Monday, April 12, 2004

Bat Barry Second

I know this is going to be an extremely controversial post, but I just can't seem to shy away from volatile topics.

The issue is the Giants batting order, specifically Barry Bonds. Bonds is obviously the most dangerous hitter in the game these days. Bonds is batting cleanup. I think this is a mistake. I'd bat him second, behind Ray Durham. Here's why.

Basically, if I was the Felipe Alou [sidenote: when I was in high school I forgot Felipe Alou's name in response to a question at the national quiz bowl championship (I remembered Matty and Jesus, but forgot Felipe)] I'd want to get Bonds as many at bats as possible. The leadoff guy is going to be the last out of a game, oh, about 1/9 of the time. Same with everyone else. By moving Bonds up two spots in the order, he'd get an extra at bat in about 2/9 of the games, in the ninth inning. So in maybe 1/4 of the Giants games, Bonds is going to get an extra at bat if he bats second. And one additional at bat for him, especially coming in the ninth inning, would be huge.
Additionally, Ray Durham would hit about .340 in the leadoff spot--I mean the guy would see nothing but fastballs every first inning. The Giants would have a great chance at scoring in the first inning every game.
This wouldn't work for every team, but here it works because (a) Bonds is so dangerous and (b) the rest of the lineup stinks. When there's one guy who's so much better than everyone else, I think you need him standing at the plate as frequently as possible!

I've been saying this for years but the Giants *still* haven't done anything. Peter Magowan, are you listening?

No comments: