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The Doumit dilemma
August 30, 2009 - John Mehno
I'm not a big fan of John Russell's managing, but I give him credit for yanking Ryan Doumit from Friday's game at Milwaukee and sitting him out on Saturday.
The Pirates won't say what the issue was, but it was a lack of hustle on Doumit's part on two plays, one on offense, the other on defense.
Neither was that big a deal, but combined with his behavior over the last month or so, it was the proverbial "last straw." As I noted in my Sunday column, Doumit has been moping around since the July trade frenzy that sent away most of the Pirates' experienced players. No doubt it was a jolt. No doubt management understood that, and was willing to give Doumit some time to sort things out and come to grips wih the new landscape.
But that's something that should have been settled in a matter of a few days. There's no reason for it to linger for a month. Doumit's been in a grumpy mood, usually sitting alone in the clubhouse, often shooing away people who want to interview him. He doesn't interact much with teammates. His play has been terrible.
If Friday's blow-up causes him to get his attitude in gear, it's a good thing. Russell made the right call to get the issue settled.