Alex Anthopoulos Sets Precedent of Being a Bitch
I don't think J.P. Ricciardi was a bad GM. He did a lot of good things here. He completely flushed a lot of that goodness away by letting Alex Rios go on a waiver claim, but a lot of good things nonetheless. Having said that, similar to rocking a leisure suit in the mid-90s, sometimes you just have to let go and look for something new. I was looking forward to Anthopolous' start as a GM; nervous because I didn't know what to expect, but excited at the possibilities. And then he took all that optimism and threw it right out the fucking window, set it on fire, and pissed on the flames with one move. (Did I mentioned he also raped it first? Because he did.)
Earlier this week, Anthopolous announced that Cito Gaston would be returning as the manager for the 2010 season.
Why?? Why would you do this?? Cito Gaston is a terrible manager. He has no idea what he's doing. He bats the good batters at the bottom of the order and the bad ones up top. He hit Aaron Hill and his well-below average OBP second in the order all season. He hit one of the only batters on the team who excels at getting on base (Overbay) either 6th or 7th for the majority of the season. He had Rod motherfucking Barajas and his major league worst on-base percentage of .258 (min. 350 PA) hitting cleanup in September when the only thing Barajas should have been doing was sitting in the bench. Other days he had either Kevin Millar or Vernon hitting in that lineup spot. I assume he chose between the two based on which medication he had to take that day. (Barajas meant Cialis.)
The most egregious mistake Gaston made was starting Barajas in September. AS SOON as rosters expanded, Kyle Phillips should have been the starting catcher. This is not up for debate. Rod Barajas is a terrible baseball player. I don't care many home runs you hit, when you have a slugging percentage lower than Craig Counsell and get on base less than.... well, EVERYONE, then you shouldn't be starting. Ever. Kyle Phillips is an unknown commodity who may or may not be able to hit at an above average level for a catcher and may have a future with the team. We don't know because Cito gave him a grand total of 4 starts during the month (all while Barajas stunk it up to the tune of a .153/.189/.294 line for the month). We do know, however, that Barajas has no future with this team (not that I have any faith whatsoever in Anthopolous after this). Yet there he was, starting. Every. Single. Day.
In addition to the absolutely baffling vote of confidence from the new GM, it was announced that Cito would continue on as an adviser for an additional 4 years after the 2010. Once again, why?? His managing has shown that he has no idea what makes a baseball team successful. Why would you want him advising the GM on acquiring players? And make no mistake, Anthopolous will be pressured to take Cito's opinion seriously. This adviser position has shown that Cito is untouchable and has impregnable job security. If Anthopolous tells Cito to fuck off and let him do his job, you can bet that he'll be hearing it front Beeston.
And really, that's the most upsetting thing about this. Beeston and Anthopolous has made it known that the people who are nostalgic for '93 again and get boners from WAMCO dreams (despite the fact that this new managerial stint is drawing attention to the fact that the W and C components of WAMCO weren't especially good hitters and it's obvious that Cito was clueless back then too) and who haven't watched a baseball game in 15 years are the fans that the team is REALLY catering to. All the people who actually watch all the games and follow the team have to take a backseat to nostalgic sentimentalism about "the glory days". The entire concept of forward thinking is completely foreign to anyone in the front office and Anthopolous either a) does NOT have full autonomy as the GM, and is therefore a lame duck GM and should be fired or b) actually thinks keeping Cito around is a GOOD thing, in which case he clearly isn't fit to be GM and shouldn't be allowed to screw up this franchise. Either way, I've already lost all faith in him.
There's still plenty of room on the Fire Anthopolous bandwagon, so feel free to hop on.
Having gotten all that out of my system, don't expect as many venom-fueled posts in the future. Of course, as long as Cito's around, there will always to be mind-explodingly stupid things to vent on.