Tuesday, August 08, 2006

News flash: Confidence Grows in Clubhouse

I'm glad to read that confidence is growing in the clubhouse, because it sure as hell isn't growing anywhere else. The source of this growing confidence is the increased ability of the young, inexperienced Pirates finally to understand the subtle, advanced baseball concepts that their new manager, Jim Tracy, has been working all year to convey.
"Today is an interesting day because we've been here a number of times this year, where the series is 1-1 and here you go with the rubber game," Tracy said. "There has to be an understanding that these games here, in series like this, this makes the difference in your season right here."
Of course young and inexperienced players will naturally have a hard time grasping the concept that, when you win one game in a series and lose another, it's important to try to win the third. But Tracy perseveres.

Failure to grasp his advanced teachings is a common theme of Tracy's when he is interviewed.
"There was newness all over the place, and then the season begins and they find themselves involved in a game where they have a chance to win virtually every day, and they just weren't quite prepared from an understanding standpoint, to carry that completely through," Tracy said.
To the untrained eye, the problem appears to be more one of talent and skill than of understanding; but those of us who have never played the game should know enough not to trust the evidence of our senses.

As we know, the biggest problem this year has been the performance of our young starting pitchers, particularly Snell, Maholm, and Duke. It's not easy for young pitchers to understand that their job is to pitch well and to prevent the opposition from scoring runs whenever they take the mound, even in September. Fortunately, Dave Littlefield has hired a wise and patient man to instill this understanding into their young, impressionable minds.
"I'd like to see all three of them get that done, so that they know what that feels like," Tracy said. "So that they understand that, 'Hey, I've got to take a start here in the mid- to later-part of September and keep going and keep pushing,' because you're very hopeful that September of 2007 is going to be a very special month for the Pirates."
I can barely wait for the arrival of September 1! What a special month that is going to be!

3 Comments:

Anonymous Bern1 said...

Two more years and the better part of two months. That’s how much longer we have to listen to Jim Tracy's drivel, his inane blather, his psycho ... babble.

Yeah, the players are getting it ... rii-i-ght. Like in the top of the third last night, one out, Duffy walks (?!!) and Jack Wilson swings at the first pitch (giving Duffy no chance to steal second) to pop out with Sanchez on deck.

Of course, that only presaged the fateful bottom of the third, when Biggio's fly ball “home run” off a fan’s glove in the left-field stands prompted even Brown & Wehner to wonder aloud, “Why no argument?” As in, where's Tracy? Which was also a fair question to ask during Sunday's game after the reversed call on Bay's catch and the subsequent, ill-fated sequence of ball-strike calls that culminated in Snell surrendering a decisive home run following what should have been called Strike Three.

If Tracy doesn't have a "discussion" or even an argument with the umpires in situations like that or like the fan-interference home run last night ... then when? When? Just when is going to back up his players? Just when might we look forward to him getting thrown out of a game?

10:26 AM  
Anonymous bucdaddy said...

Bern1,

Quit waiting. Obviously he's not. And so what if he doesn't? I don't understand why this is such a big issue with so many people.

And FWIW he did get tossed once this year, I seem to recall. Can't pinpoint a game. Anyway, you've seen how much good that did for getting us talent at the trade deadline.

Billy,

Did groundhog Tracy really said "2007"? Sigh. Six more months of bad baseball.

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Bern1 said...

Granted, arguing the phantom home run would have been a futile gesture. But a gesture, nonetheless, and it might have snapped to attention a team that subsequently sleepwalked through what Dejan described as a “listless” performance. Just after the home run, Jack Wilson entered a mildly animated discussion with the umpire. It was Tracy’s responsibility as a manager to pop out of his groundhog cubbyhole, back his player and take over the argument. If he gets tossed, so be it.

11:17 AM  

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