I can’t help but agree with the commentary in last night’s game thread that pins blame for yesterday’s doubleheader sweep squarely on interim manager Pete Mackanin. Instead of approaching the games as if the Reds were on the cusp of contention in this pennant race, Mackanin managed the team last night like they were a Little League squad, making sure everyone got to play their two innings.
There is absolutely no justification whatsoever for letting Jason Ellison play in either of those games, much less start one of them. Forget lefty/righty matchups; I’d prefer to have some talent in the lineup. Jason Ellison is a marginal major leaguer, and Mackanin is giving him crucial ABs in a big series.
And there is no justification for letting Norris Hopper get more ABs than Adam Dunn, Ken Griffey, or Josh Hamilton. It’s just insane. Letting Hopper start twice over Hamilton is criminal; I don’t care if a lefthander was pitching.
With the Reds on the verge of making some noise in the playoff race, our brilliant manager started an outfield of Norris Hopper, Jeff Keppinger, and Adam Dunn. There is no defense for that.
I’ve come crashing back to earth in terms of my hopes for this team. As far as I’m concerned, Pete Mackanin did himself serious harm last night if he wants to be taken seriously as a major league manager. Because he sure didn’t approach last night’s doubleheader seriously. He didn’t put anything close to his best team on the field in either game.
If you want to watch tonight’s game, feel free to discuss it here.
Blame Chad for creating this mess.
Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.
You can email Chad at firstname.lastname@example.org.