Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fredi Gonzalez is a Fucking Moron

Credit to @Frediot who figured out Fredi's bullpen structure

Here's a hypothetical situation: you have six guys who are used to get three or so outs after the starters leave the game. Let's call them a bullpen. Each of these guys has something he is specifically good at: getting groundballs, strikeouts, facing lefties, etc. However, there is one pitcher who is far and above the best pitcher of the group. He strikes out nearly 50% of all batters, sports an ERA around 1, and is well-rested after not having pitched the last two nights. Unlike his bullpen brethren, this pitcher has a title: "closer." This title gets him more money and allows him to accumulate saves, or a stat made up by a random sportswriter in the 1950s (true fucking story). This magical title means that for some managers, including Fredi Gonzalez -- the derpiest fattest bastard with the exception of Charlie Manuel -- their best reliever only pitches in "save situations."
Sometimes, I'll grant Fredi that it makes sense to have your best pitcher pitch in the 9th inning when you are leading. However, never ever is it okay to rest your closer during a 13-inning game against the team ahead of you in the division because it isn't a "save situation." Because here is what happens: some worse reliever loses the game and it never gets to be a save situation.

During last night's Braves game, Fredi Gonzalez could have brought Craig Kimbrel, his All-Star closer, into the game in a tie game in the 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th innings. Instead he threw out, Chad Durbin, Luis Avilan, and Christian Martinez, AKA the three worst relievers on the Braves. Miraculously, they kept the game tied, until Martinez, who had previously been deemed unavailable due to a long outing the day before, came out to pitch a second inning! He wasn't supposed to be in the game at all and Fredi thought it made more sense to have him pitch a second inning rather than put in his best reliever. This guy is one of 30 Major League managers and has won a Manager of the Year award. What the flying fuck is wrong with baseball? Durr, leadership, integrity, calming influence. How about intelligence? Why don't we require that from our managers?

You know what happens now. Martinez gives up the winning run and the Braves are now six games back of the Nationals and realistically should give up on the division. Oh wait, I forgot one last thing. Martinez allowed two little trickly hits that didn't leave the infield, so with one out he had runners at 1st and 3rd. Ideally, you'd like a guy who can strike batters out here, maybe you know a guy who strikes out nearly half of all batters. Nope, that makes too much sense. Closer mentality! Instead, we put our fate in the hands of our infield defense, and predictably, All-Star starter Dan Uggla fucked up. Braves fans might be mad with him today, but they should be just as mad at Fredi Gonzalez. Managers don't usually have a big impact in any one game, but last night he significantly hurt his team's chances of winning by refusing to pitch his closer in a non-save situation. Thinking inside the box is how you get the wild card and lose in the playoff game. Thanks a lot Frediot.

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