Sep 21, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Chicago White Sox right fielder Avisail Garcia (26) is congratulated by third base coach Joe McEwing (47) as he runs around the bases after he hit a solo home run during the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Monday, August 4th:
Alas, the incompetence extends beyond Robin Ventura. That’s why the title of this article reads “coaching staff” because it encompasses what is arguably the most ineffective helm in baseball.
With Ramirez on second base in a 5-4 ballgame that the White Sox were on the wrong end of, Adam LaRoche hit a broken bat single into center field.
With no outs in the bottom of the 9th, third base coach Joe McEwing elected to send Ramirez home, testing the arm of Tampa Bay Rays center fielder, and potential gold glover, Kevin Kiermaier. Needless to say, he was out by at least 10-feet despite an acrobatic slide.
McEwing certainly owned up to his ill-fated call after the game, which is honorable but it still doesn’t negate the fact that he botched a chance at first and third with no out in the bottom of the 9th. And for what, the chance that Kiermaier somehow airmails the throw home?
Considering the likelihood of the White Sox tying this game, it’s almost safe to credit McEwing with negative 1.0 WAR in this game. Sabermetric quants wouldn’t like it, but a replacement third base coach doesn’t send Ramirez and as a result Chicago probably comes away with the win.
Bringing in a 5.0 WAR superstar wouldn’t help this team, because the coaching staff would just push the club back to league average.
The point is that the risk/reward in this situation wasn’t close to favorable enough to warrant that send.
These are mere instances in which the coaching staff has contributed to losses, albeit these are the ones that stand out the most.
Vince Coleman, the base running instructor brought in to revolutionize Chicago’s running game, has failed to say the least. The White Sox rank 29th in stolen base percentage with a 57.97 mark, and have had plenty of gaffes on the bases per the common eye test. I’d like to think that the base running as a whole has been worth negative 1.5 wins.
Next: What to take from it all?