Friday, April 27, 2007

Worst fears relized

This is exactly the kind of game I worried about when I saw my team had signed Pierre. In a close game, his efforts would make the difference between winning and losing -- and my team would come up with the fuzzy end of the lollipop.

Between the 0-for-5, the missed squeeze in the 2nd, and the bobbled play for the go-ahead Giant runs in the 8th, the only thing that could have made this game worse for Pierre is if he'd been caught stealing in the 1st... and he might have been if the Jints' throw had been better. He got a little lucky there. Unfortunately, luck had a way of evening out in this one.

1. Fielder's choice, #72. Would steal second and score.
2. Missed squeeze sign; Ethier out at home (addendum #1). Flied to left. #73.
3. Grounded to pitcher. #74.
4. K, swinging. #75.
5. Popped to center. #76.

I am also awarding Ethier's out in the 2nd to Pierre -- it goes in the addendum. Ethier was paying attention. Pierre was not. It was infuriating.


jimbilly4 said...

Not that I wasn't disgusted with Pierre, but I think it muddies the waters to award that blown Squeeze out to Pierre. That addendum is really supposed to cover running errors, trying to extend a hit ot another base, nailed on a throw to home, etc.

Those errors are often the fault of the coaches, not the runner. But you would still award them to Pierre and it seems to me this one should go to Eithier. It was a coaching decision to try the squeeze play. This is inherently risky, including the possibility that one of the ball players would miss the sign. They gambled and lost and Eithier paid the price and should get the out (but officially no one will, oddly enough).

Why would you squeeze in that situation at all, I don't know. Squeezes are for close and late games against killer strike out pitchers. You are saying the odds of pop out/strike out are so high that it is worth the gamble to "squeeze" in a run. 1 out, 3-0, Russ Ortiz does not seem to qualify.

By the way, whose job was it to make sure that both players had gotten the squeeze sign? That is right: 3rd base coach Rich Donnelly. I think I might start the Rich Donnelly Out Watch. I think he already has 3 or 4 I can assign to him already...

Humma Kavula said...

If you started the Rich Donnelly OutWatch, I would comment every day and twice on Sunday.

Look, 3rd base coach is a tough job. When you do your job right, nobody notices. When you do it wrong, you get nicknames that mock you and people calling for your head. Exhibit A: "Wavin' Wendell" Kim.

That said, Rich Donnelly is driving me nuts. Two outs at home on the same play in a playoff game? That's grounds for dismissal.

* * *

I knew that my decision to award Ethier's out to Pierre would be controversial amonst my readership of, I believe, three. Four if you count that guy who is stalking joeyp. Love ya, joeyp stalker guy.

But -- my shared hatred for Donnelly aside -- I do not necessarily agree that the muffed squeeze play was entirely his fault. Pierre bears responsibility, maybe even more than Donnelly does. He wasn't paying any attention at all and hung his teammate out to dry.

I am so angry with this guy. I never liked him as a ballplayer and I enjoyed ribbing my Cubs-fan co-worker last year over his play. But now, he's my least favorite, taking over that coveted spot from Julio Lugo.

Look, I've generally refrained from counting the runs that have scored due to his poor glove. Fielding is so difficult to judge... but he's been a disaster out there. Surely the count is in the high single digits already. But no -- I'll keep that out of this.

Just give me this screwed-up squeeze. Muddy Waters? Sure, but you've got to take the bitter with the sweet, as some famous blues artist whose name is on the brain once said.

Or, to put it another way:

If I were the president, I'd say, "My blog, my rules! You don't like it, you can get your Juan Pierre hatred elsewhere!"

jimbilly4 said...

You are the Decider.

I totally agree it is majority Pierre's fault, I am just saying that if I were to "fix" the Outs statistic so that outs for each player added up to outs for team, I would try and remove as much subjectivity from it as possible. The runner was out and it was not a force out. The runner gets the out. Sometimes it is bad luck, sometimes it is bad coaching, sometimes it is a teammate screwing up. That is just the way the cookie crumbles.

In the meantime I expect you to award Donnelly the Medal of Freedom.