50-Game Mark TCR Reader Survey: Question 2

How satisfied are you with the performance of Lou Piniella?

Comments

I went with very unsatisifed and tonight's game is a mircocomism of the vote.

- How do you not make it clear to Gregg/Soto, that in no uncertain terms do not throw a fastball to Francouer, who will almost swing at anything off-speed. Even if you walk him I will take my chances with Blanco. Instead you throw a belt-high fastball on 3-1 to a free swinger who has the most power of anyone in the Braves lineup.

- Why waste a postion player to PH for Soto if you are going to have them SAC bunt? If he would have used Demp or Lilly instead of Scales, they likely put it down as that is there job on offense.

-why dont you just walk Chipper when the count went to 3-2 agnaist a pitcher he has had success with?

- It was 2-1 on Francouer, and Soto called a fastball on the inside corner and it missed by about 10 inches. You can't just go an entire at-bat without throwing a fastball because the hitter likes them - almost everyone does - but you can't miss by a foot out over the plate at this level and not get hammered. So I am not upset with Soto or Lou on this one, Gregg simply has to hit his spot or miss off the plate in.

- Agreed, send Dempster up.

- Brenly pointed out that with a young guy like Guzman they would have put Jones on, but with a veteran like Heilmann they let him pitch with the idea that you pitch around and don't give him anything to hit. Obviously they confused Heilmann with a major league pitcher. But it should be pointed out that McCann on deck is 3-6 off of Heilmann for his career with a HR and two doubles, so in that case do you pick Jones with 2-strikes or a new count with McCann?

I kid you not, but the Atlanta broadcast it seemed to show Larry Rothschild calling that pitch. There was certainly some gesturing and Soto looking over. Soto was set-up outside though and Gregg obviously missed over the plate.

I've watched almost all the games this year on Gameday (instead of on TV), so I actually voted "uncertain" on Piniella, though after sleeping on it I'd probably vote "somewhat unsatisfied".

Besides some of the weird strategic moves Lou has made, something I REALLY didn't like was what he was talking about in the FOX game this weekend. During the in-game interview with Buck and McCarver, Piniella was talking about "treading water" until the team gets healthy. I fucking hate that kind of talk from a leader. It reminds me of Dusty Baker, for one ("gimme my horses and I'll win!"). But more importantly, it's telling the team that:

A: It's acceptable to just tread water.

B: He only expects them to tread water.

(I realize A and B are the same thing.)

I wish Lou would have said "We have good players, and we will win with whoever I put on the fucking field."

Because if Lou said that and believed it, maybe they'd play like winners instead of that crap that happened last night.

I agree with this. When teams are decimated by injury that is the time to play with some urgency. When you tell a bunch of back-ups to tread water and play .500-ball, they typically play less than .500 ball.

I can only think that Lou's rationale is that the team out there now is inexperienced so he wants there to be less pressure on them. Think about the roster now - Scales, Blanco, Hoffpauir, Fox, Wells, Waddell, Ascanio, Patton all basically rookies. Hill, Fontenot, Soto, Fukudome, Marshall, Marmol, Guzman, all have very little ML experience. When 3/5ths of your roster is like that maybe you handle things a bit differently. I don't know.

"I fucking hate that kind of talk from a leader. It reminds me of Dusty Baker, for one..."

AGREE WHOLEHEARTEDLY!

I heard "Holly" on his usual bit with the ESPN Chicago 1000 guys yesterday afternoon. HE said basically the same thing. The players, RIGHT NOW, have to take it upon themselves - without worrying about trades, who is injured, when X player is getting back - etc.! It is plainly obvious that with only a few exceptions, this philosophy is not heeded.

Re SOTO - Holly said in his experience (remember at one time he was highly-touted in the Dodgers system), Lou has a tricky situation on his hands as the player, potentially, could have some "head" issues if he is not "handled properly". These can last into a young player's career. So, what do you do with last year's ROY? Bench him? AAA him? Let him play out of it? Put him on a fucking diet? I should talk, personally. I have been trying to lose 5 lbs for like a year and a half.

Hollandsworth wasn't just highly touted, he was NL Rookie of the Year just like Geo! That's where he was coming from.

I went with Somewhat Unsatisfied because although I think most of Lou's in game work is good, he still has faults that have affected the outcome of some games. Questionable pinch hit choices, leaning on too few pitchers too much of the time and the lengthy auditions for the replacement 3B all bother me. I did like how he seemed to be using the running game a little more the last part of the homestand, that's how this team is going to have to score for the foreseeable future.

Personally, I think managerial meltdowns on the field and at the press table are sorely overrated, but I do remember Lou calling the team to task about June, 2007. That was when they were about 9 under, DeRosa was kicking the ball around, Soriano was swinging at the pitch outs and Barrett was ending rallies at 3B. He went before the press and said he needed players who could "run the bases and catch the damn ball", and if his guys couldn't do that, he'd get someone who could. Now a statement like THAT I'd like to hear.

I think Soto will just have to catch 2 out of every 3 games and try to work out of his funk. Whether he takes the route of Rick Wilkens or Pudge Rodriguez, he probably deserves to prove himself. Good or bad. I can't see making the post season with Koyie Hill getting 400 abs as your catcher.

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