I’ve officially had it with Robin Ventura.
Last night, I went to the Chicago White Sox–Detroit Tigers game. I knew I shouldn’t have gone to the game considering the Sox are 1-3 in games I have gone to this season, with that one being a Chris Sale start against the Houston Astros. For some reason, I had confidence that Jake Peavy was going to be the bulldog Jake Peavy and not the Javier Vazquez-Peavy hybrid I coined Jakiver Peaquez. Of course, Peavy was Peaquez, failing to throw a quality start against Detroit for the third time this season. But Peavy’s performance was the least of my worries.
Robin Ventura is making it really hard for me to like him. I held off on this post last night because I was so ticked off after last night’s game, there was no way I could have assembled logical thoughts without using four-letter words. As I told my friends after the game, I should never have to ask “who is that coming into the game” in the 8th inning of a key one-run game in September. However, I did just that when Francisco Liriano came in from the bullpen.
Yes, the Liriano who was just demoted to the pen because he sucks is pitching in a one-run game in the 8th inning. I am ranting and raving in my seat, feeling as if I’m the only one that realizes how ridiculous this decision was. Liriano proceeded to hit the leadoff hitter in the leg on a pitch that traveled 55 feet. The exact start I expected out of a guy who has zero command. Two hits later, the Tigers have a 4-2 lead with runners on the corners. Weird.
After Jesse Crain weathered the storm, the White Sox had a rally of three straight singles to start the eighth. Now down 5-3, Ventura decides to lay down a bunt with Kevin Youkilis, who obviously has zero sacrifice bunts in his career. Youkilis, obviously, failed on his two attempts and the momentum was gone.
Then there is tonight’s game.
Robin Ventura thinks it’s a good idea to use the Charlotte Knights bullpen in key spots against the team that’s chasing you down. Instead of using guys like Matt Thornton, Nate Jones, Brett Myers, or Donnie Veal against Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, he uses AAA scrubs like Brian Omogrosso and Leyson Septimo.
Yup. Robin Ventura is using September call-ups in key spots. Omogrosso allowed a hit to Cabrera and Fielder took Septimo deep, stretching the lead to 6-1, seemingly ending the game from his horrible decisions.
Look, I don’t know a damn thing about fixing a car, so would you ask me to install your transmission? No. So why would Ventura use his worst pitchers against the league’s best hitters in key September games? I actually miss Ozzie Guillen. That’s how bad Ventura is right now.
If he’s truly great for the clubhouse, then whatever. But I am just judging him on the visible things he is doing. It’s one thing if you hindsight a decision made by a manager, but these horrible moves are so egregious that anyone with a basic understanding of baseball can figure them out.
If the Sox do miss the playoffs, there will be a lot of reasons why, but Robin Ventura’s decision-making is at the top of my blame pyramid.