Is there any other way to put it? Is there any way that we can keep pretending that Lou doesn't continually make idiotic decisions that risk the game for the Rays?
In an absolute bit of genius in the ninth inning tonight, men on first and third with nobody out, Travis Lee, a lefty with a platoon split, comes up to bat against noted lefty-killer BJ Ryan. Eduardo Perez, who as Jeff pointed out is only on the team to hit righties, remained on the bench. Predictably Lee struck out, bringing up Cantu. Cantu striking out was disappointing (The out, not the K. What was a non-productive out today might avoid the double-play tomorrow) but it happens. Only then with Gathright coming up was Perez allowed to do his job. He hit a long fly ball which would have tied the game but was instead the last out.
It isn't about what Lee, Cantu, and Perez ended up doing in their at-bats. It's about maximizing your chances to win, something that Lou Piniella consistently FAILS to do.
How about his handling of Kazmir today? It was obvious that he didn't have it; his control was bad, he wasn't getting strikeouts, and he was leaving pitches up. Still, with a one run lead Kazmir was allowed to pitch the fifth inning despite struggling through the fourth. The Orioles then tied the game. Yes, it was mainly because a single and a crazy bounce put Sosa on third to lead off the inning, but you can only excuse that so far. A pitcher more in control of what he was doing might have been able to strike out Sosa or another hitter, making the risk for bad luck causing runs much less.
This stuff isn't anything new, we saw it all of last season. Jose Cruz tanking August and September but batting in the middle of the lineup anyway and keeping the interesting Matt Diaz on the bench. Rey Sanchez being used as a PINCH-HITTER with Upton on the bench. Sanchez and Damian Rolls being allowed to make the last outs of a game with Upton and Cantu on the bench. Various other crap thoughout the year, including more poor decisions about when to pull his starters, letting them stay in too long when they were struggling.
None of this will matter though. Tomorrow the papers and radio shows will be kissing Lou's butt again. They'll blame the lack of situational hitting, or the pitchers, or the defense, all the while ignoring the multiple things that our so-called experienced and crafty manager failed to do to improve the team's chances of winning.
Screw you Lou, I'm sick of your crap. At this point I'm beginning to hope that you DO go somewhere else to manage. I'd rather have Tom Foley or Bill Evers in here; at least if they make questionable decisions or boneheaded moves/lack of moves then I won't have to put up with all the pathetic crap from the media fawning all over them and spewing sympathy about how "the fiery, competitive manager who has known nothing but winning is now forced to suffer on a desolate, losing team because his hands are tied due to lack of talent and payroll."
I'm disgusted. I maintain a lot of optimish inside (even though I can be coldly analytical about things sometimes) about the things this team could do only to see what we do have put at risk because of a manager that can't get out of his own way. Remember, tonight wasn't an isolated incidident! We've seen all this crap before and will see it again.