The lawyers among us should be familiar with the concept of the mock trial. Consider this the case against Ozzie Guillen.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, "Fire the manager!" is the typical meatball response to a slow start. I've been a fairly staunch Ozzie supporter. I think, by and large, he's done the best with the players he's been given. But 2010's troubles belong to the manager.
Ozzie should have had more than 83 wins in 2004. It wasn't his fault Magglio destroyed his knee. The pitching staff regressed in 2006. Freddy Garcia pitched with a shredded shoulder. 2007 belonged to Kenny, when his plan to stock the bullpen with young fireballers fell apart. The 2009 Sox Dyed with Jermaine.
2010 is the result of bad managing. He has not assembled a lineup that takes advantage of the players who are hitting.
Take Juan Pierre (please!). He's having a very hard time with the game of baseball. Yet he is still in the lineup, leading off. Gordon Beckham has been given time off to get right. Carlos Quentin has been given time off to get right. Ditto AJ. Mark Kotsay played himself out of an everyday role. But there's Juan Pierre, grounding out to second base.
Even if Pierre is taken out of the lineup, or bats lower, we'll probably see more of Omar Vizquel.
One of the things Ozzie supposedly brings to the table is a loose clubhouse. He likes to have fun, and that attitude supposedly extends to the players. Yet every year, the players are pressing, or "trying to do too much." Doesn't make sense.
After three dramatic wins over the weekend, the Sox should have walked into Texas with a little bit of swagger. They can get the big hits. Instead, we had Paul Konerko say home runs were a bad thing. Did he come to that conclusion on his own? Or did that come from the manager?
Another count in the indictment? The end of last night's game. Juan Pierre's troubles have been well documented. Andruw Jones should have pinch hit for Pierre, and Beckham should have pinch hit for Vizquel if the inning continued.
Gene Lamont was fired after an 11-20 start in 1995. Terry Bevington was fired after an expensive, and disappointing 1997. Manuel lost his job after the flame-out in 2003. I think it's time to start looking toward the future.
Feel free to add more examples.
But there are some ground rules: "He's a jagbag" is not a valid reason.