Art.....Of course its a 'dig' at Joe and his left coast managing style. Under Gene Mauch (Who never did anything for the Angels), Joe learned how to carry on his legacy here to Tampa Bay, where the Rays can be tough but can't cross the finish line.
But Joe's 'mix and match' throws a couple of hurdles in there, so there goes the continuity.
But what kind of "continuity" can you have if one of your main guys is hitting .290 against right-handed pitching and .200 against left-handed pitching? If you really want continuity on offense ... you probably have to have a players with maybe only a 15 or 20 point differential. (???)
Plus ... this past season ... the DL demolished any chance at "continuity". Under the circumstances, I felt Maddon maybe should have been a little more focused on establishing some sense of "stability" ... but ... between the DL and the clearly lousy play by the position players ... offensive and defensive ... very, VERY tough to do! H*ll ... for much of the season ... there were only one or two guys regularly hitting above .250 ... and as many as half-a-dozen down between .190 and .225!
And ... it's also pretty clear that most of the other small-market teams with the newer generation of managers and coaches are going down Maddon's route, too.
nrg, that not the continuity I'm talkin about. I'm referring to the location of each player to a prescribed position that they become familiar and comfortable with. The BA of each player can be dealt with by the coaching staff, providing they are up to the task, not a Shelton type either.
How many years has it taken Zobrist to adjust accordingly to Joe's way? At least 3,4 possibly 5 and each year is his biggest guessing game. He asks himself what, where and when to do it and it has nothing to do with injuries. Ya notice each year his batting average goes down during the season. For an average athlete......too much to deal with. Zobrist by no means is no average athlete but all the changes still affect him. He's that good, he can handle it. He's like a test subject in an experiment though, how long can he continue on?
I think its a mistake to go down Joe's road but its a personal opinion. I'll always go by the 'Old School'!
I understand ... and I tend to agree that as willing as Zobrist seems to be to bounce around from one position to another ... in the end ... I believe it will have a negative effect on his playing overall ... and I genuinely believe it has continuously and negatively affected his hitting. But ... given the big picture ... he's still won more games for the Rays single-handedly over the last few years than anyother player. I don't go fot it ... but ... on some level ... it's been working. (?)
I'm also "old school" in almost everything ... but there's NO way that "old school" managing works in the majors today. Probably not even in high school or college. Kids are F-A-R too different ... as are the effects of money and even the law!