August 19, 2004

Dale Sveum -- He's Actually Getting Worse. Three days after third base coach Dale Sveum waved Kevin Youkilis home and into a collision that left the rookie with a severe bone bruise in his right ankle, Sveum sent Bill Mueller on what could quite possibly be called his worst decision of the season. The Red Sox have had eight runners nailed at home in their last 16 games.

It was the bottom of the 8th and Boston led 6-2. Mueller was on second with 2 outs. With the Fenway crowd standing and chanting his name, newcomer Earl Snyder drove the ball through the infield for a single. Toronto LF Gabe Gross charged the ball and was in his throwing motion as Mueller rounded the bag. NESN was using its camera high above the plate, so it was easy to see the play develop.

With Sveum windmilling his arm, Mueller was about half way to the plate when Gross's throw skipped once on the infield grass. Catcher Kevin Cash got the ball and actually had to wait for Mueller to come sliding in. ... Boston held on to win the game 6-4.

Sveum claims he would not have sent Mueller if there were fewer than two outs or if the Red Sox were leading by fewer than four runs. He said he wanted to test Gross's arm and "I wanted to get the kid [Snyder] an RBI in Boston." It's a nice thought -- Synder has been a Red Sox fan since childhood -- but how could Sveum risk another injury to a key player -- who, by the way, had knee surgery earlier this year?

It's mind-boggling that the Red Sox continue to tolerate this idiot at third base. Isn't having a competent coach at third more important than not dumping one of Francona's buddies? With Theo Epstein making the following comments to Mike Lupica:
We do not have the right as a team to pat ourselves on the back for small victories. There's no time for that. We have put ourselves into the position where we have to out-grind the teams we're fighting for the wild card. ... We still might only win the wild card by a game or two. That's how little margin for error we left ourselves by being the kind of dysfunctional team we were for those three months. ... Listen, this season has tested us, no question. We're trying to survive the injuries we've had, and all the highly questionable baseball we played, all the terrible defense we played and the terrible time we had somehow turning our offensive stats into runs, and victories."
there is NO rationale for having a liability like Sveum in the organization.

Let me repeat: Eight Red Sox runners have been thrown out at home in the last 16 games. Like the situation with last year's manager, it is no longer a question of "if" Sveum will hurt this team in its playoff drive, but "when" and how many games it will be. He must be replaced immediately.

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