OK, so maybe my last post wasn’t as clear as I’ d wanted.
No, I don’t think Alou is doing much to help the Giants win. In point of fact, I have wondered (I’m not looking it up, but it’s there, some two months ago) whether he’s doing more harm than good with the staff. I also consider Righetti a suspect in the complete failure of virtually the entire pitching staff.
All I was trying to say yesterday is that it hardly matters anymore, but in fact, that’s not true at all. It does matter. The way Alou is running these guys in and out certainly does contribute to their ineffectiveness. His unwillingness to handle the modern athlete with the care and attention that he demands has to be considered part and parcel of the culture of failure and losing that envelops this team right now.
When he was hired after 2002, I felt that he was the right guy for the job (many of you may not remember that I was the first to suggest Alou as Baker’s replacement). Looking at his work over the last 400 games or so, I think it’s fair to ask whether he still is.
The Giants have one last hurrah before Bonds retires, maybe two. If Sabean is going to reload with more veterans (and by veterans, I mean, old pieces of crap), than by all means, he might as well have Alou finish his current contract, which I believe runs through ’07. Alou’s style of letting men be men and not coddling and/or talking to and listening to their problems, concerns or needs will work fine with 35-year olds.
But when the time comes that the Giants decide to actually allow some young players to play, without the pressure of having to never fail or make any mistakes, then Sabean (or whoever’s running the team by then) will need to look for someone to take the team into the 21st century.
Until then, we are stuck with Alou, and I agree with the lunatic fringe, regardless of talent, it almost certainly won’t succeed. Using four or five pitchers to get the last six outs of a game is a poor stratgey, one that does more to insulate the manager from having to answer questions of whether or not he did all he could to win, and less to insure that the team actually does win. It also makes it easy to pin the losses on the players, especially the pitchers.
Right now, Alou isn’t pushing any of the right buttons. Does it seem likely that he will next season?
UPDATE: Evan Brunnell is wondering about his manager too, in this piece. I guess it’s that time of year.