Roch Around the Clock


The Kickoff

May 16, 2007

Here's my long-distance take on how the players responded to questions about manager Sam Perlozzo in yesterday's Sun.

They didn't put his head on the chopping block, but they were kind enough to offer him a pillow.

I didn't hear anyone saying: "Get rid of this guy. He's killing us." But I'm also waiting for someone to step forward and say: "None of this is Sammy's fault. He's not the problem. It's us."

The answers - at least those given on the record - were so vanilla, they should have been sponsored by Baskin-Robbins. And that was done intentionally. Nobody wants to rip the manager in print. But they'll usually rush to his defense, and I didn't see that happening.

If you read between the lines, I sense that Perlozzo is losing support. Not all of it, necessarily, but some of it. And that's not unusual.

The grass is always greener. Guys loved Mike Hargrove, then complained about him relying too much on veterans. Guys were OK with Lee Mazzilli until his Yankees pinstripes started showing through his uniform and he seemed more interested in grabbing a smoke between innings than managing a game, at least in their eyes. They pushed for Perlozzo to get the job, then found fault with him, too. It's the nature of the business.

I've heard from more than one player that Perlozzo has changed since he went from coach to manager. Well, yeah, that happens.

Bottom line: These guys need to play hard and play smart. And Perlozzo has to put them in the best position to succeed and perhaps regain the trust of a few.

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