Alright, before I begin here, I just want to make it clear that I really don't intend this post to be an anti-Jim Tracy screed, even though there may be portions in which I criticize his decisions. I also don't intend to make this post another chapter in the great vendetta that many Rockies fans seem to have against Chris Iannetta, even though I'm going to supply that camp with some pretty powerful ammo right from the start.
As the title indicates, I'm making a comparison of players that Tracy has managed in each of his managerial stints, relatively young but bad bodied sluggers that before Tracy arrived were considered promising parts of their respective teams' immediate futures, and players who Tracy buried in favor of the dead weight sparkplugs that are often found on teams, both competitive and not. That may have been overly critical of the manager, because in the cases of Hee-Seop Choi and Craig Wilson, given their performances after Jim Tracy managed them, he was right. Wilson, who hit 29 HR's in 2004, was traded to the Yankees for Shawn Chacon in 2006 and never again whiffed anything close to his prior success. Choi, after Tracy, was released by the Dodgers and out of baseball within two seasons.
That said, and Iannetta can take some heart in this, Tracy's been flat out wrong about some of these players in the past as well. Tracy helped sign his own death warrant in Pittsburgh by leaving players like Nate McLouth, Ryan Doumit and Freddy Sanchez to rot on the bench too long. Doumit and McLouth in particular fit the mold of anti-Tracy players, but both went on to success after the manager and the club went their separate ways.
We can also make note that Tracy has used a AAA banishment in the past with a player and become fiercely loyal to that player upon his successful return, as this happened with Chris Duffy in Pittsburgh. That this loyalty to Duffy blocked McLouth and Nyjer Morgan from getting the playing time they likely deserved for the 2007 Pirates leaves this particular anecdote in a gray area where it can be used both as a credit and critique of the manager. It's a situation that's somewhat akin to the one that's playing out with Clint Barmes right now. Tracy's loyal to a player for reasons (good defense) that may no longer be valid. Barmes' defense so far in 2010 simply hasn't been close to valuable enough to make up for the offensive gap between him and Eric Young Jr. this season.
Troy Renck gives his thoughts on Iannetta and other baseball topics in this column and mentioned the Barmes situation in this blogpost here. Other links to be added after the jump.
Did you know that Roy Halladay had zero MLB wins before he got his first one? It's amazing, but the same goes for Ubaldo Jimenez, Tim Lincecum, and Chris Carpenter. None of these players had any major league victories before they had their first major league victories. So you might be able to tell that I have issues with one of the numbers in Renck's May review column. I probably have issues with more than one, but that one seemed particularly meriting of my snark this morning. I have no idea if Jhoulys Chacin or Esmil Rogers will turn out to be good for the Rockies or not, but I'd much rather have them throwing for our team right now than some of the rejects we're seeing in the Dodgers and Diamondbacks rotations in the early going.
Rogers wasn't good yesterday, but he wasn't terrible. He had about as many mistakes as Aaron Cook did the night before, frankly, but check out the difference in tone by the reporters when dealing with Cook and Rogers. Rookies get hazed as much by the media as they do by their teammates. In reality, it should be the opposite. We should expect more of Cook, we should exercise a little patience with Rogers and Chacin. Welcome to the bigs, kids.