March 27, 2008

Why Is Gerry Callahan Pining For The Gerbil?

It appears that the Herald -- and Gerry Callahan in particular -- is pining for Don Zimmer circa 1978, as it/he takes Terry Francona to task for playing Coco Crisp over Jacoby Ellsbury in the second of the season.
... Game 2, Tito? So soon? Ellsbury, the SI cover boy, starts Opening Day, gets one hit, makes one great catch, helps win a game and then takes a seat so Crisp can play the second game of the season? Is that the plan, to just let Coco and Jacoby take turns?

Someone has to explain this one.
Okay, Gerry, listen very carefully.

(1) The Red Sox are playing halfway across the world.

(2) In a normal season, we'd still have a week remaining in spring training.

(3) Ellsbury banged his back against the center field wall in Game 1 and would soon be flying 10 hours to LA.

(4) Bench players need playing time to avoid getting rusty.

(5) It's only the second #@&*^%#-ing game of the season. Second!

Does any of that make sense to you? Or do you really truly that Tito should run his starting nine out there every single day regardless of the team's schedule, the need for days off, assorted injuries, whatever?

There are plenty of people who follow the Red Sox who remember when we had a manager that followed that dubious philosophy. I was under the assumption that you were one of them.

30 comments:

Jack Marshall said...

You are correct, sir!

Don Zimmer is the All-Time poster-boy for running a great team into the ground by ignoring capable subs (along with Leo Durocher in 1969). It's a double whammy---the regulars get worn down, and the subs stink when they finally get to play. Without this idiotic approach by its manager, the "Curse" would have been ended in 1977 before it was even dreamed up.
I'm not always enamored of Tito's in-game managing, but THIS is something he does as well as anybody. It made perfect sense to play Coco yesterday. And he didn't exactly embarrass himself, either.

redsock said...

I have to say that when I was typing this up, I knew that if he was reading soon after it was posted, Jack would be the first commenter!

phrenile said...

Wait a second, the Red Sox are taking the rest of the week off? Couldn't they play triple-headers everyday and finish the season in the middle of May? What are they waiting for?

Someone has to explain this one.

redsock said...

Couldn't they play triple-headers everyday and finish the season in the middle of May?

Damn -- mid-May -- imagine how rested our rotation would be for the playoffs!!!!

GET IT DONE, THEO!

Jack Marshall said...

And I knew you knew!
Nobody off the field lived and died with the '77 and '78 Sox more than me (I risked my job by walking out of a command staff meeting so I wouldn't miss the '78 play-off game), and 2004 didn't heal all the wounds. I believe I have a sacred duty to Pudge, Looie, Spaceman, Butch, Dewie, Rooster, Soup, Freddy,Remdog, Jimbo,Steamer, Eck, Boomer, and all the other players screwed by that asshole's fascist, homophobic, macho-bullshit brain-dead approach to managing a baseball team to never let that cretinous fuck's name be uttered or printed without reminding "Sox Nation" come-latelies of the damage he did to the club, careers, and us.

Jere said...

I was pissed Jacoby wasn't batting leadoff in game one but even I was fine with (and even suggested beforehand) going Jacoby one day and Crisp the other in Japan, considering those reasons you give above.

And I thought I was rough on Tito's "Rest Sox" style...

And Zimmer did rest guys, provided their name was Bill Lee.

Luna said...

Can somebody get that "we're only two games into the season" memo over to the people who are trying to impeach Jason Varitek?

Zenslinger said...

This is especially absurd given the unqualified success of how Francona managed the players' workloads last year. Especially the pitching staff, but -- the same freakin' principles apply.

redsock said...

Can somebody get that "we're only two games into the season" memo over to the people who are trying to impeach Jason Varitek?

Trust me, I received that memo.

But I also think Tek has been in a slump since mid-2005. So it's really close to 300 games.

And Zimmer did rest guys, provided their name was Bill Lee.

Ouch.

Jack Marshall said...

Nobody wants the Captain impeached. But his days of batting 4-7 should be over, over, over. I'd bat him 9th. He could bunt Julio over to third.

s1c said...

Actually, I think Callahan was really going for the "Coco is the centerfielder" talk that Tito and Theo have been saying. Callahan also got in his shot at ON FIRE also in this column.

Jack Marshall said...

Re: Resting Lee. Dan S., in naming the top 5 Sox managerial blunders, inexplicably picks this as Zimmer's worst. Yeah, using Bobby Sprowl instead of Lee was stupid, but Lee was pitching lousy at the time, and the problem in that Boston Massacre wasn't just the pitching. And it was only one game. Much worse was Zimmer getting rid of the team's best pinch-hitter and 4th outfielder, Bernie Carbo, mid-season because, essentially, Zimmer hated his guts (Bernie is gay); or continuing to play Butch Hobson at 3rd after his elbow had unravelled, allowing him to lose several games with horrendous throws. Never mind---I've said too much already...

L-girl said...

screwed by that asshole's fascist, homophobic, macho-bullshit brain-dead approach to managing a baseball team to never let that cretinous fuck's name be uttered or printed without reminding "Sox Nation" come-latelies of the damage he did to the club, careers, and us.

Outstanding. Jack Marshall at his best.

redsock said...

Carbo's gay? Or did Gerbil think he was?

the "Curse" would have been ended in 1977 before it was even dreamed up.

About 10 years before. And about 13 years before CHB spewed his fact-starved "history".

redsock said...

Outstanding. Jack Marshall at his best.

I'm not even sure Lee himself could top it.

phrenile said...

If Carbo's gay, someone forgot to tell Google.

Zenslinger said...

screwed by that asshole's fascist, homophobic, macho-bullshit brain-dead approach to managing a baseball team to never let that cretinous fuck's name be uttered or printed without reminding "Sox Nation" come-latelies of the damage he did to the club, careers, and us.

Holieeeee shit. You go, Jack.

redsock said...

Hate can be a wonderful thing.

Jack Marshall said...

Thank you, thank you. I owe it all to The Gerbil. He is the wind beneath my wings of hate. Seriously, you're too kind.

Jack Marshall said...

I'm not trying to out Bernie, who remains one of my all-time favorite Sox.I was in the 3rd baseline boxes, near home plate, when he hit his pinch-hit 3-run, game-tying homer in Game 6, and watching the centerfield fans rise as one, arms up, roaring, as his majestic smash headed toward them may be my biggest thrill at a baseball game. A Cincinnatti exec had just turned to me and said, "Well, I gotta hand it to your team, they lasted longer than I expected." Did I ever razz that bastard after Bernie connected!!

But I presumed Bernie's orientation was generally known, though only alluded to in the most gentle fashion in various books and memoirs. Clearly Zimmer thought he was, which as Redsock rightly suggests, is all that matters. Let's say Bernie was very unusual for a player of the time, keeping stuffed animals in his locker and working as a poodle-clipper in the off-season, among other things. He wore #1, knew how to draw walks, and made Manny look like Darren Lewis in the field. I'll always love you, Bernie!

L-girl said...

I am eagerly awaiting the first openly gay professional male athlete on a team sport - while his career is active, not after he's retired. It will be an enormous barrier crossed. It's something Allan and I have talked about a lot. We need some huge super-macho megastar to come out.

In any case, I'm having trouble decoding, Jack. So it was generally known that Carbo was gay? Or this is an assumption many people have...?

phrenile said...

Hey, I'd love that too. And hopefully the baseball wives' clubs would be accepting enough to accept a baseball husband when it does.

I can't approve of drawing inferences from stuffed animals and poodle-clipping, though. And you know that if he were closeted back then (or even today), he'd be hiding it as much as possible, not telegraphing it via his locker. Sounds like he's just a goofball, which is orthogonal to sexuality.

Jack Marshall said...

I-Girl---well, that's a good question. I roomed in law school with the son of the owner of the Reds, who said that this was well known in the club, the clubhouse, and among many fans (he also said that it was well-known that JOHNNY BENCH was gay!). In Boston, the same conclusion began to sink in as more became known about Carbo, and all the buzz about Zimmer's obsession about getting rid of him (How could a funny, smart, popular guy who hit dingers, had a high OBA and had a knack for big pinch-hits be a "poison in the clubhouse"?) built the same assumption, along with hearsay. So I guess the answer is that Carbo being gay explains a lot, and fits the Holmesian standard of being the most likely explanation for all the data we have, but we just don't know, and if someone did other than Bernie, they've never gone public with it.

If my room mate is correct, Bench would have been the perfect player to come out publically, don't you think? THAT would have caused a sensation.

Jack Marshall said...

Bernie was clearly a goof-ball, and I didn't intend to imply that stuffed animals and un-jockish occupations mean anything at all. I mentioned those as among Bernie's most endearing eccenticities that did dovetail with other stories, alleged anecdotes and supposed eye-witness accounts circulating at the time. And there is no question in my mind that a guy like Zimmer would regard Carbo's fastidious appearance, lucky stuffed gorilla and poodle business as proof positive.

At the time, many (including me) thought that a human rights issue figured into Bill Lee's protest "strike" against the Sox after they suddenly sold Carbo. He never seemed to be direct about why this particular player move warranted a career-damaging (and season and team damaging) boycott by its #3 pitcher. There could be other explanations, of course. Knowing Lee's world view, I think that he was protesting against invidious discrimination. One more reason he's one of my all-time Sox heroes, though I think it was an unwise tactic.

L-girl said...

I can't approve of drawing inferences from stuffed animals and poodle-clipping, though.

I thought the same thing, then I thought, it's Jack, he's not homophobic, he probably didn't mean it that way.

L-girl said...

There are so many current players who are reputed to be gay or bisexual - your gay friends can always rattle off their names. Yet... nothing.

I understand why, and I don't blame anyone for just wanting to live their lives and play their careers without becoming the centre of a media and fan hurricane.

But I sure wish someone would come along with the moral courage - and risk-taking compulsion, they go together - to go for it.

I think we'll see more and more players coming out after retirement, and that might help for the future.

phrenile said...

I didn't mean to impute any homophobia there -- as someone who isn't entirely heterosexual, I like to play guessing games like that myself. :)

Another thought: the cause and effect could be backwards. The Gerbil may have been labeling folks he didn't like gay, instead of not liking folks who were gay.

L-girl said...

Another thought: the cause and effect could be backwards. The Gerbil may have been labeling folks he didn't like gay, instead of not liking folks who were gay.

Oh, good point!

Jack Marshall said...

Well, I wouldn't put it past him.

Daron Savoy said...

Bernie Carbo is a friend of mine. He is a minister and is married. He is the not gay. Bernie fought many demons as a player including drugs and alcohol which he freely admits. He could have been so much more of a baseball player but he is now sharing his story with others both baseball players and citizens alike on what living in Christ has done for him and what redemption can do for you.