August 5, 2004

Fire Sveum Now. Dale Sveum is a goddamn moron. He has been a miserable failure as a third base coach. Although he has only three bases to keep track of, he has admitted forgetting about the number of runners and what bases they occupied. He has sent slow-as-shit runners into obvious outs at the plate and then, facing criticism for that, held fast runners when they could have scored all-but-certain runs.

And last night, he waved the Red Sox right out of a possible victory by having Dave Roberts try to score from second on a single to medium center field in the top of the 9th. Boston trailed 5-4 and had no outs. Rocco Baldelli was in perfect position to field the ball and rifle a text-book, one-hop throw to home. Roberts was out by at least 5 feet. So instead of having 1st-and-3rd with 0 outs and Mueller-Kapler-Damon coming up, the Red Sox had a man on second and one out (and whatever momentum-killing vibes the out at the plate created). Idiot.

If this was the first blemish on an otherwise spotless coaching record, I might be inclined to give Sveum the benefit of the doubt. I'd assume he was overcome by the thought of having the speedy Roberts on the basepaths and wanted to get a quick game-tying run. But this is merely the latest in an ever-growing list of stupid decisions. And worst of all, he appears unable to learn from his mistakes. Plain and simple: Dale Sveum should be fired.

Naturally, Sveum is convinced he made the right decision. "It was a situation with that kind of speed on the bases and they've got their closer in the game, a guy who can strike people out. Baldelli hasn't made a whole lot of great throws all year, but he pulled one off tonight. He made a great play. To be honest with you, if we did it tomorrow night, I'd do the same thing again. ... It's first and third if I hold him, then you look at (a possible) popup and a double play and you lose your chance with that kind of speed on the bases. I'm pretty much sending him on anything to that part of the field."

Where to begin with this garbage? First of all, Baldelli leads all American League CF with 6 assists (he led all CFs in MLB with 15 last season); he's got a great arm. Second, he threw out Millar at third the night before. Third, if there was 1st-and-3rd with 0 outs and the batter hits into a double play, the tying run could score. ... Tito, who was similarly brain-dead in the 7th and seems to believe he's stuck with a 3-man bullpen, backed up his buddy: "You don't want to see a guy thrown out at home very often with nobody out ... but we have one of the fastest guys in the league [Roberts] and I can live with that. Dale's been aggressive and he will be aggressive and I'll back him when he is aggressive."

FYI: "Aggressive" does not mean "foolhardy".

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