Buck’s JV lineup on Sunday in Toronto was a mistake

April 16, 2012 | Drew Forrester

A funny thing happened on Sunday when Buck Showalter decided to throw out a JV lineup with the hope of losing a throw-away game in April.

The Orioles lost.

And in the process, Showalter saw his team’s former first-round draft pick lose his 11th straight game.  And the loss cost his club a chance to sweep an American League East opponent on the road.

Yes, I know it’s April.  Yes, I’m aware it’s the first road series of the season.  Yes, I fully realize it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

But why put out the JV lineup yesterday?

Eight games into the season and four of the team’s best hitters needed a day off?  Really?

They just had a day off on Thursday.

I don’t understand how players “need a rest” ten days into the season.

And I can’t for the life of me figure out why Buck would send out a B – lineup knowing that Brian Matusz is as desperate for a win as Van Halen is for a hit record.

Or is Matusz not all that important?  Why not go hard and try get a win for him and see if that doesn’t shake him out of his doldrums?  Give Arrieta the scrub lineup tonight in Chicago and ask him to make chicken salad out of chicken-you-know-what.

Sweeping Toronto in their stadium early in the season could have been a terrific message for the Birds to send around the American League East.

Instead, Showalter sent this message:  “My players need a day off.”

I’m not sure why Buck wouldn’t have said, “Look, I know some of you are fatigued and all, but let’s get this sweep out of the way and then you can all lay in a hammock in Chicago on Monday and I’ll play Endy Chavez and Ronny Paulino and Nick Johnson.”

One day meant that much difference?

I just don’t get it.


10 Comments For This Post

  1. eric Says:

    Paulino is actually swinging the bat better than Wieters right now. Otherwise it was a Trembley special. No reason you can’t play Paulino and Chavez Sun and Johnson and Flaherty Mon. Spread it out a bit.

  2. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    The S. F. Giants lost there closer for the year , maybe the orioles could get rid of … the bum Kevin Gregg for next to nothing. We really do not need this guy.

  3. Ralph Says:

    There’s nothing in your blog post that doesn’t make sense. How can they need a day off this early? They can rest when the season has been rendered meaningless, which, for the Orioles, will be in about a month. As poppa Ralph used to say, “you can sleep when you’re dead and you’re a long time dead.” To another point though that saddened me. I heard a commercial on your station where you, Mr Drew, called a towing company because of a flat tire on your car which was parked at YOUR HOUSE, not on some roaring dangerous highway. How sad to learn my favorite sports host might also be a big baby. (DF: You don’t hear very well, Ralph. My car had a flat tire at Mountain Branch. I never once said it was at my house. Get a better set of ears.)

  4. Phil Says:

    I couldn’t believe this lineup. Foolish and stupid waste of a golden opportunity and also very troubling since I agree…show Matusz some extra support…what the heck was Buck thinking. He topped it off by leaving Gregg in there to make sure Matusz got the loss. Nothing Buck did yesterday made any sense. It really bothered me, just no excuse for it all.

  5. Matt Duggins Says:

    There are only two possible explanations for yesterday’s shenanigans…a)internal strife or b)sheer incompetence. The whole thing smelled really, really fishy, and it wasn’t just the lineup. Unless he was in the clubhouse drinking beer and eating fried chicken, Buck had to see that Matusz had been playing with fire all day. The leash needed to be very short in the 6th. And to back him up with Gregg almost smells of sabotage. Very, very odd.

  6. over40Don Says:

    It’s a long road trip Weiters is a catcher right? wear and tear Jone & Markakis need a break too. It’s a 162 game schedule. If Buck is crazy it’s my guess it’s because he thinks they have a chance. You sound like you think you know more than Buck about baseball. You don’t normally come across this way regarding football and the Ravens and most other sports. Soccer, you ran a club but I doubt there are that many similarities regarding playing sitting guys. ans other not getting good players money isn’t an issue.

    You couldn’t possibly be implying Buck really tried to lose the game. If he brings in another pitcher (s) might he not wear out the bullpen. Long road trip again. Anyway that’s how I look at it and really don’t care that much, as like you, I think the teams stinks. and a big reason is MCFAILS pickups lik eGRegg and the new guys reject acquisitions.

  7. Eric Says:

    It certainly is ridiculous to “clear the bench” this early in the season. Frankly, it’s ridiculous to do that at ANY point in the season. Baseball is BY FAR the least physically demanding sport. Even when playing, you spend 90% of the game sitting down or standing still. It’s LUDICROUS to say that ANY of these guys should need a day off this early in the season.

  8. over40 DON Says:

    Eric, that’s ridiculous. These guys playa t level you can’t comprehend. Think basbeall isn’t demanding. Read Ripkens book from a few years ago. this isn’t softball on sunday, it’s almost everyday and a day game after a night game is normal to give guys a day off.

    It also give buck a chance to see if he has anything on the bench. Buck doesn’t make the moves during the off season so the bench guys are what they are and the bullpen is what it is. Really bad.

    If you guys think Buck tried to lose the game go buy some ocean front property in New Mexico.

  9. unitastoberry Says:

    Buck Showalter looks like Earl Weaver but I knew Earl Weaver and Buck ain’t no Earl Weaver! Hey For Frank Robinson day why don’t they bring in Roland Hemond and have him apologise to Frank for trading Curt Schilling against manager Robinsons urging as part of the worst trade in Orioles history.

  10. tsnamm Says:

    I couldn’t understand it, when Buck just stayed with Gregg as he gave up homers, walked batters, hit batters etc. We took 2 of 3 which is they way you want to do it, win series. But to just stay with a guy who obviously didn’t have it to the point of taking yourself completely out of the game that you still had a chance in, was just a little puzzling. It seems to me they need to win as many of those kind now as they can before reality sets in, and they start playing like they are actually constituted.Lets hope we don’t wake up anytime soon…

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