Friday, July 4, 2008

Ozzie doesn't manage: Sox - Oakland Game 2

I’m going to try to hold off my complaints as long as possible. Let’s start by saying that I’m glad the guys aren’t stuck wearing those uniforms every day. Some of them (Swish, especially) are looking like lumberjacks out there.

Some things I never thought I’d say: “I miss Konerko,” “Why is Buehrle Still up on the mound?” and, “Where’s Alexei?” Yup, all those things have been going on in my mind today. It was the seventh when I started thinking that I wanted to throw an Ozzie-sized tantrum. Why weren’t changes being made? Uribe (who was too slow out there today) was still in, Wise hadn’t been dropped for Brian Anderson, and the pitching was spotty from beginning to end.
The game was completely strange from beginning to end. The first batter up gets walked by Buehrle (And this weak moment was representative of his performance during the rest of the game), the home plate umpire is making some odd calls, the fourth run scored by the A’s was by someone that did not even touch the plate, A.J. had an atypical strikeout his first time out, and I couldn’t even count on the uniforms to look the same.

Well, I won’t give you the play-by-play. At the end of the day, the disappointing fact remains that the Sox lost 1-7, and are now only 1 game ahead of the Twins. Something needed to change when every pitcher gave up a run, when no hitter (Other than, perhaps, Jim Thome) was consistent (not even workhorse Cabera), and when the other team was consistently scoring points.

I can tell you exactly where Ozzie’s decision making skills went! Ozzie’s been putting his energy into figuring out who to send back to Charlotte, and instead of bringing in help, he’s been leaving Uribe and Wise out to the end to fight to the death on the field. This is the reason why Wise has been playing two days in a row: Ozzie wants to see what he can do. And the truth is that the boy’s batting average is OBVIOUSLY going to be high if he’s been up at bat as few times as he has been. He’s at a point in the season where one hit can lift his average by .050 every time. Ozzie trusted him so much after his home run yesterday, that he had Uribe throw away his at-bat for him.

Another breakthrough I had today: I figured out what Joe Crede is doing wrong. Well… not always. But, especially after seeing the path the ball leaving his bat had, I realized his problem: the man’s struggling with aim. He hits them far and hard, but right down the middle, where the distance to the edge of the diamond is the longest. A few times, he was two feet away from the fence- a problem that wouldn’t have been there had he aimed left or right.

Well… I’m upset. And I called it: the offense has been slipping again. Maybe it’s time for another break for Carlos Quentin (and look at that: you’d get B.A. and Wise in a side-by-side comparison!), time to bring Wasserman back for awhile, and for Ozzie to get aggressive again.
Tomorrow, Gavin Floyd is pitching, hoping to win in the last home game before the All-Star break.

No comments: