It's like Macha won't trust his pattern recognition tools at all, and requires rational, empirical proof that X is Y before he'll act on it.
This manifests itself in the worst way when Macha is trying to decide whether to yank a pitcher or not. He seems unable to trust his eyes that a pitcher has run out of gas. He has some logical algorithm: if the pitcher:
(1) hasn't maxed out his pitch count, and
(2) hasn't yielded over five runs yet, and
(3a) hasn't gone five innings yet, or
(3b) has gone five innings and still hasn't given up a run this inning,
(4) leave him in the game.
Count Saturday's game as yet another failure of Macha's algorithm. Esteban Loaiza was not sharp, (perhaps he was feeling a little improperly scrambled), and anyone with eyes could tell. He had yielded four runs in the fourth, another in the fifth, and with the game tied 5-5 in the sixth, gave up a one-out hit to B.J. Upton, and then walked the #9 hitter, Ben Zobrist.
Now, c'mon, if you're yielding runs left and right, and then walking a guy like Ben Zobrist, who's hitting .236, clearly, it's not your day. Not only that, but now it's September, and you've got a 40-man roster to play with, so there's no risk of burning out your bullpen. It's time to take Loaiza out, and bring in somebody else, who might be having a better day. Right?
Oops, nope. Because that's not what the algorithm says to do. Check it, is it true that Loaiza:
1. Hasn't maxed out his pitch count? Yup.
2. Hasn't yielded over five runs yet? Yup.
3. Either (a) hasn't gone five innings yet, or (b) has gone five but not yielded a run yet this inning? (Yup, b.)
Well, then, by all means, (4) leave him in the game!!!
Therefore, Loaiza faces Rocco Baldelli, who promptly singles to give the Devil Rays the lead.
OK, now here comes the really weird part. Carl Crawford, a left-handed batter, is up next. Brad Halsey, a left-handed pitcher, has been throwing in the pen. Now, surely, Macha must replace Loaiza, right? After all, points 2 and 3 of the algorithm are no longer valid.
No! He doesn't! Macha leaves Loaiza in there to face Crawford, too!
Now I'm really confused. What kind of a *@#&$*(@*&$#(*@&*$(#@&*(@ #$ing stupid pitching change algorithm is that? When #1-3 don't apply any more, start flipping a coin to see if you should remove the guy or not?
Crawford, of course, singles in another run, and the game is lost right then and there. Argh.
Well, at least the Angels lost, too. Angels fans could probably point out some stupid thing Mike Scioscia did to lose that game for them, too. Maybe all the dumb managing just evens out in the end. Joe Torre lets Derek Jeter bunt too much, uses his second-best reliever over and over again until his arm falls off, and won't use Mariano Rivera in a tie game; Jim Leyland keeps playing Neifi Perez several times a week; Ron Gardenhire wastes months of the Twins' season throwing Juan Castro and Tony Batista out there every day; Ozzie Guillen is a mad genius, but mad nonetheless; and all of these teams would have clinched a playoff spot already if only Earl Weaver had been their manager. So maybe I should forget about it, and go to bed.