From SABR member Geoff Young at Baseball Prospectus on May 1, 2012:
After the Angels lost at Tampa Bay last Wednesday, right fielder Torii Hunter suggested that his manager, Mike Scioscia, had not done everything possible to put the team in a position to win. This is the sort of problem that arises when you enter a season with astronomical expectations and then stumble badly out of the gate.
Leaving aside the issue of whether it is appropriate or advisable for Hunter to publicly question his manager’s tactical decisions (although one would think that someone being paid $18 million to hit more than he has thus far might have other things on his mind), was he even right?
One of Hunter’s specific criticisms centered on the game’s second inning. After Hunter and Vernon Wells led off with singles, Maicer Izturis flied out to left field. The Angels then loaded the bases with one out but did not score. In a game decided by one run, this proved to be huge. And yet after the game, Hunter focused not on the fact that Chris Iannetta and Bobby Abreu both made outs with the bases loaded, but on the fact that Scioscia didn’t have Izturis lay down a sacrifice bunt to move himself and Wells into scoring position. Hunter’s exact words were, “You mean if we bunted in the second? What can we do? All we do is play the game.”
In examining whether sacrificing in that situation made sense, there are a few questions to consider:
- Is giving away an out so early in the game a good idea?
- Can the man being asked to bunt execute?
- Can the men behind him take advantage of his sacrifice?
Read the full article here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=16695
Originally published: May 1, 2012. Last Updated: May 1, 2012.