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Thread: Who made the BIGGER Mistake? Bryce Harper or Manager Matt Williams?

  1. #1
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Who made the BIGGER Mistake? Bryce Harper or Manager Matt Williams?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...ack-of-hustle/

    There's valid argument on both sides I'm sure. In a majority of game time situations the fans don't like it when it is either evident, or appears, a player shows lack of effort (hustle). Especially when running out a ground ball to 1B. A majority of batters will not run with maximum effort to 1B on plays like that. That's all over the league. I remember when Jr, at times, use to get a lot of criticism from fans for his "jog" to 1B on a "routine" ground ball.

    To many fans it appears as if the player is conceding it's a guaranteed out, or in all probability should be, so why put forth the full effort? I was watching the game, and immediately after Harper hit the ball back to the pitcher he hung his head in disappointment/frustration - as most batters would - thus conceding they just made an easy out. So he wasn't happy with himself.

    And the other side of the coin, one reason Matt Williams put forth as to why he benched Harper was - Well, you never know. The pitcher could have bobbled the ball, etc.

    And that's true.

    But did Williams do the right thing - or make a mistake (over-react) - in benching Harper? Because in the 9th, with one out and runners on second and third, and the Nats rallying against the Cards, Harper's spot in the order came up. But alas, no Harper.

    As manager, what call would you have made? Me? I'd have pulled him off to the side of the dugout and had a talk with this young player. But I wouldn't have jerked him from the game. Why? Harper is nursing a leg injury (sore quad), even though after the game he said it wasn't an issue. Also, last season, the Nats basically told Harper to "cool it" because he was being "too aggressive" running hard all the time, into players, fences, and getting injured.

    Also - after the game, Harper accepted the manager's decision and didn't seem to show any ill-will.

    But another reason cited by Williams for him being upset with Harper is the newer, stricter enforcement of the transfer rule. I realize that's referring to the player "transferring" the ball from glove to hand (to throw), it's a "maintaining possession" thing, and it has already caused some controversy this year in games. But someone clarify it better for me as far as this new season is going, and it's stricter enforcement. The stricter enforcement is suppose to clear up those "grey areas", but is it? Is the rule saying, or are umps ruling, that if a player drops the ball during that transfer he is not maintaining possession and it can then be ruled a non-catch?
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  3. #2
    I don't want to grow up Red Raindog's Avatar
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    Re: Who made the BIGGER Mistake? Bryce Harper or Manager Matt Williams?

    Quote Originally Posted by GAC View Post
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...ack-of-hustle/

    There's valid argument on both sides I'm sure. In a majority of game time situations the fans don't like it when it is either evident, or appears, a player shows lack of effort (hustle). Especially when running out a ground ball to 1B. A majority of batters will not run with maximum effort to 1B on plays like that. That's all over the league. I remember when Jr, at times, use to get a lot of criticism from fans for his "jog" to 1B on a "routine" ground ball.

    To many fans it appears as if the player is conceding it's a guaranteed out, or in all probability should be, so why put forth the full effort? I was watching the game, and immediately after Harper hit the ball back to the pitcher he hung his head in disappointment/frustration - as most batters would - thus conceding they just made an easy out. So he wasn't happy with himself.

    And the other side of the coin, one reason Matt Williams put forth as to why he benched Harper was - Well, you never know. The pitcher could have bobbled the ball, etc.

    And that's true.

    But did Williams do the right thing - or make a mistake (over-react) - in benching Harper? Because in the 9th, with one out and runners on second and third, and the Nats rallying against the Cards, Harper's spot in the order came up. But alas, no Harper.

    As manager, what call would you have made? Me? I'd have pulled him off to the side of the dugout and had a talk with this young player. But I wouldn't have jerked him from the game. Why? Harper is nursing a leg injury (sore quad), even though after the game he said it wasn't an issue. Also, last season, the Nats basically told Harper to "cool it" because he was being "too aggressive" running hard all the time, into players, fences, and getting injured.

    Also - after the game, Harper accepted the manager's decision and didn't seem to show any ill-will.

    But another reason cited by Williams for him being upset with Harper is the newer, stricter enforcement of the transfer rule. I realize that's referring to the player "transferring" the ball from glove to hand (to throw), it's a "maintaining possession" thing, and it has already caused some controversy this year in games. But someone clarify it better for me as far as this new season is going, and it's stricter enforcement. The stricter enforcement is suppose to clear up those "grey areas", but is it? Is the rule saying, or are umps ruling, that if a player drops the ball during that transfer he is not maintaining possession and it can then be ruled a non-catch?
    I would have done the same -- but then we are assuming this has not been done earlier in the season and I don't think we have any way of knowing that.
    The older I get - the better I was

    and yes - I hate the Cardinals (Reds fan since 1958)

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    Member tomnuetten's Avatar
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    Re: Who made the BIGGER Mistake? Bryce Harper or Manager Matt Williams?

    I read yesterday that williams said in spring training (one of the first meetings) that he wants his player to run to first base no matter how weak the ball was hit.

    If he made that rule, he has to pull Harper in that situation! you canīt let your "star" player violate a rule without any discipline. if he would have ignored it the teammates would lose respect
    Last edited by tomnuetten; 04-20-2014 at 08:39 AM.
    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." - Albert Einstein

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    OlafTheBlack Dan's Avatar
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    Re: Who made the BIGGER Mistake? Bryce Harper or Manager Matt Williams?

    It's not like there isn't precedent for this. Bobby Cox once pulled Andruw Jones from CF in a middle of an inning for loafing.

    Whether he was in the batter's box or gliding under a fly ball to make an easy basket catch, Jones played the game in a very relaxed manner.[3] This temporarily earned him the ire of manager Bobby Cox in June 1998 in an incident in which Cox pulled Jones out of a game, in the midst of an inning, because he felt Jones had lazily allowed a single to drop in center field.
    Personally I think it was a good decision for the reasons that tomnuetten stated.
    Sabermetrics is this: A batter's goal is to extend the inning. Extend enough innings and you're going to score runs. Extend more innings than your opponent and you're going to score more runs than him.

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    Pimpin...literally!!! dubc47834's Avatar
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    Re: Who made the BIGGER Mistake? Bryce Harper or Manager Matt Williams?

    In ST it sounds like the team had an agreement to play hard. If so, then Harper broke that agreement and should have been pulled. Even without the agreement he should have been pulled. That effort was horrible, if that was Harpers first game he would have been busting it down the line. I mean people had a problem with how hard he played when he first came up. No that he has made the "Big Time" he cant even make it to first base. Matt Williams was ithe right on this and I think Harper will learn a lesson on this.

  8. #6
    Member joshua's Avatar
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    Re: Who made the BIGGER Mistake? Bryce Harper or Manager Matt Williams?

    Where's been a few instances when I hopes Dusty would've pulled guys for the exact same thing. It doesn't happen often where a routine grounder gets blundered and a batter who was jogging it out would have been safe...but it happens often enough that it's worth running out every time.

    If it were a normal fly ball to the warning track Harper would've thrown himself through the wall while making the catch... but he won't run out a grounder to first? The former looks cooler than the latter, I guess.

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    Member cumberlandreds's Avatar
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    Re: Who made the BIGGER Mistake? Bryce Harper or Manager Matt Williams?

    Williams may have done the right thing here. You really can't blame him at all. But he did apparently have a "Come to Jesus" meeting with the team a few days ago. I thought that was way too early in the season to be doing that. Especially since the Nats aren't doing all that badly. It may work out OK in the end but it has all the signs of panicing way too early and you could lose a team fast if you start having these types of meetings too many times.
    Reds Fan Since 1971

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    Member 757690's Avatar
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    Re: Who made the BIGGER Mistake? Bryce Harper or Manager Matt Williams?

    There are plenty of ways to punish a player for not hustling that don't hurt the team.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

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  12. #9
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: Who made the BIGGER Mistake? Bryce Harper or Manager Matt Williams?

    Hard to say without knowing the full background, but it might be a "lose the battle but win the war" kind of thing.

    And sometimes managers/coaches so this to stars to show nobody is above this punishment.

    Pay attention to the open sky

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Who made the BIGGER Mistake? Bryce Harper or Manager Matt Williams?

    IMO he's within his rights to make that call, I see the whole thing as being publicly handled as where it's all become a problem. Williams is new to being a manager, some things he does now in the glare of the media should probably be managed under the rader in the future.

    It's a long season

  14. #11
    Member Ironman92's Avatar
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    Re: Who made the BIGGER Mistake? Bryce Harper or Manager Matt Williams?

    Funny that Harper typically hustles as much as anyone but Williams is setting a precedent and it 's fine by me.

  15. #12
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Who made the BIGGER Mistake? Bryce Harper or Manager Matt Williams?

    Let's just say that Williams doesnt seem to be a player's manager.

    I probably wouldn't have pulled Harper. That said, we might not know if the two have interacted in a way that this had become a game of chicken. Maybe Williams didn't have a choice.

    Harper generally is known as a hard worker who hates to lose. Not sure if you bench him on a comebacker.
    "This isn’t stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    RaisorZone Raisor's Avatar
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    Re: Who made the BIGGER Mistake? Bryce Harper or Manager Matt Williams?

    Sparky would have benched his backup
    "But I do know Joey's sister indirectly (or foster sister) and I have heard stories of Joey being into shopping, designer wear, fancy coffees, and pedicures."

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    Re: Who made the BIGGER Mistake? Bryce Harper or Manager Matt Williams?

    Maybe Votto should take note.

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    Member NebraskaRed's Avatar
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    Re: Who made the BIGGER Mistake? Bryce Harper or Manager Matt Williams?

    Quote Originally Posted by steig View Post
    Maybe Votto should take note.
    Meaning...?


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