Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Thin-Skinned Jim Goes Off

Jim Riggleman was asked a couple times today why he's not playing his young, improving players and benching the declining veterans. He didn't take too kindly to it, lecturing the assembled media that "When we play baseball, we're supposed to try to win."

I agree with that, though of course it's a false choice.

No one's advocating that the Nationals don't try to win. The point that I and other are making is that we should, whenever possible, invest playing time in improving young players so that the team can actually get better. We might win fewer games in the short term but we'll more games in the medium term and long term.

Of course, none of that has anything to do with Cristian Guzman and Ian Desmond. Guzman over the last 21 games going into tonight is hitting .183 / .212 / .268. He's on an extended skid and should sit regardless. And yeah, he's had a hot streak here or there, but since May 9, he's hitting .277 / .304 / .387. That's bad.

And he's a just plain rotten fielder.

So what exactly does "trying to win" have to do with playing Cristian Guzman?

Get off your high horse, Fizzleman. Bench Guzman. Play Desmond.


hleeo3 said...

Anytime you see Pete Orr pinch hitting for Bard with a bases loaded situation you know you are screwed.

You would think with Morse's last pinch hitting appearance would have at LEAST earned him another pinch hitting appearance or a start even. What's the point? These guys from AAA are trying to earn themselves jobs too with the big club but what do they have to do to earn their "veteran status" if they never play. I love Riggles winning attitude just horrible execution.

Anonymous said...

I don't really see how the team could be worse playing Desmond and the pitchers than it already is, so what's the problem here? Riggleman, we are 47-92; please get over yourself.

Deacon Drake said...

This is EXACTLY what he seemed to be implying when he responded to the inquiries about handling young pitcher (Kerry Wood) and what he had learned. You weren't satisfied with his response. I admired him for coming forward and admitting that he is doing everything he can to win the next game. He tries, but he just isn't a very good manager.

He may have thought he had a shot at the long term job, too, and with this recent tailspin, that dream is long gone.

Steven said...

@DD--Yep, you're right. The key takeaway from the Wood answer (which, remember, is an incredibly well rehearsed answer he's been giving for over 10 years) was that he was RIGHT to overwork the player because you do everything you can to win now.

When he said he'd do it differently in hindsight, he was just saying that if he knew then that he'd get so much criticism that he would have done it differently to protect himself.

But his priorities are consistent: win now, screw the development of young players. Which again is a false choice anyway, but it's an idiotic way of setting priorities if you're the worst team in baseball.

If you're Charlie Manuel overworking Cole Hamels on a true WS contender, I can at least understand the argument. Not for Fizzleman.

Charlie said...

I've never agreed with you more than on this topic.

Forget Guzman's poor hitting, it still beats the gaping lineup hole that they put out there every game at 2B. Play Guzman at 2B and put Desmond in at SS!

I'm starting the Ian Desmond watch. Today should be Day 3.

flippin said...

Jim should say "win while I am still manager." I am beginning to think Jim's mismanagement of pitchers and his stubborn use of stale veterans has more to do with his very steep discount rate on future wins, i.e., winning in succeeding seasons. I can't imagine Rizzo is on board with this philosophy. Unfortunately, unless Riggs quits, we are stuck with him until the bitter end. Bowden strikes again.

estuartj said...

No way Riggleman's job depends on wins and losses, for Rizzo it all about what he wants his manager's job to be, Acta was "preach and teach" for JimBow - I think Rizzo wants a Task Master.

I just home Riggleman isn't that guy, but if he is it doesn't matter if they go 0 for the seasnon here on out.