- Jul 15, 2005
It wasn’t just that, it’s well documented in Gammo’s book. There was a personality/generational/cultural clash between the two of them. Lee thrived again under Dick Williams who mostly only cared that you adhered to his basic direction and if you could help him win. This points up how Zimmer’s basic problem in handling players was in playing favorites based entirely on personality, and not on performance. And there are multiple categories for evaluating managers; bullpen mgt, starting rotation mgt, game situations, handling players, lineup construction etc., and in every aspect Zimmer was a failure.I read in a few books how Yaz pleaded with Zimmer to put Lee back in the rotation. He still wouldn't. All because Lee said Zimmer looked like a gerbil.
But I’m not one who thinks he was stupid, and instead I think he constantly let issues of character or “intangibles” rule his thinking. He had a huge collection of ur-beliefs (like his love for old NL Vets, there was an amazing sequence of them, and I don’t think this was Heywood’s doing since it mostly stopped after Zimmer left) that wouldn’t yield to evidence, which is why he was so confounding. Really all of the old school mgrs were like this about any number of things, but with Zimmer it was like EVERY decision was made this way. I still can’t understand how he got another mgr gig, much less that he guided the ‘89 Cubs to a Div title. If he was just a stupid idiot I could forgive him, but for all the pigheaded magical thinking?…never.