In the wake of a devastating 14-6 loss to the New York Mets last night, a game in which catcher Gerald Laird was written into the 2-hole in the order, Tigers manager Jim Leyland is now contemplating further efforts to make a mockery of baseball.
Laird thwarted his manager’s attempts with an RBI single last night, finishing his day at 1-for-5 and raising his batting average to .181. Leyland, who has long been known for using Triple-A hitters in the three-spot, has apparently not been satisfied in destroying the sanctity of the lineup, and has aimed his assault on the second hitter.
As Jeremy Bonderman is scheduled to pitch this evening, and without the comforts of the designated hitter to stave him off, Leyland is considering using Bonderman (1-for-38 career) to bat second.
If he is successful, Leyland will finally be able to show the world that using a poor hitter at the top of the order if far more effective at destroying his team’s chances than batting the pitcher eighth, a move made popular by Leyland’s long-time friend, Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa. (a return to normalcy after the jump)
As you might have guessed, the above portion of this post was written entirely in jest. It is my hope that not even in the crazy, smoke-filled mind of Jim Leyland could the skipper dare to use a guy with an .038 career average in the two-hole.
I realize that there is a school of thought that says lineups are vastly overrated. I respectfully disagree. In my humble opinion, a good lineup would feature a high-OBP guy with speed at the top, followed by Placido Polanco (or a reasonable facsimile anyway), your best overall hitter batting third, a good power threat at four and five, then descend to the bottom with gradually less effective batters.
Over the course of a season, it can be assumed that the number two hitter will make roughly 75 more plate appearances than the number eight guy. In any given game, there is the likelihood that the top of your order will bat one more time that the bottom. Therefore, it is my contention that you would want a more effective hitter batting in the top of the order than the bottom.
Leyland apparently does not see things my way, as shown not only by his blatant use of Clete Thomas as a number three hitter last season, but then his use of Laird in the two-spot last night.
Obviously, Laird couldn’t handle the pressure, as while he did come through with one hit, he also allowed three stolen bases against him, two coming without so much as a throw. I’m blaming Leyland for that one; obviously Laird’s mind was so overwhelmed about his promotion in the batting order that he could not be expected to contribute anything defensively.
Please God, bring the DH to both leagues so Leyland is no longer tempted to destroy the game of baseball with his absurd lineups. At least just for the rest of this road trip?
Fortunately, Leyland kept things a bit more sane with tonight’s lineup.
- CF- Johnny Damon
- SS- Ramon Santiago
- RF- Magglio Ordonez
- 1B- Miguel Cabrera
- LF- Brennan Boesch
- 2B- Carlos Guillen
- 3B- Brandon Inge
- C- Alex Avila