The Macha Alternative

After going through tonights game comments and seeing the Fire Macha calls, despite the fact the team has gone through one of the best runs in major league history, I was absolutely appalled.

I'll fully admit that I'm not a hardcore A's fan, I appreciate the way the team plays, but I grew up a Dodger fan, and I'll stay that way. However, I follow the A's on a daily basis, and I read almost every comment on here.

To think that Macha is a bad manager is ludicrous.

The complaints against Macha this year seem to be as follows:

  1. Improper lineup ordering. Things like hitting Hatteberg 5th, Kotsay 2nd, Johnson 9th, that sort of thing.
  2. Pulls starters too early (the main complaint tonight)
  3. Improper bullpen usage, specifically with Rincon.
These are incredibly minor issues, and, for the most part, are completely subjective. Is batting Hatteberg in the middle of the order a bad idea. I believe it is, but, the effect that this will have on the game versus batting him 8th is negligable. There are certainly cases that can be made for all of the decisions that Macha makes.

I see this from the other side of the fence, and I'm just stunned. Really. If you didn't know, Dodger fans would kill to have Macha. In the informal polls of who you would like to run the team, his name always comes out near the top.

Here's the crap that Dodger fans have to go through on a daily basis.

  1. After your .660 OPS catcher loses his job due to incompetence, he gets installed at first base, despite having three first basemen on the team already.
  2. Having the shortstop who has put up worse numbers than Christian Guzman for the last two months leadoff every night. While he is doing this, the backup shortstop is hitting .333 in 185 at bats.
  3. Truly incompetent bullpen usage. You complain if Rincon ever comes in, but, as soon as the Dodgers fall behind, the ball goes to Giovanni Carrara, the worst pitcher in the bullpen.
  4. Leaves starters out to die. Imagine if Macha waited until the starting pitcher had given up five runs until taking him out. This happens daily.
  5. Has the best bench in baseball despite having a horrible offense. What other teams have someone hitting .333, a guy with 14 home runs, and another one with 10 on the bench. Tonight the five worst players on the team played, while three of the best five sat.
  6. An absolute refusal to play the best first baseman on the team, for no good reason.
How about just from tonight:
  1. Having the number three hitter bunt, insuring that first base will be open for the only competent hitter on the team.
  2. Attempting to steal a base with someone who is successful less than half the time. They get caught, and then the batter proceeds to hit a home run.
  3. Since you insist on starting your backup catcher at first, you can't pinch hit for the 21 year old rookie with the game on the line since the backup left the game with an injury.
  4. Leaving the worst pitcher in the bullpen in the game for two innings in a one run game.
If Macha pulled anything like this, I'd hate to see what would happen. As you look around the league, 90% of the fans want their manager fired. Save the rage for someone who deserves it. No one will manage the team exactly the way you want them to, and the mistakes the Macha makes are so minor they are insignifigant in the end.

Macha is a great manager, enjoy him while you can.

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