I didn’t get to see the game tonight. But I happened to catch a little of Jeff Dickerson’s show on AM 1000 tonight in the car. That was a mistake. I heard Dickerson say the following things:
1) Fukudome got caught looking at strike three right down broadway. Here’s the Gameday screenshot from the at-bat we’re talking about:
Is that a strike? Sure. Should Kosuke have swung at it with two strikes? Absolutely. Is that right down broadway? Not really, it was a breaking pitch that came back over the inner third of the plate. It’s not like he’s the only guy who would have gotten fooled by that.
2) After Gregg gave up his home run to Jay Bruce: the Cubs have a “soft-throwing” closer. The pitch Bruce hit out was a 92-mph fastball. That looks to be about the average fastball Gregg threw tonight. That fastball has served him plenty well in his major league career, given that he strikes out over 8 per nine innings.
3) But the thing that upset me the most: Dickerson started talking about Dusty Baker, and one of his complaints was that Baker would throw players under the bus, in his words. That he was always quick to blame players but wouldn’t take responsibility for the team himself. When his co-host pressed him on this, Dickerson basically said that Baker owed the fans that, and there always seemed to be a kind of arrogance about Baker.
The job of a baseball team’s manager is to help the team win games. The manager’s job is not to make the fans happy. The manager owes you nothing. It bothered me when Dusty brought his kid to press conferences in what seemed like a blatant attempt to avoid criticism, but I don’t think he owed me sitting up there and taking abuse.
It’s not arrogant for a manager not to fall on his sword for the players when he has a team as bad as the 2006 Cubs were. What’s arrogant is some asshole with very little idea what he’s talking about casting aspersions on other people’s performance and thinking he’s owed anything.