Management is the act of getting people together to achieve desired goals and objectives. The key words in there are "achieve desired goals." Davey Johnson's sole purpose in this organization is to get wins.
There's providing stability and there is insanity. Running HRod out to the mound night after night as the closer and expecting something different than a wild pitch is the definition of insanity. Continuing to hit Zimmerman in the 3 hole when he is putrid is insanity. There's a certain point where you have to evaluate the results and act a accordingly. Davey waits way too long on the acting purpose. Simply put, this hesitancy to act is costing us games. Games we're going to wish we had in September when Strasburg gets shut down and the Mets/Marlins/Braves are breathing down our necks.
Players know when they're sucking. Being professional is being honest with them. Quick and clean. It's real nice that you don't want to hurt someone's feelings, but there are 24 other guys on the team that want a win. If you're not helping to achieve the desired goals, then a manager has to make a change in order achieve those desired goals.
This is just riddled with implicit assumptions that I think aren't true. Assumption #1 - a manager's goal is to go 162-0. I don't think that's the case. Baseball isn't football. You're not going to win every game. Managing like every last game is the most important game ever played burns people out over a 6-to-7 month season and leaves them nervous and on edge, questioning their talent and looking over their shoulder. You want to put people in the best possible position to achieve the goal of making the playoffs and maximizing their contribution to the team - if that's not working then you make a change - quick and clean.
Assumptions #2/#3 - HRod is a failure as a relief pitcher and simply can't be used and Zim is completely ineffective as a hitter. That's not what the historical past pattern says. Admittedly, they've been terrible lately - I think it's a mistake given Davey's public statements to think that he hasn't noticed. But for most of last year and much of this year HRod's been unhittable. Zim has five years of data saying he's a pretty good-to-great MLB hitter. This, I think is the key question - how much should one balance past performance over a longer-term vs. what-have-you-done-for-me-lately. As a fan, we all think nearest of near-term. Harper's a HOFer, no wait, he struck out five times, no, wait, he's TEH AWUSUM again. Managers who manage with the panic monkey style aren't good managers.
Assumption #4 - there are any number of equally good or better players ready to step in and pick things up. Look, I as much as anybody fall for the flavor of the month - Lombo, Moore, Corey Brown, Bernadina, etc. Some of those guys undoubtedly will develop into good MLB players - others will turn out to be better than the guys they're currently playing behind, but another side affect of panic monkey managing is that your solution can turn out to be worse than your original problem. HRod sucks - let's get Lidge. Wait, Lidge sucks - let's get Matheus. What if he sucks? Back to H-Rod we will go.
Assumption #5 - a move affecting one player has zero affect on any other player on the club. Every one of these guys (except mayber Harper and Stras) know that eventually, there's going to be a younger, faster, better player to replace them on the roster. Every one of them knows that when it comes to Lidge, there but for the grace of God go they. When you jerk people around, you can make people focus on that and not on doing their job. Suboptimal performance can result, which could costs you more games than the guy who was causing the problem in the first place.
nagging about the manager being slow to make a move is as traditional in baseball as hotdogs at a Sunday day game. I may not like it (and I constantly second-guess Davey), you may not like it, but I think part of this is sitting back and letting it happen. Not every loss matters - and before you say "What about the sox? What about the Braves?" tell me - exactly WHICH of the games they lost was the one that they should have won? And exactly WHICH of the games they won did they win on a bad break, a bad call that went their way, etc.?
The manager's got to take the long view to be successful. Like somebody said up above - if they actually DFA'd every player who has a "DFA This Guy" post about him on WNFF, they wouldn't be able to field a starting 9.
Side note on Lannan and Detwiler and Wang: I don't have much problem with the Wang-for-Detwiler switch in terms of professionalism. It's been clear since the spring that it was Wang's spot to lose and Det was keeping the seat warm. Det's the younger guy, Wang's the vet. I have a bit of a gripe with it because in this case I think Detwiler's track record + potential should outweigh Wang's. I have a bit more gripe with Lannan - and if you remember, so did the clubhouse - the guys didn't like the way that was handled. Nobody's perfect, but if they decided they wanted to make the move at least they did it quickly. And unlike Capt. Leatherpants, they didn't DFA somebody on sports-talk radio.