What is the deciding issue that separates a Manager from his weekly pay check? Hitting? Pitching? Decision-making? Hiring the wrong coaches? This is an interesting question when you consider the following. But you have to forget the illusion that has appeared in Philadelphia during the past 48 hours.
Your team has a starting line up with the leadoff hitter batting .298; the second hitter batting .352; the third hitter batting .300; the clean up hitter batting .300 and will get his 2000th hit later this month along with his 350th home run next month; the fifth hitter batting .321 with the balance of the line up hitting slightly above or below the team’s best hitting pitcher who carries a .222 batting average. Your first baseman is at .226; the catcher was hitting .227 (before he hit Philadelphia) and the second baseman carries a .182 batting average. Opposition teams know that your team can only hit while the first five hitters in your line up are at bat. Consider this: they hadn’t held the lead in 61 innings before Friday’s 3rd inning.
Bang the drum a little louder.
Your team has a pitching staff that has…a problem. Your #1 pitcher has a 4 – 5 record with an ERA of 5.05. Your #2 pitcher has a 1 – 6 record and has a 4.37 ERA. Your #3 pitcher has a 4 – 6 record with a 5.94 ERA. Your #4 pitcher has a 4 – 3 record with a 4.96 ERA. Your leading closer a couple of years ago has a 1 – 3 record with a 5.70 ERA. Do you know that fans turn to another channel when he is brought in? The closer you count on has a 2 – 1 record and a 0.92 ERA with 9 saves. But he is hurt.
Bang the drum a little louder so the whole world can hear.
Your team also does not have their regular first baseman that is on the DL, again, until sometime this summer.
You have made some unusual moves or non-moves as you continue to play a veteran second baseman who has clearly not performed up to his or anyone’s level both at the plate nor in the field, for the better part of two plus seasons.
Your catcher, before Friday, has not performed up to an acceptable level since his wife dropped a suitcase on his hand in their hotel room, last year, in Los Angeles.
You can’t make these things up.
Bang the drum.
You hired a new hitting coach who has obviously performed fairly well considering they are 20th in hitting with a .258 batting average. After all, your team has a third of the major leagues that are performing worse. The real problem is they don’t hit when it counts. Your team has only produced 216 runs. That means they don’t win a lot of games. In the last 48 hours, this team accomplished back-to-back wins for the first time since April. Wow!
You have a pitching coach who has not performed while his chargers are second to last in the league (they rank 28th out of 30 in all of the major leagues with a 4.56 ERA). But this should not surprise anyone considering his past record. Prior to his current team, his pitching staffs finished in the bottom four of the entire Major League in ERA.
Your team’s fielding ranks #26 with a fielding percentage of .981 with 38 errors.
There have been very few teams to be able to hit their way into a championship, especially if your team only has five hitters. In baseball, it’s all about pitching…fielding…running…then hitting. Hitting is for show. Pitching is for all the dough.
You have a third base coach who does not know how to stop an aging, injured runner rounding third and finding it impossible to score on a double. This same coach can’t keep a young runner from being picked off both 2nd and 3rd in the past couple of weeks.
When you consider that you learn how to run the bases in grade school, this team’s performance day in and day out is laughable. Watch one of their games and the odds are that one of their base runners will make a blunder. Who’s coaching these guys? These are fundamentals of the game.
Bang the drum a little louder.
Your record as a manager is 200-178, with a record this season of 21-33 (.389), 15 1/2 games behind St. Louis and last in the Central Division of the National League thru Sunday morning; a 6 wins and 22 loses in May, tied for the worst record in franchise history. And that was when they were in Seattle as a first year team (they had in improbable 6-22 record in August, 1969). Sibbi Sisti was a coach on that team. Bang The Damn Drum!
Nelly Furtado, a Grammy Award winner, whose song, ‘Bang The Drum’ repeats a phrase throughout the lyrics:
“Bang the drum a little louder
So the whole world can hear
The whole world can hear”
It’s time we bang the drum a little louder so the whole world can hear, even in Los Angeles where the owner is drinking his Miller beer.