Thursday, November 3, 2016

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Baseball and schooling still both the players' game

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Baseball and schooling still both the players' game:

Baseball and schooling still both the players' game

Cubs Jason Heyward went 0-5 but may have been the MVP
The amazing Cubs could never have won 103 regular season games or even gotten to the playoffs and World Series without a manager like Joe Maddon, who encouraged his players to do what they do best. He kept his young team loose and confident all year. His starting pitchers knew when they were scheduled to pitch and what was expected of them and his closer, the great Alroldis Chapman, brought over from the Yankees, was mentally ready to come in to demolish three opposing hitters with his 100+mph fastball, in the 9th inning of any close game.

Then, for some some reason, which shall remain a mystery, all that changed during the last three games of the Series. Suddenly, under pressure of his team being down 3-1, Maddon morphed into an uber-manager, over-thinking and taking the game away from his players. It was as if he panicked and lost confidence in the very players who helped get the team to where it was.

I won't rehash all the details here. But I watched Chapman leave the dugout in tears last night after giving up a game-tying home run when his overworked arm just couldn't deliver any more. I heard ace starter Jon Lester say, no mas to any more relief pitching after he was misused and wild-pitched home 2 Cleveland runs in the 5th.

Maddon's pitching changes and over-managing over the last three games were both puzzling and disheartening, even to his own players. I'm not saying anything here that every sports Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Baseball and schooling still both the players' game:



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