July 01, 2004

Opinion: Don't blame Bowa when Phils fall short

The Scott Rolen situation opened some eyes to the fact that Larry Bowa's bulldog personality alienates some players. Based on how Rolen has performed since the trade, it's fair to say his game suffered mightily under Bowa.

Whether or not his personality influences his ability to motivate his club properly; only the players can tell. A Sports Illustrated poll before the 2004 season seemed to verify this belief; It showed that Bowa was the manager major league players would least want to play for ... by a significant margin.

But fans have no basis for blaming Bowa when this group, time and again, can't get runners home, blows leads in close games, and can't put inferior opponents away.

After last night's late-inning loss, the majority of callers who phoned WIP blamed Bowa and an overall lack of leadership for the loss, not Tim Worrell, who simply had a bad night.

When players step on the field, they need to perform, whether or not the manager is a complete loonball.


At 1:13 PM, Blogger Malone said...

There exists statistical evidence that Scott Roland has elevated his performance since being traded to the Cardinals. However, baseball is an individually motivated sport (90% of the game rests on a solo performance), and a player who was an All-Star prior to being traded should not require the motivation of his manager to perform at an elite level. With that said, there does seem to be a plethora of players who have prospered once leaving Philadelphia. For example, if the All-Star game would have been on held May 15, Carlos Silva would have been the AL starter. No matter the opinion of the pro-Houston fan balloting, Johnny Estrada is the best catcher in the NL. Even Joe Roa, after posting numbers worthy of the AAA Hall of Fame in Scranton, is having a respectable season in Minnesota. The point of all this, a manager's motivational skills should not factor into a player's performance. With that said, somehow it does.

At 1:26 PM, Blogger webweaver said...

Yes, a manager is dependent on the players' performance. But, when a team is as inconsistent as the Phillies, in my opinion, the blame falls on the manager. Do the players really dislike Bowa that much? In today's world of the pampered athlete, I'm not sure a manager like Billy Martin can be successful anymore. The players may not have to like a manager, but if they really despise him, he'll only perform his best when he feels like it. Thus, an inconsistent performance.


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