Games » Cleveland IndiansMay13
This is my second attempt to write something about Trey Hillman’s firing. I canned the first, because I sounded like a loudmouth, know-it-all jerk. (Of course you could fairly ask when THAT started bothering me.) The problem with being given a platform like this is people begin treating you like an expert and, worse, you begin to believe that you are.
Earlier in the day, I did a television interview and was asked whether Trey should be fired. I’m not sure what I said in response. When you walk off those shows your first thought is, “Now what the hell did I just say?”
However I responded, it was incorrect, because the real answer is, “I don’t know.”
Once in a while I’ve been allowed into a team’s inner circle. When you hear managers, coaches and players talk freely; you learn how little you actually knew about what was going on behind the scenes.
So, I don’t know if Trey deserved to be fired, I don’t know if Ned Yost is the right guy, I don’t if the new lineup makes sense and I don’t know if they really ought to wear those powder-blue tops without wearing matching pants.
Then why read these game notes?
Because there are a few things I DO know. There are fundamentals of the game that don’t change whether it’s Little League or the American League Central. Pitchers need to throw strikes and work ahead, hitters need to be selective to be successful and everybody needs to hustle all the time.
And if the Royals don’t do that, it really doesn’t make any difference who’s managing.
###Some other stuff DID happen yesterday…
In the 5th, Betancourt led off with a double and Podsednik got a shot at some situational hitting. He swung at the first pitch, a fastball low and away (I believe I predicted that pitch yesterday) which he hit to short. Fortunately, Cabrera had to get the throw off in a hurry, so he didn’t look Betancourt back to second. Yuniesky was able to advance, grabbing points for heads-up base running for himself and advancing the runner for Podsednik.
Pena got points for hustling out from behind the plate and gunning down Sizemore on a bunt attempt and Callaspo got points for a long run (which he made longer by wandering around a bit first) and a catch of a tough pop up with his back to the infield.
When Zack adjusted his cap you may have noticed he was holding the ball in a funny way. It looked like his change-up grip. Pitchers will often start with their most difficult grip and then go to their easier ones in the glove. If they did it the other way around every time a pitcher started scuffling to grip the ball, the hitter would know something off-speed was coming.
(A guy down at work said he loved hearing stuff like this so he could sit at games and impress everyone with his acumen…or is that a seasoning?…anyway, I hope you guys are taking advantage of the chance to show off your knowledge. Hell, I’m making money at it.)
We keep some stats differently…
We only had so much room on this website so HBP and BB are lumped in together.
Also, this system doesn’t count intentional walks against a pitcher, that’s strategy not failure. Plus they’re ordered by the manager and they’re often issued by the next guy coming out of the pen.
When I suggested that the pitcher who caused the mess issue the walk, not the innocent reliever, Tim Bogar, Boston Red Sox third base coach, looked at me with a mixture of pity and sadness. Like he just realized one of his children was a bit slow.
He patiently explained that the new pitcher HAD to deliver the intentional base on balls to meet the requirement of facing one batter. If the pitcher leaving the game did it, the opposition manager could send anyone he chose to the plate and the new reliever would have to pitch to him.
I’m learning, Tim, I’m learning.