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Player(s) faulting McKeon for streak


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Feeling frustrated

Some players voice discord over McKeon.

By Joe Capozzi

 

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

 

Friday, June 10, 2005

 

MIAMI GARDENS ? All of the Marlins agree that the team is underachieving because top players are not performing to their potential. But some players also fault manager Jack McKeon, saying that he sets a negative tone.

 

"There's obviously something wrong," said a player, one of five who spoke on condition of anonymity. "We don't have the same chemistry we had two years ago.''

 

It was May 2003 when McKeon was named to replace Jeff Torborg, who was fired. McKeon, who was known for his fiery temperament, led the struggling team to a World Series championship.

 

But now, some players find his style abrasive and are weary of his profanity-laced critiques. Some also object to his shuffling of the lineup.

 

McKeon contends that he hasn't changed since taking over the club. The difference now, he said, is the recent lack of success.

 

"When things go tough, everybody has different theories," he said before Thursday's game.

 

He added that he hasn't heard of any disharmony.

 

"None of the players have complained," he said. "If you don't like something, come in and talk to me. My door's always open.''

 

Not everyone in the clubhouse is upset with McKeon's style. They point out that the Marlins went through a recent 2-11 skid in part because players who excelled in 2003 are playing poorly. Juan Pierre entered Thursday's game batting .256, more than 50 points below his career average. Mike Lowell has just two home runs. Through Wednesday, the team was second in the National League in batting average but 12th in runs scored.

 

"How do you blame the manager?'' pitcher Josh Beckett said. "We're the problem. We're the players. We've just been struggling.

 

"It's one of the those deals every team goes through. We went through it in 2003, too, remember? We got a new manager because of it."

 

Because the Marlins have a winning record, Beckett and other players don't think McKeon will lose his job. But some players believe that McKeon's approach has intimidated their teammates and coaches.

 

Last Friday at Washington, for example, Juan Encarnacion was easily thrown out at home after being waved in by third base coach Jeff Cox. Over the next two games, Cox held up at least two other runners on plays where they might have scored.

 

"I think that's a direct result of Coxy being afraid to come back to the dugout and hearing, 'What . . . are we doing?' " another veteran said. "(McKeon) is putting a lot of pressure on the staff, and he is very negative."

 

McKeon hasn't had the Midas touch he possessed in 2003, when unorthodox moves turned to gold. He once used light-hitting utility man Mike Mordecai as a pinch-runner for Mike Lowell and then let Mordecai hit. Mordecai responded with a home run.

 

On Sunday, McKeon brought in Damion Easley to pinch-run for Lowell. Easley scored in the eighth inning and then stayed in the game at third base, his weakest infield position. Easley made a costly error on a hard grounder before Washington's Ryan Church hit a game-winning homer.

 

In Pittsburgh on May 30, left-hander Matt Perisho was brought in to face Daryle Ward, a left-handed hitter, and walked him on four pitches. The next night, Ward came up and McKeon brought in right-hander Nate Bump, who gave up a home run. After that game, McKeon said he went against the percentages with Bump because "I wanted somebody to throw strikes.''

 

On Saturday, McKeon chewed out reliever Guillermo Mota on the mound in front of more than 30,000 at RFK Stadium. After the 7-3 loss, the manager continued to lay into his pitcher in front of the team during a closed-door meeting.

 

"I don't like meetings, but sometimes I have to put the facts of life out in front of them,'' McKeon said Thursday.

 

By Sunday, the atmosphere was so tense that Carlos Delgado and Paul Lo Duca called a players-only meeting. Delgado and Lo Duca urged teammates to "play for each other" and ignore outside pressure.

 

During the 6-3 loss Sunday in Washington, some players noticed that they were congregated at one end of the bench while McKeon and coaches watched from the other end.

 

"It was an us-versus-them feeling," a player said.

 

On Tuesday, McKeon called Perisho into his office to tell the relief pitcher that he would be traded, released or demoted.

 

"I walk in and he goes, 'Sit down, Mike,' " Perisho recalled.

 

McKeon is known for forgetting players' names ? as part of a running joke, McKeon and Jeff Conine intentionally greet each other with different names ? but Perisho was insulted.

 

"I pitched in 90 games for him," Perisho said, "and you can't even look me in the eyes and call me by my name?''

 

Pinch-hitter Lenny Harris, who played for McKeon in Cincinnati, acknowledged the uneasiness in the clubhouse but said McKeon's style was not the reason.

 

"He expects you to play hard and give it all you got,'' Harris said. "And the lack of effort, he can tell. He can look you in the eye and yell.

 

"Maybe some people are not used to that screaming. Well, he holds a lot back. He's just being old Jack. If you can't get used to Jack by now, you shouldn't even walk through this locker room. Some people don't feel that's necessary, but that's the way it is.

 

"Look at Bill Parcells. He screamed at his players. All the great coaches did."

 

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/sports/conten...SLUMP_0610.html

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Lenny Harris knows what he's talking about.

 

"He expects you to play hard and give it all you got,'' Harris said. "And the lack of effort, he can tell. He can look you in the eye and yell."

 

I bet a lot of these guys are probably feeling guilty cause they suck or aren't giving it their all. It's convenient to blame it all on the guy who's yelling at you because you're not doing your job.

 

There's a cause and effect here.

 

And it's either 1) the players are underperforming because McKeon is yelling at them, or 2) McKeon is yelling at them because the players are underperforming.

 

Those players who are bitching and complaining believe it's #1...but really which sounds more reasonable?

 

If the Marlins are looking to make some moves to shake things up, I'd try to figure who out those 5 players are (and I'm sure the front office has a pretty good idea who they are), and use them for trade bait. Cause this is freaking ridiculous.

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Guest Jack1

Lenny Harris knows what he's talking about.

 

"He expects you to play hard and give it all you got,'' Harris said. "And the lack of effort, he can tell. He can look you in the eye and yell."

 

I bet a lot of these guys are probably feeling guilty cause they suck or aren't giving it their all. It's convenient to blame it all on the guy who's yelling at you because you're not doing your job.

 

There's a cause and effect here.

 

And it's either 1) the players are underperforming because McKeon is yelling at them, or 2) McKeon is yelling at them because the players are underperforming.

 

Those players who are bitching and complaining believe it's #1...but really which sounds more reasonable?

 

If the Marlins are looking to make some moves to shake things up, I'd try to figure who out those 5 players are (and I'm sure the front office has a pretty good idea who they are), and use them for trade bait. Cause this is freaking ridiculous.

803440[/snapback]

Hey! I figured out a long time ago that Lenny Harris is your team suck up. He's just happy they kept him this year.

I got a kick out of this article because I heard that when Bump was told, they wouldn't look at him either. No matter what you think of Bump or Perisho, it is obvious that they were used as scapegoats. What a joke this team has become!!

No matter what anybody in this forum says...it all begins at the top with Loria, Beinfest and then McKeon. This is McKeon's MO. That's pretty much why he was fired in Cincinnati from what I understand. I hope it can be turned around but I'm not holding my breath. It's hard to get rid of that negative energy once it's been turned on.

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wow. just wow. i can't believe this ariticle. players actully said McKeon's yelling is getting to them? Have they watched any tape of their past few games? It's not even good enough to be Minor League Baseball needless to say Majors quality. I am sure McKeon is not getting on Pierre or Lowell knowing that Pierre is a workaholic and Lowell is slowly geting out of his slump. I can see McKeon getting on the bullpen and Lieter for just pitching complete crap. I can see Mota being upset that he lost his closer roll (which he wasn't even that good at in the 2 opp. he got) and taking it out on McKeon. And I'm sorry Perisho, but the way you've been pitching doesn't grant you the right of someone remembering your name. I'm suprised McKeon got the first letter right though.

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This is a very serious problem that needs to be fixed very soon.

 

Among those anonymous players Mota is for sure one of them. One of them is probably Lowell, but I'd be disgusted if a veteran like him would come out saying things.

803497[/snapback]

 

I doubt Lowell is in the middle of this.

 

One thing I have noticed, Jack public tamtrums are always out on "no elite" players. I seen him do it to on Mota, Bump, etc. Never seen him do it on Leiter, Lowell, etc.

 

People like to be treated at the same level, regardless of status.

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I think it can be fixed by:

 

1) Firing Bill Robinson

2) Bringing Up Willingham

 

But the only thing that will really work will be winning.

803505[/snapback]

 

Assuming for a moment your analysis is valid, I opined in the minor league forum that the question is where to play Willingham if you bring him up?

 

He's getting no time in the outfield in Albuquerque, either catching or DHing, so he isn't about to be sent out to right field if and when he arrives. If the Marlins intended to use him in any position other than catcher one would assume he'd be getting playing time there by now, but that hasn't been the case. That leads me to believe he a) isn't going to be joining the Fish anytime soon, or he's our prime piece of trade bait as the trading season begins.

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Guest Moneyball

This is not encouraging news.

 

:confused

 

On Tuesday, McKeon called Perisho into his office to tell the relief pitcher that he would be traded, released or demoted.

 

"I walk in and he goes, 'Sit down, Mike,' " Perisho recalled.

 

McKeon is known for forgetting players' names ? as part of a running joke, McKeon and Jeff Conine intentionally greet each other with different names ? but Perisho was insulted.

 

Perisho needs to grow some balls.

 

He needs to be traded for sack of baseballs, so he can really be insulted.

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I think it can be fixed by:

 

1) Firing Bill Robinson

2) Bringing Up Willingham

 

But the only thing that will really work will be winning.

803505[/snapback]

 

Assuming for a moment your analysis is valid, I opined in the minor league forum that the question is where to play Willingham if you bring him up?

 

He's getting no time in the outfield in Albuquerque, either catching or DHing, so he isn't about to be sent out to right field if and when he arrives. If the Marlins intended to use him in any position other than catcher one would assume he'd be getting playing time there by now, but that hasn't been the case. That leads me to believe he a) isn't going to be joining the Fish anytime soon, or he's our prime piece of trade bait as the trading season begins.

803509[/snapback]

Had Cabrera been playing left field before they brought him up?

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im telling you mckeon is the reason we are in this slump.but none of you seem to agree with my and thats ok because ull see when we finish in last place.

803528[/snapback]

 

 

When you lose 12 out of 15 there is alot more then one thing wrong with your team. And if McKeon goes who do we replace him with, Bowa, Valentine, Pena? How bout we start a petition to get Ozzie Guillen back down here.

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I think it can be fixed by:

 

1) Firing Bill Robinson

2) Bringing Up Willingham

 

But the only thing that will really work will be winning.

803505[/snapback]

 

Assuming for a moment your analysis is valid, I opined in the minor league forum that the question is where to play Willingham if you bring him up?

 

He's getting no time in the outfield in Albuquerque, either catching or DHing, so he isn't about to be sent out to right field if and when he arrives. If the Marlins intended to use him in any position other than catcher one would assume he'd be getting playing time there by now, but that hasn't been the case. That leads me to believe he a) isn't going to be joining the Fish anytime soon, or he's our prime piece of trade bait as the trading season begins.

803509[/snapback]

Had Cabrera been playing left field before they brought him up?

803522[/snapback]

 

 

he started playing LF for a couple of games before being sent down here

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i love jack but with the way the team is playing and now with some of the players turning against him i think the best move is going to be having to replace him. with who, i don't really know, maybe someone like bowa who could come in here and shake things up cause we know he's the kind of manager that won't take sh*t from his players. also jack everywhere he has been goes down hill in year 3. jack i love ya man but it's time to move on

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Guest Moneyball

i love jack but with the way the team is playing and now with some of the players turning against him i think the best move is going to be having to replace him. with who, i don't really know, maybe someone like bowa who could come in here and shake things up cause we know he's the kind of manager that won't take sh*t from his players. also jack everywhere he has been goes down hill in year 3. jack i love ya man but it's time to move on

803535[/snapback]

 

 

Bowa is even worse when it comes to screaming at players and chewing them out.

 

Seeing as how we have a bunch of walking pussies on the team I don't think that would be a good idea.

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