Sometimes, we hear/read stories that seemed “right” to us.  After some additional thought, sometimes we reach the I’M NOT SO SURE ABOUT THAT stage.

….Sometimes, as we watch the “new” Astros with shots of Dusty Baker having a toothpick dangling from his mouth with a relaxed demeanor.  We my think that he’s not fully engaged. I’m NOT SO SURE ABOUT THAT. Dusty has managed a wide variety of team—SF Giants (10 years); Cubs (4 years);  Cincy Reds for 6 years; Washington Nationals- 2 years; and now the Houston Astroes. Dusty was brought in to “clean up” the Asstroes cheating environment. Not only has he done that…but he’s turned them into the AL Champion. With his longevity, his success in a variety of places, handling a wide variety of players..from my eyes… he should be considered one of the best Managers in the MLB.

…. It seems that many MLB managers feel that 5 innings is the max for starts these days.  I’M NOT SO SURE ABOUT THAT.  Dusty Baker isn’t one of them. Just last night, Dusty Baker certainly  stuck with his starter, Framber Valdez. Valdez had thrown 94 pitches through six when he came back out for the seventh. Granted, it was 5-0 at the time, but Baker still left him in after Nick Castellanos’ leadoff double. Given that Houston’s bullpen has allowed just 4 four earned runs in 40.2 innings in the postseason with just 19 hits allowed makes it even more astonishing. He’s clearly swimming upstream against the current style of handling starting pitchers.

…When Mizzou hired Eli Drinkwitz as HC, many of the fans went ecstatic. He is young, vibrant, outspoken young coach. It was thought that he was the “man” to take Mizzou back to the top.  But the I’M NOT SO SURE ABOUT THAT. He IS a very talented young coach. But the successful NCAA-F Head Coaches have experience in recruiting, game prep, game-day adjustments, handing 80-some young me. It requires many talents. The experienced coaches picked up from other coaches in their younger years and built on it.

….Young Head Coaches especially, need veteran coordinators and experienced coaches to suggest new, or better, ways of defending on defense or moving the ball on offence. The staff has to bring experience at the highest D-1 level. I don’t blame Drinkwitz for taking the job. If I were in his shoes, I’d have taken the job too. But he is responsible in the formation of his experienced coaching staff. A Head Coach has to rely on his coordinators and the entire staff to plan, teach, motivate, share different ideas using their background as a basis for the Head Coach.   Further, some of these coaches MUST be successful recruiters. They’ll pave the way for HC Drinkwitz to come in to close the deal but that’s long after the many hours of cajoling, praising, developing a relationship  with the Assistants.

…Even Saturday in the best win of the season for Mizzou, with the game in the waning minutes of the game, Coach Drink went beserk with his QB. I don’t know what Brady Cook had done, or not done, but Coach Drink was all over him verbally. Why?  A mistake at that point wasn’t going to change the outcome. Mistakes can be corrected after a game that you’ve iced up a win.  A coach MUST have confidence in the QB & the QB must also have confidence. The team looks to the QB to be the leader on the field. Getting chewed out late in a very solid win then tapping him on the helmet like a small school boy doesn’t build confidence. With very rare exceptions, don’t “go off” on a player in a game. It can ruin the rapport with that player and set an undercurrent with the rest of the team.

…Look around the Super Elite Conference (SEC), the cupboard is filled with experienced, talented coaches. Nick Saban-276-68 in D-1 college & 3 years of the Pros(don’t need to add much more about Saban’s abilities; Kirby Smart worked for Bobby Bowden @ Fla St 1 year:-was a Nick Saban Assistant @ LSU and in the pros with Saban for another year in the NFL; his 6 year record as a Head Coach @ Georgia is 74-15. Brian Kelly was just hired this year by LSU after becoming the winningest Coach in Notre Dame History; Mark Stoops (Kentucky) was an ast NCAA Assistant coach for 7 years prior to landing his 1st HC spot at Kentucky. Josh Heupel (Tenn), Mike Leach(Miss St), Lane Kiffin (Ole Miss) are all highly recognizable Coaching Names. The list could go on & on but it’s easy to see that Coach Drink arrived much earlier & quicker than the vast majority of SEC Head Coaches. Sooo… he should surround himself with very experienced, talented Assistant coaches.

…..Rules are Rules…but not in all cases, sometimes there are ”Grandfathered In” exceptions. I’M NOT SO SURE ABOUT THAT type of set up in sports. But…it happened right under our own eyes in the Lou.  In 2010, the  MLB made a determination about bat sizes being legal or illegal back. The new bat regulations trimmed the diameter of the barrel from the long-standing 2.75 inches to 2.61 inches. Players who were using a bat prior to the judgement were “grandfathered in” to keep using their bat. The primary example to this exception was Albert Pujols. His bat exceeded the limits for and Pujols’ bat at that time was not within those specifications. Due to their own exception, Pujols was allowed to use this “outlawed” bat for the last 13 years of his career—legally! However when Martin Maldonado used the bat in a playoff game this year, it was illegal. He wasn’t in the league in 2010. He entered the league in 2011. Apparently, the bat was not as golden for Maldonado.  Maldonado batted .186 this season and is a career .209 hitter in 12 seasons. I don’t blame Albert….he didn’t make up this silly exception. But really…. “grandfathered in” rules?

…Thanks for your read!  I AM SURE ABOUT THAT!! 😊Hope that many of you will respond. There are a variety of ways. Post on my Facebook page,  my Web site-  www.bobryansportsblog.com , send me an email directly- rjryansr@charter.net . All views are invited. Have a good week!  Bob

One thought on “I’M NOT SO SURE ABOUT THAT!

  1. Joe Parisi wrote, Ole Dusty has won pretty much everywhere he’s been. Players have always been complimentary Regarding how he Runs the team & manages the clubhouse.
    Show up on time/ hustle & be a good teammate. A “ Whitey Herzog type”.
    A pretty good player in his day, it’s rare that a former good player has had managerial success
    He’s due for a ring. Perhaps this is the year?
    I’m not sold just yet on Eli Drinkwitz. His play calling often reminds me of playground
    “ raz ma-taz”I remember as a kid. Red Zone offense is very poor.
    I’m not sure that filling the Mizzou job is very easy. Tough conference, several years removed from success, and little AD stability.
    Sure, money is important, but recruiting to Columbia, Mo is not the dream of many 5 star athletes.


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