I've been doing some baseball related reading lately, and came across some interesting insights in Larry Dierker's book This Ain't Brain Surgery. Among some of the items that I found to be very revealing:
- Dierker says that "...my strategic philosophy often clashed with my instincts." He illustrates this point by talking about his reluctance to pinch hit for Brad Ausmus late in games because he didn't want to "appear to lack confidence in my players". Although he knew that statistically it would be the correct move to pinch hit for Ausmus, many times he did not in order to avoid giving the players the sense that he did not have complete confidence in their abilities.
- Dierker also says that "sometimes the players played the game the way they thought they should play it instead of the way I wanted them to play it." Perhaps my naivete is showing, but this admission took me by surprise. It seemed like a fairly simple proposition - play the game the way I say or you don't have a job. Apparently that's too simplistic.
Dierker's remarks have certainly helped me put some of the odd managerial behaviors of one Mike Hargrove more sharply in focus. The similarities are striking - as I was reading these passages, I was thinking that this could very well be Grover telling the story. Your thoughts?