A manager who can't manage his extremely limited resources. In an disappointing twist of fate, Pat Gillick has made this team into one that even Charlie should be able to manage. Gillick has made sure that all bench and reliver options were so bad, that it didn't matter which one Charlie chose. Unfortunately, in the few last apects of the game Charlie can manage, he gets it wrong, or he gets it close to right, but then fails anyway.
I don't know if it was by design, but if so, Gillick was showing his true genius.
"What if I make our bullpen and bench so piss poor, that even a guy who has no clue how to manage a team, can't eff this up."
I want to believe that was Gillick's thought as he pieced together a bullpen that has 39 year old Tom Gordon as the anchor and a bench that couldn't be worse if you chose random minor leaguers. Of course, this isn't new, Gillick set the team up to fail the same way last year.
What is sad about this is that Charlie has few valid choices and still fails to choose the wrong one. This was highlighted in today's game when Charlie made a couple of bold moves, but, ended up choosing the wrong player. The first move, Victorino for Rowand was good. While it is sure to piss Rowand off (and probably lower his already low trde value) it was the smart move becayse Victorino switch hits and Rowand can't hit. It paid off in a walk.
Charlie then made another good tactical decision by pinch hitting for Barajas. Fortunately for us, Charlie was in a save my ass kind of mood (though, it ended up not working anyway). He pinch hit Ruiz for Barajas. This is where he made his poor decision and if he had the ability to look one step further, he could have made the smart one.
He had Michael Bourne on the bench, but had Ruiz pinch hit. The pitcher was a righty and Ruiz is a righty. Bourne is a lefty. If it were Pat Burrell and Bourne, then I say no question. But, I am going to believe that the lefty/righty matchup with Bourne will provide more return than a righty/righty matchup with Ruiz. Now, you can easily say that he didn't want to make that move since Bourne was his last pinch hitter (Abraham Nunez be damned). But, the pitcher's spot was due up next after, and he could have easily performed a double switch putting Ruiz 9th and the pitcher 8th which ended up having pretty much the same result as the next inning when Bourne lead off. The only difference was that Bourne stayed in to play right, which really doesn't mean a whole lot when you are down by two.
Was this a huge error? No. But it shows me that Charlie has little tactical forsight. He has little impact on the game since all of his options are pretty much terrible. But, when he had his one chance to take advantage, he crapped out again.
Gillick, next time please make sure all of our bench players are righties just like our relievers (Matt Smith be damned). Please, for the sake of good ol' Uncle Chawlie.