Wednesday, July 9, 2008

So, like, what's the plan for 3rd base?

Unlike the majority of the internet ranting, sports radio show calling world out there, I do not operate under the assumption that everyone besides me is a complete idiot and only I know what's best for my favorite teams at all times. If anything, I'm the opposite of that. I understand that I don't know enough detail about most sports to really take on a head coach or a GM. I usually give the people that are actually in the locker room, around the team on a day to day basis the benefit of the doubt no matter what the decision.

Of all the sports, the one I know the best is baseball. And I think one of the reasons I love baseball so much is because I really like trying to think along with a manager during the course of a game. So while the average fan, will be the first to jump all over a skipper as soon as the move he makes, or doesn't make, backfires, and the super knowledgeable fan is screaming for the move that he or she thinks should be made and can't comprehend why the idiot running things doesn't see it too; I prefer to watch and try and figure out why. Why does a manager decide go get a pitcher when he does? Why does he not pinch hit or bunt in a certain situation? A lot of people would tell you it's because he's clearly an idiot and knows nothing about baseball. But I think there's always a reason for every move. So, I watch it and try to think what he's thinking and that's one of the things that I so enjoy about the game. This isn't to say that I'm smarter or a better fan than anyone else, it's just the way I am. (It's also one of the things that makes the NL brand of baseball a far superior product, but that's for another rant.)

This leads us to last night, in the 7th inning, bases loaded, and the Brewers leading 5-3. Bill Hall comes up against a right-handed reliever. The entire crowd is yelling for Russell Branyan (including a Badger friend of mine 2 rows behind me). But Yost stays with Bill Hall who delivers a 2-run single to left (after stunning everyone by letting 2 consecutive sliders away go by). So, the question is, why? Why stay with Hall there when Branyan was the "obvious choice". I said to my Badger friend that maybe it's because Bill Hall is a better defender (which he is) and the Brewers already had a 2-run lead.

But I also thought, maybe they really want Hall to get going and were willing to gamble a couple extra insurance runs for the chance to let Billy get a big hit that might help him right the ship and start hitting the way the team hoped he would at the start of the season. I definitely think there's something to that. I'd be willing to bet that if you asked any person in Brewer management or on the coaching staff off the record what they'd like to happen with the 3rd base spot for the rest of this season, they'd tell you that they would really like to see Bill Hall get going and hold that spot down for the duration. That's probably some big time wishful thinking, but I can't say I'd disagree with that. If we're all being completely honest here, you have to agree that the Russell Branyan magical, mystery tour that he's been on since coming up is NOT going to last all season. Hot as he might be he's still Russell Branyan, and when he cools down there's going to be a decision to make. Maybe this stretch of consistent ABs against leftys is just what the doctor ordered for Hall and the Brewers? Maybe I'm just over-reacting to one good AB by a guy that'll never be anything more than a good hitter against leftys and an atrocious hitter against rightys? Maybe I've just written a long ass blog, with zero humor in it, that no one will actually read? Hope so, hope not, and definitely.


Rubie Q said...

A lot of people would tell you it's because he's clearly an idiot and knows nothing about baseball. But I think there's always a reason for every move.

Listen, it's not like I just woke up one morning and decided that Ned was an idiot. I would love to believe that King Ned has a reason for every move. But after hearing him grunt or bark or just plain refuse to answer questions about why he makes the moves he makes for six years, I can't believe it anymore. There's no method. Just madness.

Softball's Tony Gwynn said...

What kind of offense is he going to run? Its not that hard of a question.

Reid You Animal! said...

That line was not directed at anyone in particular Rubes. And if it was it was probably at a certain red communist that I know.

Devil's Threesome said...

I agree with your blog. Billy is the answer this year at third. If we can get him going, we have a good opportunity for the playoffs. Ask STG, I was NOT calling for Branyan.

Softball's Tony Gwynn said...

Actually I recall you shouting from the rafters "Put in the muscle, I love the muscle. God damn it Yost, put in the muscle" And I was like "Dude calm down you are making a scene" And he was like "I love the muscle, Billy sucks" And I was like "Dude, we are all ready up one run let's see if Billy can come thru for us." Then he said "We aren't going to win this game, I don't feel comfortable with only a one run lead"

Note: Not all parts of these quotes are true (maybe only the last one)