Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Charlie Manuel Sure Knows How To Instill Confidence

So my boss called me into his office today, and he told me that I've got the best photocopying and collating skills that he's ever seen. And whenever we have a big print job, he's making sure that I'm working the copy room and I'm making sure the staples are going in the right corner and we're not out of cyan toner. And just to make his point, he sent out a memo and TPS report and told everyone that I'm his guy.

And then, he pulled me out of the copyroom once one of the machines had a slight paper jam. And even though the print job still had plenty of room to finish on time, he gave the job to Tony, my colleague, to finish up. Dejected, all I could do was rest my head in my black-toner-powdered hands, not knowing what my boss thinks of me at all.

At least, that's how Brad Lidge must feel in his workplace environment:

"When I say he's my closer, I don't tell lies, and I don't like to go back on nothing," [Phillies Manager Charlie] Manuel said. "But the team and the game is bigger than my heart and is bigger than anything else, if you want to know the truth. Winning a game, that's why I manage and that's what comes first, and it was real tough for me to do."

That led to the obvious question: If there's a save situation on Wednesday, is Lidge still the closer?

"He could definitely be," Manuel said. "I'm definitely not going to get away from him. We're going to work with him and get him back to where he can get consistent and go out there and save games. I'm not saying that he'll close tomorrow, the next day or whatever, but I look at him as a closer. I don't look at him as a seventh-inning guy; I don't look at him as an eighth-inning guy."

"He could definitely be"? Wow, that was pretty reassuring. Jonathan Broxton has had some tightrope-walking moments as a closer this year, converting 34 of 39 of his save opportunities. But Joe Torre definitely worked a tricky situation delicately back in late August, swapping Broxton and Sherill for one game. Since then, Broxton has no blown saves and seven saves in nine total appearances, with an ERA that has sunk from 2.95 to 2.53. In that same period, George Sherill has had one blown save and two holds in eight total appearances, his ERA has sunk (albeit slightly from 1.87 to 1.82), and his Dodgers ERA remains a crazy-low 0.50.

I know Manuel and his Phillies dispatched us last year, when Lidge was firing on all cylinders. But it seems to me that Torre is doing a better job this year of making sure our key relievers are managed well both on and off the field. And in those roles, confidence is everything--maybe even more so than for me, in the copy room.


Greg Zakwin said...

I find it hard to believe that "bullpen management", "Torre", and any variance of "good" can be used in the same sentence.

Brandon said...

Why is it always the Cyan that runs out?

Alex Cora said...

Yeah, Sax, I'm going to have to have you come in on Saturday. Yeah...

Delino DeShields, Sr said...

A Phillie got a save tonight. And it wasn't Lidge.