Distinguished Senators, the Washington Nationals Blog That Is Great

Friday, October 14, 2005

Tavares: "Ryan Was Completely Right"

It's not often that someone whose opinion matters agrees with me, but you can bet your ass that when it does happen I'm going to crow about until you, the reader, perform teh internet equivalent of nodding in a placating manner and backing away slowly, i.e., going back to DCist to see if there's any news on the Man trying to keep Jack Evans down. It's only happened a couple times -- Jim Bowden agreed that Jim Bowden sucks, and now MLB sees my point that it really would be the best story for the White Sox to go all the way this year and that they should do whatever they can to make sure that happens. MLB.com's Bill Ladson has finally contributed something positive to this blog, bringing us an interview that contains the third instance. Or fourth, depending on how you count Bodes agreeing twice. Third and a half.

Nationals president Tony Tavares takes this opportunity to say what I --among others -- have been saying for months: Frank Robinson is a terrible manager. Although he doesn't mention Frank by name, it's as perfect a piece of character assassination as you'll get from any bitter online journalist.
I just think we lost our focus. Honestly, it's a challenge going forward for the players. There are leadership issues within the locker room. There are guys who have to stand up and show better leadership. Frankly, our coaching staff has to show better leadership.
Frankly, I don't think he's talking about Don Buford or Randy St. Claire when he says "coaching staff." Frankly.
I don't think we should have had some of the issues that manifested themselves. They should have been handled. Nine times out of ten, they should have been handled by the players, but our coaching staff has to do a better job getting involved.
How many of those issues involved Frank's favorite, Jose Guillen? My sources tell me "approximately all." There was a minor disturbance when Ryan Church called Brandon Watson "Endy," but they patched it up.
We just lost our focus. And I think we have to work harder. I don't think we work very hard. There's an old saying, the harder I work, the more successful I am or the luckier I get. When I compare what we do to prepare and what other teams do, I don't think we work as hard as we need to.
Damn! I can only imagine how long Tony's been waiting to get this off his chest. I'd never heard that old saying, "the harder I work, the more successful I am or the luckier I get." It reminds me of another old saying of my people, "a bird in the hand is better than some other birds that you don't have or might not get."
Too many times, we didn't take batting practice. If you look at our record on Sundays, it's indicative of our success. I just don't think we prepare as well.

We are giving up hits in circumstances where our infielders should have been at a different position or our outfielders should have been at a different position. Our preparation is not there right now.

Lately, there have been a lot of people talking about how well-coached the Cardinals are. They execute the hit-'n'-run and the squeeze bunt, they don't screw up on defense, etc. Either Frank thinks the Nats have the talent to ignore that kind of thing or he just doesn't care.

I'm skipping quite a bit of stuff here, even some that makes Frank look bad. Check out Federal Baseball for more thorough coverage while I metaphorically toot my own proverbial horn.

Here's what I said about Frank during my last really bitter rant about him:

He needlessly humiliates his pitchers on the mound, then throws a fit and forces bad trades when they don't enjoy it. He slept through the Expos' last season in Montreal and is on his best behavior in Washington because he knows cameras are on him. He sees this job as a sinecure to subsidize his golf habit. The bottom line is that Frank Robinson doesn't care about this team as much as you do.
Look at what Tavares is mad about: no control over the players, not enough practice, poor game preparation. It sounds like Robinson doesn't care about this team as much as Tavares does either.

From a distance, Frank Robinson looks like a fine manager. People want to think he's doing a good job. He's a truly great but sorely underappreciated player watching his statistical accomplishments being snowed under in an era of high offense. As baseball's first black manager, he's a pioneer and a legend. Sure, he's a little rough around the edges, but it's good for these spoiled millionaires to get slapped around a little by a veteran. And look at the wins! Who expected the Expos to finish over .500 in '02 and '03 or the Nats to compete this year?

And yet here's Tony Tavares accusing the Robinson of dereliction of duty. What more damning indictment of Frank's reign can there be than the team president having to order the squad to take batting practice because of the manager's negligence? After this tirade -- after the man's boss came out publicly and said he wasn't doing his job -- there is no justification for bringing Robinson back.

UPDATE: I guess that old saying Tavares mentioned isn't as unusual as I thought it was.


DM said...

So Tony T. goes to the First Baptist Church? Where did that clubhouse chaplain come from again?

Ryan said...

It must be the same church, because here's the sign from a few weeks ago: http://photos1.blogger.com/img/170/2450/320/churchsign2.jpg

Chris Needham said...

It's a comedy goldmine!

Nate said...

Now, I appreciate a good innuendo-laced smackdown of Cap'n Hook as much as the next guy, but Tony Tavares doesn't exactly strike me as a great judge of character. After all, he likes J.B. and thinks he's done a good job.

Ryan said...

Good point. However, while it's expected for one executive to say good things about another, it's unusual and telling for an executive to call another completely incompetent. Oh, and Bodes is doing a good job -- Guzman's going to turn it around any day now.

Harper said...

Frank is the "set it and forget it" manager. Here's my team, now let's see how long I can go with that. It's why he hates players who don't play in pain ("What I have to change the lineup?") and why he alienates pitchers. ("I sent you out there for 7 innings, dammit. It's not even the 6th!").