That’s The Way Managing Go
**ORIGINAL POSTED DATE 8/07/12**
Assuming the squeeze play never happened, Elvis could have knocked Olt in with his groundout to shortstop. However, we could pretend Dave Anderson decided the ball was too close, and didn’t send Olt home. Michael Young would be up next with only one out. Again, just a decently placed groundball or a fly ball could have brought Olt home. Michael Young singled. Olt would have been home. 7-6, Rangers. Royals didn’t score again until the walk-off in the 10th. The Rangers could have won on the Michael Young single. Olt on third with no outs in a tie game—odds are he could have made it home. Instead he went on to make a throwing error (after Alberto Gonzalez made one) in the bottom of the 10th and the Royals win.
Elvis Andrus tweaked his shoulder on Sunday so, after errors by Gonzalez and Olt, Washington created his lineup on Monday with Michael Young at shortstop and Geovany Soto at DH. Washington has publicly stated before that he does not like playing both his catchers in a game (one at DH) in case he needs a backup, and he loses his DH. He’s also very publicly stated his “back on the horse” mentality, meaning if a player had a bad game, he lets them back on the field to figure it out. Alberto Gonzalez had a game-altering error on Sunday, but he’s on the team to take infield starts from guys who need rest. If Washington doesn’t trust him in his role, even after a bad inning, why is he on the team?
It’s no secret that Michael Young is having a less than average year. It’s also no secret that Michael Young works hard and does what he can for this team. However, Michael Young had not had a start at shortstop in four years. He’s also played the last 48 games with no days off for rest, while players like Josh Hamilton and Ian Kinsler are forced to take them. He could have used a day off with Alberto Gonzalez at shortstop, and maybe even Mike Olt at DH, so Soto is free to come off the bench as a catcher replacement if needed. My personal opinion is that Wash is using Michael Young wrong, and if Young continues to decline, fans could really turn on someone they’ve loved for so long. Young shouldn’t be used in positions he’s not comfortable playing, especially if there is a better option.
I am a Ron Washington fan. I think he does more great things for the morale of this team than any manager could. I think the World Series doesn’t happen twice without him. There are decisions he makes, however, that are too risky to be worth the reward. Sure, the squeeze could have worked, but was it necessary? No, not at all. Yeah, Michael Young did nothing at shortstop to help lose the game against the Red Sox, but was he the best option? Not at all. In the end, managers have little to do with the actual talent on the field, but it is their job to put the best team they can on that field every day, and trust in that team to produce. I just feel that wasn’t what happened in the past two games.