Unless resting his back ?, completely ridiculous. On-going irritaion that Maddon refuses to play one of his best available bats....at this point Keppinger and Joyce need to play everyday possible! Too many dud bats play every single game and are never taken out for a pinch hitter while Joyce is held out consistently and pinch hit for by the likes of Conrads etc......
If their offense was lighting it up then who it to question, but it is NOT and so Maddon's teacher's pet style of managing is so frustrating!
I believe that baseball managers mean less to the teams overall success than any sport. After all there are really no "plays" like football , basketball etc. It is a team sport but its played on a one on one (pitcher vs catcher) basis. Most decisions are a toss up and the outcome can usually be luck or un-luck. I believe a special teams coach in football has more influence in a game than a baseball mgr.
That being said, when Joe Maddon does not use his best players or when he does things so baseball logic backward, he effects his team in a negative way and causes more losses that any amount of wins he could possibly create. In all my years of baseball, I have never criticized any manager- disagree every so often, but it was always a coin-toss situation and i would not be a monday morning quarterback. But it was never on an everyday basis. Joe Maddons decision making is NOT based on wisdom, experience or logic. HE wants his signature on these wins and he knows that the only way to do this is if he continues to do the unconventional. His decisions are purely based on EGO- he puts himself above the team and this is a very bad manager. The great pitching has carried this man.
I certainly believe your comment ... "HE wants his signature on these wins and he knows that the only way to do this is if he continues to do the unconventional. His decisions are purely based on EGO- he puts himself above the team and this is a very bad manager." ... is absolutely true.
BUT ... I think it applies to a lot of baseball managers and coaches in every sport, amateur and pro, as well as to those in a lot of other supposed leadership positions, e.g., politicians, etc.
I do believe this team might have won a handful more games than it has had some of the managerial decisions been different ... and probably a little more "conventional".
"BUT ... I think it applies to a lot of baseball managers and coaches in every sport, amateur and pro, as well as to those in a lot of other supposed leadership positions, e.g., politicians, etc."
...absolutely agree, but not to the extent Maddon carries it and not to the degree where it cost a team wins.
Well ... you know ... it's like any other addiction ... and even when it goes way too far ... the addict typically refuses to admit he/she has a problem ... so ... it's pretty routine that the problem gets carried too far ... and that it often costs the addict and those around him/her a lot.
I can't point to certain games or situations ... but ... I believe that had Maddon sought to establish some stability in his line-ups and batting orders over the past three months ... instead of engaging in his scatter-gun-throw-darts-heads-or-tails-eeny-meeny miney-moe method of managing ... this team may well have won, who knows, four-five-six more games than it has. (?)
Beyond that, he's kept too many non-producers in the batter's box for far too long, e.g., Molina, Conrad, Pena, Scott, Roberts, Rodriguez ... and too many of the others have also been underachieving at the same time without consequence. To me, he hasn't seemed to be doing anything significant or productive to change-up that situation over the past three months. (?)
Yes, an addiction of attention. He craves this AND GETS it too. I guess after all those years when he was a bus riding minor league player and manager. Then in the bigs when nobody knew who he was for all those years- I guess he's making up for it now.
And I agree completely with you on the lack of hitting on this team which is of course NOT his fault. His fault among others, like bad game management , is when he plays favorites LIKE J P last year, and not others LIKE Joyce this year- he then, of course, loses games for them.
When they lost 5 of six in April, then like 6 of 7 in May- I did not post anything negative. I think Casey even had a "What no fire Joe" discussion and NOBODY posted a word!!!...I did not feel that any of those losses were his fault. But now, I also agree with your estimation of four-five- or six games which he loses because he is the manager of the rays. (Last year TOO!!!)
I have to admit ... in spite of all the rationalizations and attempted justifications ... Maddon keeping howell on the ML roster last season ... and using him over-and-over again when the guy was a walking disaster-zone ... was inexplicable ... and unconscionable. At some point there ... I felt Howell should have taken himself out of the mix!
The rationalizations and justifications for how Joyce is being handled now sound hollow to me. The guy is hitting .270 overall ... .233 against lefties (73 ABs) and .285 against righties (186 ABs) ... BUT ... there are a whole bunch of guys on the team who aren't hitting .233 AGAINST ANYBODY! Plus ... Joyce's average against lefties is up considerably over last season.
The other side of the coin is that when Joyce is out ... Zobrist goes to right and Rodriguez comes in to play second ... and Joyce's replacement is actually Rodriguez ... and Rodriguez is hitting .206 overall ... .216 against lefties (88 ABs) and .202 against righties (183 ABs) ... considerably worse than Joyce no matter how you slice it and dice it! Rodriguez is 17 points below Joyce hitting against lefties ... and 83 points below Joyce hitting against righties. Of course, Joyce bats left and Rodriguez right ... but ... in terms of the end results ... Joyce is better every which way!
So ... replacing left-handed-hitting Joyce against lefties with right-handed-hitting Rodriguez really doesn't make any sense.
Of course, lately, the reason being given for sitting Joyce has been that Joyce has a back problem and Maddon is "being careful" with him. I suppose that could be true ... but ... still ... the whole thing just doesn't seem to pass the smell test with me. (?)
The reality is that Joyce is hitting just .233 against lefthanders ... but HALF OR MORE of the current position players are HITTING BELOW .233 ... REGARDLESS of which side they hit from and regardless of which hand the pitcher is throwing with!
So ... I dunno'.
I do believe Maddon has contributed to some losses with his incessant mad-hatter line-ups and batting orders ... but ... in his behalf ... he's probably also won some games specifically as the result of his often near-genuis handling of the bullpen (unless, of course, Hickey and Borowski are responsible for that ... which I wouldn't know).
I think some other managers might have handled the last three months differently ... some better and some worse ... but I do believe some developing stability in the positions played and in the batting order over the period would likely have been more beneficial than the muscial chairs routine. (?)