A Washington Nationals Blog
What was your take on Josh Willingham in right field?I thought he did well. He had some good at bats.
Classic. Many has read so much power of positive thinking that he just can't bring himself to criticize his players in public. Kearns is "in a slump."The coachspeak is part of what has me calling for Manny's head by around the all-star break. Let's see how they do against the American League East first. They struggled against the weak hitting Giants, depleted Mets, and weak hitting Reds. If they get crushed by the American League East and embarassed by the Red Sox at home, it's time for the man to go. By the way, does this mean FJB is becoming FMA?
Sigh. The hell of it is, dismal fielding or no, Willingham did have some good at-bats. So if a good-at-bat devotee like me were to criticize that quote for changing the subject, can't you just see Manny thinking: Gee, there's no pleasing some people?Well, no. That would be negative, wouldn't it?
I am glad he didn't bitch slap his player in public. Do you really think w'ham wanted to make a fool of himself? What good does it do to pile on and humiliate further? OK, I'll say it, as a former athlete (HS at least), I can appreciate Manny's approach.
No bitchslap required. How it might have been said:Q: What was your take on Josh Willingham in right field?A: I know what I thought in the third inning... but, you know, we're going to look at the video and figure out how to improve on that kind of situation.Let the player know he's accountable without thrashing him, let the fans know the manager's head is in the game. Two ways to win.
No, I'm not saying he should slam him. Hell, Willingham didn't put himself in RF. It's not his fault Jim Bowden doesn't know a DH when he sees one.I just thought it was funny. Manny needed a little transition there, like, "well, you know, his bat is his best tool, we all know that, and..."
The Nats should DFA Austin Kearns. On offense, he gets more pathetic every time he comes up to the plate. He plays with the enthusiasm of a cadaver. He is a hopeless mess.
I agree with Steven, it is funny and I think it achieves Hendo's objective of letting the player know the manager's head is in the game. By artfully dodging the question and emphasizing the positive, my guess is that w'ham is more likely to work on his technique. Going all Piniella on him would seem counterproductive.
In fact, Manny did speak to Willingham's fielding. Wish I'd read that interview before I opened my fat trap.Guess I should rely more on primary sources and less on selective quotes...
That's the whole point of having Willingham in right - to get his bat, Dunn's bat and Johnson's bat into the game at the same time, while simultaneously removing Kearns's weak excuse of a bat from the lineup for good. It's a given that Willingham's fielding in right will not match Kearns. It just needs to be marginally better than Dunn's.Of course, this whole plan falls apart if Willingham doesn't hit. So when Manny says Willingham had some good ABs in right, what he's really saying is Mission Accomplished (and not in a George W. Bush kind of way). Get off Manny's back for this one. Just be glad that Kearns's days in the lineup are drawing to an end. This interleague interval with the DH is Kearns's last shot. If he doesn't turn it around miraculously, he's gone. Either banished to the bench, or if Rizzo has been watching him enough to grow tired of it, DFA.
I don't think anyone's on Manny's back here. It was a funny quote from an interview. Just a little chuckle.People are testy in NatsTown.
Yeah, you can't go after Manny until he fails with a real team on the field. He's been given a team with no outfield defense and below-average pitching to go along with it. No manager could win with this crew...or even to much better than Manny is doing I suspect.
Kearns is the new Cintron. Lately it seems that when it gets late in the game (for Manny, that's right after the 5th inning) and Manny's pulling his usually effective starting pitcher too early, his first option off the bench is Austin Kearns, he of the .210 batting average. What a rally killer.I often watch the games on my DVR, and when Kearns comes up I just zip through his at-bat because he's an automatic out.What I don't understand is, if Manny wants Willingham's bat in the line up, why doesn't he play Josh in left where's he comfortable and move Dunn to right? That eliminates Kearns' weak bat, and Dunn's defense is shoddy in left or right, so what's the difference?
Hey Anon 1:17: have you been paying any attention this season? Dunn has started 21 games in RF this year. And he has been wretched there. At least Manny is trying to see if Willingham can be less bad out there.
I hear what you're saying, Simon, but my point continues to be that Dunn's defense is bad in left or right, so if Manny is trying to justify putting Willingham into the line up, why not put him in left where he's comfortable? Then you at least have that side of the outfield defended better. Dunn's a defensive liability no matter what outfield position he plays.Anyway, we haven't seen enough of Willingham in right to make a judgment. I'm hoping he adjusts to it and becomes decent out there so Manny can sit Kearns down, but right now it's too early to tell. One thing's for sure, this musical outfield they've got going on is not working.
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