Double-Switching BY Dummies

GAME 20 REVIEW
MARLINS 7 CUBS 5 W: Ricky Nolasco (1-0) L: Scott Williamson (2-1) SV: Joe Borowski (3) Recap | Box Score | Play-by-play | Game Chart| Photos
Top of the 8th, bases loaded, one out, Baker calls for Howry and double-switches with the guy who made the last out, Jacque Jones(pretty good defender) with John Mabry(not so good defender). The next hitter hits a flyball toward the right foul line which Mabry appeared to lose in the sun (not wearing any sunglasses) and the ball drops in for a double, 2 runs score and another run scores on the ensuing sac fly. Howry then does NOT come out for the ninth inning, which you would think would be the point of the double-switch, since you could have just pinch-hit Mabry for Howry if Howry wasn't going to pitch the ninth. In betwen, the Cubs score 2 runs in the bottom of the eight (thanks to Fish-Killer Matt Murton's 2 out, 2 RBI single) that would have given them the lead. This is how manager's can lose games for teams. Should Mabry have caught the ball? Absolutely. Should Williamson not have loaded the bases? You bet. Was there any reason to double switch at that point? Not a single one; at least not a good one. A stinging loss as the rest of the NL Central wins (again), sans Houston who plays the Dodgers tonight (and Pittsburgh but they don't really count). Angel Guzman looked the part of his first major league start. Occasionally wild, often filthy, squeezed a bit by the umpire, but good enough to last 5 innings with only 3 runs against. 2 of those runs off a Josh Willingham homer that was hit off a curveball well below the zone that Willingham just lifted into left field and the wind helped out a bit. A solid, if not spectacular debut by Guzman. Personally, I thought it looked a little better than Marshall's debut although the level of competition paled in comparision. No way to go into an off-day, thanks Dusty!!!
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Comments

Anyone else have trouble waking up on days when the Cubs don't play?

In Dusty We Trusty, indeed.

has anyone heard what dusty had to say for himself re: the double switch? clearly, the writers have to have asked him about his idiocy?

WTF is up with Double-Switch Dusty?

Tough loss but at least they won the series.

The Cubs PR department has a very short memory by putting this out:

This is the first time the Cubs have had two pitchers make their big-league debut in the same season since 2002, when Mark Prior (May 22 vs. Pittsburgh) and Steve Smyth (Aug. 6 vs. San Francisco) did so.

Weren't Hill and Koronka rookies who made their big league debut in the same season in 2005?

facts are stupid, they get in the way of the truth. :)

has anyone heard what dusty had to say for himself re: the double switch? clearly, the writers have to have asked him about his idiocy?

"Dude, you can't decide who's going to play when..."

or as someone put it in the parachat: (paraphrasing)

...guess Dusty had to see Mabry fail in right field with his own eyes

What happened to my post game post from yesterday's game (posted like 11:00 PM CST)? Did a thread get deleted? Or was just my post taken off for some reason?

Anyways, a tough game today, Guzman looked great at times and like a true rookie at times. We took the series, which is the important part, but of course that sweep would of been even nicer.

Offday tomorrow and hopefully Barrett will be back and start another winning streak.

Go Cubs!!!

you just have to expect that $4M/year should get you more than this type of mental midgetry...

Oh yeah, JJ wasn't good AT ALL in RF today. He dove for Cabrera's ball in the 1st inning and missed it by 10 feet, leading to a triple isntead of a double. Then he almost ran into Pierre later in the game and the ball got by them.

I don't know Manny, I definitely didn't delete anything. My apologies if something got lost, gremlins being fed after midnight on the Internet....

all true, still better than Mabry in right though.

Rob G.:
"I don't know Manny, I definitely didn't delete anything. My apologies if something got lost, gremlins being fed after midnight on the Internet...."

Actually it was the pregame thread from yesterdays game with the lineups, because I remember in the previous thread before that Bleeding Blue was crying about the lineup and then realized he had the wrong lineup and he posted it in the first couple posts that he realized he was wrong. I don't see that post anymore either, so the whole thread must of been deleted. Oh well....

found the problem manny, the post should be back up. It was me, I accidentally switched it to draft mode instead of publish mode so it disappeared.

not a big deal Rob...thanks!!

Delmon Young about to get suspended for a lot of games...

http://www.all-baseball.com/firebrand/archive...

Anyways, a tough game today, Guzman looked great at times and like a true rookie at times.

Yep, and that's the way he's looked all year. Hope it's not his shoulder.

Rob G.,

Wow. That's just crazy. I imagine Young will be suspended for at least 10 games, since Carl Everett was suspended for head-butting an ump in 2000. I'm guessing the suspension ends up being closer to 20.

Rich Hill had 10 K's through 6 IP yesterday, with 2 walks before rain stopped action. His line so far in Iowa:

1-0, 1.44 ERA, 25 IP, 7 BB, 33 K, 1 HR (good sign)

JK Ryu so far:

0-2, 4.91 ERA, 22 IP, 10 BB, 18 K, 3 HR

u guys forget about when dusty lests guzman bat, then replaces him with novoa the next inning?

why let em bat?

Dusty?

Hello?

Hey, get back here!

considering they have a lot less tolerance for stuff in the minors, I'm guessing 20 games minimum for young, probably 25.

in other minor leage notes:
Ryan Harvey: .219/.275/.469 20 K, 5 BB, 64 AB's, 5 HR
Jake Fox: .381/.438/.667 4 HR, 13 RBI, 63 AB's
Sean Gallagher: 2-0, 1.50 ERA, 24 IP, 5 BB, 23 K, 1 HR
Grant Johnson, 2-1, 3.00 ERA, 18 IP, 6 BB, 10 K, 1 HR
Donald Veal 1-2, 3.43 ERA, 21 IP, 11 BB, 21 K, 2 HR
Eric Patterson 278/333/456 7 BB, 20 K 10/13 SB's, 2 HR
Adam Greenberg 175/266/211 6 BB, 19 K *cough*Moonlight Graham*cough*

Lofton-
It was in the 5th inning, and with Barrett out and mabry the back up catcher today, I am sure Dusty did not want to waste a PH that early. He could of used MAddux or Z or Rusch, but no need to get them up on a cold day for one AB.

My guess is that Dusty would say his bench was short for today's game and he wanted to conserve it as much as possible?

Of course this was a long game with alot of moves and Bynum and Restovich were never used.

So I'm guessing its just Dusty being Dusty.

Tough loss today. I can't fault Dusty for the double switch as I believe Jaques isn't is good enough to hold Mabry's fecal matter. What can you do with Howry? It would have been a waste to have another pitcher come in for a throw away game (which I can only assume Dusty saw this game as since his boy Neifi wasn't in there, and his failure to get a new pitcher in indicated). I think he's seeing the next series with Milwaukee as one we need to sweep, although with the off-day tomorrow.....all of it makes no sense.

Dusty- get a clue, or go somewhere else.

hadn't quite read the description of what happened with delmon young. I kind of though he maybe just sort of pushed the bat with 2 hands into the umps chest, out of disgust, but that's not the case. He apparently was a good 10-12 feet away and threw the bat (pinwheeled according to "Sox on Deck") at the ump, basically using the bat as a projectile weapon.

Yeah, 25 games would be the minimum, I'd say.

Rob G.,

Yeah, i originally thought he tossed the bat at the ump ala Andre Dawson, where he just tossed it in his general direction... However, it seems he actually got the ump in the "midsection" and i'd say 25 games may be light.

not too thrilled about the lack of pinch-hitting, shallow bench or not. You can't just give up outs if you have options. How does Dusty know he'll need those guys later? The answer is...he doesn't and in the end they just wasted on the bench. I'd rather run out of pinch-hitters late in the game then have them rot on the bench.

If there were 2 outs, I could MAYBE see the point. The chances of a rally are pretty slim, but with one out, it's just a wasted AB for very little reason.

"He dove for Cabrera's ball in the 1st inning and missed it by 10 feet, leading to a triple isntead of a double."
--
Jock actually tripped and to save himself from looking even more foolish, made a dive to look like he intended to go down on the play. He wasn't diving because he actually thought he'd catch it.

In Dusty We Trusty, huh Manny, please defend that idiot one more time please.

I do trust Dusty though. I trust him to botch every possible situation where he actually has to think...................Dude

Delmon Young, real stand up individual.

Vince, didn't hear you say anything about yesterdays managing??

But you might want to get use to it as with this start and LEE, PRIOR, and WOOD out, Dusty should be in line for an extenstion, since Hendry got one.

are you being serious bjs?

W: Ricky Nolasco (1-0)
L: Scott Williamson (2-1)
SV: Joe Borowski (3)

In the alternate history world today, the Cubs beat the Reds.

Yea Rob... didn't you watch the game?
He stumbled and looked like he was about to fall on his face, so I assume he went ahead and dove to keep from getting the business from the fans for tripping.

I saw the play, didn't notice the stumble though and I hadn't heard anyone else mention it. Can't say I was paying close attention to the play as I was talking to someone at that moment, just noticed what looked like an awkward dive. It would make sense, as it seemed rather silly that he would have dove for that ball. I assume someone Tivo'ed it or saw a replay to confirm, not that it really matters.

The near collision though was definitely his fault, I recall seeing Pierre waving him off.

But you might want to get use to it as with this start and LEE, PRIOR, and WOOD out, Dusty should be in line for an extenstion, since Hendry got one.

Total non sequitur argument.

I thought Dusty did pretty good yesterday, and on the whole, has been much much better than last year. But today's double switch was just inexcusable. Do you disagree, Manny Trillo?

I think even worse than the double-switch, which was admittedly dumb, was the decision to bring in Howry with the bases loaded and 1 out. Howry's an extreme flyball pitcher who relies on his fastball, and what the Cubs needed was a groundball for a double play. Howry's GB/FB rate this year is 0.29 (5/18), even a fly out was going to drive in the go ahead run.

Not that the other bullpen options are groundballers other than Dempster, who pitched the last 2 days and was in the dugout during the game. Eyre is .64, Aardsma .50, and OhMan .11

Will Carroll was on WGN tonight reporting that the Delmon Young thing wasn't as bad as originally reported. According to Carroll, apparently it was a frustrated flip of the bat up in the air in the ump's general direction as he walked away, and it happened to clip the umpire. Not good, but not evil.

Carroll clams his source was Tom House. Ha, kidding. He said his source was a guy who covers the minors for BP.

Manny,

Not that anyone really noticed, but I don't post on here hardly at all anymore, I am extremely busy and don't have time to check here regularly and post. I am willing to give Dusty credit when he makes a good move. You on the other hand, refuse to acknowledge his mistakes and that he is a complete idiot when it comes to managing.

BTW, I am used to it. I have been used to that moron mis-managing this club for 3+ years, and I am fairly confident (and sad) we will see him for a few more years. But what is your point? I should just except he is an idiot? How does him getting a contract extension help you explain his idiocy.

Boy, Giradi would look good sitting in the other dugout.

Nate,

You honestly expect Dusty to comprehend things like GB/FB ratios and what they actually mean. Howry hadn't really failed yet, so I'm Dusty was just trying to find the right situation so he could fail right in front of Dusty's eyes, so he would know not to bring him in that situation again.

Andrew:
"But today's double switch was just inexcusable. Do you disagree, Manny Trillo?"

Yes I do, as it wasn't a big deal to me at all. But if you want to find something to try and pin the loss on Dusty, then I am sure you will find soemthing. As I said earlier, Jones was very bad in RF today.

This isn't the first time Young's been in trouble for making contact with an ump. Last year he was suspended for a chest bump.

If it were me, I'd drop a 40-game suspension on him and send a message.

Before I replied earlier, I checked my recording of the game to make sure I wasn't imagining things when I saw it the first time. He definitely stumbled. He was running hard and in his place I would've dove too, even if I was 30 feet away from the ball.

MannyTrillo,

This isn't about pinning this specific loss on Dusty, it's about the fact that he doesn't give them the best chance to win. There is no excuse for unnecessarily decreasing the aptitude of the defense. None at all. If Helms hit a homer onto Waveland, Dusty's still a huge idiot for sticking Mabry in right. But as fate would have it, the ball went right to the guy who would most effectively demonstrate Dusty's inability to manage a baseball team.

Vince, I expect Dusty to use his eyes. Even without checking GB/FB, I could tell from watching games this year that Howry isn't the kind of pitcher that you can create a lot of double plays from.

Don't get me wrong, I really like Howry. It just wasn't the right situation for him - he should come in at the beginning of the inning or when the bases are clear - not when there's a man on first, or god forbid, third.

"Yes I do, as it wasn't a big deal to me at all."
----

Of course it wasn't a big deal to you. I assume the hideous double switches in St. Louis weren't a big deal to you either.
The "late-inning defensive replacement" only works when you bring in a better fielder.

And to chime in on Jones, both he and Mabry looked extremely foolish diving for the balls in the corner that dropped a good 5-10 past where they landed. If you can't catch it, at least run it out so you can grab it as soon after the ball lands as possible.

Yes I do, as it wasn't a big deal to me at all.

How? Didn't Rob's delineation of it in the original thread show that it indeed was a big deal? The double switch was essentially useless!

But if you want to find something to try and pin the loss on Dusty, then I am sure you will find soemthing.

Manny, I don't want to find something to pin the loss on Dusty, as I'd prefer there'd be no losses. As I said, I think he did a great job last night and a pretty good job thus far this sseason. Today was bad though. I'll call 'em like I see him.

As I said earlier, Jones was very bad in RF today.

He may have been bad on that one play. I don't know, I didn't see it. Still, even if he had sucked the whole game, I'll take the glove of 30-year-old, good defender Jacque Jones over 35-year-old, pinch hitter and bad defender John Mabry any day of the week. One bad play does not a stupid move justify.

Mabry is a defensive downgrade from Jones by a large margin. Mabry runs around like he has lead in his shoes and on his best day looks lost in the OF.

Lets see....1 out, bases loaded, I guess it is time to bring in a worse defended at one of the positions for no reason at all on a double switch.

This is a Dusty hall-mark of managing. How many times did we see Macias or Hairston coming in for Patterson or Burnitz on defense? Does Dusty not understand when you bring in defensive subs that it needs to be an upgrade not a down grade? Because if you are taking away from your defense you are making your team weaker.

Dusty has been doing this dumb stuff long before he was a Cubs manager and people wonder why I thought him becoming the Cubs manager 3 years ago was the worst possible move this organization could of made. Go figure huh?

Andrew:
"One bad play does not a stupid move justify."

Jones had two horrible plays.

Manny,

Jones had two horrible plays.

Really, what was the other one? I only saw the game on TV from the 8th inning on.

Still, I don't care if Jones made 5 bad plays. Unless he's injured, he's more likely to make a good play on any given ball than is Mabry, by the very fact that he is undeniably a better defender.

Also, Manny, I still haven't heard you give a good justification of why the double switch wasn't a bad idea in the first place.

Andrew:
"Really, what was the other one?"

Try reading the entire thread...

"Also, Manny, I still haven't heard you give a good justification of why the double switch wasn't a bad idea in the first place."

First of all, for the THOUSANDTH time, I don't agree with EVERy moce Dusty makes and just because I like him as our manager, i don't have to justify EVERY moce you or other Dusty haters question.
I wouldn't of done the double switch, so you need to ask Dusty that question. I would suggest trying to get a press cred to ask him. See, I don't agree with EVERY move Dusty makes like many on here claim. But that play had nothing to do with the Cubs losing that game. The ball was 10 feet from the RF line and JJ had made two bad plays already out there (one very similar to the Mabry play), and I am pretty sure JJ wasn't going to get that ball either. But yeah it would of been nice to see him try for it and then BOOOOOOOOOO him when he didn't...:)

Rob G.: Should Williamson not have loaded the bases? You bet. Was there any reason to double switch at that point? Not a single one; at least not a good one.

There you have it. Rough day for Williamson (0.1 IP, 3BB). It's more convenient to blame Dusty, since we like Williamson more than Dusty, but honestly Williamson's walks is what lost the game. I'll give him a pass today, though, since he's been so impressive in his other outings. You could tell he was never real comfortable on the mound.

There were some positives, though. Guzman looked good for his first outing. A comparison of Marshall's first outing and Guzman's first outing:

Guzman: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, 1 HR
GO-FO: 6-3, Pitches-Strikes: 87-52

Marshall: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR
GO-FO: 8-3, Pitches-Strikes: 65-42
from mlb.com

Also, did you notice how sweet that pitch was that Willingham knocked out of the park?

Ryno,

Yeah, Guzman pulled the string on it and he still hit it out. That Willingham kid is going to be good.

I don't disagree that Williamson's walks contributed to the loss. So did Guzman's walks and Eyre's walk as well. We've got to cut down on the walks.

It's more convenient to blame Dusty, since we like Williamson more than Dusty.
================================================
Reading that it occurs to me that maybe that's part of what makes Dusty a players manager. Williamson has a terrible game, but instead of having talk radio and web sites dominated by fans trashing his performance Dusty provides a better target. I'm partially joking, I don't really think Dusty intentionally makes stupid moves to take blame away from the players. But maybe there is some method to his madness by being a lightening rod for controversy.

Pitchers are paid to pitch, but it is reasonable to expect that even good ones will have their rough patches. Managers are paid (in large part) to think and make sound in-game decisions, but unlike with players, it is reasonable to expect them to make consistent, rational decisions. Managing does not demand execution in the same sense that playing the game does. That is why it is perfectly reasonable to direct blame at Dusty while simultaneously recognizing that Williamson actually lost us the game. Piss-poor decisions like the double-switch, however benign they may end up being, have no excuse of execution.

Come on guys. When a manager makes a bad move, he decreases his team's chance of winning. The move may not have any negative impact on that particular game, but that does not absolve the manager of fault any more than a drunk driver should get a free pass just because he hasn't crashed in to anyone (yet). Over a 162 game season bad decisions will inevitably cause bad results.

Dusty has made several inexcusable moves over the past week. Some have argued that Dusty is being forced into unorthodox, "creative" moves because of Lee's injury. But to me, it's the opposite: with Lee's injury, it's more critical than ever that Dusty make the proper moves that give his team the best chance to win, even if the increased chance is very small. The double switches and decision to let Guzman bat for himself today fall into the category of moves that actually reduced his team's chance of winning by varying amounts.

Until Lee's injury, I was generally supportive of Dusty's work this season. But since the injury it seems like Dusty is pulling some funky moves that are actually undercutting his team's chances of success. This is a major concern.

Dusty is not a good X's and O's guy, but I don't think he knows it.

What I meant to say as the last paragraph:

Dusty is not a good X's and O's guy but he doesn't know it. This abuse of power could be his fatal flaw if it continues.

dust's made some bad moves, but the intensity of dusty-watching and micromanging his every move is a bit larger than life sometimes.

this double switch was unnecessary, but i wouldnt say it caused a game loss. i still believe the players have to shoulder the blame. i dont believe jones could have gotten to the ball, but that aside, the players served that one up.

yes, dust shouldnt have made the move...yes it lessened the D...but it wasnt that radical of a downshift/move. mabry had a crap day.

mabry's no gold glove, but he's not a butcher.

blanco had a pretty sub-par day with the glove compared to his usual skills...it happens.

on the field its dust's job to hook the team up with the best chance to succeed given his tools and their health/abilities...he knocked down that stat, but he didnt put murton in to pitch, blanco at SS, and aram in CF.

to even do that in the first place is enough to call him out to some...and its reasonable. i don't find it reasonable to pin a loss on a move that's not really radical, though.

Crunch -- I completely agree that it's unfair to pin this particular loss on Dusty, and that the players always need to share in the blame. The players are the ones that need to execute (after the manager puts them in the best position to do so).

But at the same time, it's fair to call Dusty out for poor moves. Now more than ever. For the next couple of months, the margin for error is so slim that we need our manager to make the right decisions.

With our injuries and the talent in the division this year, we need Dusty to put the Cubs in the best position to win every game. As you point out, things seem to be magnified lately, but that's because the margin for error is so slim.

yeah, everything anyone wearing a cubs uniform does is subject to our views. and thanks to this board we call all share them no matter what anyone else thinks...except the mods who may delete posts if things go over the line.

It was cute when Baker did it in his first year. We blew it off his second year. We got irritated about it last year. Now people have no patience for this idiocy.

People get tired of seeing the same mistakes over and over again. So they let it rip when he screws up now.

To Baker's credit he has been much better over all this year. He is keeping his Neifi Fever in check. He is leaving Cedeno and Murton alone. I like the aggresive bunting, just dont get to carried away with it.

But every once in awhile he reminds you he is still a dumb-ass and make moves that just baffle all logic.

From cbs.sportsline.com "
Apr 26 Jordan Bastian, of Toronto.BlueJays.MLB.com, reports Toronto Blue Jays SP A.J. Burnett (elbow) will probably not play catch for another two weeks and that the team is uncertain when he will return."

And you guys wanted to sign him.

WAY OFF TOPIC, but i figured some of you guys might get a kick out of it...just read this in an article on the Trib's website. It's from the Fred Mitchell piece on Juan Pierre and his Miami Heat, and then turns to Cubs that have a background as bball players...

"Neifi Perez played for the Dominican Republic's junior national basketball team"

what an athlete...amazing

http://tinyurl.com/ne7br

Oh and maybe someone could tell Glendon that running around playing basketball is a good way to get in shape.

"...and Glendon Rusch posted up defenders at Shorecrest High School in Seattle."

what a sight that would be today

But that play had nothing to do with the Cubs losing that game.

and the other who wrote something similar...

Mabry had that ball until he gave up on it until the end which appeared that he lost it in the sun. Jones (the much faster Jones) would have definitely made that catch assuming he didn't too lose it in the sun.

And one of those Williamson walks was essentially an intentional walk if anyone was paying attention as it seemed pretty obvious that Williamson was not going to give Aguila anything good to hit as Treanor is a pretty horrible hitter.

others, not other

Neifi Perez played for the Dominican Republic's junior national basketball team?

I didn't know that Dusty coached the DR's junior national basketball team...

We need to be focusing on 8 walks, wild pitches, a balk, ball dropping between outfielders and a 4 hit offensive attack against Marlin pitching. Dusty's move seems a rather insignificant part of the whole (mess).

The problem I have with this thread as I usually do when this discussion happens...I think we are very hypocritical as fans. Basicly, we treat every win as if we won in spite of Dusty...and every loss is because of him. (although one or two are exactly the opposite)

There are moves that can't be defended logically, and shouldn't be defended....but there are probably 18-20 other moves in a game that we don't notice because they work...we don't notice that Dusty pulled the right strings to keep scores close after the starter is pulled, we easily forget that in the first week two pinch hitters had big homeruns. We forget that Baker is using a far more stable lineup than he did last year.

So I guess my point is...sure, let's criticize the bad moves....but let's keep things in perspective, the guy does make good moves too, we have won several games this year when we looked dead in the water...and by most accounts we are overachieving considering the injuries...I won't miss Baker if or when he is fired...even if it's tomorrow.

But it's too easy to scape goat him and call him an incopetent idiot and not give him credit for the moves that do pay off as well.

Such as?

Depending on how he feels today, after his rookie league start yesterday, a Kerry Wood rehab assignment could be imminent. Also, Prior will be making a rookie-league start today.

On of the symptoms of insanity is doing the exact same thing over and over and expecting different results. The Cubs are now 12-6 while Dusty is 0-2. I thought the you pay a manager 4mil per year to at a bare minimum break even. Hopefully, Dusty can make a couple of management decisions to get him into the positives or we can find someone else that can manage to execute a double-switch.

I have an idea for a trade:
2 Minor League prospects
Dusty Baker

to the Marlins for

Joe Girardi

I figure the Marlins will definitely take any trade from the Cubs especially for Pitching prospects that they can beat us with. Unfortuately, we might have to pick up most of Dusty's salary to make this deal happen!

Anyone else concerned that we only managed 13 Hits in 3 games against one of the worst teams in baseball?

Marlins pitching is nothing to scoff at.

Cubs Interested in Yankee's Carlos Pena?

Anyone see this? >>>>

"The Yankees will have a decision to make whether to call up veteran first baseman Carlos Pena from Triple-A Columbus. If the team does not add Pena to the roster by May 2, he can demand his release.

The Cubs are believed to be interested in signing Pena after they lost all-star first baseman Derrek Lee to a broken wrist. Torre insisted his decision to increase Phillips' playing time had nothing to do with Pena." Newark-Star Register, 4/25

While the double switch was typical for the four million dollar idiot, the failure to pinch hit for Angel Guzman was beyond stupid, even for Dusty.

There simply was no reason NOT to pinch hit for him, unless you planned to have him throw again the next inning.

And Don't give me this "Short Bench" BS that I'm hearing from the Dusty-Apologists. Dusty prefers to have 12 pitchers, and had 12 pitchers for almost all of last season, that never stopped him from using a pinch hitter in similar situations before. And as someone mentioned, this was a long game with lots of switches, yet neither Bynum nor Restovich ever even saw the on deck circle.

This Cubs team does not have a huge margin for error, yet Dusty is hell bent on making the players overcome his pathetic inability to understand how a lineup card works.

Thank God Jim Hendry has not given the 4 million dollar idiot an extension. In Dusty We Fail!

Is there any chance Dusty Baker could manage night games, and someone else manage day games? I think Dusty falls asleep on the day game after a night game.

The criticism of Baker for the double switch is unwarranted IMO. The criticism is predicated on the fact that as things turned out, Howry didn't pitch the ninth. But that criticism overlooks the fact that there was a real possibility at the time Howry entered the game that he would pitch the 9th--if the Cubs had taken the lead in the bottom of the 8th. Howry is the backup closer and Dempster wouldn't have been available to pitch a fourth day in a row.

There was also nothing wrong with Baker's decision to let Guzman hit with no one on in the fifth inning given the fact that he was effectively down to one catcher in the game due to Barrett's injury.

He was down to one catcher, so Dusty can't pinch hit for the pitcher in the 5th inning? The pitchers spot was going to come up at most 3 more times in the game. As long as you don't waste players by needlessly double switching, there is no reason he could not have pinch hit for the pitcher in that situation.

The only thing that not having an extra catcher ment was that Blanco was going to have to catch the whole game.

Seriously, are you saying that Dusty should have been saving Restovich and Bynum just in case the game (which was not tied at the time) when into the 13th or 14th inning? That's the only possible justification I can see for not using them.

Stupid double-switch or not, I am making it a policy this season never to criticize Dusty for putting Jacque Jones on the bench, at any time, for any reason, this season.

Does MLB keep records for career double switches made by managers? If so, maybe Dusty is very close to the record and wants to get those last few in before he gets fired.

"There was also nothing wrong with Baker's decision to let Guzman hit with no one on in the fifth inning given the fact that he was effectively down to one catcher in the game due to Barrett's injury."

????????????????????????????????

This would ALMOST make sense if Guzman was a catcher. But even then , , , Dusty ended up not using two bats. Guzman is a rookie. Even pinch hitting Z would have shown Dusty was TRYING to think.

"The criticism of Baker for the double switch is unwarranted IMO. The criticism is predicated on the fact that as things turned out, Howry didn't pitch the ninth. But that criticism overlooks the fact that there was a real possibility at the time Howry entered the game that he would pitch the 9th--if the Cubs had taken the lead in the bottom of the 8th. Howry is the backup closer and Dempster wouldn't have been available to pitch a fourth day in a row."

And so again, why take Jones out for a 35 year old backup infielder/outfielder who is clearly a downgarde?

"Stupid double-switch or not, I am making it a policy this season never to criticize Dusty for putting Jacque Jones on the bench, at any time, for any reason, this season."

LOL!! DC Tom . . . cracked me up . . .

Super Jimmer:

He took Jones out because had batted in the bottom of the seventh and the pitcher's spot was coming up in the eighth of what was then a tie game. Mabry is the #1 pinch hitter; you want him batting in the bottom of the eighth. The choice was leaving Jones in even though his spot may well not have come up again in the game and removing your potential closer in the bottom of the eight or keeping your potential closer in the game and putting in the guy you wanted batting in the eighth for Jones. Baker made the clearly correct percentage move. The only reason it backfired was because of the unlikely circumstance that (1) the ball was hit to Mabry and (2) he misplayed it.

Guzman got horrible umpiring behind the plate, no strikezone to speak of at all. He was hitting the glove perfectly. He hit all his spots. Willingham hit a great pitch and golfed it out. The ump was not going to give the rookie any room to manuver.

Dusty did make a stupid double switch. If only for the fact that Jones had been out there in the sun all afternoon and was used to it. Mabry, no glasses? He seemed more afraid of the wall than the sun.

I think it should have been Jones out there defensively. And then make the switch in the half inning if you want to double switch.

"This is how managerís can lose games for teams."

oh, please. in a tie game howry is not coming out in the 9th; dempster is. that's why there was a double-switch. think for a moment before your knee predictably jerks up to kick your dusty baker scarecrow in the ass.

oh, please. in a tie game howry is not coming out in the 9th; dempster is. that's why there was a double-switch. think for a moment before your knee predictably jerks up to kick your dusty baker scarecrow in the ass.

Since we are into the who thinking before making knee-jerk reactions, perhaps the Dusty apologists should actually think about what they say before defending the 4 million dollar idiot.

If Dempster was gong to come out in the 9th if Howry did his job, then how exactly does that explain a double switch?

The whole reason to do a double switch is to leave your pitcher in the game for more than one inning. If Dusty was going to bring in Dempster anyway if the game was tied, then you've just shown exactly why a double switch was NOT needed.

Bleeding Blue,

Baker could have used either Bynum or Restovich in the 5th inning but IMO it wasn't clearly wrong for him to do so with out and no one on. You want Bynum around later in the game for possible PR (remember Hairston was playing) and because his versatility gives you options. (He's also been lousy at the plate so far.) Restovich was the primary backup 1B because Mabry was the backup catcher. So by using him in the 5th, you're basically depriving yourself of the opportunity to PR for Walker late in the game.

So the "possibilty" of wanting to pinch running for todd walker - a guy with average speed, mind you - is more important that trying to get a hit with one out in the 5th inning?

That's stretching pretty hard to find an excuse for a bad decision.

Dempster wasn't going to pitch yesterday in a tie game and he most likely wasn't going to pitch even if the Cubs had taken the lead in the bottom of the 8th after pitching three days in a row. If you accept that premise, how can you condemn the double switch that created the possibility of Howry staying in the game in the 9th?

Wow, Dusty could pencil the pitcher in the leadoff spot, and you apologists would somehow justify it.

I'm not a Baker apologist, just someone who tries to see both sides of an issue. IMO it was hardly unreasonable for a manager to elect to keep all of his options open in the fifth inning of a tie game with a short bench, no one on base and one out. And as far as the double-switch is concerned, I still haven't read anyone tell me why it was wrong if you assume that Dempster was unavailable. The only reason anyone's complaining this morning is because of the unlikely circumstance that Mabry misplayed a ball that was hit to him.

Wild Thing, Dusty Apologist excused the Corey/Neifi 1/2 punch from last year by saying Lineup Construction doesn't matter. I'm sure they would say the same thing with the pitcher batting leadoff.

Ed, If Dempster wasn't going to pitch, perhaps Dusty shouldn't have used him Sunday when the Cubs had a 7-1 lead. I've already commented once this season about the number of non-save games Dempster has been used in, potentially leading him to be unavailable in a game where he would be needed.

Ed, I'm sorry, but conceding a middle innings of a close game because there is one out and you want to keep your options open later in the game is bad stategy and its bad managing.

Perhaps you'd like to buy some nice oceanfront land in arizona, because of the possibility that California will fall into the ocean at some point in the future.

Bleeding Blue. Dempster hadn't pitch since Wednesday when he was used Sunday. No manager in the major leagues wants his closer sitting around too long because he could be rusty if brought in for the first time after a long layoff in a game situation, and every closer in the major leagues is used in a blowout situation to get needed work at some point. I can't fault Baker for choosing that spot to get him some work. Moreover, Baker could hardly have foreseen that Dempster might be needed in every game of a forthcoming series against a AAAA team. I do agree with you though that Dempster has been used a little too often in nonsave situations this year.

Bleeding Blue. We can disagree on the reasonableness of the fifth inning strategy, but I see your point. Now, are you willing to concede to me that the double switch--which provoked this whole thread--was a reasonable move if Dempster was unavailable?

>>Dusty is not a good X's and O's guy but he doesn't know it.

I interpret things a little differently- I believe he is mechanically aware of the X's and O's, but as the self-styled "players' manager" thinks consistently that he can go against conventional wisdom and thereby inspire individuals, if not the team, to perform beyond expectations. His approach to cultivate seemingly warm-fuzzy motivational powers probably hasn't changed since the day he started. I think Dusty believes he has Austin Power's -style "MoJo," whatever that is. Along these lines, swapping out JJ might have been a fatherly protective move in light of hard times recently in RF, as well as a "go get 'em tiger" approbation of Mabry as PH/sparkplug. Two-for-one demonstration that "I haven't forgotten about you all as human beings," sort of dynamic. Call me crazy, but that's why he sucks the toothpick, it a redemonstration of masculinity in light of subconscious fears of his warm-fuzziness branding him as not-up-to-the-task.

God I hate days off.

Ed, If I thought there was any chance that Howry was going to pitch the 9th, the move would have been fine.

But I don't think you can assume that just because Dusty double switched, ment he was planning on keeping Howry in the game. Howry only threw 11 pitches in the 8th inning, if Dusty planned on using him 2 innings, then he certainly could have pitched the 9th inning. Instead, Dusty decided to take him out of the game, making the double switch pointless.

Dusty's got a track record on this subject, and its not a good one. If he didn't make bad double switches so consistantly, people might give him the benefit of the doubt. But considering how rare Dusty actually gets the point of the double switch, I'm not going to assume that he somehow figured it out this time.

Although, I should point out, at least he isn't moving the pitchers spot up in the order this year, like he did half the time he double switched last year.

He didn't pitch him in the 9th because the Cubs were trailing at that time and his role is to pitch with a lead or a tie game. If he pitched Howry in the ninth down 6-5 he'd be criticized for (mis)using him up in April. The fact that Baker may have screwed up other double switches doesn't mean he screwed up this one; each situation has to be judged on its own facts. The only logical assumption is that Howry was a possibility to pitch the ninth, and there's no reason not to assume that in evaluating the merits of the double switch. You (and Rob G.) are essentially arguing that the double switch was stupid unless Howry pitched the ninth without regard to anything that happened after Howry entered the game. But that's a fallacy. Take this example. Assume the Cubs had scored ten runs in the bottom of the eighth and Baker brought in Ohman to finish the game. Would you contend that the double switch was stupid?

I think that the double-switch yesterday was a little odd, considering that it was a defensive-downgrade with the bases loaded. And yeah, I can buy the argument that you want to try to keep Howry in there for the 9th, but the fact remains that he didn't pitch in the 9th, which kind of (but not entirely) negates the purpose of the switch in the first place. I guess I don't know why you don't just leave Jones out there and PH for Howry... Sure it costs you an arm (which he wound up using anyway), but then you're not forced to downgrade your defense in a bases-loaded situation, and you've got the option to not use your #1 PH just then and there. 6-5 and pick 'em, I guess.

Overall, though, I don't think it was the dumbest thing on the planet. But, put it in the context of those two UNEXPLAINABLE double-switches a couple days ago (the Walker and Murton switches at STL), and people are automatically going to ask questions. And the Dusty apologists didn't show up in his defense in the thread where those two moves were discussed. Mainly because they were BOTH colossally stupid moves, and even the most ardent of Baker-defenders can't argue with that.

The point is that we have a not-cheap manager that's in a contract year, and he should be being scrutinized. I don't think the double-switch yesterday cost us the game, necessarily, but I still don't have the confidence that the next time a double-switch scenario comes up that our manager is going to make the right (or even a non-stupid) decision. I think that's really what this thread is about.

Seeing comments like "Dusty apologists" and "Dusty haters" is the equivelant of fingers slowly screeching down a chalkboard to me...those are such stupid, cop-out labels based out of arrogance and an attempt to say "I'm right, you are wrong" without actually making an argument.

Argue to the specific point being made, not some stupid label that makes you feel like you are better than the other guy.

Dempster pitched 3 games in a row. He was not going to pitch in that game no matter what. From what I heard he was sitting in the dugout most of the game. I don't think Howry or a double switch in general was a problem...but giving up defense in that situation does seem just wrong.

Someone asked what moves Dusty has made that have worked this year. I'm not going to go back to each game log...but chances are if we didn't notice a move, it probably worked. How about the fact that we have 4 wins, tops in the majors, when we were down after 7 innings...Proper bullpen management and some clutch pinch hitting helped in at least a couple of those wins. A couple games in the first week pinch hitters got big homeruns...seems like those were managerial decisions that paid off.

I honestly wouldn't shed a tear if Dusty was fired tomorrow. I certainly don't think he brings in enough wins to warrant his salary and there are many decisions that are befuddling. I just wish we weren't so qucik to always say each loss is because of him, and each win is in spite of him.

I'd say so far we have won more games that we should have lost, then lost games we should have won.

Sorry, but if pitching Howry is only supposed to be used with lead or in a tie game, isn't Eyre in exactly the same position?

In fact, there is even more reason to stick with Howry for the 9th. If the Cubs would come back and tie it in the bottome of the 9th, you'd want more arms available in the bullpen. Using Eyre just burns through another player and takes Howry out of the mix after only throwing 11 pitches.

And I'm sorry, but while each decision should be judged on their own merits, you can use someones track record to figure out why a decision was made and whether or not is was appropriate.

As far as your example, if the Cubs had scored 10 runs or done anything that would have required the pitchers spot to come back up to the plate in the bottom of the 8th, Howry would have been taken out for the pinch hitting of Neifi Perez, who was on deck when Hairston ended the 8th.

But at least there Dusty realised that if you are going to take your pitcher out of the game, then you should pinch hit for him.

blockhead25: The fact is that there are people here who will defend Dusty regardless of the situation, and those that will criticize him regardless of the situation, without arguing "to the specific point being made." And I am labelling myself as neither one of those when in my anti-Dusty posts I make it clear that I'm not a "hater" and in my pro-Dusty posts I'm not an "apologist." I'm not better than the "other" guy. I'm better than both. ;-)

It's just like any other two-sided argument: Any argument made against Dusty's desicions is dismissed by Dusty apologists as being that of a "Dusty hater". Likewise, any defense of Dusty is dismissed by Dusty haters as being that of a "Dusty apologist".

I want my arguments to be read and countered on their merits, so I want it to be clear that I'm in neither camp, because I really do believe that there are people here who will defend Dusty regardless of whether they really agree with him or not, and there are people who will condemn him regardless of whether they really disagree with him or not.

And both those kinds of people are simplistic, xenophobic idiots, and I don't I want to be misconstrued as one of them. If that's arrogant, sorry, but that's how it is.

to sum up:

the labeling of commenters as Dusty-haters and Dusty apologists is kind of stupid, no offense. I'll criticize the manager when I feel he's doing a poor job, I'll applaud him when he's making the right moves. Doesn't make me (or others) one or the others. As someone said, call them as I see them. Personally, Dusty has been doing a much better job this season than the last two, treating the games in April as if they actually matter. Beyond the double-switching silliness and the one time he batted Neifi 2nd, I don't have a whole lot to criticize about. If he managed like he has this month the last 2 years, there would be a lot less vitriol towards him.

the double-switching was dumb because it downgraded us defensively and it wasted a pitcher. It was dumb when it happened, it was dumber when Mabry missed the play, it was beyond stupid when Howry didn't come out in the 9th.

Yeah the Cubs didn't execute very well most of the day, the bats were pretty silent, we walked a lot of guys, Williamson didn't look sharp, but it was still winnable and Dusty's move(s) contributed to a loss. Moves that did not need to be made, should not have been made and hurt our chances to win the game.

oh, please. in a tie game howry is not coming out in the 9th; dempster is. that's why there was a double-switch. think for a moment before your knee predictably jerks up to kick your dusty baker scarecrow in the ass.

well bleeding blue covered this already, but thanks for the laugh. Nothing like telling me to "think for a moment" and not taking your own advice.

No one really notices a good manager. Being a good manager means making the right decisions every time, and you usually don't pay attention to the right decisions. People do tend to notice patently stupid decisions made by a manager. Unfortunately, the job is thankless, and there's simply no room for brain farts. It's almost like being an umpire, where people only really talk about you when you've screwed up.

Can you feasibly expect a manager to make the right (or at least logical) decision every time? I say yes. It might mean a manager has to actually do a little homework to find out that Jacque Jones couldn't hit a Little League southpaw or that Bobby Howry is a big-time flyball pitcher, but that's HIS JOB. Just like taking batting practice and getting to the park early is part of a hitter's job, preparing for in-game decisions ahead of time is a huge part of a manager's job.

The Cubs should absolutely not be paying Dusty the SECOND HIGHEST salary in the entire league to clearly not prepare well enough.

The double switch was dumg. But let's not go overboard here. What actual evidence does anyone have that Joe Girardi would be a better manager? Was it his steadfast refusal to warm up anyone in the pen on Monday when Johnson was wild as hell and promptly game up 6 runs? Was it how Dusty clearly out managed him on the squeeze bunt the other day? I've only seen Girardi manage three games and who knows, he may indeed be a better or even even equally god manager as Dusty...but I haven't seen any evidence of it.

I meant "dumb", not "dumg." Man, I'm really dumg

#33 Will Carroll was on WGN tonight reporting that the Delmon Young thing wasn't as bad as originally reported. According to Carroll, apparently it was a frustrated flip of the bat up in the air in the ump's general direction as he walked away, and it happened to clip the umpire. Not good, but not evil."

E-Man, actually it's a bit worse than that as apparently Young loitered in the box after a called third strike and the ump told him to get out of the box as the catcher was moving up in the box to hold the runners who looked to advance in the "confusion". The ump again told him to get back to the dugout then Young flipped the bat at him. Granted it wasn't a toss but he's still going to get 20-30 games or more from the league and the DRays may give him even more than that as it's not his first offense. Young was definitely showing the ump up and it wasn't just a casual flip that happened to clip the ump. He flipped the bat directly at him.

#77 The Cubs are believed to be interested in signing Pena after they lost all-star first baseman Derrek Lee to a broken wrist. Torre insisted his decision to increase Phillips' playing time had nothing to do with Pena." Newark-Star Register, 4/25

It's possible but I think the Yanks will use Pena as this year's Tino Martinez. Phillips isn't going to impress anyone offensively and he's fairly average defensively. He actually came up as a 2B. I still think Tony Clark would be a great move as long as it doesn't cost the Cubs a top tier prospect...especially if Lee comes back before the deadline and they can move Clark again for something comprable to what they would have to give up originally. Clark actually discussed waiving his no-trade today.

http://www.azcentral.com/sports/diamondbacks/...

I'm going to assume Manny didn't drop a "in Dusty we trusty" after yesterday's game. Sad that Baker is so dense that even after Mabry's horrible defensive spring training in the OF and at 3B that Mabry is incapable of playing anywhere other than 1B.

"At least we won the series."

It's that kind of mentality that has the Cubs settling for wildcard contention every year (and failing) rather than winning the division. Florida was 5-13 coming in to yesterday's game. You have to sweep in that situation. That way, when they lose 2 out of the 3 to the Brewers this weekend, they could still have a 4-2 homestand to end the month rather than go 3-3 at home.

Do you see Houston or St. Louis settling for a series win when know they should sweep? Also, when the Cubs face Pittsburgh next week for a two game series, the Cubs MUST win both, but they won't. Zach Duke will most likely pitch one of those games, which guarantees a Cubs loss. Granted that guys a good looking young pitcher, but he owns the Cubs in his 4 career starts against them.

While the Cubs are off to a 12-8 start in April (with several key injuries), the schedule has been very weak and will only get tougher. All the more reason you must win games like the one yesterday and not screw up double switches.

Indeed, in Crusty we Trusty.

reverend slappy...I think you misunderstood my post. I am in complete agreement with you.

From Rotoworld

Triple-A Durham's Delmon Young was suspended indefinitely by the International League Thursday following an incident Wednesday night in which he flipped a bat at the home plate umpire.
"The Devil Rays organization supports the decision," said executive VP Andrew Friedman. A source told Baseball America that, while Young didn't flip the bat hard, he clearly intended it to hit the umpire following his ejection for arguing a called third strike. It sounds like the act was designed to show the umpire up rather than injure him, but Young should be looking at a lot of time off.

Blockhead25: I was trying to agree with you at the beginning there... I'm not sure what happened by the end. No more trying to write blog comments while working, I guess...

With Young sitting at home Justin Upton moves into the #1 prospect slot and he's batting .364/.462/.455 with three steals in 6 games despite a nagging shoulder injury. Saw him play last night in South Bend and the guy is simply a pure talent with "a presence" as the scouts there were quick to point out. In case anyone cares, they have already moved him from SS to CF...maybe the D-Rays can take notice and do the same with BJ.

Just want to point out that in one post someone mentioned that Dempster wasn't avalable because he pitched 3 days in a row. The first of those 3 was a mop up Sunday when he shouldn't have been in.

that was another one I wanted to cover, the "man girardi would look good" comment. Where the hell does that come from? Cause the last 3 days, he didn't look very good to me at all.

"Grass is always greener", "Be careful what you wish for"

Pick your saying, but what the hell does anyone have on Girardi that makes you think he'd be any better than Baker?

wouldn't fret too much about the mop-up work, all managers do it to give their relievers work. You don't want them sitting on the shelf for too long and who's to say they don't blow out the Marlins 3 games in a row.

The only problem with giving closers mop-up work is I think they lose their edge far too often. From casual observation, it seems that many closers seem to pitch significantly worse when the game isn't on the line, so I'm not so sure just a thorough bullpen session would be more appropriate.

Rob G. Bleeding Blue has stated that the double switch would have been "fine" if there was any chance of Howry pitching the ninth. Do you agree? If so, do you know for a fact that there was no possibility of Howry pitching the ninth if the game were tied or the Cubs had taken the lead in the 8th?

I would have prefered he give Dempster one more day off (and I said it at the time). Dempster pitched in 2 games in the Dodgers series, so he hadn't pitched from Thursday-Saturday...that doesn't seem like a big deal. By giving him Sunday off, and pitching him Monday no matter what to get him some work...even if he was needed Tuesday and Wednesday, we had the day off on Thursday.

Either way, not a huge deal and I don't think it effected any wins or losses...but I would have liked to see him held back one more day.

Bleeding Blue,

Based upon their usage in the first 20 games Eyre is not in the same position as Howry. Howry is the 8th/9th inning guy who comes in to protect a tie or a lead. Eyre has been used several times to hold small deficits in the middle innings. (LA last Wednesday). Howry is the backup closer; he's been a closer before while Eyre hasn't. Remember too that Howry threw 23 pitches Tuesday night. There was no reason to use him outside his role yesterday in the ninth.

As far track records are concerned, show me evidence that Baker doesn't understand that one of the purposes of the double switch is to allow the new pitcher to pitch the next inning.

You miss the point of my example. The point was that the merits of the double switch had to be evaluated at the time it was made and that changed circumstances later in the game have to be factored in to the analysis. My example had nothing to do with 10 runs or Howry's spot coming up in the bottom of the eighth. The point is equally applicable if the Cubs had scored five runs and Howry's spot never came up.

No, I don't agree that if Howry came in the 9th it would be "fine". It wouldn't have been AS stupid, but it certainly wasn't "fine". You put a lesser defender in there with a worse arm when you know that at that moment you may very well need a defensive play. Plus when does Dusty put in a pitcher and NOT make a double-switch? He seems to do it no matter the situation. Plus, what the hell happened in the bottom of the eight that would change the plan to have Howry come in the ninth if that was the plan? The Cubs were still losing by that point, it was just 6-5 instead of 6-3. Does Howry have a clause in his contract that he only pitches in games the Cubs are winning or tied? I don't think so. It also seemed like Eyre was up as soon as the bottom of the eight started and I really don't think there was ever much thought given into Howry coming in for the 9th.

If this was the first bad double-switch by Dusty in his tenure, I'd be a lot less vocal, but let's face it, it's been going along as long as he'd been here.

Remember too that Howry threw 23 pitches Tuesday night.

All the more reason to think he was never going to be used in the 9th...

As far track records are concerned, show me evidence that Baker doesn't understand that one of the purposes of the double switch is to allow the new pitcher to pitch the next inning.

If you don't think that Dusty fails to understand the point of the double switch, how do you explains the numerous times last year where he actually moved the pitcher's spot closer by double switching?

As Rob just pointed out, Dusty makes a double switch almost every time he changes pitchers in the middle of an inning, if he plans to keep the pitcher in or not.

Speaking of weak schedules, the Astros sure have had a lineup of patsies, or damn near close, for the whole month of April.

Rob G. your analysis is faulty because you're not taking all of the facts into account at the time the switch was made. Howry was brought in to face RH pull hitter Wes Helms. The chances of Helms hitting a ball to RF and having the
Mabry/Jones switch be determinative were pretty remote. The chances of Howry actually pitching the ninth inning were far higher. Howry's role on the team was to protect ties or leads in the late innings not to preserve one-run deficits.
The fact that as I pointed out he had pitched Tuesday night doesn't mean that he couldn't or wouldn't have pitched the ninth if the situation for which he had been signed for had arisen. It only means that there was an additional reason for not pitching him in the role he hadn't been assigned. Moreover, Baker had no way of knowing how many pitches Howry would throw in the 8th at the time he brought him in. IMO, unless you can't point to evidence that Howry would not have pitched the ninth under any circumstances, your argument is just criticsm based on 20/20
hindsight.

Unless

Bleeding Blue,

Dusty Baker understands that double switches are designed to allow pitchers to pitch the next inning. Just go back to the controversial double switches on Saturday. Baker justified them on the ground that his bullpen was taxed and he needed pitchers to go longer.

The chances of Helms hitting a ball to RF and having the
Mabry/Jones switch be determinative were pretty remote.

Well considering Howry has a career G/F ratio of 0.81, it's not as remote as you seem to think.

And I'm still trying to grasp the idea that Howry's role is to protect leads/tie games. Cause if it's been decided that one of your best relievers should NEVER be used to keep games close, regardless of whether it's a lead or deficit, I want to know who's the dumbass who decided that. We have a bullpen so good that we have the luxury of taking out one of our best relievers just cause we're down a run instead of ahead a run. Brilliant strategy. (and I'm not doubting that it's not a possibility with this management, just doubting the reasoning and effectiveness of such a useless strategy)

And trust me I was criticizing the move as soon as it happened (ask anyone in the parachat), I'm just a bit more vocal that it contrtibuted to the loss.

Ed, you didn't answer my question.

If Dusty understands the point of the double switch, then why has he, on many occations, made a double switch that actually resulted in the pitcher batting sooner, making it more likely that a pitcher will be removed for a pinch hitter?

Bleeding Blue. I'm not trying to duck your question. The fact that Baker may have screwed up a double switch in other situations is not relevant to what happened yesterday. His double switch yesterday did not result in the pitcher batting sooner. The critical point as far as yesterday is concerned is whether he understands that a double switch allows a pitcher to pitch more than one inning. He publicly justified his double switches on Saturday on this basis, correct?

Ed I think your attempt to frame the question is misleading here.

IMO the question is not:

"The critical point as far as yesterday is concerned is whether he understands that a double switch allows a pitcher to pitch more than one inning."

IMO the question is:

"Was the double switch a good idea."

A double switch does not than merely allow a pitcher to pitch one more inning, it also changes your offense and defense.

Yesterday the double would have allowed the pitcher to pitch more innings, but at the cost of defense and maybe offense. Especially since the pitcher in question did not pitch a second inning we got none of the benefit and all of the cost.

Rob G. At the time the double switch was made yesterday, the possibility of Wes Helms hitting a fly ball to RF that Mabry would misplay was a lot more remote than the possibility that Howry would pitch the ninth inning.

What you're failing to grasp is that while there was nothing PREVENTING Howry from pitching the ninth yesterday down 6-5, it was perfectly REASONABLE for Baker to go to Eyre in that situation given that (1) that situation has been assigned to Eyre, not Howry, (2) Howry had pitched the night before, and (3) Baker stated publicly on Sunday that Eyre doesn't like to go more than 3 days without pitching.

I have no doubt that you criticized the double switch at the time it was made. My point is that I don't think you took into account the very real possibility that Howry would pitch the ninth due to Dempster's unavailability. Did you?

While Dusty's double switches moving the pitcher's spot up in the order may not have had any impact on yesterday's dump double switch, it certainly is relevant in a discussion of whether or not Dusty understands the point of a double switch.

and I'm sorry but Dusty saying anything doesn't prove much to me. His words and actions have contradicted too many times.

Dusty might have said the reason he double switched last week was to save the bullpen (which was idotic in its own right) but he's still shown on many occations that he doesn't understand the point. I'll take Dusty's actions over his words anyday.

Moreover, Dusty certainly doesn't grasp the point that while you can double switch and move the pitchers spot down in the order, it doesn't mean that you should do it every time you change pitchers in the middle of an inning! Double-switching doesn't make sense unless you intend on actually keeping your pitcher in for more than one inning. And it certainly doesn't mean you should double switch without looking at how it will affect the team both offensively and defensively.

Bleeding Blue (and others):

I'm with you on this double switch stuff, and Mabry being in the game, et al.

Has anyone ever done a study to see if the double switch works/or doesn't work. I'm not a statistician, and have no way of knowing even if this would be possible, but it would certainly be interesting to see if all these shenanigans really have paid off.

Just a thought, and maybe someone has already dealt with it.

ROBR,

With all due respect, I think your assertion of misleading is baseless. My response was directed at a specific point made by Bleeding Blue about Baker's understanding of double switches generally. It wasn't made as an attempt to frame the analysis as to the overall merits of yesterday's double switch. As far as that is concerned, I'm well aware that there are multiple reasons for double switches (I've been watching baseball since 1968). Yesterday's double switch was incomprehsible if there was no possibility of Howry pitching the ninth. My contention is that it was hardly unreasonable (much less stupid as has been asserted here) if that possibility is taken into account. The double switch unquestionably downgraded the opposite field defense against a RH pull hitter, but it allowed Howry to stay in and finish the game in the ninth if the Cubs took the lead in the eighth while giving Mabry a shot in the eighth. Remember that at the time the switch was made, the Marlins had RH scheduled in the ninth including Cabrera and Dempster was unavailable. How was the move unreasonable in those circumstances?

Bleeding Blue. You've admitted that the double switch yesterday would have been fine if Howry would have pitched the ninth. And you have no evidence that Howry would not have pitched the ninth had the Cubs taken the lead in the eighth. Right?

I have the evidence that Eyre, not Howry, actually did pitch the 9th.

I have the evidence that there was no reason for Howry NOT to pitch the 9th based on the closeness of the game.(other than your theory that howry's supposedly only signed to pitch when the team is winning or tied - of course why did he finish the 8th after giving up the lead then?).

I have the evidence that Howry threw 23 pitches the day before and was unlikely to be asked to go a second inning.

I have the evidence that Dusty uses the double switch almost every time he replaces a pitcher mid-inning, but only rarely actually uses the same pitcher to pitch a second inning.

I have the evidence that Eyre was warming up from the start of the bottom of the 8th, indicating he likely would have been used even if the Cubs took the lead back.

I have the evidence that Neifi was in the on deck circle to end the 8th, suggesting that if Hairston had kept the inning alive and the Cubs had tied or taken the lead, that Dusty was planning on using a new pitcher for the 9th.

What evidence do you have, other than Howry's previous closing experience with other teams, that Dusty was ever planning to use Howry in the 9th?

And since you still are ducking the question, How can you conclude that Dusty understand the double switch when he has screwed it up on many occations in the past?

Wild Thing:
"Wow, Dusty could pencil the pitcher in the leadoff spot, and you apologists would somehow justify it."

And Dusty could manage practically a flawless game and we could not hear a peep out of the Dusty-Haters. Proof? Let's turn to the threads of Tuesday's game. I don't see a mention of anything of how well Dusty managed that game to get the W.

You Dusty-Haters complain about Dusty apologists, but you guys are just as bad on the other side of the fence. Its like a conservative complaing how liberal a liberal is and vice versa.

Ed you have set a pretty low standard. The double switch was not incomprehsible nor was it unreasonable, it was just not a good idea. IMO, the benefit of having Howry pitch a second inning was not worth the cost in terms of defense and offense.

Bleeding Blue:
"If Dempster wasn't going to pitch, perhaps Dusty shouldn't have used him Sunday when the Cubs had a 7-1 lead."

Dempster had pitched only 1 inning in the previous 5 days before that Sunday game. You can't let your closer sit out there in the pen for a week and get no work. You have to keep him fresh. See, sometimes you have to look into reason why things happen, not just that they happen.

Rob G:
"I'll criticize the manager when I feel he's doing a poor job, I'll applaud him when he's making the right moves."

Where was your applause Tueday night??

Bogey:
"I'm going to assume Manny didn't drop a "in Dusty we trusty" after yesterday's game."

I never do when they lose, just like I don't "drop" CUBS WIN!! either, but when they do win, which is more times than lose so far this year, you will bet I will "drop" an IN DUSTY WE TRUSTY!! in there. Just like Tuesday night, which some seem to look past for some reason.

Typical apologist Manny, can't actually defend Dusty's actions so he attacks the people pointing out not just the bad moves, but why they are bad and how they hurt the team.

Meanwhile, the attacks are laughable. Dusty has gotten plenty of praise - mostly for correcting his mistakes. Personally, I've said on several occations, for example when he moved Jones down to the 7 hole, that Dusty was finally putting out a really good lineup.

Nazey:
"It's that kind of mentality that has the Cubs settling for wildcard contention every year (and failing) rather than winning the division. Florida was 5-13 coming in to yesterday's game. You have to sweep in that situation. That way, when they lose 2 out of the 3 to the Brewers this weekend, they could still have a 4-2 homestand to end the month rather than go 3-3 at home."

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

Did you actually read the hypocritical crap you just posted. You talk about Wild Card mentality, but then say "when we lose 2 of 3 to the Brewers". That is a great mentality to have. Hello Mr. Pot, let me introduce you to Mr. Kettle.

"Where was your applause Tueday night??"

What moves did Dusty make Tuesday night that was praiseworthy?

RobR:
"IMO, the benefit of having Howry pitch a second inning was not worth the cost in terms of defense and offense."

What offense did it lose??? Jones'?? mabry got a hit when he go to bat, so offense can be thrown out as a reason.

Bleeding Blue

Be honest. You have no evidence that at the time Baker made the double switch he had no intention of pitching Howry in the 9th with a lead. All of your examples as to what happened later (such as Eyre warming up down 2 runs or Neifi perhaps having to tie the game pinch hitting for Howry) are after the fact and involve situations that weren't extant at the time the double switch was made. You've also (unwittingly) conceded that Baker has used double switched pitchers for a second inning (albeit in your opinion) rarely). So your argument about words vs deeds is refuted by your own words.

ROBR:
"What moves did Dusty make Tuesday night that was praiseworthy?"

Are you kidding? If you have to ask that question, you are only proving my point.

Without rehashing it all, the small ball moves he made worked perfectly. The hit and runs, sacrafices and squeeze. The game was one of the best I have seen the Cubs play in person in a LONG time.

RobR:
"which means that Jones' bat would have still been in the game."

Yeah, I don't know what the Cubs would do without that .188 average in the lineup.

Ed, it is nice to see that you can't answer my very simple questions, so you misrepresent my responses.

I listed off several pieces of evidence why it is very unlikely that Howry would have pitched the 9th inning, regardless of the game situation.

You have yet to give one piece of evidence showing that Dusty would have kept Howry in for the 9th in a tie game, or with a lead - other than your mythical Howry is the backup closer theory, which you also have no evidence to support and would be an idiotic concept even if it was true.

You also continue to refuse to answer another very very simple question. If Dusty does understand the point of a double switch, then why, on several occations did he move the pitchers spot closer????

Getting it right once and a while, and massively screwing it up on other doesn't mean someone understand something. If you get 50% on a multiple choice test, it doesn't prove you grasp the material.

"Without rehashing it all, the small ball moves he made worked perfectly. The hit and runs, sacrafices and squeeze. The game was one of the best I have seen the Cubs play in person in a LONG time."

"The Cubs adapted to the weather well though, executing ìsmall ballî to perfection." - RobG (front page after the game)

Seems like it was noted.

Rob R.

The author of this thread argued that the double switch was "dumb" and cost the game. By conceding that the double switch was reasonable, you're conceding that the author was wrong and that the move was, at a minimum, debatable. IMO it was a solid percentage move given the situation at the time it was made.

ROBR:
"The Cubs adapted to the weather well though, executing ìsmall ballî to perfection." - RobG (front page after the game)"

Seems like it was noted."

HA HA

If that is what you call noted, so be it. But, he said the execution was perfect, which means the players executed the plays perfect, he never mentioned the plays/moves/calls. Dusty's name was not even mentioned. But Baker does something that someone does not agree with and it is rip city with a dissertation against Dusty and the title BLASTING Dusty and oh yeah the ripping continues 150 posts later. Whereas Tuesdays game gets 51 posts and not even a mention of Dusty. I just find it funny.

I think last night's doubleswitch is debatable. Unlike the Walker Murton switches, which, I'm sorry, were stupid. That's it, stupid. I hate to keep harping on those two double switches, but they really were that God-awfully stupid. I'm sorry. They just were.

Manny, you make a good point about people not giving Dusty the credit when he makes good decisions, but that's the nature of the manager's role. The one thing the manager absolutely has to do is NOT make decisions that lessen the team's ability to win a particular game. (For examples, see the Walker and Murton double switches in STL I keep bitching about)

Many managers can coast through a game, not really doing a whole heckuva lot to affect the outcome of it (I'm looking at you, most American League coaches). Many managers just run out the same lineup every day, and make the same decisions in the same situations all the time, and aren't very creative. And nobody ever really, REALLY complains about those managers.

Those managers are also not making $4 million a year.

Here's the way it works:
-Dusty does generally NOT-stupid things. Which is the very least he's supposed to do.
-He many times does some really smart, creative things (hit and runs, suicides, etc.) that pay off. That's why he makes as much as he does.
-Dusty also occasionally does some things that are -- by anyone's reasonable estimation -- totally retarded. That's why we complain.

I don't think that double-switching in Mabry was one of those things. I also don't think that there was any real necessity to double-switch anyone in that scenario, but that's just my opinion.

But there are people here, Manny -- and you know this is true -- that will defend even the dumbest of Dusty's decisions. And there are people who will bitch about him even when he totally doesn't deserve it.

And like I said in my earlier post, both those groups of people are idiots (at least as idiotic as switching out Murton in that one game when... Okay, I really have to let that go.)

Manny, go read post #108 from Doug. He hits the nail on the head why you don't hear much when Dusty makes good decision - aka does what he is getting paid 4 million dollars a year to do.

If TCR has taught me anything it is that any decision in baseball is debatable.

The double swith was not dumb it was a mistake. Did it cost the Cubs the game, no. Was it another items in the pile of evidence that Dusty is not worth $4 million per year, yes.

Bleeding Blue.

One last time. You're the one making the accusation that the move was stupid, so the burden's on you to prove the relevant facts. If you can't prove it, your accusation is based on nothing more than speculation. You have no evidence that Howry would not have pitched the ninth with a lead. In fact that's a pretty unlikely contention, since there were RH hitters (including Cabrera) scheduled in the ninth at the time Howry was brought in. Howry could have thrown one pitch in the 8th to get out of the inning. Are you telling me he wouldn't have pitched the ninth if that happened? The fact that Eyre was warming up in the 8th down 2 runs and Neifi would have batted for Howry if the game was on the line says nothing about what would have happened in the far different situation that confronted Baker at the time he made the double switch. It happens all the time that pitchers warm up in the BP and aren't brought into a game or pinch hitters are recalled from the on-deck circle. Why can't you understand that? And why can't you understand that the fact that Baker may have screwed up double switches in other situations doesn't necessarily mean he screwed up the one yesterday when you yourself have admitted that he's used double switches to allow pitchers to pitch more than one inning in the past? Do you comprehend that by conceding that you've undermined your argument?

Whereas Tuesdays game gets 51 posts and not even a mention of Dusty

Hmmm...

#12 of 51: By carmenfanzone (April 26, 2006 08:23 AM)
Last year I was pretty hard on Dusty but I have to give him credit. The Barrett bunt worked out perfectly and he's pulling the right bullpen triggers. The decision to stay with Howry ( warm pitcher on a cold night) was excellent. The personnel changes have definetly made him look smarter...

Bleeding Blue:
"Manny, go read post #108 from Doug. He hits the nail on the head why you don't hear much when Dusty makes good decision "

Then why do we hear how great of maangers, Bobby Cox and Tony LaRussa are??

I think it is that the Dusty Haters can't get themselves to admit Dusty had a good game. I think that thinking is MUCH closer to the truth. But hey, we aren't going to agree on that, I was just pointing it out.

I just find it funny that the exact previous day Dusty made some GREAT moves to help win the game and nothing gets said, but then the VERY NEXT day Dusty does a double switch that some don't like and its rip city. That is the life of a manager and I am sure EVERY maanger in baseball gets that every day as we can watch any game with any maanger and come up with the same amount of supposedly stupid moves that each manager makes.

IM Slacker...thanks for that one example, you got me...

But what about the game recap??

Anyways, I hope you can understand my point, and just throwing out that 1 post as irony and being funny, more than thinking seriously.

Manny:
Then why do we hear how great of maangers, Bobby Cox and Tony LaRussa are??

Manny... If you think either of those managers have the double-switch debacle history that Dusty does, then I think you need a reality check.

But, not that I disagree with you. I think that Dusty is, on the whole, a great manager. That doesn't mean he doesn't make STUPID decisions, and just as much as "the Dusty Haters can't get themselves to admit Dusty had a good game", it seems it's very hard for you to call Dusty's stupid moves what they are: Stupid.

And yes, we probably could come up with a list of stupid moves that each manager makes. That's what we're doing here, and it's par for the course. I will also say, however, that the number of items on those lists should decrease inversely in proportion to the number of zeros next to their in their contract. Ultimately, I think the value-question of Dusty is legitimate, but I doubt with the fierce entrenchment of the two diametrically-opposed camps here, I doubt anything substantive would come of it.

Ed for the love of god, stop moving the goal post.

Do you want to argue that Dusty doesn't understand the point of the double switch, or do you want to go back to why yesterday's double switch was a bad idea???

Dusty screwing up double switches in previous situations, alone, does not prove that he screwed up yesterday's double switch. It does prove that he does not grasp the concept of why you double switch.

Again, getting 50% on a test does not prove that someone comprehends the material.

For the 93rd time, if Dusty did understand the point of the double switch, then why has he screwed it up on several previous occations?

Now specifically yesterday, Dusty's double switch was even debatable ONLY if he planned to use Howry in the 9th - it was totally unacceptable if he did not. I have provided extensive evidence showing why it was unlikely that Dusty ever planned to use Howry for more than one inning. You still have provided NO, ZERO, ZILCH, evidence to suggest he ever planned on doing that.

Because Dusty has proven that he doesn't understand the double switch, and has frequently made a double switch without ever planning to keep the pitcher for multiple innings, you can't assume it was Dusty's intention to use Howry for more than one inning simply because he used the double switch.

Manny, your point seems to be that Dusty is being unfairly picked on by a blog that he has no awareness of and probably never will. Got it.

Well manny, to be fair, much of the posting on this thread is about back and forth between those defending the moves and those attacking it...with threads for wins, there isn't much to argue about. We won, everyone is happy...not too much to fight about.

When we lose...everyone wants to pin point why. It's the same with media too...how many times does a basketball team play a great game for 47 minutes, lose in the final minute...and all the press is about how bad the game was, what went wrong, how great the other team was, etc. It's the nature of being sports fans. Everyone hugs and kisses when your team wins...when they lose, not only would they be 162-0 if only you could manage everygame...but they would be 0-162 if another fan that you don't agree with was the manager.

It's what keeps sports fans engaged and arm chair quaterbacking. With that siad...this argument really seems to have exahusted itself and I will Furcal the next person who types "Dusty Apologists always..."

Where was your applause Tueday night??

Way to cherry-pick a sentence without reading the rest of the comment where I spend bulk of it praising Dusty for his managing this month. Well done....

Sorry if I wasn't more explicit in my praise for Dusty on Tuesday for your liking, luckily I live in a world where I don't have to answer to you. :)

The grass is always greener on the otherside (well most of the time)...Cards fans rip LaRussa to shreads on certain things...hell, the Sox won the world series, and I think half the fans were hoping Guillen quit over the winter.

That doesn't explain all of the problems...but that is part of the general sentiment. When another coach screws up, we likely won't notice or care...when we screw up, hell breaks loose.

Manny, there is an element of human nature to the complaints. Its just like any time the Cubs win, you don't as much said because there is not much to debate.

Think of it this way, You don't go out and celebrate simply because you had a good day, but you go out and have a drink after a bad day.

I've said before, as have others of Dusty's frequent critics, that for the most part Dusty has done a much better job this year (I still hope Hendry isn't blinded by a "contract year" managerial performance in spite of 3 years of baffoonery) but right now with the injuries, the Cubs don't have the luxury of any of the mistakes that dusty frequently makes.

Dusty Apologists always threaten to furcal people when they don't get what they want.

Manny said:
"You Dusty-Haters complain about Dusty apologists, but you guys are just as bad on the other side of the fence. Its like a conservative complaing how liberal a liberal is and vice versa."

Very true statement. it is just as bad on either side of the fence. So take it upon yourself to seperate yourself from that and stop continuing to refer to everyone as "Dusty haters" in all of your posts.

Stick to arguing the specific points, not some big label generalities, and that goes for both sides.

Reverand:
"I think that Dusty is, on the whole, a great manager. That doesn't mean he doesn't make STUPID decisions"

I can't agree with that statement more. There are many moves I don't agree that Dusty makes. I would of PH for Guzman instead of saving Bynum for late in the game, fo example. I think some of the moves he makes are stupid, and some are great and some are justifiable. Those are my opinions, just like everyone else has there opinions. It just seems if Dusty makes a move that an individual person would not of made, it fals directly into teh STUOPID category, no matter if there is some justification to it. Just like pitching Dempster on Snday that some were crying about earlier. he had pitched 1 inning in 5 days, so he needed work and with the marlins coming into town, i am sure Dusty would not think he would of needed him in the 1st two games. That is a perfect example of just throwing it into the STUPID column without really looking into the move.

"Ultimately, I think the value-question of Dusty is legitimate,"

With as much money as the Cubs make, I don't think value as a maanger makes any difference. They needed a good maanger and there was only one proven winner out there and they had to pay for him, so be it. If there is a value question about Dusty, then there has to be one about Hendry. i am sure he got a raise in his latest extenstion.

But overall I agree with much of what you say.

#169...I still think Dusty did an excellent job of getting the team to the playoffs in 2003 and finishing as strongly as they did, I think he absolutely deserves credit for that. But he certainly deserves strong blame for how the team fell apart in '04 and for basically being worthless in '05...so I'd say 2 years of "Buffoonery" not 3.

#170 LOL :-)

Rob G.:
"Sorry if I wasn't more explicit in my praise for Dusty on Tuesday for your liking."

Sorry if you took offense and felt had to get defensive. Just pointing out the truth. You were the one who said in this thread "I'll criticize the manager when I feel he's doing a poor job, I'll applaud him when he's making the right moves." I saw the criticize part (for Wednesday's game), just not the applause (for Tuesday's game).

Its cool though everyone here has their biases. I like Dusty, so I am sure my views are clouded some towards defending Dusty, when I agree with his moves. And there are many on here who hate Dusty and their views are slanted as to blame everything against Dusty and every move he makes that they don't agree with to be STUPID.

As for critizing managers pay, I'm against all those that do. It doesn't matter if they were paying Dusty Baker 10 million a year. It is not his fault that the cubs management gave him that contract. If you were looking for a job and you applied for a company that really wanted you, you can ask for the amount of money you want. Good for Dusty. On other notes, who you gonna get to replace him for under that. With the changing of the cubs from a lovable loser type to you better be competitive or we are booing you franchise, you gonna have to pay the next guy a hell of alot more than 4 million a season. If you don't, what kind of manager you gonna get? One that doesn't have the balls to say he is worth it. I think we (cubs) are going to have a hard time getting a good replacement if Dusty leaves or gets fired. There aren't top managers who want to flock to a fire to get roasted.

you gonna have to pay the next guy a hell of alot more than 4 million a season. If you don't, what kind of manager you gonna get?

Dusty's 4 million a year contract makes him the second highest paid manager in baseball, behind only Joe Torre who makes about 6 million. Tony LaRussa is among the next highest on the list, and he "only" makes in the 2 million dollar range. So I think its a bit much to assume the Cubs would have to pay as much or more for Dusty's replacement.

Mind you, I don't blame Dusty for getting a 4 million dollar paycheck. He certainly should try and get as much as he can possibly soak out of the Trib.

I just wish he would do something to try and earn that paycheck, instead of collecting a check and making managerial decisions like a little league coach who has never watched a baseball game in his life.

kewlazguy:
"As for critizing managers pay, I'm against all those that do. It doesn't matter if they were paying Dusty Baker 10 million a year. It is not his fault that the cubs management gave him that contract."

I agree 100%. Rock on Dusty, get as much as you can. But I don't buy the argument that the fans' change from considering the Cubs "Lovable Losers" to expecting them to win is going to drive managers away... By that logic, big-market teams (e.g. NYY) or teams that have an ardent fanbase (e.g. STL) would only attract managers that want to fly under the radar. And you can argue the merits of having a Torre or a LaRussa in the dugout, but the fact is that they're not ones who shy away from fan pressure. If anything, having a team with a fan-base that wants to win attracts a more competitive coach.

Bleeding Blue:
"I just wish he would do something to try and earn that paycheck, instead of collecting a check and making managerial decisions like a little league coach who has never watched a baseball game in his life."

That's a little harsh, don't you think? Has he made some unbelievably dumb moves? Yeah. But on the whole, I think he's won the Cubs more games than he's lost, and your statement is way over the line.

Players like playing for Dusty, you'll never hear me argue otherwise. But his managerial decisions are horrible, and his use of strategy on the whole over his term as Cubs manager has been nothing short of pathetic.

That said, he's in his contract year, and seems like he has at least read a few chapters of Baseball Strategy for Dummies, so maybe there is hope.

Bleeding Blue:
"I just wish he would do something to try and earn that paycheck, instead of collecting a check and making managerial decisions like a little league coach who has never watched a baseball game in his life."

I can't help but laugh at this kind of stuff...

You guys do know the meaning of the word Hyperbole right?

Due to the fact that Dusty's management of the game on Tuesday really put the Cubs in a position to win, I will give him credit for actually winning that game for the cubs.

So my new records stand as:
CUBS: 11-6
Dusty 1-2.

You really have to expect that a manager will put his team in position to win more often than making decisions that allow a loss. I take back the Girardi trade due to the bullpen mismanagement earlier this week. I was even shocked and awed that he would leave that young pitcher in there to get ripped. I do think that Mabry is a defensive liability in RF. I love his flexibility to play almost every position on the field, but Mr. Jones is a superior fielder. For everyone, I promise to knock Dusty when he decides to make decisions that make a win less likely, and give him his propers when he mkes moves that put the Cubs in position to win. I can't take this losing thing much longer. I want my grandmother, A DIE HARD CUBS FAN, to see a World Series Championship land on the correct side of Chicago someday soon. The Marlins have 2 championships for cryin out loud.

So I say, "In Dusty (or whoever can direct this team) I trusty.

knocking dusty is one thing, but assigning him losses for marginal decisions? its not like he stuck aram in CF, zambrano in RF, and let mabry pitch.

players play the game.

you're gonna find more than just a few people who saw that mabry play and would say jones is far from automatic on getting that out even if he was in the game.

I'm not able to keep up with all the posts on TCR so I very well may have missed it, but I don't remember saying anything about DLees very clear and strong endorsement of Dusty after he signed his extension. we all (rightly) praised Lee for resigning instead of holding out for more money, but overlooked it when he basically said that part of the reason he did that was he liked playing for Dusty. That alone makes up for the few losses a year that arguably were caused by bad decisions.

you're gonna find more than just a few people who saw that mabry play and would say jones is far from automatic on getting that out even if he was in the game.

you're gonna find more than just a few people who realized that Dusty put his team in a worse position with the double switch then if he did not make the double switch. He puts in a a flyball pitcher and then downgraded one of the three positions that a flyball was likely to go to. Spin it anyway you'd like, but it's just not smart baseball. A matter of fact, it's non-sensical baseball.

knocking dusty is one thing, but assigning him losses for marginal decisions? its not like he stuck aram in CF, zambrano in RF, and let mabry pitch.

well since no managers in baseball do things like that (okay maybe larussa), it's kind of a hollow point you made there. The big decisions like batting Pierre 1st, playing Ramirez at 3rd, batting Lee 3rd or 4th, who plays RF are pretty much made before the season starts and a 9-year old with basic baseball knowledge can make those. It's the smaller decisions, the supposed minor moves that differentiate one manager from another and while they all may seem marginally significant when put into the context of any single game, the grand sum of them end up making a huge difference over the whole of the season.

No one gets uptight when Lee drops one ball at first base cause they know over the course of a season, it won't happen much. People get uptight when Cedeno makes a throwing error cause they are worried it's going to keep happening. The throw he made at Dodger stadium that airmailed Walker and landed in the front row in and of itself ended up being no big deal, but many worry that it will happen over and over again. Dusty makes one bad double switch a year and no one would notice, but Dusty has a long track record of illogical, unnecessary and overzealous double switching. So yeah, it's a problem and it's worth addressing everytime it occurs, cause in the long run it's going to cost us games.

Bluedog-
GReat point, but I brought it up awhile ago and got shot down for obvious reasons. If the Cubs fired Dusty, there would almost be a revolt in the clubhouse. I am fairly confident (nothing factual to back it up), but my gut tells me that Lee got assurances from hendry that they will do everything they can to resign Baker. The players love Baker, they play hard for them, as obvious by this early season surge despite major injuries.

"you're gonna find more than just a few people who realized that Dusty put his team in a worse position with the double switch then if he did not make the double switch."

i stated my view earlier on that, im not even trying to defend that move...im saying it was a pretty ordinary move, it wasnt groundbreaking, and its not that radical. i could go all out and bring up the fact that jones is playing on a bum leg, but i dunno how much that was a factor at that point in the game.

"well since no managers in baseball do things like that (okay maybe larussa), it's kind of a hollow point you made there"

i stated earlier my views on the move, but when it comes down to playing mabry over jones in LF it isnt as bad of a move as some people make it out to be. the pros/cons of the move aside, mabry is not a piece of crap RF'r...he had a bad night, but he's not adam dunn. he's not the best choice, but its not like you can definately say "jones would have had that 100% all the way." and besides that, mabry is usually better out there than he showed in that game.

though the double switch is questionable, putting mabry in RF isnt a move that's so radical of an occurance, imo.

manny:
The players love Baker, they play hard for them, as obvious by this early season surge despite major injuries.

You're absolutely right that the team loves Dusty, and you'll never hear me say otherwise. I think that the relationships he has consistently built with the team (and it's been a pretty changing roster during his tenure) is a major reason why this team has performed as well has it has the last few seasons.

That player-manager dynamic, though, can lead to harm as much as it can do some good. And that's why I also think Dusty should bear some of the blame for the implosion of 2004, the bullshit outside-the-lines drama that happened that year, and that team's inability to live up to its potential. But on the whole, I think Dusty's manner of cultivating those close relationships with his players has done far more good than harm.

All that being said, I still think the Mabry double-switch is questionable, despite Mabry's general prowess in RF. There's no guarantee JJ makes that catch, no, but I still don't really see the value of double-switching there. No, it's not a "radical occurance", and I don't think it cost us the game. I just think it's a move that's legitimately debatable. Of course, I'm generally of the school that thinks the double-switch should be more the exception than the rule, but that's just me.

Anyway, here's hoping we can pull out a win this afternoon... If I get my work done in time, I may just mosey up to the park, and you may see me in the stands. Go Cubs!

"I just think it's a move that's legitimately debatable."

the double switch is easily debatable...i dunno what was going on but unless jones was sore or there was some other plan involving howry that had to be scrapped it looks pretty stupid.

the only point im making is about the tallent lost when the switch was made. assuming both guys are healthy, not sore, and at their peak...while there is a drop off in D putting in mabry in for jones its not a very high impact substitution.

well, blowing a flyball with the bases loaded in the 8th inning of a tied game is, well, fairly high impact to us dumbass average joes.

I just wish I was smart enough to undertsand teh subtleties of why the Cubs' are ALWAYS right and yet they haven't won in 98 years. I'll keep reading crunch and maybe one day I'll understand.

Bleeding Blue,

You're the one who's moving the goal posts. A while back you stated that the move would have been "fine" if howry was going to pitch the ninth and now you term it "debatable" if that was the case. How do you reconcile your statements?

You've said that Baker doesn't understand the point of a double switch but you've CONCEDED that he's gotten it right sometimes. You haven't disputed that he got it right as recently as Saturday. Now, if he's gotten it right sometimes, how can you say that he didn't get it right this time?

"But at the same time, it's fair to call Dusty out for poor moves."

Of course it is. For me, the vitriol spewed over a move that didn't really impact the game is what's annoying and amazing. The double switch didn't create 8 freaking walks. And a horrible balk call.

bob:
For me, the vitriol spewed over a move that didn't really impact the game is what's annoying and amazing.

Yeah, some have taken it a bit overboard... But the decision was questionable at best, though it likely didn't lose us the game. It didn't have nearly as much impact as the walks did. And I'd rather not think about that balk call...

Anyway, it's official... I'm playing hooky and going to the game today, just me and a scorecard! Look for me out in the Ferris Bueller/Bartman area (not that you'd be able to know who I am, but whatever...)

Go Cubs!

superj...dont you ever get tired of crying like a baby over every little thing i say?

im sorry if its not a conspiracy theory to sell tickets i didnt come up with...or some long winded story about how neifi must be using black magic to get a/b's or whatever fairy tales you find easier to believe besides logic with reasons behind them.

now go grab a tissue and cry to mommy.

You've said that Baker doesn't understand the point of a double switch but you've CONCEDED that he's gotten it right sometimes.... Now, if he's gotten it right sometimes, how can you say that he didn't get it right this time

As I've said REPEATEDLY now, Just because he moved the pitchers spot down in the order occationally, doesn't mean he understands the point of a double switch. It ALSO doesn't mean that just because he moved the pitchers spot down in the order makes the move a good one if you don't look at how you are also affecting the Offense and Defense.

Ed perhaps if you would quit dodging and simply answer one of the two very very very basic questions that I've posed to you, you would get it.

If Dusty Understood the point of the double switch, then why would he EVER move the pitcher spot closer???

If you can not answer that question, as you have now refused to do on several occations, then You can not say that Dusty knows what the point of a double switch is.

A while back you stated that the move would have been "fine" if howry was going to pitch the ninth and now you term it "debatable" if that was the case. How do you reconcile your statements?

It is debateable because simply moving a pitcher spot down in the order does not alone make a double switch the right move. Making your outfield defense weaker when you put in a flyball pitcher because of the double switch certainly makes it an issue worthy of debate.

Remember, I said the double switch was fine IF AND ONLY IF Dusty ever planned to keep Howry in the game for the 9th inning. I do not believe Dusty ever planned to use Howry in the 9th. I have given you many pieces of evidence why it is extremely unlikely that Dusty was ever planning on using Howry in the 9th inning.

I have asked now several times, and you still refuse to answer, What evidence do you have that Dusty was EVER planning on using Howry in the 9th Inning??

If you can not provide any evidence that he was planning on using Howry, and you can not say that Dusty understands the double switch - since one who understands it would not make a pitcher bat sooner on many occation - then you can not say that this particular double switch had any justification at all.

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