was great managing, but it's far more on Rogers, Delcarmen, Beimel and Dotel not executing.