Stan Kyles falls on the sword
by Nathan Petrashek
Well, not exactly. Kyles was euphemistically “dismissed” by Doug Melvin today after four years as bullpen coach, but he seemed pretty at peace with the decision:
“They had to do something. It had gotten to the point where those [relievers], it’s in their heads now that they’re really scuffling with confidence. I completely understood Doug and Gord bringing me in. I have a feeling that this is not what they wanted to do. But it’s something that they had to do, and I absolutely understand it.”
If you think Stan Kyles was responsible for the bullpen’s collective 4.80 ERA (3rd-worst in the majors), you should also give him credit for the bullpen’s shiny 3.32 ERA last year (6th best). So unless he has started telling guys to throw more like Tim Dillard, I find it really, really unlikely that Kyles had anything to do with the bullpen’s failures this year.
But hey, someone has to pay, right? And since you can’t fire the players, you fire the coach. Or so the thinking goes.
You, the fan, should be insulted.
Doug Melvin fired Stan Kyles because he thinks you’re an idiot. He thinks that canning Kyles will show you there is accountability. That the team is doing something to address a bullpen that can’t hold a lead to save its life. That he is a man of action, trying as hard as he can to right the ship.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Dumping Kyles isn’t going to stop John Axford from blowing saves any more than me refusing to drive three blocks to the grocery store is going to stop the polar ice caps from melting. It’s a minor, almost meaningless gesture.
If Melvin really wanted to address the bullpen situation, he would DFA Francisco Rodriguez. He would take advantage of Manny Parra’s pretty good year and flip him to a team in need of a lefty reliever (plenty) instead of trying to work him into a starter role where he has already failed miserably. He would trade or cut Jose Veras and his 1.7 WHIP (not to mention his 5.02 ERA and $2M salary). Pretty much the last person I would look at would be the bullpen coach.
Give me some real accountability. Not public relations.