What's more important to manage a game, or manage a team?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from attic-dan. Show attic-dan's posts

    What's more important to manage a game, or manage a team?

       I ask this question, because while Titos' in game decisions and his line-ups are a source of almost daily frustrations. Tito can  be loyal and stubborn to a fault. 
       The team though, for the most part, plays hard on a nightly basis, responds well to adversity, I believe that 'stuff' stays in the clubhouse, and the players respect Francona, with Lackey being the exception, but then he gave Scioscia the same attitude.
       I've been watching the Sox for years, and that Francona might not have succeded back in the day, he is perfect fit for the ball-player of today

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: What's more important to manage a game, or manage a team?

    I'm not sure if Lackey has a "lack of respect."

    I think he just doesn't like to be pulled from games.

    This is a trait that is much misunderstood.

    Personally, I like a starting pitcher that gets mad when the manager brings out the hook.  It shows that he has competitive fire, if you recall Schilling and Pedro didn't like being pulled either.

    Francona is a good manager for modern day baseball. Part father, part babysitter, part psychologist. Great communication with the media. Dick Williams probably would have been a disaster in today's MLB. I doubt many modern players would put up with him.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from BOSOX1941. Show BOSOX1941's posts

    Re: What's more important to manage a game, or manage a team?

    In Response to What's more important to manage a game, or manage a team?:
    [QUOTE]   I ask this question, because while Titos' in game decisions and his line-ups are a source of almost daily frustrations. Tito can  be loyal and stubborn to a fault.     The team though, for the most part, plays hard on a nightly basis, responds well to adversity, I believe that 'stuff' stays in the clubhouse, and the players respect Francona, with Lackey being the exception, but then he gave Scioscia the same attitude.    I've been watching the Sox for years, and that Francona might not have succeded back in the day, he is perfect fit for the ball-player of today
    Posted by attic-dan[/QUOTE]
    The way I look at it is, he's the field manager, it's his job to lead the team to win games.  The makeup of the team and the behind the scenes problems should not affect his ability to manage games. It's said that he does a great job handling any clubhouse turmoil and keeps the atmosphere at an even level. If these responsibilities are affecting his in-game decisions, then Theo needs to handle those problems. The problem is that Francona is probably a good clubhouse manager, but even if he didn't have to handle the occasional clubhouse problems, he's is not a capable field manager.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from newenglanderinexile. Show newenglanderinexile's posts

    Re: What's more important to manage a game, or manage a team?

    I don't know if Lackey should be included in the same discussion with Schilling and Pedro.  With their track records, they had a right to be upset if they were taken out; with his, Lackey does not. 
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from newenglanderinexile. Show newenglanderinexile's posts

    Re: What's more important to manage a game, or manage a team?

    In Response to Re: What's more important to manage a game, or manage a team?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to What's more important to manage a game, or manage a team? : The way I look at it is, he's the field manager, it's his job to lead the team to win games.  The makeup of the team and the behind the scenes problems should not affect his ability to manage games. It's said that he does a great job handling any clubhouse turmoil and keeps the atmosphere at an even level. If these responsibilities are affecting his in-game decisions, then Theo needs to handle those problems. The problem is that Francona is probably a good clubhouse manager, but even if he didn't have to handle the occasional clubhouse problems, he's is not a capable field manager.
    Posted by BOSOX1941[/QUOTE]

    And you have the authority to pronounce Francona not a capable field manager because ...?
     
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  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from Beantowne. Show Beantowne's posts

    Re: What's more important to manage a game, or manage a team?

    In Response to Re: What's more important to manage a game, or manage a team?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to What's more important to manage a game, or manage a team? : The way I look at it is, he's the field manager, it's his job to lead the team to win games.  The makeup of the team and the behind the scenes problems should not affect his ability to manage games. It's said that he does a great job handling any clubhouse turmoil and keeps the atmosphere at an even level. If these responsibilities are affecting his in-game decisions, then Theo needs to handle those problems. The problem is that Francona is probably a good clubhouse manager, but even if he didn't have to handle the occasional clubhouse problems, he's is not a capable field manager.
    Posted by BOSOX1941[/QUOTE]

    What a bunch of malarky...Francona has forgetten more about the game than the collect we have ever learned!

    When will you guys in the anti Francona faction wake up and look at his overall job performance and stop nitpicking isolated if I coulda, shoulda, woulda in game moments where a player failed to execute what he's being paid to do. He ain't perfect, but he's among the best managers in the game. His record speaks for itself...



     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from LloydDobler. Show LloydDobler's posts

    Re: What's more important to manage a game, or manage a team?

    Though he generally annoys the bejezus out of me, Bobby Valentine said something last night that was right on. After Gomes (I think) walked the bases full, he said of Maddon "Sometimes you push all the right buttons but it still doesn't work out." Translation: Even if you have Sparky Anderson out there, it comes down to player execution.

    As for Terry Francona, the Sox are in first place and on pace to win 100 games. This with a mediocre shortstop, only two solid right-handed hitters, and a starting rotation that right now includes a 44-year-old knuckle-baller and a 26-year-old journeyman with a sub-.500 career record. (Not to mention John Lackey). That's how I judge whether the manager is doing his job.






     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from DirtyWaterLover. Show DirtyWaterLover's posts

    Re: What's more important to manage a game, or manage a team?

    Best winning percentage in the AL.  Best offense in Baseball.  Tied for second best Fielding Percentage in baseball.  And 3rd in the AL in opposing BA.   

    What more do people want?

    The only time people "notice" Tito's game management is when something doesn't work out.  But when he makes a move and it does work out, no one notices.

    Last night, top of the 11th inning.  LH Howell is pitching for Tampa but is gased. JD Drew is coming to the plate.  Madden waits to see if Tito Pinch Hits for JD Drew with a righty.  When Madden sees that Drew is going to bat, he brings in another lefty (McGee).  As soon as Madden makes the change, Tito bings in the RH hitting McDonald to PH for Drew, setting up the Lefty/Righty match up, plus he gets Madden to burn a lefty out of the BP.  McDonald draws a walk.

    Top of the 16th, Russell, a right hander, starts the inning and pitches to the Lefty hitting Reddick, who draws a walk and goes on to score the winning run.

    If Tito doesn't force Madden to burn the lefty in the 11th, is he availble in the 16th to pitch to Reddick?
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from LloydDobler. Show LloydDobler's posts

    Re: What's more important to manage a game, or manage a team?

    In Response to Re: What's more important to manage a game, or manage a team?:
    [QUOTE]Best winning percentage in the AL.  Best offense in Baseball.  Tied for second best Fielding Percentage in baseball.  And 3rd in the AL in opposing BA.    What more do people want? The only time people "notice" Tito's game management is when something doesn't work out.  But when he makes a move and it does work out, no one notices. Last night, top of the 11th inning.  LH Howell is pitching for Tampa but is gased. JD Drew is coming to the plate.  Madden waits to see if Tito Pinch Hits for JD Drew with a righty.  When Madden sees that Drew is going to bat, he brings in another lefty (McGee).  As soon as Madden makes the change, Tito bings in the RH hitting McDonald to PH for Drew, setting up the Lefty/Righty match up, plus he gets Madden to burn a lefty out of the BP.  McDonald draws a walk. Top of the 16th, Russell, a right hander, starts the inning and pitches to the Lefty hitting Reddick, who draws a walk and goes on to score the winning run. If Tito doesn't force Madden to burn the lefty in the 11th, is he availble in the 16th to pitch to Reddick?
    Posted by DirtyWaterLover[/QUOTE]

    Oh, but see, these are the moves "my grandmother would know to make." You wait, somebody will say that.

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from royf19. Show royf19's posts

    Re: What's more important to manage a game, or manage a team?

    You manage the team. This isn't football where the coaches call plays and can spend all week to game-plan against specific opponents. Baseball more than any other sport is about managing the team and managing the season. That doesn't mean Francona, who excels at managing the team and the season, isn't good at managing a game.

    The problem with the anti-Francona crowd is that they say the same thing over and over again like it's fact, when it's mostly garbage. Let's break it down.

    1. He's not a good in-game manager.

    This really breaks me up. Francona makes a decision that the basher disagrees with so that makes him a bad in-game manager. And when it works, they won't say he made the right decision; they'll say he was lucky.

    These critics also have blinders in how they ignore how all managers handle pitchers. It was laughable recently how he was ripped for leaving a starter in who gave up a lot of runs early while ignoring how during that run in late May or early June when the Sox were tearing up opposing pitchers, those managers were doing the same thing in not yanking the starter to early. (The same thing in general about using pitch counts).

    And these critics, who for some unknown reason, which fascinates me, love the bunt as if it some grand strategy, ignores the organizations philosophy, which is against a lot of bunting. Tito does bunt and hit-and-run in the right situations, but with the lineup the Sox have, it's a low percentage play. Maddon is supposed to be some great in-game strategist. Gee, how come the Rays didn't win last night.

    And the thing these critics will never admit to is all the times they were yelling at the TV for Francona to replace the pitcher, either the starter or a reliever, Francona doesn't and the non-move pays off.

    2. He doesn't try to win every game.

    Just because he doesn't manage every game like it's the seventh game of the World Series. Just because he's looking ahead to the next game(s) and doesn't want to burn out the bullpen doesn't mean he's not trying to win the game at hand. The critics in this category are the most simplistic. Just because he doesn't use the players they think he should use, they'll say he's not trying to win the game.

    3. He's loyal to veterans to a fault.

    Hmm. They're misinterpeting loyalty with treating players with respect. If Francona listened to the bashers, Ortiz wouldn't be here.

    4. In general, he's loyal to player to a fault or stubborn to a fault as the OP put it.

    Let's see, if he listened to these nervous-Nelly's, Pedroia would have been back in the minors, the Sox wouldn't have a catching duo that has the second-best (last I checked) OPS in the A.L. These critics mistake stubbornness with patience. Rarely has this so-called stubbornness to stick with player hurt the team in the long run. 

    Let's look at some specific cases.
    I already mentioned how sticking with Ortiz (did sit him against tough lefties), Pedroia and Salty has paid off.

    Foulke -- Didn't have a lot of options back then. And knowing when to pull the plug on a struggling reliever is a crpshoot.

    Timlin -- In his second-to-last year, critics were ripping Tito for putting Timlin in but what happened? From mid-June through the end of the season, he was practically lights out.

    Drew -- The Sox are getting excellent defense and are winning, so he could afford to be patient. As it is, Francona has been sitting him against lefties.

    Reddick -- This is a bit different. Tito has been ripped for sitting Reddick when he was hot (Lowrie too earlier this year), but has it occurred to anyone that perhaps one reason for that success is that Francona is putting them into positions to succeed? That maybe they were sat against a specific pitcher because he didn't want them to be overmatched at a young stage of their development, which could really cool them off. And perhaps batting eighth instead of sixth (Drew) puts him in a positon where there might not be as much pressure. Reddick's problem last year was no patience at the plate (poor plate discipline). Batting him sixth in the middle of the lineup could create a mindset that he has to be a big hitter and he loses that discipline.

    There are plenty of other instances where Francona's patience has paid off.

    And it's ironic that when Dick Williams died, he was being lauded as a manager who was able to use his entire roster and how they were always ready when he needed them. And why were they ready? Because he used them and didn't let them rot on the bench. That has been a strength of Francona's IMO in that he uses his bench and they don't get stale, yet he gets ripped for doing the same thing Williams was being praised for.

    Another point. Francona is sometimes criticized when he plays a player in a situation where the numbers don't back him up. Well, being a manager is more than looking at a stats sheet and creating a lineup based solely on numbers. He's the manager of players, not robots, and the human factor always needs to be considered.

    Francona does an excellent job of balancing the numbers he gets from the Bill James people, which Grady Little completely ignored and is why he was fired, with the human element.

    And one last point about patience. Francona doesn't panic and creates an environment where players can succeed. It's no coincidence that a Francona-managed team came back from three months of mediocrity in 2004 to finish strong; come back from deficits in the playoffs to the Yankees and Indians like they did; come back from one of their worst starts in history this year to have the second-best record in baseball in the best record in the A.L.

    Now the bashers will rip him for the Sox being in those holes to begin with, but that simply shows no understanding about baseball. Players slump. Teams slump. There are other teams playing who get hot. The true test of managing isn't avoiding slumps, which happens to all teams, but how you whether them. It's what made Joe Torre an excellent manager with the Yankees. He was just as unflappable.

    Critics this year tried to have it both ways with Francona. He's criticized for not making adjustments when the team is struggling. And when he made adjustments at the beginning of this year with the lineup, he's ripped for changing the lineups. 

    All this doesn't mean I always agree with every move he makes. I scratch my head sometimes, but I'm not so arrogant to assume that the move I would have made would have worked or been better.

    And all this doesn't mean he always makes the right decision. Everyone makes mistakes. But it's not the mistakes that matter. It's the overall performance and results that do.

    All managers rely on having talent. Francona never has had a team that underachieved. Just because a team doesn't with the WS ever year does it mean it underachieved. 
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from rickerd2. Show rickerd2's posts

    Re: What's more important to manage a game, or manage a team?

    Yes.

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from taz1956. Show taz1956's posts

    Re: What's more important to manage a game, or manage a team?

    Anyone who wishes the best manager the Sox have had in a hundred years to be gone must have totally lost their mind or are Yankee fans. Either way I am glad that Theo doesn’t listen to any of this drivel and continues to support Tito in his managerial methods. I bet Bosox41 can name all of the Yankee teams dating back to 1978, worships at the Yankee cathedral, and has a giant poster of George Steinbrenner on the wall in his bedroom.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from fivekatz. Show fivekatz's posts

    Re: What's more important to manage a game, or manage a team?

    Terry Francona's in game moves are often critiqued because he plays percentage ball, which usually is less aggressive than forcing action and what he does right goes without acknowledgment. And that is OK with him I am sure. Good managers in any endeavor know when they win, the team won and when the team lost, they take the accountability for it.

    Last night was a classic case of managing the game well, though few ever notice what is right. Francona managed his bullpen very well, using his pitchers in increments that would not deplete the bullpen for three days to come and had his closer in hand to shut down the game once his team scored a run.

    When the situation called for a bunt to move the runner over, the RS did it and fortunately, Tek got it down.

    4 out of every 5 times you scratch your head at a move Francona makes if you look deep enough into splits and percentages, you will find the answer. But they are just percentages so they don't always pan out. But percentages do provide the best opportunity for success.

    He is deliberate with his moves, and particularly when it comes to making major changes to PT for vets or young hot hands. One can only speculate if Reddick would be doing as well if he was rushed into the line-up to replace Drew. A quicker hook would have reduced Bard's workload and role early when he was struggling in his early appearances. The way he handled sitting Scoot when Lowrie was red hot left Scoot mentally whole and that was a good thing when Lowrie injured his shoulder. There are countless examples of this throughout his tenure as manager. And during his watch the RS have enjoyed the greatest success in th history of a storied franchise. All him? No. But to say it has happened in spite of him requires someone to assume this team would win 110-120 games every year and that is a leap IMO.

    Francona's record speaks so loudly it is hard to hear the detractors IMO. Good field manager and an excellent leader is what that record reflects, the rest is opinion and white noise at that. The W-L record regular and post season is the ultimate measuring stick after all.   
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from tomnev. Show tomnev's posts

    Re: What's more important to manage a game, or manage a team?

    You could take this entire Post and substitute Torre for Francona and Yankee fans for Sox fans....Yankees fans all felt Torre was bad in game manager, but a great clubhouse guy....many fo them called for his head regularly....4 WS titles for Torre and 2 for Francona....enough said....we don;t have to agree with every move he makes....we arent privy to all the info he has at his disposal when he makes the move and some of it they probably keep hidden on purpose....all we should rellay care about is that he wins and wins consistently and despite injuries his teams always play hard. 

     
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