Alan Trammel used to manage the Detroit Tigers. Trammel, also a short stop who played in the 80s, committed one of the greatest baseball sins I can imagine. With an (admittedly lousy) American League team filled with (admittedly lousy) power hitters, he had players bunt more frequently than any other team in baseball, AMERICAN LEAGUE OR NATIONAL LEAGUE. One of my biggest worries is that Dale will step in and go all old school on us, laying down bunts, moving runners from station to station, and doing all of the other crap that costs you valuable outs. However, even if he goes in for old school garbage, I think he'll still be an improvement. Why?
I've certainly not been a Ned defender, and have advocated for his departure many times, however, I've also maintained that things could most certainly be worse. While Ned was terrible, most Major League managers are terrible, however Ned committed 3 of the worst sins of a manager:
a. He played the wrong players at the wrong times.
b. He managed his bullpen poorly.
c. He was tactically incompetent.
Getting the right players on the field is the most important thing a manager can do. Starting Bill Hall against right-handed pitching was inexcusable. Starting Jason Kendall all the time was inexcusable. When Russell Branyan still had an attached oblique muscle, benching him because Hall "was hot" was inexcusable. Going back to Gagne over and over again (especially after the Turnbow experience) was inexcusable. Going back to Turnbow for like 12 blown saves a few years ago was inexcusable. His use of Francisco Cordero last year was inexcusable. Leaving Brian Shouse in to face righties was inexcusable. Not pinch-hitting for Jason Kendall late in games was inexcusable.
All of these errors share a common theme; Ned Yost would frequently not let his best players play in favorable situations. Tactics in baseball are probably overrated. (Tactics meaning bunting, stealing, etc.) Players ultimately determine whether you win or lose, and therefore, the most damaging managers are the ones who keep their good players off of the field. Sveum will probably be cognizant of these problems with Mark Attanasio looking over his shoulder. He'd better.
Ned was loyal to a fault. The captain is supposed to go down with the ship. On this ship, they had the good sense to throw him overboard before they hit the iceberg. Here's hoping it was in time.
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