Updated: 3 days ago
In the book "Two Minutes For Talking To Myself' I wrote about strange coaching decisions in hockey. But other sports too are often subject to head-scratching logic.
In late September the Toronto Argonauts came to Winnipeg in a marquee match-up. However, the game was of no consequence to the Argos who'd already sewn up the top spot in their division. So Toronto coach Ryan Dinwiddie decided to rest some of his better players including quarterback Chad Kelly. Okay, from a coaching standpoint that is understandable, even if we don't like it. What was not understandable was the coach's fourth-quarter decision to replace his second-string quarterback, Cameron Dukes with his third-string quarterback, Brian Scott. It came when the Argonauts were leading and appeared to be en route to victory. However, Scott went two and out in both his series, and the Bombers came back to win. Argo skipper Ryan Dinwiddie had sunk his own ship and risked losing more than just the game. The change ruined the coming-out party for Cameron Dukes who had been the star to that point. And another thing, how do you tell a lineman who has just spent the better part of sixty minutes in combat with Willie Jefferson that it was all for nothing? Ryan Dinwiddie sent the wrong message to his team.
And then there is another team from Toronto that was victimized by managerial absurdity; the Toronto Blue Jays. Yes, I'm talking about the third-inning pitching change in game two of their playoff series with Minnesota. Jose Berrios was on top of his game, but apparently, analytics rule the day in baseball, at least they do in Toronto, and Berrios was pulled. The result was predictable and deserved. Before that half-inning was over the Twins had a 2-0 lead en route to a 2-0 victory. I'm sure Blue Jay broadcaster Buck Martinez is still huffing about the decision and he should be. Really, if the most critical decision of the season comes down to analytics, why even have a manager? Just leave it to the robot. And if that wasn't bad enough, Blue Jay broadcaster Dan Shulman in attempting to deflect the blame away from manager John Schneider, just made it worse. He said repeatedly that Blue Jay's decisions are made by committee. If that's the case, then that's the problem. The committee can make recommendations, but any major decision is ENTIRELY the responsibility of the manager. That's what he's hired for. Having only one chief may be a bad thing in Russian politics, but in professional sports it's the only way.