Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fire Ned

Until now, I have been silent on Ned Yost's role and performance as Brewers' Manager. Although many of his decisions this year have been questionable, I understand that he is limited by the talent in his bullpen and that many of the "decisions" of MLB managers are based on cookbook formulas of past performance.

However, Yost's immature decision last night to bean Albert Pujols demonstrates that Ned Yost is not suited for the position of manager of a competitive major league baseball team. Tom Hardicourt reports:

Did the Milwaukee Brewers put retaliation ahead of the division race?

That was the perception Wednesday night when a game of tit-for-tat blew up on the Brewers in a very costly 7-3 loss to St. Louis at Miller Park.

The defeat prevented the Brewers from taking advantage of a 7-4 Chicago loss in Florida. Had the Brewers swept the Cardinals, they would have been one game behind the Cubs in the National League Central Division with four to play.

Instead, the Cubs remained two games on top and saw their magic number for clinching the division drop to three games. If Chicago merely splits its remaining four games, the Brewers would have to sweep a four-game series from playoff-contender San Diego just to tie for first and force a one-game showdown Monday at Wrigley Field.

"We still have math on our side," insisted Brewers manager Ned Yost.

Down by a run, the game got away from the Brewers when St. Louis scored four times in the eighth inning after what appeared to be a retaliatory strike against Albert Pujols. It was obvious that St. Louis pitcher Brad Thompson intentionally drilled Prince Fielder with a pitch in the second inning, which also was a bit of retribution.

The answer to that question is 'Yes.'

Yost was more concerned with his personal pissing match with Tony La Russa than winning a baseball game in a pennant chase with the Cubs. Yost intentionally put a potential insurance run on base for the Cardinals on a night where his team was struggling to score runs. That is inexcusable.

A MLB dugout is full of young emotionally charged men and there needs to be at least one grown-up to control things and think logically. Ned Yost is not adult enough to do that job.

And about that math. Every game counts in a pennant race and the math is on the Cubs' side, not the Brewers. Yost's statement is idiotic.

To paraphrase Pulp Fiction,
Fabienne: Whose football team is this?
Butch: It's a baseball team, baby.
Fabienne: Whose baseball team is this?
Butch: It's Ned's.
Fabienne: Who's Ned?
Butch: Ned's dead, baby. Ned's dead

No comments: