Thursday, May 1, 2008

I tried a bunch of puns with "Heyman" and none worked

Jon Heyman thinks Mike Scioscia is the best manager in the bigs. He very well might be right; I have no idea. Heyman kinda sorta insinuates that Scioscia is the most important cog in the Angels' machine ("Scioscia is, undeniably, both the face of and the force behind the franchise"), but it's not horrible until we get:
Yet, the team truly learned how to turn the page after the arrival of Scioscia, the first to successfully preach the one-day-at-a-time cliché here. The greatest example came after the Angels followed a 16-4 Game 5 defeat in the 2002 World Series by coming back from a 5-0 seventh-inning deficit to win Game 6. They won the title the next day, and have remained a consistent winner since.

Using clichés: Leader! And explain how that's "one-day-at-a-time".
Scouts who regularly follow the team say that's false modesty, that Scioscia employs any strategy at his disposal to give the Angels an edge.

Maybe I'm being picky, but doesn't every manager do that? At the very least, shouldn't they? If they're not, then by all means this is valid. But if that's the case, maybe the article should be about the epic shortcomings of the other 29 managers. I dunno. He goes on with some talk about base-stealing, and then BAM!:
He is no Moneyball player, and scouts applaud that the Angels championship was won on speed and strategy, not waiting for the walk.

Ohhhhhh hell yes. Jon Heyman, you smooth master of the anti-Moneyball arts. You can go for months without mentioning the book, and then like some sort of ninja snake, or something, you strike in the night, while we're least suspecting it and anyway this is going nowhere.

Two things:
1) I can't believe this still needs saying, but Moneyball≠A walking manual.
2) Prove to me, Jon Heyman, that "speed and strategy" and walking are mutually exclusive things. But first, let me say: This link.

Anyway, on with the rest of today's column.

My Managerial Rankings

5. Lou Piniella, Cubs. Just as Leyland had his Colorado, Piniella had his Tampa. But when he has the right team, he knows how and when to go for the jugular.

This sounds awwwwwwfully close to saying, as Heyman never directly would, that most any manager can do well with a good team, and most any manager can do poorly with a bad one.

Scout's take: Jair Jurrjens

"He's the real deal. He has a plus fastball, a plus change up and plus poise. The only knock is he has a mediocre breaking ball.''

Disappointing, I must say. Three sentences, and two are sorta worthwhile. What happened to the old guy? Although I'd still argue "real deal" is hauntingly meaningless.

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