Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Rookie Cycle of Death

Bruce Bochy is known for his veteran love. He sticks with his guys and plays them through thick or thin. He doesn't trust rookies and looks for every reason to pull them out of the starting lineup.

He is such a believer in his system that he is coming out with a book that you can buy real soon. The manual is titled "It Gets Better with Age" and it will be sold at his website http://www.grittyvets.com/.

Here the abridged version from the Chapter titled "Get Off My Lawn! How to Handle Kids Who Don't Have Gray Hair":

Step 1 for managing a rookie:

Bring up a surging young player from AAA and have him sit on the bench for the first couple of days to get used to the ebb and flow of Big League baseball. Continue to step 2.

Step 2 for managing a rookie:

Make sure his first start is against a tough pitcher in a hostile environment if possible. Continue to step 3.

Step 3 for managing a rookie:

Let the kid play for a couple of weeks take very careful notice of how he does in those 30-50 plate appearances that will tell you just about everything you need to know about how the kid will play in the Major Leagues. Continue to step 4.

Step 4 for managing a rookie:

A) If the kid struggles or shows any signs of platoon splits in his first 2 weeks if he isn't ready for the big show and he should promptly be benched. It's sad but true that rookies don't know how to work through slumps; they just don't have the proven track record like veterans and true gamers. Continue to step 5A.

B) If the kid does ok we will keep an eye on him but still bench him for a few days to make sure he doesn't get a big head. Continue to step 5B.

Step 5 for managing a rookie:

A) Give the struggling rookie spot starts every other week while pinch hitting him 2 times a week, if he doesn't start hitting .500 he is done and needs more seasoning and dues paying in the minors. Send the rookie back to the minors or bench him for the foreseeable future and proceed to step 1 if he ever comes back.

B) Continue to give the rookie who is playing well only 3-4 starts per week to keep his young legs fresh, remember he doesn't have 15 years experience yet and his body hasn't built any tolerance for the major league grind. Continue to step 6.

Step 6 for managing a rookie:

If the rookie shows any sign of struggle continue go to step 5A. You must look carefully for signs of fatigue or struggle, even wiping ones forehead on a hot muggy day in Cincinnati might be sign of breaking down. It is a fact that he will struggle, it is a near certainty. It is almost impossible for someone under the age of 30 has ever succeeded in baseball for extended periods of time. If no signs of struggle continue to step 7.

Step 7 for managing a rookie:

Bench the kid anyway for a week as a preemptive measure against the coming failure. If he struggles after the week off proceed to step 5A. If he continues to play well continue to step 8.

Step 8 for managing a rookie:

Congratulations you may have found a big leaguer. The kid might be ready for the majors but it is still not guaranteed. Watch his every move and be quick to pull the plug at the first trip up. He is slowly building a track record, but tread carefully rookies are known to have sophomore slumps which we will go over in the next chapter titled "Not a Rookie, but Still Not a Veteran: How to Handle the Tween Years"

I hope that you enjoyed this sneak peak and that it gives you some insight into the mind of our fearless leader Bruce Bochy.

1 comment:

  1. Classic..bochy we will never win with a guy that has no idea what it takes to win...bunt guys over steal bases and manufacture runs..something our rookies might actualy do