The Seattle Mariners optioned once-promising second baseman Dustin Ackley to Triple A yesterday because Ackley has been having a miserable season at the plate. But what's to blame for Ackley's .205 average and .266 on-base percentage? Mariners coach Eric Wedge has a theory, and it has to do with all those damn nerds!
Buried at the bottom of an MLB.com story about Ackley getting sent down is this anecdote:
Wedge was talking about Ackley's demotion to Triple-A and his mental approach, and he intimated that Ackley might have been too concerned with pitch selectivity and high on-base percentage, leading to a one-liner that hit on one of baseball's most intriguing ongoing philosophical battles.
"It's the new generation. It's all this sabermetrics stuff, for lack of a better term, you know what I mean?" Wedge said. "People who haven't played since they were 9 years old think they have it figured out. It gets in these kids' heads."
Wedge's sentiment is dumb for a lot of reasons, but none more so than the fact that Wedge is more or less admitting to being a terrible manager. If Dustin Ackley can be completely derailed by some shit he might have read on FanGraphs, doesn't that reflect poorly on Wedge? Isn't it a manager's job to keep his promising young players from becoming head cases by motivating them and keeping them focused on the right things? That's something Wedge should think about the next time he wants to go scapegoating sabermetricians for the failures of one of his players.