I've managed at the Co-ed Rec league level, and sitting around on game night's drinking and talking with your best baseball friends about line-ups can be fascinating and fun. Understanding who is who on a team is one of the great challenges of managing. Sometimes moving one player up one spot in the lineup changes everything.
Sometimes it changes nothing.
But in baseball - as in life - there are so many variables you often don't know if what you did was the reason the team began to win; so you're usually left with little myths that become apparent are in function --- like grouping all the outfielders together in the order; never play her starting in that ball yard; always drinking at a different bar after each win ... stuff like that.
Usually what happens on winning teams is the team begins to believe in stuff that is absolute BS - but because the team believes these things... they become true. And you don't mess with them - and the team goes all the way to the finals (and loses; because they drank too much all year. :)
Today as I was filling in the lineup in the scorecard I imagined John Gibbons getting really drunk with his favourite baseball brain trust mind and coming up with today's outrageous lineup:
Toronto Blue Jays Lineup - Sunday, May 12, 2013
1. M Cabrera LF
2. J Bautista RF
3. E Encarnacion DH
4. J Arencibia C
5. A Lind 1B
6. B Lawrie 3B
7. C Rasmus CF
8. E Bonifacio 2B
9. M Kawasaki SS
Its a variation his lineups all year - but with one revolutionary difference - what he's done is moved all the lead off style players to the Bottom of the order - and moved the *almost* NL Batting Champion, and the AL *almost* Home Run Champions into the 1, 2, 3 spots.
If you look closely, it's my line up proposal from April 29th --- on it's head.
Optimal Blue Jays' Line-up
1. C Rasmus CF, or R Davis RF
2. E Bonifacio 2B, or R Davis RF, or M Izturis 2B, or M Kawasaki SS
3. M Cabrera LF
4. J Bautista RF
5. E Encarnacion DH
6. A Lind 1B
7. B Lawrie 3B, or Mark DeRosa 3B
8. J.P. Arencibia C, or Henry Blanco C
9. M Kawasaki SS
From my April 29th blog,
"What's wrong with the Blue Jays' Line-up?"
And as I wrote in an article a week later - on May 5th - in "Munenori Kawasaki, through the Looking Glass" (http://baseball---blog.blogspot.ca/2013/05/munenori-kawasaki-through-looking-glass.html):
"There is after all - once through the batting order (through the looking glass, if you wish) - no 1 or 9 hitter, but simply a cycle of hitters."
Well, this cycle of hitters lineup worked fantastically today.
(Or is it that the Boston's just beginning to stink up the joint?)
Whatever version of ethereal real is the truth - the Jays are now stuck with this lineup until another mythos begins to present itself.