MacPhail shares portion of the blame
President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail opened today’s press conference introducing new interim coach Juan Samuel by making one thing clear: the problem this year is deeper than any one manager.
“This is never an easy or pleasant task, making a managerial change,” MacPhail said. “In my experience, every time you go through one of these it has a negative reflection on your entire baseball operations department, starting with me and going all the way down the system to our scouts, player development.
Obviously we didn’t do as good a job as we could have or we wouldn’t be in the position of having to change managers. Nobody believes that the reason we have the record we have is that it was somehow Dave Trembley’s fault or that making this change is going to magically solve all the problems and issues we have. But we did reach a point where we thought this was the appropriate thing to do.
If you really want to look for reasons why we have the record we have, I think it’s a function of several things. Like any poor season, generally it’s more than one thing. We brought in several players this offseason really just to prevent this kind of calamity. Certainly we’re not getting production from a couple of those guys to this point. The second issue is the entire back end of our bullpen has been on the DL for almost the entire season, and I’m not just talking about 2 or 3 guys, I’m talking about five guys, which has had an impact.
Our offense is last in the league in runs scored. We are going to play 72 of 162 games against the most prolific offenses in the game, and we can’t afford to have the last run-scoring team in the American League. Our production with runners in scoring position is frankly abysmal. We are last among all 30 clubs in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and RBIs. IT’s difficult to run the entire table on that but we’re last in all those categories.
Maybe most disappointing of all to me and most distressing is the fact that we’ve had some of our young players go backwards from where they were a year before. They’re important to us and that certainly hasn’t helped things. And also, we’re still in, in my estimation, too many unforced errors.”