Remember Gene Mauch? The master of small ball. He would’ve loved the Wild Card game tonight between KC and Oakland. The A’s led 7-3 but seven different Royals stole seven bases and used four sac bunts to tie it at 7-7.
I’m writing a book about Gene Mauch called “The Little General.” I got to know him when I worked briefly in Palm Springs and he was retired. He was a fascinating man.
Mauch knew that statistics show that the team that scores first wins more than fifty percent of the time. He figured if his team could take the lead, his opponent would have to come from behind to win, so he’d give the bunt sign in the first inning.
Royals manager Ned Yost is a Mauch kind of guy. His team doesn’t have power but they do have speed and some players who can bunt and play hit-and-run.
Orioles’ manager Earl Weaver, whom I worked with, thought this was hogwash. He didn’t believe a team should waste any of the 27 outs they have in a nine inning game. His philosophy was “pitching, defense and three run homers.”
Bob Melvin, the A’s manager played for the Orioles and is more of an Earl Weaver type. His team has more power even though they made a mistake trading Cespedes.
- Bob Melvin
- As I write this, bleary-eyed in the 12th, the A’s lead 8-7. Now it’s 8-8 in the bottom of the twelfth.
- SMALL BALL RULES! KANSAS CITY WINS 9-8 on Salvador Perez’s winning hit.