Richard Justice is up to business again. That business, of course, being nonsense. It's not that I disagree with the basic premise of this blog post, it's one of the suggestions buried inside that really bugs me. The premise of the post is that he isn't a racist because he wants Cecil Cooper fired, but that the guy suggesting this premise is racist because he thinks Cooper's done a good job. Or some such nonsense because Justice goes off on so many damn tangents in the thing that it's hard to get to fully understand anything except that Justice isn't a racist.
By the way, his colleague Jesus Ortiz handled this topic several months ago, and he did a far better job of it. But that's not what really pisses me off -- I agree that Cooper's an awful manager and that wanting him fired doesn't mean that you're a racist. What pisses me off is that Justice tosses out the name Dave Clark as the guy to replace Cooper. And it pisses me off because Clark absolutely sucks as a third base coach. And it pisses me off even more that Clark has absolutely no major league managing experience which means that Drayton will probably get him cheap. As I've said before, I'm tired of Drayton hiring either retreads who have failed at multiple stops before arriving in Houston, or first timers with no major league managing experience but will work cheap.
The roster is going to be bad next season. Thus it's not the time to let some beginner start learning how to manage. There are lots of former managers out there -- Frank Robinson is a great example -- who constantly get hired to manager awful teams and who in turn make those awful teams competitive. It could be that Robinson is sick of managing these type of teams, but if Drayton's going to call anybody this winter, Robinson should be the first guy called -- just look at the job he did with the Expos/Nationals. And if he can't command the respect of losers like Carlos Lee, then nobody can. Sure Drayton might have to pay a little money, but it's time this team had a legit, first-rate manager.
(If you read the comments, you'll note that Justice even agrees that Clark sucks as a third base coach, but he states that just because he's bad at one thing doesn't mean that he'll be bad as a manager. Well, in this case, yeah, it kind of does, because this looks at his strategic thinking, and if you look at how he mishandles the runners, then you've got to think his strategic thinking really sucks. And look at Cooper. What was he before becoming manager? He was Phil Garner's bench coach, and we all know how many strategic goof ups Garner made.)
(And another thing, also in the comments, Justice dismisses Larry Dierker's work as a manager because Dierker was given a team of veterans who could lead themselves and was just ready to win, and that if he had to manager this current team, it would be closing in on 100 losses. Which shows that, once again, Justice is full of crap. Dierker took over a team that kept getting hijacked by Craig Biggio's issues and got it over the top and into the playoffs. It was Dierker who turned Daryl Kile, Mike Hampton, and Shane Reynolds from gifted, but erratic starters into solid aces. Dierker knew how to handle a pitching staff, and it's doubtful that he would have ruined the careers of so many of the pitchers who have come through the Astros system the past several years. And I need to point out that the same thing could be argued about Phil Garner who took over a veteran team with the same Craig Biggio is an asshole problem, but Justice seems to hold a Garner in more esteem for some reason.)
So Justice gets it right in arguing that he's not a racist because he wants Cecil Cooper to get fired. But he's wrong, dead wrong about Dave Clark. Come on Drayton, if you're going to fork out money for dead weight, literally, like Carlos Lee, then fork out some cash for a real manager who is used to dealing with these situations while keeping the team competitive. They're out there. You just have to look.
P.S.: One further thing, Justice and the several of the commenters go off on a tangent about the Stars-and-Bars version of the Confederate flag. Justice calls it the perfect symbol of racism. The defenders go off on the heritage of the South.
Here's the thing. I'm a native of Texas and the South. And I know just as well as those using the "heritage" argument that that argument went out the window when racists organizations started using it as a symbol when they were terrorizing African-Americans. And if a group of people see that flag as a terrorizing symbol of racism, then why keep using it? There were other Confederate flags that don't have the same symbolic message attached, so why not go with those?
Here's another way to look at it. The Swastika has a long, long history dating back to the ancient Egyptians, and it was not evil. The Germans adopted it as a means of uniting their country, and Hitler adopted it for the flag. Now the Swastika began to symbolize pure evil, like trying to exterminate the Jews of Europe. No right thinking person would think of putting a Swastika on a flag or a football helmet or a car hood, despite its long heritage, because they know that to a race of people, it now symbolizes pure evil. So why are the Stars-and-Bars different?