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View Full Version : Larson Can't Play at the Major League Level



redlegs2370
04-28-2004, 12:19 AM
I don't like to be negative after one loss but this one against the Brewers really hurts. With a tough 4 game road trip to Houston the Reds needed to pad their record. Larson's throw is just not acceptable. He also had an opportunity with no outs and bases loaded and couldn't drive a run in.

When is the front office going to realize that AAA and the majors are totaly different. Play Castro and be done with it.

Barbarossa
04-28-2004, 12:22 AM
Castro makes that play!

Redny
04-28-2004, 12:27 AM
He also had an opportunity with no outs and bases loaded and couldn't drive a run in.

Can't really fault him there, he hit an absolute rocket to Helms. However his error did cost the team the game. Maybe he will win one with his bat soon.

DunnersGrl44
04-28-2004, 12:30 AM
Amen to that.... Castro definetly would of made that play... even Freel would of made it.... I am not a Larson fan.... 2 errors is not acceptable...

Cedric
04-28-2004, 12:32 AM
Basically every single player in baseball would have made that play, I don't really see the need of saying everyone that could. Miley didn't have any options and Larson short armed it, game over.

SYCMiniBus
04-28-2004, 12:32 AM
THE SKY IS FALLING THE SKY IS FALLING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh wait we all need to breath easy and realise one game, and they will comeback tommorow. Wilson going hopefully he can go 7 innings or so. A lot of people had bad games: Larson, Graves, Lidle, Griffey, and I hate to say it Wily Mo didnt have his best game. It happens lets breath easy and go on.

redlegs2370
04-28-2004, 12:35 AM
Well I hope we don't have to watch long enough before he helps win one with his bat. He was a big part of the early struggles last year. When they sent him down to AAA the Reds started to make a surge. Now I'm not saying it was just him but his defense is not very good. If you remember right Aaron Boone agreed to play 2nd base and then went back to 3rd base after Larson's demotion.

I think Brandon is trying and giving everything he has, I just don't think he can get it done and why go through this when the Reds were playing so well.

How many more games are they going to loose trying to figure this out.

smith288
04-28-2004, 12:35 AM
I feel like its only the Reds that could snatch defeat from the jaws of victory... But there are far worse teams out there.... But it still hurts alot and infuriates me to watch this little league performance by certain players...

Legion of Dunn
04-28-2004, 12:35 AM
THE SKY IS FALLING THE SKY IS FALLING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh wait we all need to breath easy and realise one game, and they will comeback tommorow. Wilson going hopefully he can go 7 innings or so. A lot of people had bad games: Larson, Graves, Lidle, Griffey, and I hate to say it Wily Mo didnt have his best game. It happens lets breath easy and go on.


No, it's *not* one game... It's four in as many weeks. You can't give away a game a week and hope to have any kind of season.

Ravenlord
04-28-2004, 12:35 AM
so what would have happened if Castro had been in at 3B and made that same error? would people demand that Freel be in? or that Larson have remained in? i'm pretty sure Castro's made a throwing error before at 3B (in fact, he has one this year).

smith288
04-28-2004, 12:37 AM
so what would have happened if Castro had been in at 3B and made that same error? would people demand that Freel be in? or that Larson have remained in? i'm pretty sure Castro's made a throwing error before at 3B (in fact, he has one this year).
Castro is Manos Del Oro

Larson sucks


I would have been able to look past a mess up by Castro as he is pretty solid but Larson just stinks and should have been replaced. Hopefully Miley learned his lesson

Ravenlord
04-28-2004, 12:38 AM
Castro is Manos Del Oro

Larson sucks
and yet that answers none of the questions asked by me.

smith288
04-28-2004, 12:38 AM
look again

redlegs2370
04-28-2004, 12:39 AM
Did Castro's throwing error cost the Reds a win and first place? Face it Larson is not a money player. When has he come through in the clutch?

Reds/Flyers Fan
04-28-2004, 12:41 AM
It's not exactly one game minibus. This is the second save Graves has blown in less than a week when he had two outs in the ninth. Graves has already blown these games:

* vs. Atlanta when he gave up game-tying hit with 2 outs in ninth inning
* vs. Chicago when entered game with one-run lead, faced 2 batters and surrendered 2 HRs
* vs. a pitiful Milwaukee team when he gave up a home run to probably baseball's biggest no-name.

Blame Brandon Larson for this loss, he sucks and should be shipped out ASAP, but any real closer would be able to overcome that error and finish off the next guy. Not give up 2-run bombs at the first sign of adversity.

Graves is just horrible. I'd rather have Todd Jones, Ryan Wagner or - gasp - even Todd Van Poppel in the closers' role and really no one can argue that.

SteelSD
04-28-2004, 12:41 AM
gO rEdS!!!!

Cedric
04-28-2004, 12:42 AM
I'm not blaming Graves solely, i'm just wondering why people are willing to think he has ZERO blame for almost half our losses.

Ravenlord
04-28-2004, 12:43 AM
now i understand why Billy Beane doesn't watch games.

Ravenlord
04-28-2004, 12:43 AM
I'm not blaming Graves solely, i'm just wondering why people are willing to think he has ZERO blame for almost half our losses.
who said anything even remotely resembling that?

Cedric
04-28-2004, 12:45 AM
Maybe Billy Beane should watch the games, maybe he could realize what players come through in tough situations and which one's don't. Maybe that's why he has a few players that choke every playoff.

SteelSD
04-28-2004, 12:49 AM
Graves is just horrible. I'd rather have Todd Jones, Ryan Wagner or - gasp - even Todd Van Poppel in the closers' role and really no one can argue that.

Sure they can. Replace mediocrity with chaff, a kid, or chaff squared? Not going to nail down a higher percentage of games doing that.

Riedling is the only viable option, but replacing Graves doesn't help the shining up of the "shine him up and ship him out plan".

Graves is going to blow saves. He'll blow 2 of every ten Save Opps. But, very simply, the best thing the Reds can do is buff him up and hope prospective buyers don't notice the tarnish at the trade deadline auction.

Playadlc
04-28-2004, 12:51 AM
He also had an opportunity with no outs and bases loaded and couldn't drive a run in.

What is the deal here? This is the 2nd time where I have read a post criticizing Larson for hitting a rocket right at the third baseman.

Relax, guys. Yeah, it sucks that we lost, and yes, Larson make a costly error tonight, but we need to rally around this guy. We need him to come through for us.

Reds/Flyers Fan
04-28-2004, 12:58 AM
Sorry playadlc...I don't think Brandon Larson deserves any benefit of the doubt here at all. Sure he hit the ball hard in the 9th...he was only facing some scrub Brewers reject who had just loaded the bases with no outs. Of course he was going to get a fat pitch to work with. He couldn't do anything with it and it cost us the game. If Dunn or Casey lines out there then that's tough luck. With Larson, who all he ever does is pull the ball, lining out to third is a failure there in that situation. He gets no benefit of the doubt from me. If the Reds are going to have to try to win despite Larson's defense, he best be driving in some runs - especially when he's up with the bases loaded and nobody out!!!!!

M2
04-28-2004, 01:08 AM
On Larson: I don't have a lot of confidence in him, but if he can be a good stick, bad glove 3B, that's about the most the Reds could ask at this time. Aramis Ramirez plays 3B in the majors. Larson can't be any worse. Mind you, I'm not confident Larson will hit in the majors. I suspect he won't. But he hit in ST and AAA and we all knew he was going to get a shot. He'll stick around as long as his bat plays.

Plus, I don't send anybody to the bench for Juan Castro.

On Graves: Last year it seemed like he wasn't able to adjust to starting pitching. Now it looks like the real problem is that he isn't as good a pitcher as he was from 1998-2002. He used to throw a hard sinker and it's gotten kind of soft ... which means it doesn't get as much sink among other things.

SteelSD
04-28-2004, 01:10 AM
He couldn't do anything with it and it cost us the game. If Dunn or Casey lines out there then that's tough luck

I'm sorry. But no player can, or should, be judged worthy or wanting because of where a batted ball lands in the field of play during a single At Bat of a MLB game or season.

Not Dunn. Not Casey. Not Larson. No one.

traderumor
04-28-2004, 01:14 AM
M2,

Thank you for saying that Graves was a good pitcher during those years. I know it is tough on folks when your closer blows three saves, but he has been run out there a lot. You look back to 2000-2002, he only blew 5 or 6 saves a year, which is doable. I am concerned about the gopher balls as well, though. He's gotta get that riding fastball down or start it middle of the plate as he did with Clark. When he starts it on the corner and it rides in, the righties are getting it right in their wheelhouse. I also think he needs to use that curve even more. No one has really done anything with it yet and it is keeping them off balance.

alloverjr
04-28-2004, 01:25 AM
but replacing Graves doesn't help the shining up of the "shine him up and ship him out plan".

Graves is going to blow saves. He'll blow 2 of every ten Save Opps. But, very simply, the best thing the Reds can do is buff him up and hope prospective buyers don't notice the tarnish at the trade deadline auction.

Problem there is that every time you throw him out for the wax, he comes back dirty. Hard to believe that any prospective buyer would not notice a league BA approaching .400 or a HR/9 ratio of almost 4. I think he's property of the Reds until October '05.

NC Reds
04-28-2004, 01:26 AM
Nine times out of ten Casey would have tug that bad throw out. I'm not blaming Casey at all, but it's the little things that lose games too.

Larson will bounce back and so will Graves.

tremere
04-28-2004, 01:39 AM
On Larson: I don't have a lot of confidence in him, but if he can be a good stick, bad glove 3B, that's about the most the Reds could ask at this time. Aramis Ramirez plays 3B in the majors. Larson can't be any worse. Mind you, I'm not confident Larson will hit in the majors. I suspect he won't. But he hit in ST and AAA and we all knew he was going to get a shot. He'll stick around as long as his bat plays.

Plus, I don't send anybody to the bench for Juan Castro.

On Graves: Last year it seemed like he wasn't able to adjust to starting pitching. Now it looks like the real problem is that he isn't as good a pitcher as he was from 1998-2002. He used to throw a hard sinker and it's gotten kind of soft ... which means it doesn't get as much sink among other things.

Aramis Ramirez is a better hitter than most guys on our club. That guy can pound the ball.

Kc61
04-28-2004, 02:00 AM
Larson's defense is unacceptable. He had 3 errors in 12 games at Louisville this year and has always made too many errors. He makes some good plays, but is too error prone. The Reds need a solid veteran third baseman until Encarnacion is ready. I have always felt that Larson will hit eventually, but I don't care. His defense is inadequate.

Graves as a closer is unacceptable. Todd Jones should be the closer. He is simply better. But, as far as I'm concerned, Graves would have escaped if not for two bad plays by Larson in the ninth.

This loss is by far the worst of the year because the game was given away by errors. I think the Reds had 7 errors going into tonight and made 5 tonight and several other misplays. Almost everyone made a bad play or two, but Larson was the worst.

If O'Brien and Miley are truly a new regime devoted to fundamentals they will fix this promptly. I was enjoying watching a team that was flawed but played sound ball. Not tonight.

Hobo
04-28-2004, 08:04 AM
Chad Tracy has stept up in Arizona, maybe they'd be willing to deal S. Hillenbrand rather than leave him on their bench. However I give Larson a few more games to turn it around.

l3R3TT
04-28-2004, 08:46 AM
When I caught the highlights of the game, I was surprised Casey didn't pick that ball. Did it take a funny bounce? Yes it was a bad throw by Larson, but I was more surprised Casey didn't gobble it up.

GAC
04-28-2004, 08:51 AM
Did Castro's throwing error cost the Reds a win and first place? Face it Larson is not a money player. When has he come through in the clutch?

Neither did Larson's. We're still in 1st place. Cubs got shellacked again by the D'Backs. ;)

And If I'm not mistaken, it was Grave's giving up a PH HR in the 9th that lost that game for us.

Simply astounds me how people kept asking when was Larson due back. And after only two games, we got people railing on him already. :lol:

Simply amazing. :lol:

RedFanAlways1966
04-28-2004, 09:02 AM
"Can't field, can't throw, can't hit, can't stay healthy... what can ya do?"

Oh, I see... you hit lots of HRs in AAA. What's that? You are on try #3 (or is it #4?) to show that you belong in the bigs. You say that people in Louisville love you, but you just don't get respect in Cincinnati.

What? I know, I know... 2 games is not a big enough sample. But I saw that going into last night's titantic struggle you were a pathetic 28 for 176 in your MLB career. That amounts to a batting average of .159. Oh and let's not forget those 5 HRs in 176 ABs. Huh? The SABRs want more information. Okay, let's try these career numbers:

* OBP = .254
* SLG = .273
* OPS = .527

Since you are approaching Juan Castro type hitting numbers, maybe it is your glove that keeps you in the bigs? Let's check... UGH! A career fielding average of .946! Lord have mercy. That would be good for a 3rd baseman in 1895 when the fields were less than ideal and the gloves were as big as a normal Joe's Isotoner gloves in his car.

"Can't field, can't throw, can't hit, can't stay healthy... what can ya do?"

RedsBaron
04-28-2004, 10:11 AM
When I caught the highlights of the game, I was surprised Casey didn't pick that ball. Did it take a funny bounce? Yes it was a bad throw by Larson, but I was more surprised Casey didn't gobble it up.
I agree. When I saw highlights on ESPN this morning it looked like a throw that Casey usually scoops up. Still, it was a bad play by Larson. I don't know whether or not Larson can play at a major league level, but I do recall how he reportedly pressed last season when he slumped. A veteran player would shake off last night's game as just one of those things. I hope Larson doesn't react by attempting to hit five run homers to make up for his errors. As for Danny Graves, he is a mediocre at best reliever, but we are stuck with him for another couple of years.

IowaRed
04-28-2004, 10:18 AM
I remember it a little differently in that it seemed to be more of an in-between type of hop for Casey. Perhaps I need to see the lowlights again.

paulrichjr
04-28-2004, 10:21 AM
Let's not over-react on Larson. The TEAM made 5 errors last night. The TEAM lost the game. Yes Larson didn't perform to an acceptable level but neither did Graves and anyone else who made those errors. You know what might be astounding to many many people on this board? This team might actually be better with Kearns not hitting but playing in the outfield and Castro or Freel not hitting but playing third base. Defense gets overlooked until games like last night. I don't blame Larson at all. I just think the teams weaknesses show up when people go on the disabled list. I am willing to give Larson another chance just as we have to keep giving Graves another chance.

Kc61
04-28-2004, 10:25 AM
I've slept on this. Last night I blamed Larson more than Graves. Now I blame Graves more.

Larson has to get a full chance. He still has not had time to play enough in the majors and there will be growing pains. His defense, however, is a real problem that he must fix or he can't stay.

Graves, on the other hand, can't close. He gives up way too many home runs. Most starters haven't given up 5 homers yet, but Graves has. Last year he gave up 30. He is not a kid. If Graves is not traded soon, he must take a lesser role in the bullpen.

REDREAD
04-28-2004, 10:44 AM
so what would have happened if Castro had been in at 3B and made that same error? would people demand that Freel be in? or that Larson have remained in? i'm pretty sure Castro's made a throwing error before at 3B (in fact, he has one this year).

Castro would deserve to get some leeway if he made the error last night because
he has a track record of being consistently good. Just like I'm not terribly upset
at LaRue, because most of the time his defense is good. Larson has a horrible
track record. He can't hit or field. He's a proven liablity, so naturally it's
going to burn people when he screwes up because Miley is playing him.
And Wily Mo is contributing with his bat, so I can accept an occasional misplay.
Wily Mo is also much young. Larson is 27 or 28 (not sure).. but he's pretty
old and STILL has not learned how to play basic defense. Bottom line is that
Larson just doesn't have what it takes to be a major leaguer. He's going
to continue to drag the team down when he plays, just like last year.

westofyou
04-28-2004, 11:15 AM
Chad Tracy has stept up in Arizona, maybe they'd be willing to deal S. Hillenbrand rather than leave him on their bench. However I give Larson a few more games to turn it around.

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ooooo

The guy is a mediocre fielder who can't get on base, his one true calling is gap hitting when he connects, he needs to play in a giant park like Commerica or Safco, not the GAB.

Plus he costs more than he's worth and he thinks he's worth more than he costs.

Team Clark
04-28-2004, 11:46 AM
Did Larson's throw cost the Reds the game or did Danny Graves 88 mph no-sinker down the MIDDLE of the plate lose the game? Larson's throw ddin't help but serving up that fatty to a rookie was unacceptable as well. Not to mention if Casey had bothered to stretch for Larson's errant throw he just may have picked it. Lots of blame to go around. LaRue made a bad decision too. It happens.

Chip R
04-28-2004, 11:49 AM
Did Larson's throw cost the Reds the game or did Danny Graves 88 mph no-sinker down the MIDDLE of the plate lose the game? Larson's throw ddin't help but serving up that fatty to a rookie was unacceptable as well. Not to mention if Casey had bothered to stretch for Larson's errant throw he just may have picked it. Lots of blame to go around. LaRue made a bad decision too. It happens.
Yep, if only we had Reitsma, right? :lol:

TeamBoone
04-28-2004, 12:03 PM
Did Larson's throw cost the Reds the game or did Danny Graves 88 mph no-sinker down the MIDDLE of the plate lose the game? Larson's throw ddin't help but serving up that fatty to a rookie was unacceptable as well. Not to mention if Casey had bothered to stretch for Larson's errant throw he just may have picked it. Lots of blame to go around. LaRue made a bad decision too. It happens.

Sorry, TCII; I usually agree with you but the throw to Casey did not require a "stretch". I'm as surprised as you are that Casey wasn't able to snag the errant throw from Larson, but those things happen.

PuffyPig
04-28-2004, 12:12 PM
Graves is just horrible. I'd rather have Todd Jones, Ryan Wagner or - gasp - even Todd Van Poppel in the closers' role and really no one can argue that.

Every single knowledgeable baseball man would argue with that statement.

Team Clark
04-28-2004, 12:30 PM
Chip.. Reitsma would have held Casey's hand to make him feel better about making the scoop. LOL!

TB... Maybe Casey can't stretch. I never thought of that. :-)

Doc. Scott
04-28-2004, 12:35 PM
Maybe Casey couldn't stretch because just an inning or two before he'd delivered a Brutus Beefcake-quality high knee to Phil Norton's quadriceps.

Sabo Bobblehead
04-28-2004, 12:37 PM
It was an error, yes, it cost the Reds the game but you gotta move on. I was at a Reds/Braves game a few years back (during the shutout streak) when the Braves had the Reds down 2-0 with 2 outs in the 9th. Chipper skipped one up to first. Rather than game over, Reds wound up scoring 2 with 2 outs in the 9th and won in the 10th. Thus, these plays happen even to the best of fielders.

westofyou
04-28-2004, 12:40 PM
Thus, these plays happen even to the best of fielders.

And Bill Buckner too.

gm
04-28-2004, 12:42 PM
Yep, if only we had Reitsma, right? :lol:

CR was/is susceptible to the gopher ball, as well.

How many Red's pitchers have saved 10 games in the month of April? Only Danny Graves (you say) and he's done it twice? What a loser. Sure, he makes too much money and should be dealt ASAP. But before he leaves Cincy, Graves will have passed Franco as the team's all-time save leader. That's a few levels above "sucky" by anyone's estimation

Doc. Scott
04-28-2004, 12:48 PM
How many Red's pitchers have saved 10 games in the month of April? Only Danny Graves (you say) and he's done it twice? What a loser.

I wouldn't say that exactly, but it does help illustrate the general uselessness of the save statistic.

Chip R
04-28-2004, 12:49 PM
CR was/is susceptible to the gopher ball, as well.Especially to Billy Hall.

Doc. Scott
04-28-2004, 01:01 PM
Or, as Hal McCoy keeps calling him, Mel Hall.

SYCMiniBus
04-28-2004, 01:11 PM
For the record I have figured out why Wily Mo's "misplay" looks so awful on the first angle we saw. It looks at though the ball hits the base of wall, but it actually hits the top of the wall and goes strait down (The side angle showed this perfectly). Since he jumps and the ball looks like it hits the base of the wall it just seems like a terrible defensive play, but in actuallity the ball is out of his reach a little bit and hits the top of the wall and goes strait down.

Chip R
04-28-2004, 01:13 PM
Or, as Hal McCoy keeps calling him, Mel Hall.No kidding? :lol: That's right up there with Eduardo Perez being out of the lineup because they had to cut his big toe off when in reality it was his big toenail. Hal is the Joe of sportswriters.

scounts22
04-28-2004, 01:15 PM
Larson had 2 errors last night, not just one. I understand hitting being different at the major league level, but I have a hard time understanding how defense is any different. I'm not a big Larson fan but I'd really like for him to prove me wrong...but I don't think that's gonna happen...

Doc. Scott
04-28-2004, 01:15 PM
http://www.daytondailynews.com/sports/content/sports/reds/daily/0428reds.html

It's in there, right after the part about the, uh, pig scrum.

redlegs2370
04-28-2004, 01:26 PM
Another thought came to mind when rehashing last nights game, how many MLB 3rd basemen make the play going into the hole that was actually recorded as an infield hit in the 9th inning. I believe there was 1 out at the time and Larson made an attempt and it went off his glove and then he couldn't find the ball after that. I felt at the time that could be huge. No one is mentioning that play but an Aaron Boone makes that play. Then there would be two outs and then Clark makes the third out.

traderumor
04-28-2004, 01:45 PM
No one is mentioning that play but an Aaron Boone makes that playNot right now he ain't :evil:

Falls City Beer
04-28-2004, 02:28 PM
"Simply astounds me how people kept asking when was Larson due back. And after only two games, we got people railing on him already."

I never wanted the guy back. Leave Freel at third and never look back, IMO.

gm
04-28-2004, 03:06 PM
I wouldn't say that exactly, but it does help illustrate the general uselessness of the save statistic.

OTOH, if saves are so easy to come by, then why haven't any of the great Red's relievers saved more games in April? (Give Graves some credit, it's not like he had 20+ chances to save 10)

Theo Epstein and Boston tried the "no closer" experiment last April. Then they scrapped the idea. Still, the sabr crowd disses the concept of the closer. It takes a special cat to blow a game and get back up on the horse the next night. That's what seperates Graves/Shaw/Brantley from the average ML pitcher

westofyou
04-28-2004, 03:15 PM
Still, the sabr crowd disses the concept of the closer.

The diss is more reserved for holding onto a guy just for the 9th inning, not bringing a guy in in the middle of the inning, paying a guy 6 million bucks for performing in only set situations.

6 million bucks, bring them in when it matters, not just the ninth, pitch them more than 60 innings, let the batters they get out reflect their worth not the save stat.

gm
04-28-2004, 03:30 PM
The diss is more reserved for holding onto a guy just for the 9th inning, not bringing a guy in in the middle of the inning, paying a guy 6 million bucks for performing in only set situations.

6 million bucks, bring them in when it matters, not just the ninth, pitch them more than 60 innings, let the batters they get out reflect their worth not the save stat.

Lots of 2nd guessing available with that strategy. Suppose the Mgr brings in his best reliever to get out of a jam in the 8th, then the game goes into extras and another reliever blows the game in the 11th. Wouldn't the Mgr catch crap from the media? The only way to cover all the contingencies is to have a bullpen full of Nasty boys, but that gets spendy

I can understand the "use your best pitcher for the worst situation" argument, but I submit that most of the folks who support it don't have a ML contract on the line

Doc. Scott
04-28-2004, 03:32 PM
OTOH, if saves are so easy to come by, then why haven't any of the great Red's relievers saved more games in April? (Give Graves some credit, it's not like he had 20+ chances to save 10)

Theo Epstein and Boston tried the "no closer" idea last April. Then scrapped the idea. Still, the sabr crowd disses the concept of the closer.

Because the great Reds relievers were on great Reds teams that often won by four or more runs. I don't know. It's much more an issue of usage theory than a measure of effectiveness.

The Red Sox' "no closer" idea failed because they didn't have enough good and healthy pitchers in their bullpen. They got a couple of better pitchers (Williamson, Kim) , and therefore won more games. Whether or not they were building up stacks of "S" tallies mattered little.

M2
04-28-2004, 04:00 PM
Lots of 2nd guessing available with that strategy. Suppose the Mgr brings in his best reliever to get out of a jam in the 8th, then the game goes into extras and another reliever blows the game in the 11th. Wouldn't the Mgr catch crap from the media? The only way to cover all the contingencies is to have a bullpen full of Nasty boys, but that gets spendy

I can understand the "use your best pitcher for the worst situation" argument, but I submit that most of the folks who support it don't have a ML contract on the line

In that scenario, what would it matter if the manager used his closer in the 8th or 9th? He'd be out by the 11th anyway.

And I didn't see Jack McKeon catching much crap from the media in '99 when he tossed out the Tony LaRussa Bullpen Usage Guide, nor last fall when he did it again and won a World Series. Win games and the media loves you. Lose games and you'll be branded an idiot. It really doesn't matter how the team loses, it will somehow be the manager's fault.

And the Red Sox never thought it was a good idea not to have a closer. Anyone who thinks they thought that wasn't paying attention to what they were saying. What they didn't think was that it made sense to have a guy that you only use in the 9th inning with a lead and that a team should have a number of pitchers who can finish off games. BTW, that's exactly what they're doing these days. Foulke is not being reserved for three outs at the end of the game and others are covering for him on the back end when he's no longer available.

PuffyPig
04-28-2004, 04:23 PM
Has any one else felt that Larson's hitting apprach sems much better this time around.

He's had 2 hits and some bad luck also.

If his bases loaded smash finds a hole, everyong would be singing his praises right now.

baseball is a marathon, not a sprint. Larson will be given more chances than 2 games to succeed. Don't be surprised if his hitting this time around is substantailly improved.

gm
04-28-2004, 04:27 PM
In that scenario, what would it matter if the manager used his closer in the 8th or 9th? He'd be out by the 11th anyway.

And I didn't see Jack McKeon catching much crap from the media in '99 when he tossed out the Tony LaRussa Bullpen Usage Guide, nor last fall when he did it again and won a World Series. Win games and the media loves you. Lose games and you'll be branded an idiot. It really doesn't matter how the team loses, it will somehow be the manager's fault.

And the Red Sox never thought it was a good idea not to have a closer. Anyone who thinks they thought that wasn't paying attention to what they were saying. What they didn't think was that it made sense to have a guy that you only use in the 9th inning with a lead and that a team should have a number of pitchers who can finish off games. BTW, that's exactly what they're doing these days. Foulke is not being reserved for three outs at the end of the game and others are covering for him on the back end when he's no longer available.

Good for the Sox. Now all they have to do is get by NY and everyone will embrace their "early closer" concept. In the meantime, I expect Miley to c-h-a with what's been working for the last 25+ years.

(Sleepy 'ol Jack) McKeon's now getting some credit for being innovative? If I wait around long enough, I guess I'll hear "everything"

westofyou
04-28-2004, 04:55 PM
Lots of 2nd guessing available with that strategy. Suppose the Mgr brings in his best reliever to get out of a jam in the 8th, then the game goes into extras and another reliever blows the game in the 11th. Wouldn't the Mgr catch crap from the media? The only way to cover all the contingencies is to have a bullpen full of Nasty boys, but that gets spendy

I can understand the "use your best pitcher for the worst situation" argument, but I submit that most of the folks who support it don't have a ML contract on the line

Sometime in the late 80's it became fashionable to just use the guy for the 9th, it seems excessive to me.

Bruce Sutter, John Hiller, Rollie Fingers, the list is long with guys who pitched before the ninth.

M2
04-28-2004, 04:57 PM
(Sleepy 'ol Jack) McKeon's now getting some credit for being innovative? If I wait around long enough, I guess I'll hear "everything"

Wait around? Try going back in time. Apparently you missed the '99 season when a whole pile of people, media types too, were praising Jack for his bullpen usage with the group that went 33-23, 3.36 ERA in 530 innings and helped the team keep pace with an Astros team that enjoyed 27 more quality starts.

I'm told that he even won the NL Manager of the Year Award.

Doc. Scott
04-28-2004, 05:05 PM
Wait around? Try going back in time. Apparently you missed the '99 season when a whole pile of people, media types too, were praising Jack for his bullpen usage with the group that went 33-23, 3.36 ERA in 530 innings and helped the team keep pace with an Astros team that enjoyed 27 more quality starts.

I'm told that he even won the NL Manager of the Year Award.

And, to be fair, helped Scott Williamson blow out his arm, costing him the 2001 season. I think the joke at the time was that Jack was just moving too slow to change pitchers to get traditional lefty/righty matchups a la Tony LaRussa, but it turns out in retrospect that there's a lot to be said for letting your guys go whole innings at a time.

traderumor
04-28-2004, 05:06 PM
Good for the Sox. Now all they have to do is get by NY and everyone will embrace their "early closer" concept. In the meantime, I expect Miley to c-h-a with what's been working for the last 25+ years.

(Sleepy 'ol Jack) McKeon's now getting some credit for being innovative? If I wait around long enough, I guess I'll hear "everything"

No, the concept of maximizing the arms in the bullpen instead of blindly following the status quo should be applauded instead of the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" mentality. I hope Miley will scrap his bullpen pecking order soon. For a team with limited resources like the Reds, they need to figure out how to avoid paying big $ for someone to pitch an inning 3 times a week. The funny thing is that Graves was not a one inning closer when he was the closer until Boone came along. He was pitching 90-100 innings a year before PB came on the scene.

gm
04-28-2004, 05:14 PM
Wait around? Try going back in time. Apparently you missed the '99 season when a whole pile of people, media types too, were praising Jack for his bullpen usage with the group that went 33-23, 3.36 ERA in 530 innings and helped the team keep pace with an Astros team that enjoyed 27 more quality starts.

I'm told that he even won the NL Manager of the Year Award.

Yet despite all those ringing endorsements, the ball dude remained unemployed for parts of three seasons (2000-2003) Must've been a conspiracy

My spin on the two-headed Graves/Willie closer-in-'99 idea was the FO had a strategy to keep their arbitration stats under control. The main reason the closer "role" is perpetuated is because: it's made a lot of money for certain members of the MLBPA. The agent of every ML-quality reliever wants a shot at that action.

bucksfan
04-28-2004, 05:16 PM
Whether or not I agree with this topic, I would think the sentiment would be unaffected by his 2 games played this year. I think he'll hit - just an opinion - .270-ish with some pop. I am less sold on his D, but that I believe can improve. Two games does not have me making rash conclusions about him. If those are your conclusions after watching him over the past 2 years, then I respect that. But if based on 2 games as the post timing would indicate, it comes off as far too reactionary (if that's a word) in my humle opinion. But I understand the reactionary (I sure hope this is a word since I've now used it twice!) nature of eing a baseball fan. I once urnt a Ted Power baseball card in my garage after he gave up a HR that lost the game. And I liked the guy.

Chip R
04-28-2004, 05:25 PM
I hope Miley will scrap his bullpen pecking order soon. For a team with limited resources like the Reds, they need to figure out how to avoid paying big $ for someone to pitch an inning 3 times a week. The funny thing is that Graves was not a one inning closer when he was the closer until Boone came along. He was pitching 90-100 innings a year before PB came on the scene.If the Reds want to trade Graves, the best way to use him is how they are currently using him now. The more innings Graves pitches in a game, the more likely it will be that he blows the save. It's not just Graves either. You pitch Eric Gagne 2-3 innings at every opportunity and he's not going to be Mr. Perfect like he was last year. He may blow less than Graves - literally and figuratively ;) - but he will blow more saves if he's used like that. The more saves Graves gets, the quicker we can pawn him and his salary off on some other team who overvalues the save stat. Believe me, even at his current pace his value will increase as the season gets closer to the trade deadline.

M2
04-28-2004, 05:33 PM
My spin on the two-headed Graves/Willie closer-in-'99 idea was the FO had a strategy to keep their arbitration stats under control. The main reason the closer "role" is perpetuated is because: it's made a lot of money for certain members of the MLBPA. The agent of every ML-quality reliever wants a shot at that action.

Yeah, that they were trying to win baseball games is way too crazy a theory to possibly merit consideration.

reds44
04-28-2004, 05:35 PM
I do not know if you can say Larson can't play at the major league level. I am a total Ryan Freel lover, but i do not think Larson has had enough time to play at the major league level to no if he can or can't play.

POST NUMBER 400!

missionhockey21
04-28-2004, 05:36 PM
Plus, I don't send anybody to the bench for Juan Castro.

Amen to that. :thumbup:

gm
04-28-2004, 06:02 PM
:duel:
Yeah, that they were trying to win baseball games is way too crazy a theory to possibly merit consideration.

And that "win at all costs" theory explains why they kept running Tomko out there...?:duel:

M2
04-28-2004, 06:30 PM
And that "win at all costs" theory explains why they kept running Tomko out there...?

I don't know about "win at all costs." That's your invention and I'm not even going to try to guess what you think it entails.

Tomko kept get running out there for two reasons: He'd been good the two previous seasons and the team didn't have anyone else. Bere and Avery actually pitched worse than he did. Neagle got injured. Guzman didn't show up until July 31 (after which Tomko rarely pitched) and Villone got banged up at the end of the season. Important to note that Brett was both demoted to the minors and banished to the pen at various times that season.

Plus, all Jack did in '99 was manage the pen like he had with the Padres in the '80s or the A's and Royals in the '70s. Really it was more a case of him not having caught up with the times than anything else. He proved a successfully stubborn in that regard.