Tuesday, May 02, 2006

One More Thing On Majewski....

I wanted to highlight OMG's post from yesterday on the growing rift between Frank and Majewski. This was written before last night's implosion, and things got worse. Great job by OMG in anticipating these sorts of things.
My real fear is that their is a rift forming between Frank and Majewski. There was the “fastball incident” about a week ago. Since then Majewski has only pitched twice. Once effectively once not. The most simple explanaion is Frank overused Gary, he got tired. If Frank is resting him, then great, but I’ve read nothing to make me believe that. No it seems like another “Jim Palmer would have thrown strikes” situation.

The fastball incident he refers to is Frank's overreaction to Majewski throwing too many fastballs, notably on the Wilson Betemit game-winning homer two Sundays ago: "He's out there just throwing," Robinson said. "He's not pitching. He thinks harder is better. It's not."

OMG notes that Majewski started to lose his confidence after that, pointing to this Ladson article: "[Thursday] night, I came into the game and instead of pitching, it was kind of, 'I hope this pitch will go here and I hope this pitch will go there,'" he said. "Last year, I would come into a game, and I was like, 'Let's go.' The last couple of outings, it has been, 'I'm going to throw it up there and, hopefully, get a groundball out. Hopefully they won't hit it. I just need to take a step back, take a breather and get back to what I was doing last year."

Well, after last night's game, as you can imagine, Frank was all roses and sunshine over his struggling pitcher. Majewski's problem lately has been walks (as OMG also demonstrates), and Frank don't want no walks. Instead of blaming Majewski's overuse last year and this year, Frank looks at it as a moral failing. And showing the gentle, personal touch that he's known for, Frank rips him in the paper. Gee, isn't that wonderful?

A sampling:
"You just can't [walk batters] said Robinson, clearly agitated....

"It was a [lousy] throw," Nationals Manager Frank Robinson said. "Wasn't even close."....

"He's pitching himself into position [where] he may not even have the chance unless it's at [Class AAA] New Orleans. That's what he's doing."

Aren't you glad you don't work for that man?

If this was an isolated example of Frank running down a player in the paper, it'd be one thing. But from Day to Ohka to Church, he has a long history of doing this. How many successful managers have you seen employ this tactic as a regular part of their motivational strategy? Let me know when you get to one, ok?


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