Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Frank: an outside view

You know, we have been bashing Frank a lot here and deservedly so, but I think I have implied in the past that the idea of firing Frank to old-time baseball thinkers who don't care about stats and odds and the like would be anathema. However, the truth of the matter is really that we here at Nats Blog and our loyal readers are a few of the very small number of people who actually follow the Nats game by game in-depth.

I tried to think of what I would think of Frank if I wasn't actually following the Nats, and the truth is that even as a stat head, unless I really looked into some of the numbers (the fact that we have the most sacrifice bunts in the league, etc.), I would probably think he was doing an amazing job.
The case for Frank from a cursory view:
1) The Vegas over/under on the Nats wins to start the season was 69.5. They are on pace for more like 84.
2) It is well-known how weak the Nats lineup and depth was and how strong the NL East is, yet they are at almost the 1/3 point and are 1.5 games out of first.
3) On most given days this season, the Nats have had more players on the DL than any other team in the majors
4) He was saddled with whatever players MLB gave him and can't really get much more out of current management.
5) We haven't heard of anyone disgruntled in the clubhouse.

To be where we are right now is a pretty amazing accomplishment, so while we can and should give Frank grief for his game-time decisions, he should also get some credit for molding this team into a contender for the division in June.


At 11:36 AM, Blogger Basil said...

Yeah, that's the rub, isn't it? If Frank's so old and goofy, why is the team exceeding expectations?

The retcon, I guess, is that the Expos should have been better than 67-95 last season; thus, this year's expectation was off-base.

Even so, I think you do a service by pointing this out. My faith in Robinson has certainly wavered, I'll concede.

At 11:45 AM, Blogger DM said...

Dexys, Excellent post and point. I agree that 95% of Nats observers will conclude that Frank has done an above-average job, and, bottom line, it's hard to argue the point without getting into the weeds.

And he has done some important things right: (1) bullpen use -- we do seem to have the right guy in at the right time, usually; (2) lineups -- apart from the Guzman fiasco of batting second, most nights I say to myself, "yep, that's about the best we can do tonight."


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