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When You’re Afraid of Tony Pena Jr., Baseball Manager May Not Be the Job for You

by November 30, 1999 @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Apr 26th 2008 2:40PM by Josh Alper
The Royals snapped a seven-game losing streak last night and they owe a big debt of gratitude to Toronto manager John Gibbons. The Blue Jay skipper made a bizarre decision in the eighth inning that helped spur a rally that turned a one-run game into an 8-4 loss.

With runners on second and third and one out, Tony Pena Jr. came to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning. Pena would be the league’s worst hitter if he qualified for the batting title. In fact, Pena’s so bad that Joe Posnanski calls him the worst everyday hitter he’s ever seen. That’s saying something when you’ve watched every Royal game for more than a decade.

Anyway, Pena steps in and I’ll let Posnanski take it from there.
And John Gibbons, after pitcher Scott Downs fell behind Pena 2-0 count, had him walked.

I’m just telling you … I’d have fired somebody. I’m just telling you that intentionally walking Tony Pena Jr. or any other light-hitting middle infielder hitting .150 would be a fireable offense on my team. I’d have that written on a clubhouse sign.
David DeJesus singled to plate two runs and break the game open one batter later but that’s besides the point. How do you pitch around the worst hitter in baseball to face anyone? Downs and DeJesus are both lefties and you set up the double play and so the hell what. These aren’t theoretical situations, they’re actual ones and Gibbons managed the game terribly.

(H/T )

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