Readers Speak On Alou and Giants
The issue regarding pitching prospects goes beyond Righetti. The chronic failure to develop prospects has to fall in the laps of Dick Tidrow and Jack Hiatt. The last three first round picks by the Giants who amounted to anything were Will Clark, Matt Williams and Royce Clayton. Now, first round picks are sacrificed for the likes of signing mediocre hitters like Michael Tucker.
GD: The Giants have felt they could fill in around Barry Bonds with veterans but, with Bonds out, the mediocre players they’ve signed have been exposed - but they’re still reluctant to give young players and pitchers a decent shot.
Quit blaming Alou and the Giants for the arrogance and self-righteousness of an overrated KNBR. They got their comeuppance. You reap what you sow.
GD: I’m not defending KNBR, but three men did not deserve to lose their jobs over this – and they wouldn’t have if Alou could have let the issue go.
Unless Alou is agreeable to retirement, I doubt the Giants can fire him, given his apparent instability and the fact that he can charge them with both racism and ageism. A very big risk for them this offseason, I believe.
GD: I don't believe the Giants would have to worry about being accused of either racism or ageism. They hired Alou when he was approaching his 68th birthday and had no other offers to manage, and they extended his contract earlier this year. If they chose to fire him, his over-the-top remarks about a "messenger from Satan" would certainly justify that.
As this season has progressed, I’ve slowly come to the conclusion that Alou is doing a lousy job with the team, particularly the pitching staff, for all the reasons you pointed out. My blossoming displeasure took a quantum leap when he started talking about Satan. I too thought he might have come unhinged. . . I suggest Bob Brenly as a replacement for Alou. He got a raw deal in Arizona.//Posted August 20.
GD: Brenly would be a popular choice – and a good one – because Giants fans remember him fondly from his playing days. He may have had his fill of managing, though. I wouldn’t blame him.
Alou once again overmanaged his relief corps in the Giants 5-4 loss to the Cardinals. He wasted spot relief appearances by Scott Eyre and LaTroy Hawkins, both of whom have pitched well this month. Eyre has held right-handed hitters to under .200 batting average all year but Alou pulled him anyway after one at-bat against Edmonds, whom he got out!. . . Bullpen by committee is OK if the skipper knows what he is doing but Alou just burns up his hurlers.
GD: Pulling Eyre was especially puzzling because he’s been the Giants’ most reliable reliever all season.
The only silver lining is how much your column was validated tonight.
1) What was Michael Tucker doing in right field? He should have been released.
2) Why did Alou stay with Tyler Walker when it was CLEAR he didn’t have it, and then pull Jeremy Accardo after he got Albert Pujols out? Jason Christiansen has never been trustworthy. Think Jeremy would have been throwing serious fire after that Pujols pop out?
End result, well deserved.
GD: Alou’s overmanaging the previous inning, when he used Hawkins and Eyre against one batter each and then had to bring in Walker, may have been what really killed the Giants. Walker had to bat in the bottom of the inning and said afterwards that his long at-bat, in the St. Louis heat, took something out of him. If Alou had left Eyre in the game in the eighth, he could have pinch-hit for him, possibly extending the inning, and then brought Walker in fresh for the ninth.
Jason Christiansen’s laconic remarks after the Giants’ blow-up loss indicate dissatisfaction with Felipe Alou’s managing. After all, how often do you hear comments like “Really? He’s just now figuring it out?” in reponse to Alou saying the bullpen was overworked? And then Christiansen’s follow-up, “We’re getting run through like a turnstile.”
GD: Players will sometimes make comments like that off the record to writers. When they do it publicly, it’s a clear indication that the pitchers have lost respect for Alou. I saw that with Roger Craig in the early '90s, and that ended Craig’s success with the Giants.
MONDAY: The progress of the 49ers and the continuing quarterback battle between Alex Smith and Tim Rattay.
NOTE: I am a guest panelist on tonight’s “Last Honest Sports Show,” 6:30 and 10 p.m. on KHBK, Channel 44, and was interviewed for Comcast’s “Insider,” on the 49ers, appearing at 5 and 10 .m. Check your local cable network if you get Comcast.
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