M's and Rodent Angels Tied, -0.5 Back of Twinkies
if yer SP's are pajama peeps, hook em at #19


Scott Servais made some unorthodox pitching changes Friday, they didn't work out, and the press shamefully tore him apart.



This syndrome in all its forms --  "Hey!  Why didn't you follow the mob and cover your keister!" -- is one of the things that keeps mankind from advancing intellectually, faster than it does.  Ask any Goolag employee who deviates from the groupthink.  (That's not a cheap shot out of proportion; however bad you imagine the thought enforcement is at Goolag specifically, we assure you it is many, many-fold worse.  Their employees are literally afraid to "like" Facebooks and Tweets in offhours privacy.)

We could go a whiiilllllllle longer on that.  :- )  We'll just leave it right there, two paragraphs for one of the most critical Sports Is Life topics you'll ever find.  As for you, Dear Denizen, feel free to encourage human beings who dare to expand the idea exchange of the moment.  Fill in comments below if y'like.  :: innocent smile ::

Frying a manager to a crackly crunch because they didn't like him thinking for himself on a pitching change, that's as old as baseball, yeah.  Doesn't make it right.




The whole idea of "bullpens" was once a new thing; I think it was about Lou Gehrig's day that the first "relief aces" began to appear, like the first swallows of spring.  The whole idea of 5-man rotations was really weird when that idea was launched.  Was it the early 70's when the Dodgers added Al Downing for the first 5-rotation, DaddyO?  .. it was weird when people went to 12-man bullpens.  etc., etc., turtles all the way down.

A Tony La Russa platoon rotation has 9 starters sharing duty, 3 SP's each 3rd day, and you have 3-4 men in the bullpen.  Scott Servais, a couple of days ago, decided on a HYPER intelligent variation on that -- Emilio Pagan, Casey Lawrence, and others would take the ball after 4.1 :- ) innings from a scrub SP.  


1.  A pitcher comes in who has a K:BB of 28:7 or so.  Compared to like Yovanni's or Gaviglio's ratio.

2.  The scrub SP does not see the enemy lineup the 3rd time through.  BIG!  (Wright Rule:  Never under any circumstances let any starter see batter #28.  Here we merely add a very logical corollary:  never let any lousy starter see batter #19.)

3.  The enemy team is not booked up on the RP.  Big difference between Emilio Pagan "sneaking up" on people vs. facing a video'ed-up offense, laid out to exploit his weaknesses.  Note that, within limits, you can select your RP.

Many other small benefits accrue, but you get the point.  If your #4-5 starter doesn't pitch that good, you do yourself a HUGE favor to yank him after 2 times through the lineup and put in a surprise 94 MPH reliever for two innings. 

Swap out Gallardo for Pagan it's like you hit the "Turbo" or "Gamebreaker" button in a video game for two innings.  End of story.


Servais is varying this subtly.  For instance, Marc-O held the Angels to 1 ER and was throwing pretty good, so Pagan was merely getting loose.  If Marc-O gets hot, throws great, and gives you a few more outs, great!  It's like taking the sideline fly pattern if it's there.  But plan on the down-and-out.  La Russa's 3/3/3 idea lacked the threat of opportunity fire.


In this system, he can't leave Moore out there for 1.2 innings?  How then are you going to leave him out there for 5-6 innings next Tuesday?  At some point you've got to trust your best 25 players.  Kudos to Servais for the fact that he never throws any of his players under the bus.  He stands at the postgame podium and pretends like his decisions were the pivot point?  Hey, the guys in uniform gotta play good.  That's all.

Yanking your starter after 4 IP pokes holes in your bullpen balloon?  Um, no.  The long man takes you as far as the SP would have, or farther.  If there was an odd move on Friday it was pulling PAGAN, not whether to pull Moore.  The Gonzales move had nothing to do with anything with the "platoon starter" concept.  Servais wanted to get Moore some time.  Keep in mind, the rest of the month, that Servais' #1, #2, #3 and #4 starting pitchers are injured and he's got to pitch somebody.  He's too classy to say that straight out.


Let's get back on the sunny side of life.  :: old timey banjo ::  The 3/3/3 rotation could be a revolutionary edge in baseball.  Especially when the SP's are dubious.  It could be the edge we need with Paxton out.


Dr D




outlined above.  One of them is linked here for anyone interested in perusing something of a rambling introduction and cursory examination.  Personally, I go with Thomas Paine here:

The whole point of freedom of speech is to encourage the ongoing exposure, refinement, and promulgation of increasingly superior ideas.  Any project which seeks to curtail freedom of speech is a net loser in the medium- and long-term.  Imagine if your iPhone was only permitted to process seven out of every eight bits that streamed into its core processor--and that it didn't know which bit would be dropped from the sequence?  How on Earth could it do anything approaching productive calculation and processing of information?  It would spit out nothing but gibberish--just like humans who are deprived crucial bits of information and perspective.

If you restrict a person's access to information, even if that restriction appears coherent (and even beneficial!) to *someone* in the system, the interruption will invariably lead to diminished understanding for everyone affected.

We're not suited to a central information processing framework, where instructions are handed down From On High.  Even in the most autocratic and totatlitarian regimes, humans require a significant measure of personal investment in, and/or understanding of, the REASONS why we must obey directives From On High.

We are not cogs in a machine.  We're individual processing units endowed with agency and autonomy; ignore our fundamental nature as free actors, and you'll eventually lose to someone who doesn't ignore such an obvious facet of who and what we are.  

Don't compel us--convince us!  When you resort to authoritarianism to deal with perceived threats to your position, you do nothing so effectively as confess the weakness of that position.  Strong ideas don’t require strong-arm tactics; they’re plenty strong unto themselves.

P.S. - I'm not suggesting that the employee's freedom of speech was infringed upon (Google is not the government so it isn't bound by the same rules).  I'm suggesting that it is a mistake-bordering-on-blunderous-folly for a corporation that was literally built on the principle of lubricating information exchange to restrict the free flow of ideas within its own offices.


It was the execution of that idea.

I was actually quite pleased to see Gonzales lifted for Pagan. But why let Pagan only face two hitters? He was throwing great, got you out of the last Jan, and your bullpen is very thin. Why would you rush out your long man for the pitcher with a 3 HR/9?

And no, you can't let Moore keep pitching when he's obviously fooling absolutely nobody and the lead is blowing away like a fart in the wind.

Seevais showed an encouraging level of creativity and thoughtfulness in his first pitching move, then a deeply discouraging total incompetence in all subsequent moves. He left Pazos out there too long also...I'd like to know why zip want warming up earlier in the 9th...or, better yet, why we were saving Vincent.


Keep fighting the good fight Doc. Way too many of our young people have been "educated" (by educators, by media, by the leaders of their tribe) to demonize anyone who does not subscribe to the views of their tribe. If you disagree with someone, they are not only wrong in your view, the ARE WRONG. And they are an idiot, repugnant, a malignant evil that must be marginalized, humiliated, silenced, and ultimately eliminated from this earth-- by force if necessary. This can only lead to complete Balkanization. 

I learned as a somewhat socially awkward teenager that if you take a genuine interest in another person, ask them what they think, listen to their story, not because of what you hope to get from them but because of genuine interest, you can make friends, often lifelong friends. You don't do it IN ORDER to win their friendship. You do it out of genuine interest, or better, love. Funny thing. Do this and people will recognize that you really care about them as people. They may or may not become your best buddy, but they will know you are a true friend.

Can't finish this post, gotta run. Great article, Doc.

Oh, and yes, it was Al Downing, and the move was made by the aging, staid Walter Alston. He was almost the antithesis of an innovator. In his mind, you played the game the "right" way, fundamentally sound. Dodger baseball was winning baseball. Yet he introduced an innovation into the game that dwarfs most.


another kick to the groin. 4 straight at home to your division rival to cough up the WC lead eh?

I can hardly be disappointed any longer. Mostly a chuckle, a head scratch and wondering just how many more years the letdowns and underperformance can continue.

But I'll still watch. Still wear my hats and shirts. Still root them on anyhow.

Dust yourelves off and take 8 of the next 10 now fellas!


One kick to the groin is bad enough. Sixteen of 'em-- in a row-- is a special kind of torture. If we continue to root, does it mean we have developed Stockholm syndrome?


Two monster 4-game home series in the last several weeks.

Both series served the city by reminding them that football season was getting closer.

I still root for them....but.....it's getting harder to watch the same thing happen.  Big moments and this team have rarely ever matched up.  Certainly not in the last 16 years anyway.  And mostly not in the 41 seasons of watching these guys closely.  Three more seasons like this and we'll be just as far from a playoff berth as we were in the inaugural 1977.  Doesn't that sound nice?


Scott Servais doesn't seem to be able to get the team over the hump in important games this year.
The team just lurches into weird slides in important games and they've done it repeatedly during big series and games when they were puttering around .500.
I don't like blaming the manager in general, but Servais' lack of managerial experience makes him an easy target from a perception point of view and that alone might be the problem.

In general, it just feels like same 'ol.
Changing the organizational will take a while, so I'm not toooooooo bothered.
But I'm not too optimistic it will change for a while either.

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