baseball gods productions

Thoughts about baseball, from the perspective of sports psychology and the role of sports in society. It includes team and player analysis, predictions, and what I think needs to be changed in Major League Baseball. Brought to you from the heart of baseball, Brooklyn, by baseball gods productions.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Creativity vs. the usual moves

While watching this year's bizarre and refreshing post-season, it occurred to me that it may not matter whether managers get creative or stay with the status quo. It all comes back to the real determiners of post-season results: the baseball gods. Why fight it?

On the other hand, if I were managing, here are some things I might have tried, just for kicks:


Everyone talked about the choice of Wakefield or Beckett in game 4, and how it would affect the rest of the rotation. Only two options were mentioned, but there was a third, which I might have tried:

Game 4: Beckett
Game 5: Wakefield
Game 6: Schilling
Game 7: Beckett

This gets Matsuzaka out before he commits ritual suicide, and gets an extra start for the best post-season pitcher in the world, Josh Beckett. This occurred to me before the announcers mentioned that Beckett's back may have prevented him from coming back on three days rest, but my point is that a little creativity can go a long way, and it's rarely displayed these days.

I also would have started Jacoby Ellsbury in RF, and batting leadoff, moving Pedroia down to the bottom of the order. From what I've been reading on the Internet, I'm not alone with this idea, as most of Boston seems to want some variation of this switch to be made.

The way they are expressing their disdain for J. D. Drew, however, is pissing me off. It's the old "gratuitous insults to women" issue all over again. I used to keep a file with all the quotes from players, fans, and media comparing poor performances by major leaguers with women.

The recent Drew examples include calling him "Nancy Drew," and saying clever things like "he hits like my kid sister," etc. As a female athlete, I am sick of this. Reality check: J. D. Drew hits better than 99.999% of people on earth, including the idiots who call him Nancy Drew.

And there are plenty of women, such as Jenny Finch, and everyone else on the women's US Olympic softball team, that hit a lot better than those same idiots. It's time to give it a rest, and be more creative with your insults.


Game 4: Not only would I have pitched Micah Owings, as they did, but I would have batted him leadoff. I actually think that Owings is the best hitter and slugger on Arizona, period. His slugging average was .615, better than virtually every hitter in the NL this year. Batting him first is like giving him an extra at bat, which is certainly a good thing given their lack of offense. I wish they would make him a first baseman, by the way, and use him as a relief pitcher once in a while. He's not going to be a star as a starter, but I'd sure like to see him bat four times every day. I still miss Brooks Kieschnick, the last pitcher/hitter in MLB.

What I'm trying to say here, is that creativity is good, even when the baseball gods are being their usual inscrutable and devilish selves.

© Judy Kamilhor 2007


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