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A's All Square; Macha Irregular Polygon
2005-09-16 08:38
by Ken Arneson

A's win; Angels lose; the AL West is all square.

That's the good news.

The bad news is this quote from Macha in the SF Chronicle about bringing in Huston Street with a four-run lead (emphasis mine):

"He had two days off and I'm not playing a statistical game right now," Macha said. "There's only one statistic and that's to win the game. You've got to go with your best guy, and for me, tonight, that's a save situation."

I wasn't so much bothered by bringing in Street; if a runner gets on, he's gonna have to get up in the pen anyway. What bothers me is that I was right about Macha yesterday when I said this:

Macha is choking. He's changing his managing style, just because it's September. Perhaps we should call him Maucha.
The A's are where they are today because they play a statistical game. Now Macha has declared that he's suddenly throwing statistics out the window, and he's going to manage however the hell he feels like, logic be damned. All of a sudden, the A's have Dusty Baker in the dugout.

Worked great in Cleveland, dude. Way to improve our odds of winning.

Are you watching, Pittsburgh? This is the real Ken Macha, giving the middle finger to sabermetrics when it counts the most. Macha must know he's outta here. He must be figuring, this could be my last shot, so if we're gonna lose this time, we're gonna lose my way.


2005-09-16 09:34:50
1.   Vishal
that's an awful lot you're reading into that one small phrase. i mean, "giving the middle finger to sabermetrics"? from the context of the article, it could just as easily (and perhaps even more plausibly) be interpreted that macha was saying that he felt it was an important situation with the game on the line against a powerful offense, so he wanted his best reliever on the mound, even though it wasn't a "save situation" technically. and doesn't most of the sabermetric community have disdain for when managers ONLY use their ace relievers in "save situations", because the save statistic is pretty arbitrary anyway? it sounded to me like macha was saying he's not playing the game to pad his closer's save stats, he's playing to win, and he wanted to make sure he secured one of those elusive fenway victories.
2005-09-16 09:57:49
2.   Ken Arneson
If it was just one game, I wouldn't read anything into it. And like I said, I don't have anything against the decision to bring in Street.

The thing I'm worried about is that Macha has been "going by feel" with his pitchers for several days now. I noticed it in Cleveland, where it totally blew up in his face, and now Macha has confirmed this is in fact what he is doing.

The A's primary advantage is that they play smarter than other teams; I'm worried that this is now out the window.

Sure, I may be reading more into this than necessary, but heck, if you have an A's blog, you gotta take advantage of any opening you have to rant about a stupid A's management decision, because those opportunities are usually few and far between. And I'd like it to stay that way.

2005-09-16 10:57:53
3.   Sam DC
Meanwhile, is anyone else concerned that the Texas Rangers are MLB Heavyweight Champions?
2005-09-16 11:41:13
4.   Bob Timmermann
There's a decent chance the Royals could end up with the crown.

The Rangers are playing Seattle. Seattle goes on to play Toronto. Toronto has a bunch of games left with Boston and could trade the title back and forth. Toronto finishes up with KC.

2005-09-16 11:52:08
5.   Ken Arneson
All 14 AL teams still have a shot at holding the crown at the end of the regular season.

I added a new column to the records, showing the maximum number of title bouts they could still have, if everything falls right on the schedule for them.

As for the Heavyweight of the Year crown, only Oakland, Toronto, and Seattle still have a mathematical chance at winning it.

The Twins have four more wins than the Mariners, but the most they can possibly win now is 17 games, while Seattle could theoretically win 30 if they swept the rest of their schedule.

2005-09-16 11:58:22
6.   Ken Arneson
Oops, make that the most the Twins would win would be 21. Not enough to pass the A's 27.

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