Hello again everyone from beautiful frosty Michigan. 60 degrees at 1 PM, 45 at 4 PM. Go figure!
Switching to baseball, for those of you who have had no Internet connection over the past week or so, the hottest topic of discussion has to be over the Braves batting order. The noise has gotten so loud as to be actually be heard in the Braves dugout. Yep, Fredi has actually responded in the press to criticism of his batting order, a topic I’ve labeled “Fredi vs. Jason: No Scream(ing).”.
So what’s all the fuss about? In a nutshell, the SABR crowd thinks that Fredi is nuts for batting Jason sixth and McLouth second. Fredi thinks they should all keep their day jobs, as he might know a little more about it than they do.
I won’t go into all the details of the argument (Google is your friend if you want/need the play-by-play), but in a nutshell the SABR oriented folks think you should bat your better hitters higher in the order, and that Jason is a better hitter than Nate (and they haven’t had a lot of argument about the second part). The SABR crowd points out that batting Jason second would get him 60 to 80 more AB’s over the course of the season, and that has to be a good thing. Fredi counters that he likes the overall skill-set that Nate has and that this fits the number two hole very well (speed, bunting ability, etc.).
The discussion gets interesting from that point. Fredi says that the SABR people’s mothers all wear Army boots. No, that’s not right. He says that, if the number of AB’s is so critical, then why isn’t Albert Pujols batting leadoff? And even some of the leading SABR-types advise taking a chill-pill, as worst case the difference would only be four runs over the course of the whole season (of course, others ask why any sane person would freely give away four cost-free runs). They also wonder if the Braves have somehow hired a manager that refuses to look at reality when making decisions and only relies on his collection of “old saws”.
So, what do I think? I think both sides are over-reacting (though I do think it’s a good point about Pujols batting leadoff). I also think that Fredi’s bullpen choices thus far are a lot closer to being a true horror story. What do you all think?