Monday, April 20, 2009

Gutsy move by big-league manager

If you think it's tough for Kansas City fans to go through the recent perils of high-dollar bullpen bust Kyle Farnsworth, imagine what it must be like to be a Washington Nationals fan about now.

The Nats are sitting at 1-10, and many of their losses have been games blown by the team's relievers.

So what did Nationals manager Manny Acta do? On Sunday, he got rid of nearly the whole damn bullpen.

That's right. He shipped four pitchers to the minor leagues on Sunday. After another loss blown by the relief corps, he had this to say:

"I think it's embarrassing. I think it's unacceptable. I think our fans have every right to be mad, like we are right now. And it's not going to be tolerated. We're going to have a brand new bullpen tomorrow, and if those guys that come in don't get it done, we're going to continue getting guys out of here. Because I think all of us deserve better... The fact is, you have to throw strikes. This is the big leagues, and they're big league pitchers, and you win with pitching. We had a chance to win three games in a row, we couldn't do it, and it's not going to be tolerated. So starting tomorrow we're going to have a brand new bullpen. Plenty of moves, and more to come."

Managers (rightly) catch a lot of heat for the failures of their team. And Acta will be under the gun for this move, especially if the young guys he promoted to replace the old guys aren't any better.

But sometimes I get tired of managers tinkering. Trey Hillman is a world-renowned tinkerer, and sometimes it pisses me off. Sometimes, it's refreshing to see a manager just cut off the limb that's not pulling its weight.

(That's a bit of a mixed metaphor there, I know.)

--Matt Kelsey


  1. Matt,
    How about a gutsy move from a Royals' manager to hit and run, bunt, double steal, or anything else to thwart the threat of a double play? Hitting into six double plays in nine innings calls into question a manager's skills, don't you think?

  2. No kidding. That was tough to watch. And to think, if we had avoided just ONE of those, it's probably a Royals victory...