Friday, June 22, 2007

A one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest?

Let's say you're a major league baseball manager. You have two players whose batting statistics compare like this for the current season:

Player A: 43/174 (.247 BA) in 52 games, 2 HR, .305 OBP; Player A thinks he is the second coming of Barry Bonds circa 1996 (when Bonds' head was actually smaller than a decent-sized watermelon) in left field; however, in reality, Player A lazily meanders toward most balls and plays a below-average left field -- and it doesn't take much to be an average left fielder.

Player B: 11/34 (.324 BA) in 12 games, 0 HR, .425 OBP; Player B is likely one of the top 5-10 fastest players in major league baseball at the moment.

Well, if your name is David "Buddy" Gus Bell, you start and play Player A in most of the last 5 of 6 games, and play Player B on a limited basis. For the two or three people who are reading this' enlightenment, Player A is Emil Brown, and Player B is Joey Gathright (a recent minor league call-up). And not only does DGB play Emil Brown consistently, he has batted him cleanup in 3 of the last 4 games (including tonight's game). Emil Brown sucks. Emil Brown will likely always suck. Joey Gathright has been getting on a lot recently (granted, more than in the past, but he is utilizing his speed by bunting somewhat frequently recently), and being one of the fastest guys in baseball, HE HAS A PRETTY GOOD CHANCE TO STEAL SECOND BASE MOST OF THE TIME. Emil Brown has 43 stolen bases in 558 career games before tonight. Joey Gathright stole 41 bases last season in 134 games.

I don't think it takes freaking Bill James to realize that a player whose OBP is currently 120 points higher than another player's and who is about 83 times (that's an unscientific guesstimate) more likely to steal second should be playing over the other guy for at least the time being.

And another Buddy Bell super managerial move tonight: it's the top of the 6th inning and the pitcher's spot is up. Jorge De La Rosa has given up 6 earned runs on 10 hits, and has thrown probably about 90+ pitches. De La Rosa is a career 0 for 13 hitter. Why the ____ doesn't Bell pinch-hit for him? It's pretty much etched in stone that De La Rosa won't make it through another inning. Here's an idea: send up the aforementioned Gathright to hit and try to get him on base with no outs and the top of the lineup coming up. Or just guarantee an out with De La Rosa hitting, and then pull him after facing 2 hitters and getting nobody out in the bottom of the 6th and make the choice to have him hit in the top of the sixth look even more sage.

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