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June 22, 2003

by Larry Mahnken

Now here's some unnecessary bitching.

What's the point of having a pinch-runner who gets picked off? Does Charles Gipson have any value doing anything? Not only did he get picked off, he was a little too eager to get out of the way of the pitch that went between his legs. Would it kill you to take one for the team, Chucky? Makes me think that he's still getting paid by the Mariners.

I'm not on the Fire Joe Torre bandwagon (current occupancy: 1), but he does make some really stupid roster moves, and terrible tactical decisions. Kind of like Dusty Baker, but you take the good with the bad, and Joe Torre is a great clubhouse manager.

Still, Torre makes some awful decisons when assembling his roster, and worse ones when drawing up a lineup. Bill James found that there is little difference between the best lineup and worst lineup, but Joe Torre has assembled about as bad a lineup as he can. Alfonso Soriano is one of the worst players on the roster at getting on base, and one of the best power hitters, so of course he bats him leadoff. Torre has said he bats him there because he has no other options. Um, Joe, ANYONE would be better batting leadoff than Torre. Even Giambi.

My proposed ideal lineup:


But that's just me.

With the Red Sox loss and the Blue Jays' win, the Yankees are now...still 2 games up in the East, but they're 3 games in front of Boston, who I still think are the real competition. It's looking really good for being in first place when Bernie and Nick come back, and if they are when they do, I don't think they'll relinquish first again this year.