Thank You, Mike Scioscia

Dave · April 20, 2008 at 3:51 pm · Filed Under Mariners, Off-topic ranting 

Let’s see – bases loaded, 2 outs, bottom of the 9th, lefty reliever on the hill, and you’ve got two options:

LH Garret Anderson, career vs lefties: .290/.308/.443
RH Torii Hunter, career vs lefties: .282/.339/.490

It’s worth noting that Hunter’s posted an OPS of .900+ against LHPs in each of the last three years as well. His career numbers vs lefties are deflated by poor performances earlier in his career, and our expectation of his actual ability should be weighted towards more recent performances. So, Hunter’s likely an even better true talent hitter against southpaws than this shows.

If you’re Mike Scoiscia, this is a pretty easy call, right? Hunter’s the better hitter and has the platoon advantage. Even if you believe in stuff like playing the hot hand and clutch hitting, well, Torii Hunter wins there too. Anderson’s hitting like the broken down old shell of his former self that he is, and lefties have dominated him this year. Hunter, meanwhile, tore the cover off the ball all weekend.

As a Mariner fan, I’ll simply thank Scioscia for the gift. But man, what a terrible decision that was.


56 Responses to “Thank You, Mike Scioscia”

  1. George Kaplan on April 21st, 2008 10:38 am

    A few things to know about Scioscia:

    1) When he says he is going to give a player the day off, he doesn’t mean “a day off from starting”. That player might as well not suit up that day. Scioscia is a real believer in the need to rest veterans and get them off their legs. The Angels have a travel day today before opening for 3 in Boston and Scioscia was going to stick to his plans.

    2) He is going to respect the veteran until said veteran shows he no longer belongs in the lineup. He will occasionally do defensive replacements in the bottom of the 9th, but otherwise he won’t pull a veteran hitter for a pinch hitter. It isn’t the way he deals with veterans.

    3) If you believe in the value of situational stats so early in the season, Anderson had hit .270 in 2-out-RISP situations (3 for 11, 5 RBI) and Hunter hit .125 (1 for 8, 0 RBI), which indicates Hunter was not a lock to create magic at that moment. Scioscia most likely wasn’t even taking that into consideration.

    Furthermore, I haven’t seen Anderson’s “ego” displayed, despite all the conjecture here that Scioscia is simply managing GA’s ego instead of the entire team. Anderson has pride, as does any veteran, and no player wants to be pinch-hit for, but he isn’t going to pout or trash the locker room.

    Finally, no love at all for Rowland-Smith? The posts here act as if his pitching had nothing to do with the outcome of the game. He ran the count full, threw him one fastball early and the rest all off-speed, set up Anderson well on the outside, and got Anderson looking, expecting Ball 4. Rather than assume that Hunter would have guaranteed a loss for the Mariners, why not assume that R-S is good enough to have struck out either of them?

  2. msb on April 21st, 2008 11:05 am

    I don’t know who should be more offended, Batista because this is condescending, Felix & Bedard because it implies they’re no better than Batista/Washburn/Silva/Dickey, or me because it insults my intelligence so grievously.

    they are pitchers; they have all been brought up in the ‘there is no no. 1 after opening day’ school of thought

  3. thewyrm on April 21st, 2008 11:09 am

    28- Sounds like you are describing Derek Jeter.

  4. Brady H on April 21st, 2008 1:16 pm

    Scioscia made the right move. Hunter’s back was sore from a car accident (you could see him grab it and wince after he robbed Richie on Friday). I’d take Anderson in that spot over someone who had been sitting for nine innings with a stiff back.

  5. joser on April 21st, 2008 1:43 pm

    There’s no such thing as a “SABR fan”.

    Dave, I think there are some hockey fans in Buffalo who would care to differ.

    Poor Buffalo — that awful weather, rusting factories, and nobody knows how to spell.

  6. paulkersey on April 21st, 2008 3:32 pm

    Oh, lay off, already.

    This is ego stroking. Team knows it. Felix and Erik know it and almost certainly don’t care.

    The only people who care are nitpickers–there’s plently of stuff that McLaren does that’s TRULY bad, so don’t carp on the stuff that’s actually OK, like public stroking of your talent.

    I guess I should have included a link to a picture of my tongue, because it was firmly in my cheek.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.