Nationals Baseball: A couple things more on Dusty's departure

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

A couple things more on Dusty's departure

Do I think this effects whether Rizzo stays? Probably not as an individual item. I think Rizzo really wants to finish what he started. He took a job to make the Nationals a winner and he hasn't made it over the playoff hump. He'd like to see it happen before he leaves. I think he's at least somewhat annoyed by the constraints placed on him in terms of working with deferred money or getting Boras clients forced on him and that is something that builds over seasons. Not taking his Dusty advice would be one more thing, but it's not as if Dusty staying would have set everything right.

I think he'll go when he wants to go and that could very well be when the contract is up. But Dusty here or not isn't the driving factor.

It would NOT take a lot of money to re-sign Dusty I don't think. I think Dusty understands this is his best and possibly last chance and could be underpaid again on a short term deal. I think he might have been able to be forced to take the 1yr - 1 option yr deal with a low payout. Nothing has changed in two years.

The idea that Dusty put too much stress on the pitching staff is nonsense. Stop believing something that maybe had a kernel of truth almost 15 years ago.  Who had the top two pitchers by IP in September? Terry Francona's Indians. Carrasco and Kluber by far outpacing everyone else. Other playoff starters who pitched more than Scherzer. Gibson (MIN), Santana (MIN), Gray (NYY), Gray (COL), Verlander (HOU), Kershaw (LAD). The Nats had two starters in the top 30 of IP in September, with Scherzer at 33.1 IP and Strasburg at 32.2.  So did the Cubs with Quintana (32.1) and Lester (32.1). As a team the Indians and Astros threw more starter innings than the Nationals and the Yankees exactly the same. Gio threw more pitches than either of the two in September, but Verlander and Sale (BOS) and Porcello (BOS) threw more pitches than him.

I know that thing about Scherzer trying to stretch himself to go deep got in your heads but please understand there is no fundamental difference between how Dusty runs a pitching staff and how most managers do it. This has been true for more than a decade. The Nationals tend to throw more starter innings and pitches because they have good veteran starters. It's as simple as that. If you are reading this any other way you are lying to yourself trying to fit a narrative that hasn't been true for years (and maybe was never true). Don't be a Cubs fan, people.

One of the things I noticed about college basketball is that you'll hear CONSTANTLY, "He's a good recruiter but he can't coach".  You'll hear this about nearly every successful coach. This kind of philosophy carries on into all sports, including baseball. When your team wins and you are supposed to be good it's because of talent, if it loses it's because of poor in-game managers. Here are some links.

Joe Girardi - bad in-game manager
Joe Maddon - bad in-game manager
John Farrell - bad in-game manager
Paul Molitor - bad in-game manager
Bud Black - bad in-game manager

let's not forget the guys in the World Series
Dave Roberts - bad in-game manager
AJ Hinch - bad in-game manager

The fact of the matter is unless you are a new coach that is winning right now (Hey Torey Lovullo) or some sort of master coach in his prime, you are going to be thought of as a bad in-game coach. It's the opposite of Lake Wobegon. It's Nogebow Stadium. Is EVERYONE a bad in-game coach? Can't possibly be true. Are some? Of course. Is Dusty? I don't know. I think if you win 95 and 97 games you probably are at least average. If you blame him for the bad (say the 1st half bullpen - which I did want to blame him in part for) you have to credit him for the good (say last year's pen)

Is this type of playoff losing unprecedented? Not really. Oakland won four straight division titles with 91, 96, 102 and 103 wins and couldn't get out of the DS.  The Twins in 8 years won 5 division titles (with 90, 82, 96, 87, and 94 wins) and failed to win a playoff series. They did start by winning a DS the year before this streak, but that means one playoff series win in 6 tries. After being a perennial power and making 5 world series and 3 CSs in 8 years, the Braves would win one playoffs series in their next 6 appearances. That year they would win the East with 88 games. The times they lost? 90, 95, 96, 101, and 101 wins. Texas won their division three times from 1996-1999 and never won in the playoffs. And that's just what I thought of off the top of my head.When good teams play good teams sometimes you don't win. Getting four or five heads in a row isn't that strange.

My general thinking is this - the Nats are unlikely to be more likely to win in the playoffs next year with someone new. This isn't because Dusty is great in the playoffs. It's because Dusty is average in it and if you grab a manager from random they are likely to be average. It's also likely, in my opinion, that the Nats will win a few fewer games next season with someone else rather than Dusty. That is because I see Dusty as a great season long manager. Will those couple games matter? It hasn't in any of the last 6 seasons, but there's always a chance. Therefore I keep Dusty.

But if you want to let Dusty go that's fine. It's not a crazy choice. I can see an argument that there is enough pressure on the Nats to win in the playoffs before you add the pressure of Dusty wanting to win so badly and perhaps a guy with less to lose will free up the team. It hasn't worked before (I think Matt Williams is the only one that did a BAD managing job in a playoff series) but it could for someone not terrible. So you can justify this managerial departure if you look at it individually.  It IS however, another managerial departures in a long line of them where you have to work to see the Lerners side of things. If bad decision making isn't a single amazingly horrible decision but the culmination of several questionable ones, it's not Dusty and in-game work you have to look at, it's the Lerners and their handling of managers. 


Fries said...

I almost feel like this is the Lerners trying to shift blame to someone else for failing to go all in. We as fans have called on them countless times to go all in, but going all in is expensive. This is a cheap way to make it look like you're committed to winning in the playoffs when, realistically, we all know the Lerners only really care about being consistently good. And as we've discussed on this blog before, I'm all for that philosophy. But don't pin it on Dusty, it's not his fault. Don't throw a should be HOF manager under the bus just because they got unlucky in the playoffs.

Harper said...

It'll be interesteing bc the statement made now is "WE NEED TO WIN IN THE PLAYOFFS". If you can't get a manager who can promise that (and they almost certinaly can't) then we're going to have to see some OVERspending or tough trades giving up the future for the now. We'll see what's real here in the next few months

PotomacFan said...

@Fries: you make your own luck. Sure, Turner, Harper, Rendon and Zimmerman barely hit the ball. But starting Werth in all 5 games and having Werth bat in the 2 slot in the last three games is NOT good strategy. Nor is it good strategy to have MAT, the only guy who consistently hit the ball, batting 8th. I don't think anyone on this board supported having Werth in the starting line-up. We know that he was bad before his injury, and terrible after coming back from his injury. And Dusty knew this, too. But Werth was a team leader, and therefore had to play. Nonsense. No way that Maddon, Bochy, Dave Roberts put Werth in the starting line-up for all 5 games.

Anonymous said...

I like what I'm hearing about Martinez. Gritty ball-player in his day, understudy to Maddon, bilingual (Robles, Soto, et al). I doubt as a first-time manager he is the same risk as ol' paint-by-the-numbers Williams. Plus, I think he is a better longer-term solution than just a "let's win next year" manager.

billyhacker said...

I agree with this post but you can't brush the extended meaningless outings under the rug:

The Nationals finished the year with the most starter innings pitched of any team by a margin of 15 innings:,ts&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=7,d

That is not how you make a deep playoff run.

And sure, the first half meant covering for bad relief appearances, but it doesn't explain the second half.

The reason the September totals were lower was because the starters pulled themselves out of the games! It was the only way to stop them from pitching 115 pitch meaningless games.

JC said...

Agree with Billyhacker, there is objective evidence that Dusty was an outlier when it comes to keeping his starting pitchers in the game. Whether that translates into worse perform in playoffs is unknown. My point is why take a chance that it does impact their stamina? If you notice in the fangraphs piece, the Dodgers and Astros were at the bottom of the list in terms of pitches per starter.

JC said...

Also I reread Harper's original posting from when Dusty was hired. I would say that all of the potential negatives that were outlined there when it comes to the playoffs have been confirmed now with two more years of playoff data. Before Dusty came I was willing to chalk up his issues to bad luck but watching the same pattern repeat itself again is enough for me to think that this is an intrinsic Dusty issue.

Fries said...


I'm in total agreement there, you can check my comments on the blog previously. I am no Dusty fan by any means. But, given the available options, I think he was the Nats best bet since someone like Martinez is still largely an unknown. We can make assumptions based on who his mentor has been, but we can't know for sure.

And this recent series was still a lot of bad luck. I won't deny putting Werth in the lineup was a bad idea, but he was also one of the only players hitting the ball in game 4 and 5. Howie wouldn't have necessarily been much of an improvement.

Solis for his season was ugly, but he had a crazy good September. We like to forget that.

Max never comes out of the bullpen, sure, but he was starting an inning and, by and large, what happened that inning was a fluke.

So while yes there were decisions that Dusty made that might have increased the win probability by a small %, I'd argue there was no egregious decision made in the entire series (outside the whole Stras thing which luckily didn't come back to bite the team). So the series loss was basically just a tough break. It was no Ole PBN series by any stretch of the imagination

Ric said...

Serious question does everyone realize just how bad Werth was? We all knew he was bad, but, the guy hit .155 post All Star break. Ouch.

Not my point, though.

I think a new manager DOES win as many or more games than Baker. Baker lost a couple of games because of questionable lineup decisions. A few games (the majority towards the end of the season when NL East clinched; one after a long road trip), Dusty played ALL bench players, conceding the win. He could have just as easily sat half the lineup, and waited one more day to sit the younger half of the starting lineup. Dusty also had an annoying habit of sitting players at the most inopportune time. He'd sit Murphy or Zimmerman after a 4-4 day, or sit Harper after hitting three home runs in two days. It's as if he went out of his way to stop any good streak or momentum. If a player is "in the zone," wait until he returns to earth to give him his scheduled day off.

Take these lineup faux pas into account, plus the acknowledged Werth and other lineup problems, and the Nationals would have won (admittedly very few) few more games. But, that's two or four more games that a different manager would have won.

FWIW, I agree with the Nationals not bringing Baker back. I think any other current manager gets the Nationals past the Cubs. But Baker was also in my top four Nationals managers, and I think it is valid thinking of those who advocate that he should have been re-signed.

Josh Higham said...

To sitting players at inopportune times: causality is tricky. Dusty was a big fan of scheduling days off well in advance and sticking to that schedule, and players seemed to appreciate that a lot (see Werth, Jayson shouting at Matt Williams). I think there's a nontrivial chance that a guy who doesn't know when his next day off is plays differently (and I assume worse, giving less effort) from a guy who knows "no matter what happens today, tomorrow I can sleep in." I'm not going to claim that guys play better the day before their day off than on comparable days when they do play the next day, but if I had unlimited time and data I'd look into it.

Ric said...

@Fries said: " I won't deny putting Werth in the lineup was a bad idea, but he was also one of the only players hitting the ball in game 4 and 5. Howie wouldn't have necessarily been much of an improvement."

Werth (0-4, 2K) did not have a hit in game 4. EVERYONE was hitting the ball in game 5. Along with Werth, Turner, Murphy, WieTERS, and Taylor had two hits each. Even Lobaton got a hit. Combine games 4 and 5, only Zimmerman had less hits than Werth.

Harper said...

billy/JC - except you'd be ignoring last year when the Cubs made it with the 2nd most IP, or the year before that when the Mets made with with the 2nd most IP (when 1st and 2nd were 20+ IP over the rest) In fact here are the Nats rank and the rank of the teams in the WS during the window

2012 18 (5,14)
2013 15 (5,6)
2014 5 (8,10)
2015 8 (2,24)
2016 6 (2,7)
2017 1 (17,10)

What pattern are we gleaning from here other than in general good teams usually are in the top 3rd or higher of starter IP?

Pitching counts would be better? 101+ pitch games maybe?

2012 24 (1,9)
2013 17 (3,13)
2014 16 (20,2)
2015 8 (20,18)
2016 1 (10,9)
2017 1 (30,22)

Sure the Nats are far different than the teams in the WS series this year. But then why no deep playoff runs in 2012 or 2014, when the Nats were rested? Why have we seen teams ranked 1,2 and 3 in the series during this time frame?

A lot of these have to be looked at individually too. The Dodgers were nursing an injury to almost everyone on staff (only Kershaw started more than 25 games and he only got to 27). The Astros back of the rotation was garbage. Looking at 2015 the Mets were baby arms being carefully controlled for (like the 2012 Nats). The Roylas had a mediocre rotation and a lights out pen. You go with what you have.

And wait - didn't the Nats get 4 good pitching performances? Why are we even talking about starting pitching as if that was the problem the Nats had in the DS?

There may be something to be said about an emergence of understanding about using your best relievers in the biggest spots in the playoffs. Maybe Dusty isn't there and wasn't going to get there. But that's not this argument.

I think most of the Dusty minuses remained minuses - can be too much of a player coach, a little too rigid in the pen (despite his talk Doolittle ended up as the closer), more aggressive at the plate than he should push. But I'm not sure that's tipping the scales. Everyone wasn't hitting, not just one vet dragging things down. The Nats don't have that lights out reliever that you would use in the biggest spots. And aggressiveness has been an organizational philosophy basically since the team came to DC.

Still you can pick on these but if you do you have to be prepared to accept the positives. His faith in Werth almost paid off, instead it was Zimm who was the offensive goat of the last game. Did his faith in MAT (who he always talked up) lead to the breakout year?

I don't want to spend much more time defending Dusty bc I don't see this as a clear move. It's not like 95/5 you offer him a new deal. I see it as a 60/40 maybe 66/33 to bring him back. I don't see Dusty as the problem I see the fact that I saw keeping Davey as a 75/25 yes and hiring Bud Black as a 60/40 yes, even keeping Riggleman on as a 55/45 (maybe 52/48) and watched the Lerners go the opposite for each one bc of stuff as the problem. This is the real problem.

BornInDC said...


The thing is, in at least football, there are coaches who are better in-game coaches than others. Joe Gibbs was famous for halftime adjustments that would shutdown what other teams had been doing to them in the first half or figure out ways to exploit a weakness shown by the other team in the first half. And these days, Belichick is pretty clearly a difference-maker as a "in-game coach" and part of this is due to his preparing during the season for situations the Patriots might be in during a playoff game or Super Bowl. For example, the Patriots put an emphasis on practicing QB sneaks:

And, if you know anything about football, the Patriots success on QB sneaks has nothing to do with the "running talent" of their QB Tom Brady.

As the old saying goes: "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."

In contrast, the Atlanta Falcons, a team with one of the best offensive coordinators in football during the season, i.e., Kyle Shanahan, who called a great game in the 1st half of the Super Bowl, made two disastrous in-game coaching decisions in the 2nd half that cost the Falcons the game.

On both the 3rd and 1 play that resulted in strip sack fumble recovery for a Patriots TD and the play that resulted in a sack, a run play into the middle of the line that would have just eaten up some clock would have been a better decision and this was obvious to most fans at home and in the stadium at the time. Of course, had the situation been reversed and it was the Patriots facing the two crucial play call decisions that Shanahan botched, the Patriots would probably just called QB sneak, and probably converted the 3rd and 1 play, because their coach prepares in advance for such situations and practices for them.

Consider also that at the beginning of the 4th quarter, the Falcons win probability was around 99%:

As I saw Trea Turner not bunting to try to get on base to test Arrieta's hamstring or Jon Lester's ability to reliably throw to first base, I thought of whether the Nats coaching staff had prepared the team for the playoffs.

Also, when the Nats got ahead 4-1 in game 5, I wondered why Dusty made the in game decision to keep in a pitcher, Gio, who had thrown a ball to the backstop in the 1st inning and had a history of melting down, when the Nats now had a bullpen that could probably keep more than 3 runs from scoring, and an offense that looked like it would probably score a few more runs.

In contrast, I also noticed that when Maddon had apparently made a bad in-game decision to put in Wade Davis too early and Davis was struggling, Maddon had the presence of mind to make the in-game decision to have Contreras pick off Lobaton at 1st base to take the pressure off Davis. Why in the world was Lobaton, the trailing runner with no speed not told by 1st Base Coach Davey Lopes not to take a lead, because Contreras had a history of being able to pick off runners at 1st and Contreras was likely to try pick him off, given how Davis was struggling.

Watching Nats in the playoffs, the coaching staff often look unprepared for situations that are likely to occur in a playoff game.

Ole PBN said...

^^ Good point on Lobaton's pick-off. Isn't Lopes supposed to be a world class first base coach? Guy looks asleep out there.

PotomacFan said...

And let's not forget that Jon Lester -- let me repeat that, Jon Lester -- picked off Ryan Z., who was dancing (neither foot on the ground, not what we teach our Little Leaguers) almost 20 feet from first base. What was Zim thinking of, and what was Lopes doing? We forget that, because that was still a big inning for the Nationals. I suppose Zim thought that Lester would never throw over.

Harper said...

I've heard a lot of people say Gio shouldn't have come out for the third and I siagree. He just had a 1-2-3 inning with two Ks (yes, pitcher hitting I know) and had pitched well earlier in the series. It was worth a shot to see if he could go further. After Bryant doubles though that changes things. You could pull him there but I think most managers would let him pitch to Rizzo to get whatever minimal lefty on lefty advantage you could. You could pull him for Contreras (I wouldn't have looking at a 1-2 and 0-2 counts to first two hitters and thinking good thoughts) but maybe a manager would have. After Contreras walks makes then I can see several managers making the leap.After Almora walks is almost necessary and Dusty is on his own

Ric said...

@PotomacFan wrote: "I suppose Zim thought that Lester would never throw over."

Except, to further make your point, Lester had just thrown over the previous pitch.

Anybody notice that Zimmerman actually fell down on the way to the plate, but was still able to crawl back to first because Lester bounced the pitch to Rizzo. Zimmerman should have been thrown out that first time, but a combination bad throw and Rizzo didn't try to apply the tag because of said bad throw and he didn't know Zimmerman face-planted.

How did that not wake up Zimmerman? Sigh.

PotomacFan said...


I forgot about that. Makes it even more inexcusable. Maybe Zim figured that Lester would not throw over AGAIN, having put the first one in the dirt.

Zim was dreaming of another stolen base off Lester, like he did in Game 2. That was also from a ridiculous lead (from which he should have been picked off, even by Lester), and with Zim dancing in the air. And Contreras almost threw Zim out anyway.

BxJaycobb said...

Harper. I love this blog and I love your writing and thinking almost 100% of the time. But you’re wrong here. The idea that you can’t be a bad manager and win lots of games is as silly as the idea that you can’t be a crappy manager and win the World Series. Managers make differences on the edges. They can harm or they can help. Win totals are a nearly useless metric to use. Of course you can find a link for each manager saying they’re a dummy. You can find somebody who thinks Bryce Harper is a mediocrity and Strasburg is the best pitcher in baseball and Kershaw isn’t that good. How about ONE person’s opinion? The fact is almost no new school analytically inclined person thinks Dusty is a good decision maker in games. Did Dusty do something utterly insane like bring in Enny Romero to save a game in the NLDS? No. That really shouldn’t be the bar. Did he do a single imaginative creative thing—results be damned? No. Did he make 5-6 moves a game that were objectively dumb? Yes. Look. As a general matter, MOST managers in baseball are not very good tactically, because baseball is still adjusting to using the data revolution and it’s a stubborn sport. That will change and is changing with people like Maddon, Dave Roberts, and AJ Hinch, Kevin Cash, and Torey Lovullo. Newer hires are less wedded to dumb old school type things like keeping Max or Tanner Roark in a meaningless regular season game until they throw 125 pitches or walk 5 people in a row so they can get the Win, a dumb stat that will be viewed as even more useless in coming years. Gio was gassed/ineffective/not good down the stretch. Max was hurt. Is that due to Dusty? I dunno. Maybe. Maybe not.
Or bringing in Solis JUST because he’s left handed or has some meaningless VS numbers vs Albert Almora in like 3 ABs. Never mind that he is a bad pitcher. Or pitching to Rizzo for no reason at all because Contreras was just as good this year—�nevermind he’s never gotten a big hit and has looked bad all series. Saying that people give all credit to talent when it succeeds and all blame to managers when team fails is using a straw man. Dusty’s players all like him. That’s a really good thing. Period. Does he get them to like him by sometimes sacrificing good of the team to please them? Yeah. Sometimes. But as somebody who watches a ton of baseball. Dusty just is not a good in game tactician. Consistently.

Jay said...

I would argue that Gio never should have pitched in game 5. Gio pitched game 2 bc at the time the Nats felt they needed 4 pitchers. Also, the hope was the new and more mature Gio would be better this year in the playoffs. Dusty said Gio should pitch bc Gio was "dreaming of redemption" from 2012. He kept starting Werth bc "I was Werth when I was a player. People trying to replace me and I would have been really upset if I didn't get to play in a big game."

I would argue Dusty did leave pitchers in too long. September is a bad month to look at bc Max was in and out of the line up. I remember when Davey was the manager that once guys got to a 100 pitches they were pretty much done. They may go a little over 100 but that was borrowed time. Dusty doesn't even think about bringing guys out until they are over 100 pitches. Max started to have health issues this year. Stras was on the DL. What if Dusty lets these guys keep throwing in the 115's and higher in every start. It could catch up with us. You can't argue that he got stuck on relievers as well. Remember every day Felipe. Throwing Romero until he literally went on the DL with elbow issues. Throwing Melancon 4 times in 5 days after they had already won the division last year. Melancon had surgery this year.

I agree you can also argue that talent wins. Jim Leyland is now thought of as a winner bc of his time in Florida. Remember when he was in Pittsburgh and Bonds was choking every year. Leyland was thought of the guy that hadn't won the big one.

The bottom line is that you can argue either way. I would say a guy who was 0-10 in his last 10 clinch games isn't luck. The Giants fired him after he lost in the WS. Having said that, the Nats really need to hire somebody great and keep him here for more than 2 years.

Ole PBN said...

Taking a look at Davey, MW, and Dusty: All different guys, with different strengths that led to them being hired. I see Davey and Dusty as interchangeable: great clubhouse/player personality management, very even-keeled during the dog days of summer, has a good "feel" for the game. Of course both would prove negligent in this area, mostly in the postseason, but overall they did have a good sense of which players to put in at which time (see Lind/Chad Tracy's PH success). Matt Williams I think was brought in on the idea that someone needed to get more out of this team and "The Marine" was just the man to do it (benching Bryce for not running to first). Williams had his flaws for sure. He had no feel for the game and struggled with player personality management. However, I think Werth berating him in front of the team saying "when exactly do you think you lost this team?" says a lot more about Werth than it did about MW. MW's final error was his logic of Aaron Barrett's usage in the playoffs and taking out ZNN only to have Storen blow it. He fell short of expectations.

For example, take a look at Boston's ups and downs (Tito-Valentine-Farrell). They fired Tito because of a lack of recent success and a broken clubhouse culture had become acceptable, thus someone's head had to roll. I remember the PR nightmare that was at the time (Fried Chicken in the Clubhouse: The Horror!!!) and thought it was grossly over analyzed. They botched that by letting Tito walk. They brought Valentine in to ease that pain and bring some structure to that "broken" clubhouse (MW comparison coming up). But trying to do that with personalities like David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia is a losing battle. They hated it and him from day 1. And Valentine didn't help himself either. After that, they sweep the crap show aside and return to someone with a more "hands-off" approach in Farrell. Farrell had been there before and knew the drill, knew the players, etc. He'd done this before (see Dusty). Eventually, the tough personalities ate him up too and he got canned for that. The guy won a WS his first year and then two quick exits in the DS. Boston has their expectations. We have ours, I get it.

Dusty did not get fired for the same reason that Farrell did. His players let him down in the postseason, but he also didn't set the team up for optimal success with some of his moves. Dusty did not meet the expectations of advancing past the DS. Plain and simple. My point is... is that a manager can only do so much. I think our clubhouse culture has been the same throughout the Davey/MW/Dusty era. Strasburg, Gio, Bryce, Zimmerman, and Werth are the only guys who have been there the entire time. Who is the leader of that group and who is the leader of that clubhouse? He's gone now and I think we might see a big change in the way this team displays itself on the field. Hopefully less arrogant/entitled? I don't know. But the big move is not who our next manager is, it's who is no longer here: Dusty and Werth. Dusty made some poor moves (Solis, Werth, Strasburg sick/not sick) and like it or not, we had to move on. I've said it before and I've explained my reasons, I don't think Werth was organically good for this team. His signing was (productive player; opened the door to future FA's, but this could have been someone else).

"I am proud to call myself a National. Before I came here, I don't think anybody would've said that." -Jayson Werth

The team is good enough now, and will better next year. I'm down with Dave Martinez. He has everything we/management wants except a "guarantee that we'll win a WS." So I guess he has nothing that we want? lol

blovy8 said...

Not saying he couldn't do the job, but do we really know anything at all about how Dave Martinez would manage? The assumption is that he'll be like Maddon, but that's a pretty specific goofiness that I doubt would be transferable or even preferable for this club.

Anonymous said...

We need to get Girardi!

He wasn’t happy w how he
was treated by the Yanks so
he’ll be hungering to get right
back at it and prove his mettle.

Plus he’s close to home and he steps in to a stacked team ready to win it all.

Make this happen Rizzo.

BornInDC said...

MLB’s Joe Torre confirms that Nationals were hurt by a blown call in NLDS Game 5

“However, the rule states — and you probably have read the rule — that when contact is made — in other words, when the bat came around and hit the catcher’s mask — it’s a dead ball,” Torre went on. “It’s a dead ball. And that’s the one thing that should have taken precedence.”

“And again, the manager — Dusty [Baker] in this case — he could have gone, which we remind the managers,” Torre went on. “If you’ve got a question, a rule question — not a judgment question but a rule question — if you don’t like what the umpire’s telling you, ask him for a rules check. And they can do that. They can go to the replay center on the headset and check a rule.”

So Dusty should have known he could have a rules question checked in NY?

BornInDC said...

Also, if Dusty should have known he could have a rules question checked in NY, and didn't make the request, that looks like a pretty bad in-game decision to me, particularly when his own catcher, Wieters, for all of his faults, seemed to know the rule (as he indicated by pointing to his mask after he was hit by Baez' backswing).