Yeah, I know, this isn’t going to be fun.
I’m going to play devil’s advocate a bit.
The short and weird training camp is the cause of some of the problems we are seeing:
- Pitchers didn’t have time to stretch out, get to where they could do the multiple innings we expect. In regular spring training, the pitchers start in February, so they have almost two months to build up to their pitch count. We see a ton of pitching injuries, so I’m ok with Charlie erring on the side of caution.
- The same holds for not knowing which pitchers are at the top of their game and which ones are still searching for their pitches. A typical spring, the manager would have a month of games to evaluate his pitchers. This year, he had two games.
- Some of the playing errors fall under the same ‘training wasn’t long enough’. Players complain about how repetitive drills are during spring training, but it seems there is a reason for that. Watching games with other teams , there are a ton more mistakes than in an average season. The Blue Jays seem to be making more of these mistakes, but maybe that’s part of being a younger team.
- I’m not a fan of the manager ripping his team publicly. Taking someone out of the game for a mistake is the wrong way to do things. I think we wrecked some good prospects by having them worried that making a mistake will have them dropped from the lineup, instead of letting them play. I don’t think young players do well if they are always looking over their shoulder. I believe it is best I a manager deals with mistakes in private. The only trouble is: then we don’t know if he is dealing with things.
- Lineup issues. I’ll admit I hate when managers move guys around in the lineup on small sample size issues. I liked Earl Weaver. He used to say that you pick your team in spring training and run with them until the middle of the season, when, hopefully, small sample size issues even out (though I’ll admit changing Biggio and Bichette seems to have worked, but that was the right move in the first place). This season is weird, but taking Rowdy Tellez out of the DH spot and putting in Joe Panik is just stupid. A couple of bad games shouldn’t result in Tellez watching from the sidelines, especially if the choice is Panik (professional hitter or not).
- I want my manager to understand that extra-inning can happen and to plan for them. The other day I said that I loved the long extra-inning games of the past because it forced managers to work. If all games last nine innings, the manager’s job is much easier. Charlie never seems to understand that the game could go ten innings.
- With the above, pulling Vlad for Anthony Alford with 2-out in the eighth seemed a dumb move. I guess it could have worked, but I still think it was the wrong play. If Drury or as it was going to be, Joe Panik came up in the tenth with the game on the line, I would have been less than happy.
- I want Charlie to show a bit of a sense of urgency with the team in this short season.
- Personally, I think we have too many hitting coaches. I’d like to know if they are all pulling the same way.
- Masks. I want my manager insisting that coaches wear masks, correctly, at all times. I’d also like him to insist that they don’t use those neck sock things since they, apparently, don’t work, but that will take some instruction. I think that should come down from the league.
- I guess I would like Charlie to appear stronger. I know it is appearances and all, but I’d like him to be strong and in control. “I’m manager damn it.” I wasn’t his biggest fan, but Cito always had an air of ‘I’m the boss’. Cito wouldn’t yell and scream at umpires. He was quiet, much like Charlie, but he seemed to be in charge.
Do you approve of the job Charlie Montoyo doing?
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