Bobby's decision to go with David Ross over Brian McCann last night in a close and late situation, and the parallels it draws from the 2008 all star game, in which Clint Hurdle seemingly forgot McCann was in fact voted in, and present in the dugout.
Let me start by saying I am not a Bobby basher in any way (although I disagree with many of his decisions). He has created something special in Atlanta over the years, and I will be sad to see him go, but at the same time I am very much looking forward to some new blood on the bench as well. That said.......here we go.
The 2007 Rockies swept their first seven playoff games en route to winning the 2007 National League Pennant, which was the franchise's first-ever pennant. September was considered by many to be the best month of all-time for a ball club, after winning 21 of 22 games in the stretch to make it into the post season. Alright, so Clint Hurdle got lucky, caught lighting in a bottle despite his obvious shortcomings as a manager. As a result, he was in line to manage the National League all stars in 2008, and would attempt to end a string of what was then 11 or 12 consecutive AL victories ( that streak is still active and currently at 13 I believe).
It was the 2008 MLB All Starr game, the last that would ever be played in the old Yankee stadium. For those of you who don't recall, it was a 15 inning epic in which the pitching outlasted the hitting en route to yet another AL victory by a final score of 4 - 3. You would think that in a 15 inning All Star game, every player on both sides would see action (as in most cases they do even in 9 inning game). That was not the case in 2008, well at least not for Brian McCann. Clint Hurdle decided that Geovany Soto and Russell Martin would split the 5 at bats respectively. In those at bats, Soto was 0-2 with a K, and Martin was 1-3 with a single.
Let's take a look at the top of the 12th inning in that 2008 All Star game. Ludwick opened the inning with a walk, and Nate McLouth...........(oh yeah I forgot, he used to be good) followed with a bunt single. So now you have guys on 1st and 2nd, both with good speed and no outs in the 12th inning of a series that your side has lost for the last decade plus. The pitcher for the AL at the time was RH Joakim Soria of the Royals. It was at this crucial moment in the game, Clint Hurdle being the genius he is, though it would be a good idea to let the RH batting catcher Russell Martin bat for himself (he ultimately bunted the runners over) instead of sending McCann out to take a cut against the righty. I guess I can see why he leaves Martin in there if he was just going to bunt the runners over, but the next batter was Dan Uggla........and you can guess what he did (K).
Watching last nights game, all I kept thinking when Bobby decided to play it safe and send Ross out to bat with 1 out and the bases juiced in the 9th was DON'T PULL A CLINT HURDLE HERE BOBBY! Of course he did, and the rest is history.......GIDP, inning over, Braves lose. I know that McCann is also DP prone, but what better opportunity to let the young catcher that has been scuffling at the plate to open the season gain some confidence and get things gong in the right direction. I believe that is a situation where Bobby needs to send a message to Bmac. A message that instills confidence in him, and send it up there.
All I know is, in both cases, the respective decisions not to use McCann was a possible contributing factor that resulted in two close games being lost by a run.
As I said at the beginning, I am not a Bobby basher, although this decision does not sit well with me and I think it fair to be upset. As an interesting side note, the 2009 Rockies decided to part ways with the thick-headed Clint Hurdle after a horrendous start. The team responded by putting together a streak of 17 wins in 18 games in June, and going on to claim the NL Wildcard.
I don't know about you, but I feel the Braves need to win games NOW if they are going to have any chance at the postseason. So if I may offer my humble opinion to you Bobby, please drop the Hurdle act , and let's play this season to win as if it was our last......because for some of us , it is.