Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The One Where Ken Hoffman Spouts Nonsense

The Chronicle's Ken Hoffman has a silly notes column on a wide range of topics - from losing his driver's license to a joke about CNN - he touches briefly on the plight of the Astros and Bo Porter. Let's look...

In their first season under manager Bo Porter, the Astros lost 111 games last year, worst in the majors.

True.

This year, with a bigger payroll...

Relative. It's like going from $2.13/hour + tips to minimum wage.

...and bright young stars on the roster...

Which roster? Lancaster's? The 40-Man? Hoffman understands how this works, right?

...the Astros are 5-14 (not including Monday's late game), on pace to lose 119 games.

"On Pace To" watch! Not including the win over King Felix and Seattle (which ended around midnight Central), after 12.3% of the season, the Astros are ONPACETO lose more games. Summary judgments after 1/8 of a season. Got it. 

That's 1962 Mets territory.

B-R FTW.

Last weekend, Porter blew his lid because an Oakland batter attempted a bunt while leading 7-0 in the first inning. Porter thought it was bush league. You want bush league? Complaining about a bunt in the first inning is bush league.

Subjective. Writing about unwritten rules is the new market inefficiency.

Last year, Porter had to apologize after making an illegal pitching change. He didn't know a basic baseball rule. Porter is in over his head. Start warming up manager-in-waiting Craig Biggio.

Okay. Now this is ridiculous. So here is the whole of the argument for Craig Biggio replacing Bo Porter: (a) Porter got mad at a player for bunting when the opposing team was up 7-0; (b) one time, last year, Porter screwed up a pitching change; (c) in 2013 Porter didn't do enough with a team that had an active payroll under $20m in 2013; (d) 1/8 of the way through the season - Porter is mismanaging a team whose payroll that is slightly less than the fraudulent Marlins, $30m less than the 28th-highest payroll, and roughly one-fifth of the highest payroll in baseball, that can't hit (before last night) and routinely TOOTBLANs themselves out of innings. That's why Porter should go? You just don't go from being groomed to take over the Nationals to being a blithering idiot in 18 months...not with the rosters he's been dealt in that time. Maybe we hold off on anointing Biggio until those "bright young stars" are actually on the roster and Porter actually has a fair shot to figure out if he's in over his head.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm not in the "Porter must go camp" because it is too early to evaluate these things, but I don't get the your main argument. It is fair to judge a manager whether his talent is championship level or a level way below that. The question, IMO, is whether he gets the most out of the talent he was given.

Astros County said...

That's my point, too. If Bo Porter gets the "worst team in the majors," and they finish with the worst record in the majors, that's not exactly on him. Now if they have a roster where the playoffs are expected, and they lose 100 games, that's not exactly on him. It's far too early to be calling for Bo Porter's head, let alone anointing his successor.

Anonymous said...

All I'm saying is that one can (and must as a responsible GM) judge a manager even if he is given marginal talent. It is just too early for that judgement.

I may have misread the original post, but I have often hear that until he gets better talent, Porter cannot be evaluated. So, I apologize if I was rebutting an argument not made.

Roseana Auten said...

The Jed Lowrie bunting thing (on Friday night in OAK)? Even the Oakland TV commentators basically said it was a d*ck move on Lowrie's part. True, you don't often see managers addressing players on the opposing team in between innings, but it's not proof Porter can't manage the talent he's been given.

Jexas said...

GREAT post. I think Ken Hoffman may have just been liking the sound of his own keystrokes on this one.