FanPost

Earl Weaver's thoughts on handling Escobar

I picked up an older book the other day called "Weaver on Strategy: A Guide for Armchair Managers by Baseball's Master Tactician." Aside from the introduction, it is written by Earl Weaver himself. Now, we all know about Earl Weaver. Basically, Joe Morgan-types hate the way he managed because he would rather wait for a 3-run home run than bunt guys over. He was similar in some ways to the early 2000s A's, but his philosophy was common sense. For example, rather than glorify players who had "intangibles," he glorified the talented players who could hit for power. The simple fact is that he was very successful and in this book he offers his opinions on almost anything you can think of about the game. In the chapter discussing lineups, he discusses what you should do if the game is on the line and a struggling hitter is up to bat. If you analogize it to the Royals, it's the common sense solution that Ned Yost refuses to use.

He says, word for word:

"No player likes to be lifted for a pinch hitter. I never heard of a player who wanted to be pinch-hit for. That goes against human nature. The player is bound to be angry if you pinch-hit for him. But in most of these instances, it's twenty-four against one. Forget the manager and forget the coaching staff. Just consider the other players. When I let a player bat in the eighth inning of a close game and I know he should be called back for a pinch hitter, there are twenty-four players who know the exact same thing. If a manager doesn't make the move because he doesn't want to hurt the feelings of one player, he loses the respect of the other twenty-four.

A manager can attempt to rationalize the situation by saying, 'Well, the player has to hit sometime,' or 'I'm trying to build his confidence.' But if the manager sends the guy up to the plate when he is pretty much overmatched and he strikes out, that takes care of his confidence right there. Not only did the manager fail to make the proper move, but the player is worse off for it. He knows he let the other twenty-four players down. Believe me, he feels it in his gut, and he knows it in his head. After it's over, the player might even ask himself why the manager let him go up to the plate and strike out, when someone like Terry Crowley could have gone up there and won the game."

This FanPost was written by a member of the Royals Review community. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and writers of this site.

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