Ron Washington may be the worst manager I’ve ever seen, and he is in his second straight World Series.

Clearly, the manager has far less impact on a team’s success than I thought. Sheesh.

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 chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 23 Comments

  1. Does ANYONE believe the headline? And how does Chad know…didn’t he say he wasn’t watching even “one pitch” of the WS? Also, doesn’t it really show that a talented team can overcome an inept manager?

  2. I’m with you most of the way except for the last part
    look what STL has done to overcome their manager? luck. it’s usually some of both talent and luck.

    I’ve watched about 4 innings total of the world series. Mostly because it’s been on at the bowling ally so I don’t know what Washington has done this series. But I will say I really liked the way he manages during the season. I even liked him when he was the As 1st base coach. I don’t love the way he manages but he’s not as bad as Dusty and the 10 other managers that are just as bad

  3. Yes, he is similar to Dusty in that he manages by emotion sometimes. That said, his team is easier to manage than LaRussa’s. The Cards have a ton of mix and match parts that require the manager to pull a lot of strings. If you look at the Rangers starting 9 and bullpen, it’s more paint by numbers. The only managing Washington has to do is when the starting pitcher gets in trouble early in the game, and when that’s the case, all is usually lost anyhow. Go Rangers!!

  4. Washington is atrocious, incredibly lucky, and not the worst manager in this series.

    I LOVE this quote from Tom Verducci’s gamer:

    Really, my head hurts trying to figure out what La Russa did to this game but mostly how he tried to explain it away. It was like being stuck in a gigantic corn maze. Blindfolded. At midnight. After getting spun around 38 times. Every explanation led to another turn that led to another dead end or false exit. The bottom line is he lost the game having a matchup he didn’t want — a left-hander pitching to red-hot Napoli — and he lost his last opportunity by getting a runner thrown out who, while down two runs, didn’t mean anything. I’ve never seen a game even close to this one and I hope never again to have to try to explain one like it.

    Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/tom_verducci/10/25/game.5/index.html#ixzz1bpA4IVfe

  5. Then you have St. Christopher the Explainer, giving his kid a lot to think about on the mound.

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/10/25/chris-carpenter-seems-to-have-forgotten-one-of-those-unwritten-rules-he-cares-so-much-about/

  6. In last nite’s game, LaRussa was a whole lot worse than Washington. LaRussa and Albert in combination. Albert’s hit and run call was atrocious.

  7. @pinson343: Walking Pujols with no one on and 2 outs, with Holliday and Berkman following, is idiotic.

    Allowing your players to call hit and runs, when their name is Pujols, is doubly idiotic.

    Phonegate was triply idiotic.

    I cannot believe a man of Larussa’s skill (though I hate him and he overmanages often) allowed the phone thing to happen….if it really did.

  8. It was fun last night watching LaRussa, as he occasionally does, out think himself into losing a game.

    I think the Rangers do show a path the Reds can win with Dusty. We just need to have nine players that can slug like mad.

  9. @Bill Lack: I actually haven’t watched a single pitch, but I’ve been reading all the game reports and the discussion on Twitter. Plus, I remember how badly Washington mangled things last year in the Series. He’s an abomination as a manager.

    Every year I believe more and more that the manager’s effect on a team’s success or lack thereof is vastly overstated.

  10. What was Sparky’s self depreciating opinion on the importance of the manager? Something about the team will lose a third and win a third regardless of what the manager does; and, it is the manager’s job to make sure he doesn’t (do anything to) cost them any of the remaining third which are up for grabs.

  11. @OhioJim: Of course Dusty still hasn’t figured out that some games are still in the up for grabs column even if his team has a big lead late.

  12. seriously? he’s gone to the world series two years in a row and he did it this year without an ace…

    • seriously? he’s gone to the world series two years in a row and he did it this year without an ace…

      Not sure how you’d define an ace, but I’d have a hard time being convinced that at least one of Texas pitchers don’t qualify.

      Team Pitching by ERA
      RK TEAM ERA
      3 Texas 3.65
      American League 4.23

      Qualified Starters by Componenet ERA
      RK PLAYER TEAM ERA ERC DIPS
      11 Alexi Ogando TEX 3.56 3.03 3.85
      12 C.J. Wilson TEX 2.94 3.07 3.43
      19 Matt Harrison TEX 3.43 3.48 3.72
      25 Colby Lewis TEX 4.40 3.83 4.55
      29 Derek Holland TEX 3.95 4.15 4.05

      I really need to take the time out to put together another Starting Pitcher Rotation Slots Defined post. Especially with the Reds in need of a top of the rotation starter. What’s the best, easily computed from normal stats line, ERA substitute these days, XERA, FIP, DIPS….

  13. “A baseball manager is a necessary evil.” – Sparky

  14. Managers influence maybe ten games a year. So maybe LaRussa is worth ten wins, or maybe he is worth ten losses. Washington has the same effect as does every other manager in baseball. Coaches on teams also have a very minor effect. Example: Rudy Jaramillo and the Phillies. Maybe the best hitting coach in the majors along with Charlie Manuel, also a great hitting coach-still did not get the Phillies to hit. It is the players, they hit, pitch, catch, steal.
    As far as Pujols being allowed to call his own hit and runs, I doubt that he is the only one and if he had swung at the pitch thrown, he would have missed or popped it up.

  15. I like Ron Washington and his passion for the game. Yes, they are basicly a group of millionaires but, even so, I think they respond to passion from the manager when he jumps up and down,waves his arms and talks to his coaches and players in the dugout. A lot better than our manager sitting there twirling a toothpick. The Reds need some passion in the dugout.

  16. It’s intersting how fans see sports managers. Here in Indy, we are in the depths of a horrible season. The first in over a decade, and now all of a sudden our coaches, GM’s and even owner to some degree are inept putzes because we are losing, while just 2 years ago we were in the SB and even last year won our division and made the playoffs, but 1 bad season and Wham they all need to go and change must happen…..

  17. @redmountain: But 10 games is a lot, especially if you’re talking about one manager winning 10 games and another losing 10 games.

    Your meaning I think is that one manager could be something like 7-3 in those 10 games while another is 3-7. That’s still a 4 game differential, which is a lot.

  18. @pinson343: Agree. 10 games are huge in a baseball season. Except for the really bad teams of which there seem to be a couple in each league every year and the occasional truly outstanding teams which happen less often, most teams play very close to each other. The differences are often less than one game in 10 (i,e, virtually all teams finish between .600 and .400). Many times things are decided by winning one or two more games over a 40 game span than another team.

  19. @Tom Diesman: ok nice chart but none of those guys strike fear into the hear of the opposition…sorry they just don’t…and the point remains that he’s gone to the world series two years in a row out of the American League…not a feat that some simpleton manager could accomplish

  20. @De_Here: Ron Washington is an idiot managing very good players. Observing game 6 should tell you all you need to know. Loyalty to players who obviously cannot get the job done at this point (Ogando). In addition, he takes Holland out of the game when Laird comes up—what in the world is he thinking? He wants Adams to face Descalso instead of Holland vs the pathetic Laird (just ask Cordero about that one!)?

    And again, the need to constantly intentionally walk Pujols in situations where it is not called for, such as in the 10th inning, just does not make sense. The walk there was completely idiotic; Berkman is a better hitter this year against righties than Pujols, plus you are putting on the winning run, plus Berkman could walk, plus….and this is after Washington’s embarrassing performance in walking Pujols with no one on in game 5.

    For this, the Cards are going to be World Champs.

  21. Chad,

    I just do not believe you will be able to keep this promise once the season starts.
    Dusty’s ability to make puzzling moves and put together questionable line-ups will sap your will to keep your mouth shut.

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About Chad Dotson

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 chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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