Last night's game was a great example of our love/hate affair with Cito. The guy won't use J.P. Arencibia because, I'm guessing, he wants to win now. He wants to win the game that is at hand. Not a terrible thing for a manager, but you would think a team that is out of the race and that announced before the season that they were playing for the future, the manager would be playing for the future too. He so much doesn't want to use JP that he won't even throw him into the game after pinch running for John Buck. At least now he has said what we've been saying all along, that Travis Snider has to play everyday.
So he's playing for the win. Then, with a tie game in the bottom of the 9th, he brings in Brian Tallet. Tallet, you all know, hasn't been good this year, 6.28 ERA. In his last 14 appearances he's allowed runs in all but 2 out them. He beat the odds for 2 innings, throwing him out there for another was really pushing his luck. Maybe Cito's not playing for the win.
So putting Tallet in was neither playing for the future nor playing for the win. It was....I don't know what it was. With a ton of arms in the pen I can't figure the reasoning.
Now Cito does do a number of things well. His first time with the team he would leave starting pitchers in too long way too often. This time around, he rarely stays with the starter too long. He's far more likely to have a quick hook with his starters now, which, considering the youth of out starters, is a good idea.
He gets, and likely deserves, a ton of credit when one of his hitters does well. This year Jose Bautista does amazingly well and Cito gets credit. Last year he got a lot of credit for how well Adam Lind and Aaron Hill did. You'd see him on the bench chatting with Lind all the time. The bad part is, if you get credit for the good year, how can you avoid blame for the bad?
I give him a lot of credit for recognizing the team he had this year. He knew if he was to win the team had to hit a lot of home runs. He didn't have the players to hit and run or bunt. As much as you might want, you don't have players that would be high on base average players. So take what they do well and try to maximize that. Buck and Pat can tell us how great a manager Joe Maddon is all they want and say how his teams win the 'right way', but you need the players that can do those things. If you don't have them, you have to figure out what the guys you do have can do and try to win with them.
We are in the last month of Cito's managerial career and he is going to drive us nuts a lot of the time. Then, at the end of the year, we'll all stand and cheer him. But I don't think we'll be sad that he's leaving.