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Time for This Manager to make some moves

Posted by Bill Koch on May 4, 2010

Terry Francona

This Manager is feeling the heat.

Consider his foolishness Tuesday night during a 5-1 win by the Boston Red Sox against Anaheim. Boston is walking a tightrope to keep its season alive – and we’re barely into May. This Manager isn’t helping things if you consider the following:

*  He’s burying his starting pitchers with high pitch counts already. Jon Lester threw 119 on Tuesday. John Lackey threw 120 on Friday. Lester continued in the eighth on Tuesday after giving up a pair of hits and walking Erick Aybar to load the bases with one out. The fact that This Manager didn’t make a pitching change at that point is basically a way of saying to his bullpen, ‘You guys are f***ing worthless. I’m NEVER going to any of you in a tight game ever again.’ That’s not exactly the best way to build confidence, and the fact that Jonathan Papelbon was summoned in a non-save situation in the ninth inning wasn’t much better.

*  Boston needed a pair of bad defensive plays to win, and both were extremely fortunate from a Red Sox perspective. The first came when This Manager’s Little Cribbage Buddy, Dustin Pedroia, had a brain cramp when he fielded Bobby Abreu’s hot grounder to second. Pedroia still hasn’t tagged Aybar yet to start the inning-ending double play – he sold the call and got lucky. The second play happened in the bottom of the eighth when Jeremy Hermida lofted a deep fly ball to left field. Juan Rivera proved yet again that he is one of the worst defensive outfielders in the Major Leagues when he overran the ball and it dropped at the base of the Green Monster for a three-run double. Take away those two plays and the game might still be going on.

*  This Manager’s unyielding devotion to players who have hit the rocks is about to be tested yet again, and this time his usual antics won’t work. David Ortiz is done, and the cheers that he heard for so many years as The Greatest Clutch Hitter in Red Sox History turned into boos when he finished his 0-for-4 abortion at the plate by grounding into a 4-2-3 double play with the bases loaded and nobody out in the eighth. Mike Lowell was ready and waiting to hit for Ortiz in the Boston dugout, and when he finally did get his chance while batting for Darnell MacDonald he smashed an RBI double to left-center to make it a four-run game. Time to stop treating this like Little League, This Manager, and make some hard decisions. Some egos have to be bruised if you want to win games without all of the best players on your team. You couldn’t do that during your four-year, sub-.500 stretch in Philadelphia before the Phillies’ fans booed you into oblivion. Show us that you’ve learned something and save Big Papi a seat next to you for the rest of the season.


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