19 August 2002

Dave Pinto (whose own website is now linked here) made a point on his blog about how Bobby Valentine should have pinch hit for Rey Ordonez in the late innings of a close game, but didn't. I must agree with the point, which I noticed a few weeks ago, and would have written about at the time, but didn't have this blog yet. In a game against Arizona on Monday, 5 August, it was bad enough that Valentine started the likes of Ty Wiggington, Timo Perez, Joe McEwing and John Valentin against Randy Johnson, but then, in the 8th, only down by 2 runs and with Rey ".244" Ordonez due up, Valentine lets him hit, (though I use the term loosely). And then he pinch hits for the pitcher, not Alfonzo (.467 OBP vs. RJ), not Alomar (.341 OBP vs. RJ), but Vance Wilson (0/0 vs RJ), who promptly struck out.

The next day people made a big deal about the shutout Johnson had pitched, but in reality I don't think Valentine could have done any more to give the game away. If he ever was a good manager, he seems to have lost it. There are very few times when I think that the manager can really be blamed for poor production by his team, and I think he can almost never be blamed for poor production by particular players. But not getting the most out of the team you have is no one's fault but the manager's. Here's to a change at the helm of the SS NY Mets, before Valentine runs them aground or into an iceberg again, like he has this year.

Maybe Davey Johnson's available?

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