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View Full Version : Grady Little: 'This isn't Oakland - we swing here'



jmcclain19
03-03-2006, 01:53 PM
Amusing little snippet from a Dodgers story I thought I'd pass along

http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060228&content_id=1327757&vkey=spt2006news&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb


It's not Oakland: Little said he gave Ethier the hit sign on a 3-0 pitch, but the lefty took a strike.

"I was a little scared he was into that Oakland thing," Little said, referring to Oakland's emphasis on patience and on-base percentage. "We swing here on 3-0."

Ethier said his new manager was right about his old approach at the plate.

"It's been ingrained in me since I was young," Ethier said. "I've been successful with that approach, not chasing balls out of the zone. It can be a tough adjustment."

Ethier has a Minor League career on-base percentage of .382. Here's how that compares to other top Dodgers prospects: Guzman, .323; Andy LaRoche, 354; James Loney, .352; Russell Martin, .391; Young, .367; Kemp, .336.

KronoRed
03-03-2006, 02:09 PM
Yeah cause walks suck..ground outs and double plays are cool.

Redsfaithful
03-03-2006, 02:20 PM
Ethier said his new manager was right about his old approach at the plate.

"It's been ingrained in me since I was young," Ethier said. "I've been successful with that approach, not chasing balls out of the zone. It can be a tough adjustment."

It's kind of sad to see a guy getting ruined right as it happens.

traderumor
03-03-2006, 02:25 PM
Little would have played real well here

RedsBaron
03-03-2006, 02:30 PM
If Bob Boone somehow ever gets another managerial job, Little can be his hitting coach.;) What a joke.
Actually, I have no problem at all with certain hitters swingin 3-0 IF they get a pitch they can drive out of the park. Adam Dunn is so selective and has such power that I would let him swing away.

princeton
03-03-2006, 03:05 PM
Dodgers will be such Wild and Crazy Guys

Tony Cloninger
03-03-2006, 03:17 PM
I thought only Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich were swinging baseball players?

Yachtzee
03-03-2006, 03:21 PM
Hollywood Swingers! Yeah Baby!

http://hollywoodcostumesandparty.com/austinpowers/assets/images/austin2.jpg

guttle11
03-03-2006, 03:35 PM
I think Orioles players really want Grady Little to manage them.

pedro
03-03-2006, 03:38 PM
That's just stupid.

Chip R
03-03-2006, 03:44 PM
That's just stupid.

Yeah, but it's Grady Little. Not exactly the brightest porchlight on the block.

pedro
03-03-2006, 03:48 PM
well we all know that no one walks in LA anyway.

Chip R
03-03-2006, 03:49 PM
well we all know that no one walks in LA anyway.

Good one. :lol:

pedro
03-03-2006, 03:51 PM
Good one. :lol:

he doesn't want the bases to get congested like the freeways.

Chip R
03-03-2006, 03:55 PM
he doesn't want the bases to get congested like the freeways.

Does that mean they will just play innings 3, 4, 5 and 6 now?

pedro
03-03-2006, 04:02 PM
Does that mean they will just play innings 3, 4, 5 and 6 now?

Yeah, they are going to have interpretive dance movements during the 1st, 2nd, 7th, 8th, and 9th now. That way no one will feel like the missed anything.


(my next door neighbor the ballet dancer would kick my butt if she read that)

flyer85
03-03-2006, 04:04 PM
maybe he meant "schwing".

flyer85
03-03-2006, 04:05 PM
well we all know that no one walks in LA anyway.

http://www.united-mutations.com/b/dale_bozzio.jpg

Heath
03-03-2006, 04:07 PM
Vin Scully's most repeated line during a Dodgers' game at Chavez Ravine.

"Don't rush folks, plenty of baseball still to be played."

pedro
03-03-2006, 04:10 PM
http://www.united-mutations.com/b/dale_bozzio.jpg


oh yeah I forgot, Dale Bozio does. Thanks for the heads up. :)

Johnny Footstool
03-03-2006, 04:11 PM
"We swing here on 3-0."

We also leave our pitchers in even though they're obviously too tired to go on, right Grady? ;)

StillFunkyB
03-03-2006, 04:57 PM
What a freakin moron.

There are only a select few players in baseball that should be free to be swingin on 3-0.

The rest should be doing laps after the game if that bat leaves their shoulder.

Heath
03-03-2006, 05:21 PM
oh yeah I forgot, Dale Bozio does. Thanks for the heads up. :)


Didn't he pitch for the Brewers? :confused: :dunno:

KronoRed
03-03-2006, 05:25 PM
Just throw them stuff down and away, they have orders to swing :D

pedro
03-03-2006, 06:10 PM
Look ahead as we pass, try and focus on it
I won't be fooled by a cheap sabremetric trick
It must have been just a cardboard cut out of a man
Top-forty cast off from a Oakland

Walkin' in L.A.
Walkin' in L.A., nobody walks in L.A.
Walkin' in L.A.
Walkin' in L.A., nobody walks in L.A.

I don't know could've been a lame hitter maybe
Or someone just about to do the base on balls baby
Sabremetric pusher or maybe someone kooky
One thing's for sure, he isn't starring in my movie.
'Cause he's walkin' in L.A.
Walkin' in L.A., nobody walks in L.A.
Walkin' in L.A.
Walkin' in L.A., only a nobody walks in L.A.

Walkin' walkin' walkin' walkin' walkin'
Nobody's walkin' walkin' walkin' walkin' walkin'
Nobody's walkin' walkin' walkin' walkin' walkin'
Nobody's walkin' walkin' walkin' walkin' walkin'

You won't see a Dodger walkin' on my beat
Nobody's walkin' walkin' walkin' walkin' walkin'

You only see 'em drivin' outs out on their feet
Nobody's walkin' walkin' walkin' walkin' walkin'

princeton
03-03-2006, 07:16 PM
after Grady wins his WS championship, it'll be amusing to read people posting about how he didn't really win it because he doesn't speak saber.

StillFunkyB
03-03-2006, 10:50 PM
after Grady wins his WS championship, it'll be amusing to read people posting about how he didn't really win it because he doesn't speak saber.

You know, I really don't know much at all about sabr, Bill James, or any of that stuff.

I do know that ever since I first started learning the game that taking a 3-0 pitch was pretty much a rule you didn't break unless your were one of those great hitters.

Dunn and Griffey are the only two players on the Reds that should be thinking about swinging on 3-0.

pedro
03-03-2006, 11:08 PM
after Grady wins his WS championship, it'll be amusing to read people posting about how he didn't really win it because he doesn't speak saber.



I've always liked Grady Little and do agree that there are *some* circumstances when a green light on 3-0 might even be a good idea.

Doesn't change the fact that it was a stupid thing to say.

And if you win, you win. Even if you're Kenny Williams.

RFS62
03-04-2006, 12:08 AM
He's a hedgehog

cincinnati chili
03-04-2006, 12:21 AM
Grady is not my favorite, but he got a raw deal from the Boston media. The Pedro thing was way overblown, and wasn't nearly his biggest blunder in the series (he dodged major bullets leaving John Burkett in in game 3).

I'd rather have Grady Little managing my team than Ozzie Guillen.

Chip R
03-04-2006, 12:25 AM
He's a hedgehog

Dinsdale?

http://www.ourmedia.org/sites/default/files/pictures/picture-8871.jpg

Crash Davis
03-04-2006, 03:21 AM
Grady is not my favorite, but he got a raw deal from the Boston media. The Pedro thing was way overblown, and wasn't nearly his biggest blunder in the series (he dodged major bullets leaving John Burkett in in game 3).

I'd rather have Grady Little managing my team than Ozzie Guillen.

Chili,
Do you really believe this? You think the Pedro thing was overblown AND not NEARLY the biggest blunder in the series? The Pedro thing was one of the most mind-boggling maneuvers I had ever seen. Not only was Grady given instructions not to leave Pedro in beyond 100 pitches or seven innings -- whichever came first, Pedro himself knew he was done for the night. He was extremely surprised when Grady asked him to go back out for the eigth. It was all arranged ahead of time. This wasn't the Pedro of 1999-2001. This was the Pedro who couldn't crank it up over 94 mph and lasted only 95-100 pitches. He was done, and everybody knew it. My girlfriend doesn't even follow baseball, and she couldn't believe Pedro was pitching in the 8th.

Reading between the lines, Grady has a huge saber-sized chip on his shoulder. He knows how the game is supposed to be played, and it doesn't involve pitch counts or on base percentage. He's out to prove something.

Normally I'm onboard with princeton, but I don't see Grady Little as any kind of an answer if the question involves winning championships. I think there's a good chance he'd choke again if he found himself in another do-or-die situation in the playoffs.

And what do you have against Ozzie Guillen? He's certainly not a saber darling, but he's shown that he clearly knows how to run a ballclub. Granted, his style may wear out on the players sooner than most, but it's been successful so far.

Johnny Footstool
03-04-2006, 03:29 AM
after Grady wins his WS championship, it'll be amusing to read people posting about how he didn't really win it because he doesn't speak saber.

Thanks for the laugh, princeton.

SteelSD
03-04-2006, 04:12 AM
after Grady wins his WS championship, it'll be amusing to read people posting about how he didn't really win it because he doesn't speak saber.

Don't need to speak sabermetrics to understand how dumb Little's comment was. Fact is, statistical analysis didn't cross my mind when I read his moronic utterance.

Just need to know why Ted Williams was so darned good. Old school.

WhatWouldTeddyBallgameDo? He'd let a 3-0 strike go right past him if it wasn't his pitch.

Little probably hasn't even figured out that his own 2003 Red Sox increased their Runs Scored output by 102 while increasing their AL P/PA ranking from 10th to 3rd and their BB ranking from 6th to 2nd versus 2002. In short, the last team Little managed was "into that Oakland thing". Oh, that may be "saberspeak", but it happened right in front of Little's face while he was at the helm and it appears that he's completely oblivious to it.

I hate to disagree with chili, because he's got a more local take than I on the BoSox, but my impression of Little has always been that he's your garden variety mediocrity who's been in the right place at the right time. I've seen few coaches or managers who should be fired immediately after making a single stupid decision. But Little's mishandling of an obviously taxed Pedro Martinez in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS qualifies. I knew at the time that Pedro was statistically unlikely to get through that Inning. I knew by watching that Pedro was unlikely to get through that Inning. Little's response was that if he was going to lose he was going to lose with his best guy on the hill. Problem was that anyone paying attention KNEW that Pedro wasn't the best guy at that point regardless of their "new school/old school" slant. Well, everyone but Grady Little.

Oh, and the 2-for-7 Stolen Base attempt fest was brilliant considering that Little was sending guys like Trot Nixon, Gabe Kapler, and Manny Ramirez in addition to Damian Jackson and Damon (1-for-2 combined). Nevermind leading off Kapler in Game 2 and nevermind that trying to replace good LH hitters with bad RH hitters doesn't really give you an advantage versus a LHP. Nevermind that the Red Sox could have used the 3rd First Inning Run Ramirez represented in Game 3.

To me, Grady Little is Bob Boone who's been handed higher payroll teams with little cause. Give him enough rope and he'll hang himself. If his team wins, it'll be despite his presence. But then, the Marlins won with Jack McKeon at the helm and the White Sox took the trophy with Ozzie Guillen so it can happen.

RedsBaron
03-04-2006, 09:30 AM
Just need to know why Ted Williams was so darned good. Old school.

WhatWouldTeddyBallgameDo? He'd let a 3-0 strike go right past him if it wasn't his pitch.




I agreed with all of Steel's post, but I wanted to comment on the above portion. The only guys who should be given the "green light" on 3-0 should be a disciplined power hitter who will only swing if it is his pitch, not merely a strike, and if he can drive it. Teddy Ballgame could do it. I'd let Dunn and Griffey swing 3-0.

westofyou
03-04-2006, 11:29 AM
Granted, his style may wear out on the players sooner than most, but it's been successful so far.The Billy Martin method, ride the starting pitchers like the dickens and divide the team eventually up into hate him/love him camps.

Guys like Ozzie at the helm tend to burn bright and fast, often leaving in a public spat that makes writers beam thinking about the columns in the future.

As for Little, I like how he used "Oakland" as his target for his barb, Grady must have a bit of "tude" about the statistical community after losing his job on the basis of pitch counts.

You go Mr Little.. every movement needs a Don Quixote, you are the point man this week.

cincinnati chili
03-04-2006, 12:49 PM
Crash and Steel,

Point of clarification. I think Grady deserved to be fired from the Red Sox. The biggest reason is insubordination (or at least borderline insubordination). I've heard that Dave Jauss, Jerry DiPoto, and others did a lot of detailed advanced scouting of the Yankees and A's prior to the 2003 series, and Grady not only ignored it, but failed to pass the info along to his players.

When the Red Sox won it all in 2004, these advanced scouts got a lot of credit around here. But I'm told that they basically put in the same amount of work in 2003. The difference - allegedly - is Grady ignored it and Francona didn't.

Crash - I hadn't heard that Grady ignored direct orders to not leave Pedro in past the 7th. But if you're saying it, I believe it. Again, more evidence of insubordination.

I've always gone on the assumption that it was Grady's call, not the front office's. If so, it is a call that I disagreed with the moment Pedro came out of the dugout, but an excusable one. I know that Pedro's velocity was down that year, and that Williamson had been having a good series. But a lot of people forget about Pedro's ability to pitch on guile in desparate situations in the post season. In particular, there was a series against Cleveland a few years prior where he threw something like 6 innings of relief on 2 days rest. I think Grady should have gone with the numbers (Pedro had bad numbers in '03 after 100 pitches) and taken him out, but this ALONE should not have gotten him terminated (and did not).

I maintain that Grady did riskier things - lower percentage things - earlier in the playoffs that worked out. I was at a game against the A's at Fenway where John Burkett (who shouldn't have been on the post-season roster) nearly gave up a series-losing grand slam by a few feet. Nobody remembers that.

Part of being a manager is getting your players to perform. Grady did that. He stroked egos when necessary, and protected his players from media scrutiny with that dumb hillbilly country boy act. (The "dumb" part was the act). Contrast that with loose-cannon, Ozzie Guillen, who threw half his team under the bus late in '05, then lucked out when the Indians folded like a deck of cards, and his pitchers got hot.

Princeton is not crazy to say that Grady could preside over a World Series team. It almost happened in Boston. Players love to play for him, and sometiimes that's half the battle. But he needs good players. He doesn't have enough of them at the major league level in L.A.

And getting back to the point of the thread. I agree Little's comment was dumb. Grady's dumb country boy act worked for the most part in Boston, because he AVOIDED making inflammatory comments in the media. He could have just told the guy to swing more on 3-0, rather than bringing in the Oakland comment.

M2
03-04-2006, 01:39 PM
I'm trying to think of what school it is that has players swinging on 3-0 counts. It sure as shooting isn't old school. Historically, swinging on 3-0 is a quick way for a young player to find the bench.

I can see instructing a guy to pick a pitch in a specific zone to swing at on 3-0, but that's it.

princeton, I always thought Little did a fine job with the Red Sox. He kept them playing loose. However, you could resurrect John McGraw and I doubt he'd get much out of this Dodgers team.

IslandRed
03-04-2006, 04:43 PM
And getting back to the point of the thread. I agree Little's comment was dumb. Grady's dumb country boy act worked for the most part in Boston, because he AVOIDED making inflammatory comments in the media. He could have just told the guy to swing more on 3-0, rather than bringing in the Oakland comment.

But he's with the Dodgers, dealing with the same media and fans and front office types that wanted DePodesta run out of town on a rail and were virulently opposed to most of the philosophies he brought from Oakland. I think it was a calculated barb at the previous administration, an attempt to ingratiate himself with Dodger Nation. Taking potshots at the A's isn't going to hurt him out there, unless he gets bruised from all the back-slaps.

cincinnati chili
03-04-2006, 06:55 PM
But he's with the Dodgers, dealing with the same media and fans and front office types that wanted DePodesta run out of town on a rail and were virulently opposed to most of the philosophies he brought from Oakland. I think it was a calculated barb at the previous administration, an attempt to ingratiate himself with Dodger Nation. Taking potshots at the A's isn't going to hurt him out there, unless he gets bruised from all the back-slaps.

I see your point. Perhaps, MOST of the L.A. media disliked DePodesta, but I have a hard time believing every media person in L.A. is anti-sabermetrics and anti-DePodesta.

For that reason, it would have been best for Grady to just not say this. Grady can win over the L.A. media by winning, and by returning their phone calls more than DePo did.

lollipopcurve
03-05-2006, 09:31 AM
The Billy Martin method, ride the starting pitchers like the dickens and divide the team eventually up into hate him/love him camps.

Guys like Ozzie at the helm tend to burn bright and fast, often leaving in a public spat that makes writers beam thinking about the columns in the future.

I think the town of Chicago will take the World Series trophy and let the etiquette police snarl all they want about Ozzie.

Chip R
03-05-2006, 10:25 AM
I think the town of Chicago will take the World Series trophy and let the etiquette police snarl all they want about Ozzie.

For now. Sooner or later Ozzie's mouth is going to get him fired.

LvJ
03-05-2006, 11:07 AM
I use to date Grady's niece. Gah, I feel dirty. :(

M2
03-05-2006, 12:20 PM
I use to date Grady's niece. Gah, I feel dirty. :(

Did she swing?

Falls City Beer
03-05-2006, 12:33 PM
My fingers get tired from typing this: managers don't matter. At all. Particularly nowadays when every roster decision (who plays, who stays on the 25 man) falls in the lap of the GM, not the manager.

A MLB management post is the king of sinecures.

westofyou
03-05-2006, 12:42 PM
My fingers get tired from typing this: managers don't matter. At all.Except when in the clubhouse, or making the lineup, stroking egos, making pitching changes, hiring a coaching staff, making a go for 1 run decison in the early or late innings, giving the take sign or even pitching a fit at a particular play.

Other than that Earl Weaver was just a doorstop all those years.

Falls City Beer
03-05-2006, 12:51 PM
Except when in the clubhouse, or making the lineup, stroking egos, making pitching changes, hiring a coaching staff, making a go for 1 run decison in the early or late innings, giving the take sign or even pitching a fit at a particular play.

Other than that Earl Weaver was just a doorstop all those years.

2003 World Champions Florida Marlins--manager, Jack McKeon

2005 World Champions Chicago White Sox--manager, Ozzie Guillen

2005 NL Champions Houston Astros--manager, Phil Garner

2002 NL Champions San Fran Giants--manager, Dusty Baker

Sure you could point to Cox in Atlanta--but Atlanta wins every year because of their top-to-bottom rigid structuring, the corporate culture; plus Schuerholz is the greatest GM in the last 50 years.

There are managers who hurt their teams worse than others, but there's not a manager alive who gets more out of his team than otherwise exists.

And I imagine Earl Weaver had a LOT more say in who was on his roster than a manager of today has.

westofyou
03-05-2006, 01:06 PM
And I imagine Earl Weaver had a LOT more say in who was on his roster than a manager of today has.Al Lopez quit managing the Indians in the 50's because the GM (Greenburg IIRC) wanted to have more control over the roster than Al was willing to give. The intense involvement of the GM in shaping the roster is not a new trend in the game, nor is the thought that a manager is useless.

But to further your list

John McNamera - 1986 World Series

Mayo Smith - 1968 Tigers

Hank Bauer - 1966 Orioles

Al Dark - 1962 Giants and 1974 A's

Eric_Davis
03-05-2006, 02:41 PM
Since I'd love to watch the Padres repeat their division title, it's great to hear such wisdom coming out of Dodgers camp.

LvJ
03-05-2006, 10:03 PM
Did she swing?
:runaway:

KronoRed
03-05-2006, 10:48 PM
Did she swing?
...and this was the cleanest joke that cam to mind :help:

pedro
03-06-2006, 12:08 AM
...and this was the cleanest joke that cam to mind :help:

then you don't even want to hear the one I was going to post.

Johnny Footstool
03-06-2006, 12:42 PM
then you don't even want to hear the one I was going to post.

Did it involve the phrase "three balls"?

flyer85
03-06-2006, 12:43 PM
Grady is correct, LA isn't Oakland, they lose much more often than the A'a have in the last 7-8 years.

flyer85
03-06-2006, 12:45 PM
Did it involve the phrase "three balls"?but only in reference to the guy in the carnival sideshow.

pedro
03-06-2006, 12:52 PM
Did it involve the phrase "three balls"?

yes, that and her choosing to walk if he threw them to her. :p:

Roy Tucker
03-06-2006, 12:52 PM
I can see instructing a guy to pick a pitch in a specific zone to swing at on 3-0, but that's it.


Actually, I've always wondered why more teams don't do this.

I certainly wouldn't give all my hitters carte blanche to do so. But why not someone, like Dunn or Junior, who has a good eye and a good bat, let them look for a certain pitch in a certain zone and say "OK, if its what you expect and where you expect and it's your pitch, swing away". But if its anything else, just let it go.

Seems that getting a grooved pitch is more likely on a 3-0 count than any other count.

membengal
03-06-2006, 12:54 PM
For the record, Oakland is 480 - 330 in the last five years.

yeah, don't want any of what THEY are doing in your players.

Little is a tool.

flyer85
03-06-2006, 01:05 PM
I certainly wouldn't give all my hitters carte blanche to do so. But why not someone, like Dunn or Junior, who has a good eye and a good bat, let them look for a certain pitch in a certain zone and say "OK, if its what you expect and where you expect and it's your pitch, swing away". But if its anything else, just let it go.I've always felt Dunn doesn't swing nearly enough at 3-0 pitches. I can't remember him swinging on 3-0 but a couple of times last season. If he became aggressive on that count he would get even more walks after swatting a few 3-0 HRs.

KronoRed
03-06-2006, 01:10 PM
yes, that and her choosing to walk if he threw them to her. :p:
:bang:

That's the one I was thinking of

RFS62
03-06-2006, 02:50 PM
Actually, I've always wondered why more teams don't do this.

I certainly wouldn't give all my hitters carte blanche to do so. But why not someone, like Dunn or Junior, who has a good eye and a good bat, let them look for a certain pitch in a certain zone and say "OK, if its what you expect and where you expect and it's your pitch, swing away". But if its anything else, just let it go.

Seems that getting a grooved pitch is more likely on a 3-0 count than any other count.


Exactly.

If you NEVER swing at a 3-0 pitch, it's just as dumb as the take the first strike policy we had in the minors. You need to look for your pitch on 3-0 every now and then and take a rip just to keep the pitchers honest, or the advance scouts will all know you lay off 3-0 regardless.

Johnny Footstool
03-06-2006, 03:49 PM
Exactly.

If you NEVER swing at a 3-0 pitch, it's just as dumb as the take the first strike policy we had in the minors. You need to look for your pitch on 3-0 every now and then and take a rip just to keep the pitchers honest, or the advance scouts will all know you lay off 3-0 regardless.

Advance scouts already know that most players always lay off 3-0. Managers know that. Pitchers know that.

If the pitcher is having trouble throwing strikes and he manages to groove one on 3-0, you're better off taking it and daring him to throw it again.

Laying off a 3-0 pitch, even if it's a strike, forces the pitcher to do more work. Make the opposing pitcher earn his strikes.

Chip R
03-06-2006, 04:04 PM
Yeah, I would think that taking on 3-0 is one thing both traditional and SABR guys can agree on. I guess Grady's just a little bitter cause a "Moneyball" guy fired him.

Eric_Davis
03-06-2006, 06:41 PM
I know WestOfYou probably has these stats somewhere, but guys who swing on 3-0 have a much, much higher SLG % than at any other count. So, why wouldn't you want someone to look for a "sweet" pitch all the time in that situation?

RANDY IN INDY
03-08-2006, 08:08 AM
Exactly.

If you NEVER swing at a 3-0 pitch, it's just as dumb as the take the first strike policy we had in the minors. You need to look for your pitch on 3-0 every now and then and take a rip just to keep the pitchers honest, or the advance scouts will all know you lay off 3-0 regardless.

:beerme: