October 5, 2016

Our Manager (Thank God He's Not Buck Showalter)

John Farrell may not be perfect, but he's no Buck Showalter.

Which means the Red Sox have a chance to win some games in this postseason.

If there is anything more unbelievable than Showalter refusing to use Zach Britton - who has been mentioned as a serious MVP and Cy Young candidate - even as the Orioles' season went swirling down the toilet, it's that Showalter wasn't fired before Edwin Encarnacion finished his home run trot. Because Showalter's inaction re Britton should have led to an immediate dismissal and a strong suggestion that he find his own way back to Baltimore to clean out his office.

Britton finished the 2016 season with the lowest ERA in the history of baseball for a minimum of 50 IP pitched (0.54). Yet Showalter left him in the pen wondering what the hell was going on while opting for Ubaldo Jimenez (5.44 ERA).

Britton allowed one earned run in 57 innings (0.16) after April. Jimenez allowed three earned runs while throwing only five pitches: ball, called strike, single, single, home run. (After the second single, Showalter actually made a mound visit - and decided to stay with Jimenez!)

Okay. This just adds to the amazingness. On July 31, Showalter had Britton pitch the ninth and tenth innings in a 2-2 game at Toronto that Baltimore ended up winning 6-2 in 12 innings. (And Showalter had used Britton for more than one inning six times during the year.) So that move makes good sense in a mid-season game, but not in the exact same situation - 2-2 tie in extras in Toronto - when it's a do-or-die playoff game?

The media's Cult of Showalter's Genius has been a mystery to me for many years. (Maybe it's because he once worked as a commentator for ESPN.) But that line of positive thinking about Showalter's abilities has been forever decimated.

And I didn't want to mention his name but Joe Sheehan did, in this tweet: "Grady Little clicks off the TV, walks over to his bar, and reaches for the unopened bottle on the top shelf. 'Finally,' he sighs. 'Finally.'"

1 comment:

allan said...

Britton called that July 31 game in Toronto his proudest moment of the year.