Wednesday, August 17, 2011

“Serenity now!”

If you watch Seinfeld, you probably know that this quote was made famous by George Costanza’s somewhat deranged father Frank (If you count yourself a Seinfeld fan and didn’t know that, first of all, shame on you. Second, stop reading right now and watch the episode, “The Serenity Now.” It’s a must see. Actually, finish reading this, and then watch it).
Now, I don’t claim to have much in common with Frank Costanza. For instance, I’m not deranged, I don’t have a bald son, and I’ve never had a passionate affair with a Korean woman (or any woman). Like Frank, though, I am very frustrated right now and wish that yelling “serenity now” would calm me down.
Unfortunately, that’s probably not going to happen, at least not until Freddi Gonzalez quits treating Jason Heyward like a worse version of preseason-Willie Mays Hayes (before he quit hitting like Hayes).
I’m well aware of the terrible sophomore season J-Hey is suffering through. I’m also well aware of the injuries he has dealt (and may still be dealing) with. Being relegated to fourth outfielder behind Jose “Georgie” Constanza, though is beyond ridiculous and has gone on for long enough.
To see why, go here. It’s a great explanation.
I’ve been uneasy with Heyward’s benching since the beginning, but, admittedly, it was hard to defend his play. I figured he get a day or few off and then get a chance to show he's turning things around. That hasn't happened, and the longer it's gone without him getting regular playing time the more frustrated I've gotten.

Sunday I was pushed over the edge.

If you didn't see the game, allow me to rehash. The Braves were playing the rubber game against the Cubs.  Matt Garza (a righty) was on the mound for the loveable losers. Heyward was actually starting, probably because the Chipper was getting the day off. Fastforward to the bottom of the 6th, the score is 4-4. John Grabow comes in to pitch for the Cubs. He's a lefty. Heyward's line against lefties this year is .167/.257/.300, which is terrible. Lo and behold, he gets a base hit to right field. He later scores on a throwing error by Grabow, giving the Braves a 5-4 lead.

Unfortunately, Carlos Pena hit a massive two-run homerun in the top of the 7th to put the Cubs back on top, 6-5. Jumping to the bottom of the 8th, we see the score is the same, and Heyward is due up second. Sean Marshall (another lefty) is now on the mound for the Cubs. Freeman leads off with a ground out to second. Instead of letting Heyward hit against this lefty though, Fredi Gonzalez pinch hits Chipper Jones (he grounds out to shortstop).
Somebody please tell me, other than being down by a run, what was the difference between the 6th and 8th innings? Fredi Gonzalez was obviously ok with Heyward hitting against the lefty in the 6th, what changed during the 8th? Did Fredi not take a look at Heyward's numbers against lefties until the 7th? Did he think that since Heyward got a hit off the lefty in the 6th he wouldn't be able to, statistically speaking, in the 8th?
I just don't get it. Why not let Heyward hit? I might understand if there had been a runner in scoring position, especially with Chipper's .392/.442/.581 with RISP, but the bases were empty, and Chipper is nowhere near the power threat he once was (by the way, Chipper's numbers with the bases empty: .203/.300/.374.  Heyward's numbers you ask? .218/.294/.409, but his numbers against lefties rightfully trump those. Like I said, he's having a bad season.).

Heyward is supposed to be a future star of this team and the league. Give him a chance to prove himself, or to at least prove that he's beginning to turn things around. Don't take him out immediately after he's been successful in an identical situation. I don't care how understanding Heyward claims to be about this whole situation; you can't tell me that being taken out after being successful doesn't at least somewhat affect/bother him.
If he's injured, put him on the DL. If you think he's just too terrible right now to play, send him up I-85 to Gwinnett and let him work out some kinks. Heyward is too talented and too important to the team to be collecting dust and rust on the bench.
Statistics for this post were taken from and

1 comment:

  1. First off, there is no debating that Freddi has proven himself to be a horrendous game manager. He's definitely a "feel" manager, and I hate those guys.

    That being said, he has been horrendous. It's not like Longoria where he's getting a little bit unlucky and you expect things to around. On the contrary, Heyward has looked feeble and downright abysmal at times this season.

    Georgi Costanza isn't the answer. That being said, he is going better then J-Hey. I am all for riding out the hot streak of Georgi until he fades into Bolivion as we all anticipate.

    We are in a pennant chase. If you aren't getting it done and someone else is, you're out.

    (Final Disclaimer: I readily admit I seem to have an unreasonable dislike for Heyward. Probably stems from the East Cobb glorification that was the Sports Illustrated article. Don't hate him, but don't like him either.)