Kevin: I'm very irritated that Ross Gload got the start at First Base tonight. For a team trying to develop young players, why is it that Shealy would already be benched the second game of the season in favor of a "grizzled" veteran? I know that's been the concern that I've seen on other blogs, and the concern came to fruition the second game!
Muneer: Let me begin with an analogy: If you have an alcoholic and you place twenty bottles of vodka in a room and leave him in there, the man will drink. It doesn't matter if it's been 20 years since his last drink. That much temptation at the same time is simply irresistible.
That's how Buddy Bell is with vets. Any rational manager would use Gload to spell Shealy and as an occasional DH. Bell loves those vets like a fat kid loves cake. That's why Emil Brown and Sanders will be playing a lot until they get shipped off. That's why Odalis Perez will trot out there 30 times a year even if he's threatening to repeat Jose Lima's 2005 stat line. Bell was the main reason the Rockies and Tigers stank when he was at the helm. He stayed with washed up players for far too long and didn't allow the youngsters to develop. I daresay that he might be one of the main reasons Colorado has been down for so long. By not allowing homegrown Rockies pitchers time to settle in to MLB, he ensured Colorado's pitching staff would be the worst in the NL until Jason Jennings and Jeff Francis showed up.
I have no idea why Dayton didn't bring in his own guy in the offseason. The only reasonable explanation is that he's waiting for his agreement not to poach Braves' personnel to expire, after which date we'll get a manager with an Atlanta pedigree. Even so, I think Dayton could have promoted someone from within the organization to act as a caretaker while the agreement with Braves keeps tolling.
Instead, we have Ross Gload starting the second game of the season.