Besides the New York Mets, that is. Razor Shines has not been moonlighting as 3rd Base Coach for the Baltimore Orioles, but you’d think otherwise if you’ve witnessed what the Sun’s Roch Kubatko calls “fundamental lapses” that threaten to be “the undoing” of manager Dave Trembley.
GM Andy MacPhail isn’t throwing down the gauntlet, but he didn’t volunteer a vote of confidence either. He knows there are things a manager and his coaches can control and things that they can’t. It’s not as if first base coach John Shelby could have reached out and grabbed Ty Wigginton and Aubrey Huff as they motored mindlessly around first base in a couple of crucial game situations recently.
“We do more of that [fundamental drills] than do most,” MacPhail said. “He [Trembley] continues that over the course of the season to a much larger extent than most clubs, but some of it is not a function of putting in the time. It’s more a function of bad decision making.
“If you round the base and see the ball in front of you, you either make the right decision or you don’t.”
The strange irony of this particular situation is that this is a developing team that is assimilating a number of young players, but many of the most glaring mental mistakes have come out of the veteran nucleus of the club. Wigginton and Huff are just the most recent examples, but you can throw Brian Roberts and Melvin Mora into the mix, too. In a weird sort of way, the veteran blunders are a positive, because they indicate that the problem doesn’t stem from some flaw in the player-development pipeline.
“I think that’s progress on one level,” MacPhail said. “What I would say is, that’s one of the separators you have to determine. If it’s an organizational issue, it would manifest itself in the younger guys and not the guys who have been in the big leagues for eight years.”