Sunday, October 19, 2003

And now, some reason

Michael Holley has an excellent column in today's Globe that mentions a couple of the other mistakes Grady made Thursday night - the biggest, as he puts it, was using Wakefield instead of Williamson in the 11th. He has a great point - Williamson was pretty much unhittable the whole playoff run, and Rivera was not going to be available any further. Had the Sox escaped the 11th, the matchups greatly favored them going forward based on what both teams had left in their bullpens.

That, and he put forward one decent scenario for Grady keeping his job. Even I will agree that Grady did a great job keeping the players focused and loose, and he set the mood for them really well. Even Manny loved him, and Grady benched Manny back in September. Where Little fails is as an X and O guy. So the solution is to keep him around with a better bench coach (where's Mike Stanley when you need him?), and assign him a pitching coach who pretty much runs the bullpen and rotation in his stead. Maybe that's Tony Cloninger if he can come back next year (He already works well with Grady, and he's proven), or somebody else if not Tony. No need for changes on the hitting side - you can't top a record-breaking year. Kind of like the way the NFL does things, where the head coach handles the personnel and locker room with the coordinators actually running their sides of the ball more or less independently. Think of the current Red Sox as a demented version of the New York Giants, where Jim Fassel insists on running the offense himself (to the point where last week the Giants offense was outscored by the Patriots defense). True, most baseball teams run the other way (with the manager involved in everything), but Grady Little has proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he's not suited to that style.

What do you think? Can this career be saved, or should heads roll on Yawkey Way?

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