"I don't understand what he's saying ... I've been around the game for 25 years, I don't know what that means."-Ron Darling, on Snoop's brilliant post game idea of choosing when to pitch Mike Pelfrey based on favorable matchups.
I really didn't want to have to focus on one thing tonight. Because really, everything went wrong. Horribly wrong. Little Pelf was little again. His defense didn't help him out (here's how you know things are bad: When a ground ball goes to David Wright for the sure double play and you think "here comes the error", and it actually happens), and his manager didn't know when to take him out.
Here's what was wrong with the fact that Pelfrey was left in to face Brian McCann in the fifth inning with runners on first and third and the lefty Takahashi warm in the pen: If you hammer the point home that this is a huge series which Snoop did in a pregame interview on Monday, you have to manage like it. Leaving your starting pitcher, who is obviously struggling, against not just a left handed batter, but one who's been killing the Mets all series, is not consistent with the thought process that was laid out at the beginning of the series. That's why you take Pelfrey out at that point. It wasn't about "well let's see if he can get out of it" or "let's see what he's got". You know what he has: NOTHING! He had to go. But once again, Snoop shows exactly what he showed last year: that he manages during the season as if it's the spring, and for the meaningless ballgames sure to come in September, then he'll start managing to win.
More infuriating was seeing Snoop take out Little Pelf two batters later, making it even more obvious that he totally mismanaged the inning. It's like turning the hose on the earth when it's already scorched.
But the above quote from Darling put the entire night into perspective. When Ron Darling, the mild mannered announcer, the Paula Abdul of the group if you will, comes on the post game show and says "I don't know what he's talking about", there's a big problem. And it isn't the first time the manager has made no sense or grasped at straws. Towards the end of last season, when ownership decided to retain both Snoop and Omar Minaya, they basically absolved them of all blame, and sold to their fans that it was all the injuries. And I remember thinking "you know, Jeffy had better be right." As I sit here tonight, it couldn't be more apparent that he was wrong. Dead wrong. One more year completely wasted because ownership didn't have the foresight to realize that change, significant change ... not trading Mike Jacobs for a player to be named later, was absolutely necessary. And because of that, 2010 is as wasted as 2009 turned out to be.
The only hope for the future lies in Mark Cuban deciding to bowl over the Wilpons with an offer they can't refuse (now that the whole Rangers thing has fallen through.