>Can you give me an example of a team where "tactics" proved to be detrimental?
Yes. Tom Runnells, Montreal's former manager, was a classic case. He
over managed the team. It seemed he made moves, sometimes just to
make a move, so as to show the team who's boss. The effect was that
the players had no idea, how, when, or why they were playing. The
irony was, that it was exactly the fact that he did these "control
moves" that showed he actually didn't have control.
>Don't you think you might be a tad guilty of generalizing here? Isn't it
>likely that the best managers have combinations of skills? And that each
>of any group of best managers would have differing combinations of
Yes. All great managers do not have the same combination of skills.
Also, the combination of skills that work are probably different from
team to team. A good manager recognizes that there is a tradeoff
between taking strict control and "letting the players play". The
balance between these two can vary from team to team and even from
player to player. The great managers recognize what to do from
situation to situation. Sometimes he needs to rule with an iron***
and other times he needs to let things go.
>>situations. In this regard, Cito doesn't have a clue. Fortunately for him,
>>he's had enough good players that it hasn't mattered.
Yes. My sentiments exactly.
>Why do you feel Cito doesn't have a clue? Can you give me examples of
>situations that you feel Cito mishandled his personnel?
Gaston is manager who lets the players play. He has a set lineup and
tends to stick with it, not making alot of moves. He has platooned
players in the past, but one gets the feeling he'd rather not do it
unless he's forced. He leaves alot of room for "error" and doesn't
give up on someone very easily. For some players, this will work well
but for others it won't.
For great managers, I look at LaRussa, Leyland, and Kelly. Each has
star players which they play everyday. But they still use their
entire roster in the other spots of the lineup. They know which
situations their players are most likely to succeed and use them in
these situations as much as possible ALL YEAR. Then when the
situation becomes more critical (either during the stretch run or the
playoffs) they aren't afraid to continue using all their players and
the players are quite likely to continue to come through because
they've been doing it all year. Also, each player tends to learn
and place importance on their role with the team, giving the team a
sense of togetherness and purpose. The players gain confidence in
themselves and each other. They learn what the manager will do in
certain circumstances and will prepare themselves phsyically and
When Gaston calls on his bench in the playoffs (maybe he just won't)
they'll have so little experience that its much less likely that
perform well. It would be nice if Gaston could count on his bench to
pinch hit for players at the bottom of the order like Gruber, Borders,
Lee, and even Maldanado. When players like White and Alomar get on
base, Carter and Winfield are there to drive them in and if a tough
right hander is facing them late in the game, you still go with them
because they're all stars and still have a good chance to come thru.
But when Carter and Winfield get on base and you have Maldanado,
Gruber, and Borders, facing a tough right hander late in the game you
would like to pinch hit for them. But since the bench hasn't been
used very much all year, you can't expect them to come thru in such a
situation because they haven't had to all year (I'm generalizing here
but I think you get the picture). You're also afraid to put these
subs in defensively.
But the situation is better than last year. Last year, after Carter's
spot in the order, the Jays would simply have to wait an inning or two
for the top of the order to come around for another chance to score.
Thankfully, this year with Winfield and a much improved Maldanado,
Olerud, and Lee, the bottom of the order is actually reasonably
productive. The dramatic increase in run production this year for
Toronto bears that out.