"Right Idea" Blunders Are Livable

There were blunders aplenty for the A's in their season opener, blunders that turned several chances at a win into a tough loss. But to me not all blunders are alike, and some aren't even so much blunders as "Debatable Decisions Gone Bad" (the sequel to "Nurses Gone Wild" but that's another blog).

"Blunder #1" Buck misplayed a long fly ball into a double, starting a 3-run Sox rally in the 6th, but that's a physical mistake - you can only rail so much into a player for one of those - on a somewhat tough chance in a completely unfamiliar stadium. On that one, to me it's a shrug of the shoulders and a "it happens".

"Blunder #2" Street out to pitch the 10th after blowing the save in the 9th. I just don't see that as a managerial mistake at all. When you hear about Street's problems pitching multiple innings, many of those are multiple inning save opportunities, specifically where he has entered the 8th in the middle of the inning and then gone back out to pitch the 9th. He has has plenty of effective outings where he pitched 2 (and in a couple cases more) innings, sometimes following a blown save and sometimes in a tie game. The basic rule of thumb when you're the home team (meaning you're 10,000 miles from home and all the fans and broadcasters are rooting for your opponent) is that you throw your best first, then your next best, and so on. Embree and Foulke were already spent and (now we know) A. Brown was not available. Take Street out and put in Casilla? No thank you, not in that overthrower's nightmare of a venue. DiNardo? You can't be serious. Street was fresh, he had made all of one bad pitch - and that's if you even feel the HR was a bad pitch. I liked the move of putting Street back out there. I hated the move of pitching to Manny.

"Blunder #3" Emil Brown's baserunning gaffe. Now that was a blunder. And yet...We (I) have complained and complained that the team is too passive on the bases. Now granted what we meant wasn't "run with abandon, no matter what's happening, like it's a game of pickle in the backyard!" but if the team is trying to make things happen, we have to be patient when they don't immediately and always do it with facility. So at least I will applaud the sentiment (while lynching the offender).

Conclusion: In a tough venue against the World Champs, the team that's rebuilding and should roll over for everyone upon request...played the Red Sox pitch for pitch before only some Opening Day jitters and try-too-hards gave the Sox a chance to escape with the win. I'll take it - not as much as I would have taken a win, but I like where the team is headed.

 

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