Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. That is an idiom as old as time itself.
The third time is the charm. That is another ancient excuse served up by a two-time loser. That one could and should be applied to Cincinnati Reds skipper, Dusty Baker after the Reds dropped a 3-2 game to the San Diego Padres in walk-off fashion.
Pitcher Nick Masset is in the reliever’s “black hole.” He has pitched five times this season, and something terrible has happened in the last four.
The Reds have lost a total of four games, and Masset is saddled with an 0-3 record, accompanied by an ERA just under 10. That is one blown save, and three losses. So he is culpable in all four losses thus far.
Dusty Baker is a good manager, no question about that. One part of his motus operandi that I take issue with is bringing a guy back right after he screwed up. If you fall off the horse, get right back in the saddle. That is another way to phrase it.
That may be fine for horses, or riding horses. But they shoot horses don’t they? Not in this day of high-technology, they just "put them down."
Clearly I am not calling for Masset to be extinguished. I just oppose him being thrown back into the fire repeatedly until something good happens.
Should Masset go to Louisville for a while?
There is another old axiom I would like to bring into evidence at this time. "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got." A similar tidbit with the same moral is this, “Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.”1 (Brown, 1983).
I am not saying Baker is insane, I just think he is playing to an inside straight. That is poker talk, a subject with which I am ignorant about. I just read somewhere that the odds are astronomical, ranging from 1/47 to 1/311,875,200 depending upon whom you believe.
That is a tall wall to climb, my fellow baseball fans. Wouldn’t it be more sensible to send him to Louisville for a brief respite and send someone up who isn’t yet shell shocked?
Baker defended himself after last night’s debacle, ““We didn’t have a choice.”
I beg to differ. Coco Cordero was in the bullpen when he should have been on the hill with the game on the line. Sure, he had pitched two games in a row. When he is only throwing 20+ pitches at a time, it doesn’t seem like you are working him like a 13th Century slave.
Bill Bray was in the pen, along with Matt Maloney, who recently imploded as well.
Masset may have not been the best choice (can I get an amen?) but he was not the only choice.
Aroldis Chapman pitched before Masset and was ineffective also. His velocity was in the low 90’s instead of the usual triple digits.
Walks are killing Masset. With the defense he has behind him, there is no reason to throw anything but strikes. If he can’t throw them, that is another problem.
I am a true Reds fan. I love to brag on them and do so when it is deserved. I attempt to be objective, therefore when I don’t like what is happening, I usually write about it.
This is a problem and it should be addressed. Either send Masset down for a couple of weeks, or bring him in only when the game is not on the line.
What are your thoughts?
1 Sudden Death by Rita Mae Brown, Bantam Books, New York, 1983, p. 68.