07 August 2009

Hinch's Dbacks Finally Beat Lousy Teams

After getting pummeled by the Reds and Nationals in his first week on the job, then plummeting 18 games below .500 versus a curiously soft schedule, AJ Hinch's burgeoning superstars are finally beating up on bad teams.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. The National League is full of weak sisters, especially this time of year, but there's always an outside chance of losing to them. (Well, unless you're Bob Melvin, who "curiously" battled twenty seven .500 or better clubs in his 29 alloted games. Bob's pair of "gimmies", by the way, were Peavy and Young @ Petco.)

After Melvin struggled against the NL's best with a rash of critical injuries (Webb, Jackson, Drew), Hinch treaded water versus the league's dregs, just as Drew returned from the DL and a diseased CoJack was mercifully replaced by the NL's Rookie of the Month. Yet the Stanford psychology major's abject May-June failure throttled community expectations so low that the possibility of Oklahoma's golden boy completely drenching his diaper and losing 100 (with a roster projected by most to lose in the seventies) seemed uncomfortably plausible.

Fast forward a couple months, when the win-thirsty Dbacks finally drank 12 of 14 milkshakes from the talent-hemorrhaging Pirates, exhibition Padres and dysfunctional Mets, prompting at least one notorious org enabler to boast this is "another nail in the coffin of those who sought to bury AJ Hinch. Hooray for organizational advocacy".

Some sought to bury Hinch, implying the team could never win with a Stanford newbie, but from the beginning, Diamondhacks insisted the 2009 roster not only could win with Hinch (or Melvin), but would win this year - like Josh and his starstruck buddy(pictured, left), we're just surprised it took this long. AJ got up to speed in a couple months, which comes as little surprise for a competent professional. He's smart and experience helps.

I dont come to bury Hinch, neither do I come to praise him. These Diamondbacks are still nine games below .500, despite extraordinary contributions from Dan Haren and Mark Reynolds, and surprising support from Garland, Davis, Montero, Upton and others. This little, late-season roll is hardly a triumph of organizational advocacy, although it does confirm the sqeaky voiced skipper eventually aired out his diaper.

Rather, it's an indictment of Josh Byrnes' aggrandizing midseason leadership overhaul that rattled the clubhouse and led to a month and a half of the sloppiest, ill-managed local baseball since 2004. AJ Hinch was embarrassed nightly, but to his credit, never buried. The Diamondbacks season was, however - interred on the machiavellian contrivance of "organizational advocacy". Three months into the transitional Crash and Byrnes, it turns out Prince Josh and Andrew Jay Advocate wont lose a hundred games, and should finish within ten or fifteen games of most preseason expectations.

As only an organizational advocate could put it, "Hooray!"


Caroline said...

CoJack is finally going to a rehab assignment...looks like we'll finally have someone who is an everyday first baseman back.
And AJ's moves are kinda...unorthodox (considering who he puts at first base a lot and how often he uses Garland and Whitesell as pinch-hitters) but I'm getting to the point where I can laugh about it rather than just groaning and writing off another game.
Any idea what's wrong with Drew lately? He's been completely out of it, especially on the field, and there is no apparant reason for it...

Russell said...

That's it 'Hacks. Youre banned!!

Diamondhacks said...

You frequent dbbp? Ha, I thought more highly of you, Russell ;-)

Excuse me, while I now ban myself...and my gay brother.

Russell said...

Well just "The Pit" really. I go for the articles but stay for the homophobic insecurity.

Diamondhacks said...

Ahhh Russell,

You're a breath of fresh air, after bruising dbbp's emotionally stunted dickwads most of the night.

As dreadful as the 'Pit can be, I've found it generally less homophobic than dbbp, McLennan being the notable exception. The racism and hypocrisy, of course, are virtually unchecked.

Diamondhacks said...


I can confirm that laughing about the Dbacks is a healthy way to go. Dont let them ruin your summer :-)

I agree Drew looks a little sluggish in the field, but he's had some big hits and think he'll be fine.

CoJack transformed himself into a solid player, but has missed almost a year under unusual circumstances. He'll be watched very closely.

Thx for the visit :-)

PAUL said...

The Mets ARE dysfunctional, but no more dysfunctional than any struggling team. The injuries are bordering on ludicrous.
You've watched A.J. (Brimming With Organizational Advocacy) Hinch more than I have, but his strategic maneuvers seem perfectly fine to me, especially considering he's never managed at any level. The one problem I'd have with him is his reluctance to argue in any meaningful way. He's way too passive.

Matt said...

especially considering he's never managed at any level

Agreed, but this isnt a MacDonalds management trainee program. Byrnes swapped a pretty solid manager for a solid manager trainee, to misappropriate blame, and it may've cost them a wild card run.

In terms of on field strategy, I dont have a problem with Hinch either. He's smart, smarter than your bud, Black. But his surprising arrival distracted the team's focus, undermined player confidence, etc. for a good month and a half. Things have settled down since.

PAUL said...

Since you mention Black, HOW do you give him a contract extension? Let's say Moorad doesn't think the responsibility falls on Towers/Black/Fuson etc for what's gone on in SD, but when you have a train wreck, you have to clean up before rebuilding again. The organization is almost barren. I would've cleaned out the entire house, but Moorad's settled for Alderson's departure and little else. If someone was going overboard, just for cosmetic sake, Black was a perfect candidate for no other reason than he doesn't know what he's doing.

Diamondhacks said...

Moorad doesnt know the first thing about building a winning team, but he's very keen on managing perceptions.

For now, extending Black reinforces the idea responsibility for the Pads woes lies elsewhere. If Moorad hired a new skipper and they still sucked, then Moorad would start to look bad.

The show of "confidence" in Black is more a suggestion to fans that Alderson REALLY screwed everything up and that Moorad deserves more time to right the ship.

If and when he fields a competitive team, I wouldnt be surprised if Black is out, and Moorad takes credit for a fresh managerial replacement.

PAUL said...

I suggested your friend Melvin the other day; or a real Padre like Tim Flannery. Their fans would like that.

Diamondhacks said...

Inserting BoMel now is too much of a risk. Melvin would look like a Dbacks reject, as long as the Pads stink. But if Moorad ever discerns he can go toe to toe with AZ, then the Melvin redeemed story would play well and make Moorad look shrewd.

That's a pretty big if, though. The Dbacks are still quite a young team, with some already obvious talent. The Pads, as you've chronicled, are a different kind of mess altogether.