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Wee Willie Small Balls

Johnny Dickshot
Jul 20 2005 12:41 PM

I've wanted to kill him a few times this year, without a doubt, then he goes and does something positive.

How ballsy was taking out Pedro and going with Padilla on Sunday?

And though it didn't take Einstein to see it, swapping out Ice for Woody last night was the right decision.

He has more patience than any of us.

What do you think of WWSB?

Jul 20 2005 12:44 PM

I think he's adorable.

But on top of that, I like that he really has things humming, even when the team loses, I get the feeling that there is a lot of respect for this man and they are trying very hard to win for him.

He keeps his head and doesn't say or do stupid things.

And most importantly, he has two very young players that he is handling very admirably, and I know how 22 year olds can be.

Edgy DC
Jul 20 2005 12:46 PM

Even on the choices I disagree with him on, I think I see what he's doing and respect it.

Jul 20 2005 12:50 PM

I'm positive about him,communicates good with his players,small things that in the past might have turned into a controversy have not this season, has handled the press with no problems, not a great in-game manager,that will improve I think, I give WWSB a C+.

Jul 20 2005 12:57 PM

What everybody else said.

Diamond Dad
Jul 20 2005 01:04 PM
Say something negative, Willie!@!

My only problem with Wee Willie is that he protects his players too much. He never (N-E-V-E-R) says anything remotely critical or negative about his players when he's interviewed. He is incorigibly optimistic -- always putting positive spin on everything, even mistakes and dumb plays. Sometimes, these prima donna major leaguers need to have their asses kicked in order to get them going.

Of course, he may be doing that in private, while protecting them in public, but c'mon, Willie, don't insult our intelligence by telling us that Ishii is "really trying hard" and "starting to show signs" etc.

On the whole, aside from Bobby V, he's working out as well as anybody else we could have had.

Jul 20 2005 01:06 PM

You would prefer then that your boss would publicly chastise you and point out every mistake you make at work?

Jul 20 2005 01:19 PM

Do many of the managers not named Pinella rip their players publically? Some will be mildly critical but for the most part I think they probably try to keep their harshest words for their players for behind closed doors.

Edgy DC
Jul 20 2005 01:28 PM

I have no problem with a manager not ripping his players. I don't think public rip jobs motivate the player. I think they are a way to play to the bloodthirsties in the seats and alientate players.

Confronting a player in private is another matter.

I want to see Willie extract a first career sacrifice bunt out of Piazza.

Jul 20 2005 01:32 PM

Piazza seems like he's playing happier lately. You see that smirk on his face when he threw out Roberts last night, or again after the intentional walk? I think he's enjoying himself. He might just drop a bunt for the hell of it.

Jul 20 2005 01:39 PM

I think he smirked because he realized he made an awful throw and felt lucky that Roberts was out.

Vic Sage
Jul 20 2005 01:43 PM

the only bunt Mike will drop is one he's fielding.

as for Willie...

I've gone on record as unhappy about the WWSB hiring from the outset... in fact, i gave him that name.

I think, PR aside, he's wrong about nearly everything, regarding his overall managerial philosophy.

That being said, he seems to be handling the players pretty well.

Jul 20 2005 01:49 PM

He seems good with the players, good with the press, not so good with in-game decisions. It's true, he made a good move last night, but I don't think it was that difficult a decision. But he has made some questionable moves this year that leave you scratching your head.

Of course, I may be unfairly comparing him to Bobby V, who is one of the best in-game guys around.

Jul 20 2005 04:51 PM

I think I saw Roberts smirking afterwards, too

Spacemans Bong
Jul 20 2005 05:09 PM

I don't read the NY papers every day or watch MSG (kinda hard to..) so if his public persona is good and the players seem happy, that's good.

But his in-game tactics drive me nuts. Please, please, stop leading off with Reyes. It kills the team to have a .280 OBP leading off. Yes, he's talented, but bat him 8th. He's 21, he'll handle it.

Frayed Knot
Jul 20 2005 11:32 PM

One thing I noticed - both tonight and in past games - is that he's not a very good arguer. Bobby V would have had a field day w/that balk call tonight. WWSB doesn't seem to want to get down & dirty with the men in blue.

But other than that:
I seem to be less critical of his in-game stuff than many here.
- Yeah I think he bunts too much (remember that Cameron GiDP the other day when I said at least he wasn't bunting? ... turns out the bunt sign was on and Cammy missed it - ARRGH), should hit-&-run more, yyybbb; but you're always going to differ on some stuff and he seems to be playing less small-ball than earlier in the year.
- The lineup questions would be easier to critisize if there were real alternatives to some of the complaints. Often there aren't.
- A few too many double-switches, some seemingly just because he could not because they helped.
and so on.
- "Misuses the pen" is frequently just a fan's code for "he brought in a guy I don't like". Yanx fans f'rinstance were all over the radio today because they don't want Torre to use anyone but Rivera/Gordan/Sturtze EVER unless there's at least a 12 run lead. Middle relievers are unreliable folks, that's why they're middle relievers and you're not going to see your favorite 3 every night while the designated punching bags get stuck watering the tomatoes.
Overall game strategist = C+/B- Not bad for a beginner.

Where he seems to fit in smoothly is in using the bench well (of course it always looks good when the bench hits)
- the players seem to like him well enough
- and he handles the media well. I suppose anyone looks good there following Art but he seems to enjoy the give & take and doesn't seem like the type to make moves due to being intimidated by the hordes.

Not too bad and, like the team, a work in progress.

Rockin' Doc
Jul 21 2005 07:42 AM

I agree with Frayed Knot, I too would like to see the team run a little more and bunt a little less. I've never been a big fan of giving up outs. Sacrifice bunts have their place, bunt it shouldn't be whenever you get a lead off runner on.

He does seem to double switch for no apparent reason at times, but I think he's still learning. He will get better with time.

As others have pointed out, he seems to handle the media well and things seem to be going smoothly in the clubhouse.

Considering that this is his first year as a manager, I think he's doing a pretty good job.

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 21 2005 08:35 AM

Doing well enough to get fired in a year or two for being dumber than a box of (small) ball-peen hammers.

But that's okay--as I said at the time of hiring, the Mets weren't going anywhere for a couple of years (still true--little progress under WIN NOW (OR NOT) WIllie), and the Mets get to score some points for hiring a minority manager. This way, they can't be blamed for a long time if they decide to make in-game competence and something resembling a track record a hiring criterion the next few hires. Good one.

Jul 21 2005 08:49 AM

Thumbs up for Willie.

And they really don't have anyone else they can bat leadoff.

Jul 21 2005 09:08 AM

Spacemans Bong wrote:
But his in-game tactics drive me nuts. Please, please, stop leading off with Reyes. It kills the team to have a .280 OBP leading off. Yes, he's talented, but bat him 8th. He's 21, he'll handle it.
Who would you rather bat first? Let the kid hit there until there is a viable alternative. This is a .500 team which will only be in the playoffs through an incredible hot streak. It doesn't matter if he learns to take pitches in the eighth hole or the leadoff spot. And believe it or not, right now, he gives us the best chance to win when he hits leadoff because of his speed, regardless of how low his OBP is.