Dear BOB by Bob Ryan

Dear BOB

I’ve written over 80 blogs now…my most read blog during that time has  over 10,000 readers to  it.  It was the “Dear Bob article of 2015”..if you haven’t read it or forgotton it…here’s the link  …at any rate…it’s time again for another episode of Dear BOB…..sit back on your couch…as I am…here we go…this session is FREE for you.

Dear BOB,

I manage a MLB team. I’ve done well…I’m the first manager to lead my team to post-season play in each of my first four years, I’ve won 100 games in a season and I’ve won a World Series. But…with all of that…it seems that the fans are “on” me more than ever this year as my team is struggling now.  Why is that?  Can’t they see that it isn’t me…that it’s the players?                               Mike

Dear Mike,

You have accomplished a great deal in your first 4 years. However…keep in mind some of these thoughts—fans can now see and follow almost every one of your games so they see each and every “move” that you and your team make and we know how easy it is to 2nd guess(after the play)—this leads us into another point….because fans see your team AND your team has been very good, many of the fans live vicariously  through your team…so who will admit that they “aren’t good”. Further, with lots of winning, the fans have come to expect lots of winning…it’s a vicious cycle for you. Finally…most fans don’t consider that YOU don’t bring in the players….your job is to manage the players that you have sent to you.  Keep your chin up & mask on!       BOB

 Dear BOB,

I’ve just taken over as a head coach of a D-1 football team.  I admired my predecessor but I don’t want to do everything that he did…especially in his later years.  How do I show respect to him and yet “do my own thing” ?                      Barry

 Dear Barry,

It’s real simple…win!   If you win…and win big….no one will make any comparisons. They’ll forget all about your predecessor.  If you lose, then sniping, tweets, crabbing, and yes… comparisons will occur about how your aren’t doing this or that  in the right way.    BOB

Dear BOB.

I’ve come on hard times. My employer has skipped town and not even offered me a job. I’m very young, came about in 2010, so I don’t have a great deal of experience….and my work habits are sketch….I’m accustom to only working on Sundays and the only work that I really do is lead cheers and walk around. What can I do?   RamPage

Dear RamPage,

You have a couple options…maybe offer your services in parades of the area, or attend meetings with Sr citizens where everyone talks of “the good ol” days, or go begging on the streets of downtown ST Louis especially during Cardinal games.               BOB

 Dear BOB,

I’ve just lost my job…oh, I’m still on the team but I’m in limbo. I’ve had control issues that have led to problems in closing out the games. At one time, I wanted to be a starter but that was long ago…3 years ago. Now..I want to be the closer…How do I get that job back?             Trevor

Dear Trevor,

You’re absolutely right…your problem is control and lack of variety.  No…not variety of pitches but variety in pitch locations. According to the pitching maps that I’ve seen, your fastball is clinging far too close to the middle of the plate. In past years, you had SOME pitches there but others were low-inside or high-outside strikes. Your changeup is landing out of the strike zone far too often. If batters don’t swing at the “ball”, you are behind in the count.  To me…you seem to be rushing your body….slow it down, have some confidence, you’ve been a leader in  the MLB saves category for a couple years now. You must convince yourself that you are still that man…no one else can really do it.                                         BOB

 Dear BOB,

I’ve been the Head Coach of NHL teams for a long time. Immediately following the playoffs, I announced that next year would be my final year. Then….my successor was hired. He’ll be my assistant for next year. How should I handle this so that it doesn’t become  a “power struggle”?   Hitch

Dear Hitch,

Announcing your “next year only” statement may have come too prematurely. After any  season, any coach-professional, college, high school, has a time of the “blues”. You’ve given your all but this and but that…. Generally in a brief amount of time…that phase subsides and you begin to look ahead. Your announcement seems to me to have come during that “blues” phase (pardon the pun).  I think that you’ll find next year very difficult.  Any time a person announces their retirement date, it becomes much, much more difficult to do the little things that you did for years without a 2nd thought.  Enjoy your time but don’t be surprised if by Feb 1 that you’re holding a press conference to announce your retirement.                BOB

Dear BOB,

I’m new to America.  I pitch.  From where I come, the pitcher is expected to get the batter out. If/when he doesn’t consistently do it, he’s replaced. It happens all the time. I see a big fuss here now as one of our bullpen men is losing his job because he’s giving up runs, why the fuss?          Sing When

Dear Sing When,

You are absolutely right…that’s the way it should be done. Here in America a person’s salary,  past performance, status, or even sentimentality sometimes clouds the vision of the situation. Eventually, it generally runs the course of the best pitchers getting the ball.  BOB

 Dear BOB,

I signed Albert Pujols in 2012. When I acquired him I was ridiculed especially by the StL press for overpaying him. Well consider the following….Since that time, my club has been 2nd-two times, 3rd & 4th in AL attendance. Currently we are 1st in the AL in attendance. Albert has slugged 129 HR and has an OPS of .795 during his time as an Angel. Sure, he isn’t the Albert of 25 years of age but he still can hit and draw fans.  Salary…no worries…we’ve got a real TV deal out here…how do I get the “best fans in baseball” to understand that LAA did ok in the deal and that it wasn’t personal?                                                                                              Arturo  

 Dear Arturo,

The St Louis fans were a) disgusted by the negotiations b) disappointed when they realized that he was actually leaving   c) angry by comments made by Albert and his wife.  You could have signed him for $1 and the community would have still turned their back on you.  Don’t concern yourself about it any longer.  Time heals most things. The Lou no longer considers you an outlaw for stealing Albert. Actually…I’m thinking that in 5 years…or less…Albert will sign a 1 day contract to retire as a Cardinal. You will have benefited your team with the shrewd signing that engaged the Latino community in your team in Anaheim.      BOB

Dear BOB,

I love watching MLB baseball….but It’s driving me crazy…the games are too long…for example, last night Kevin Sigriest “threw out” more baseballs than he got outs (threw out 4 baseball in an inning) or the replay system which allows these managers to have another guy watching the replay and THEN appeal or the players continually tightening their batting gloves…come on BOB what can I do about it.      Joe Baseball Fan

 Dear Joe,

The length of the games is a concern. MLB has indicated that they want the games shortened. So last year when the games went from 3:06 to 3:03 they were smiling…come on…last night a 0-0 game was dragging…replays, stepping in/out of batters box, multiple changes, umpire discussions, appeals and most of all—2.5 min between each half inning. You can’t really shorten games unless you shorten the time between innings…fat chance of that happening.. so Joe sit back and enjoy or…shut it off.              BOB

Dear BOB,

I’m getting tired of reading. Could we move on?  John

Dear John,

Goodbye John!                      BOB

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