Mama Always Told Me Lineups Were Like A Box Of Choc… lates: You Never Know What You're Gonna Get!

So after a 15-3 bitch slapping of the Phillies last night with the best lineup of the year, Tim Donaghy’s partner in crime, Grady Little, came right back out to intimidate the Phillies – you know, the team the Dodgers are battling with for the Wild Card – with this lineup…

1. Furcal – SS
2. Pierre – CF
3. Kemp – RF
4. Kent – 2B

Now that’s a good start, right? I mean, Kemp has been on fire lately, Kent’s doing well, hell, even Pierre has had a great August. So, yay, he’s finally going to stick with the good hitters, right?! Well…

5. Hillenbrand – 1B
6. Martin – C
7. Gonzalez – LF
8. Martinez – 3B
9. Thunder Thighs – P

Must I even explain the obvious? Do I REALLY have to say why Shea Hillenbrand does not deserve to be hitting above Russell Martin? Or why Ramon Martinez and Luis Gonzalez do not deserve to be in the lineup at all? Or why Loney and Ethier have to sit yet again? All we needed was Olmedo Saenz hitting clean up to complete this abortion.

And, yes, before everyone starts e-mailing me, I realize that Ramon Martinez had a key 2-run single that helped win today’s game. Very good. He and Gonzo still have no business in the lineup over Ethier and Loney (as Martinez out of the lineup brings Hillenbrand back to third).

But how does Little defend himself on this one? Take it away, Grady!

On playing Ramon Martinez:

“Martinez has an unusual stat,” said Little. “He has the same number of RBIs as hits [20]. You don’t see that very often. It’s an amazing stat.”

Yeah, it is a weird stat. A fluky stat, but weird. Wanna know another stat? O.K., here’s one. Did you know that those 22 hits also came in like 115 at-bats to give him a .191/.248/.217 line? Wanna see some other cool stats, Grady? I got a few on Gonzo too! Sure, they’re not quite the fluky stats that help get people into the lineup, but, dude, just check these out, THESE ARE WHAT I CALL STATISTICS!!

Luis Gonzalez Since The All-Star Break:


Oh, I got more!

Andre Ethier Since The All-Star Break:


Yet Gonzo still gets to start. Hmmmmm…

On second guessers:

“A lot of people are capable of playing Nintendo baseball,” he said. “When you play fantasy baseball or on a computer, rarely do you take into account a missed umpire’s call or a tweaked hamstring.”

If you’ll excuse me, I need to go pay a visit to my Father – who’s probably never heard of fantasy baseball – and then my Grandfather, who’s never even touched a computer. Why, you ask? Because I need to tell them that since they also second guess Grady, that they are a bunch of fantasy baseball, Nintendo loving ninnies who are full of shit and that their opinions are worthless, as they obviously do not pay attention to umpire calls or player injuries. After all, it is ancient baseball secret that paying attention to missed umpire calls and tweaked hamstrings are what makes a great manager, right? If that’s the case, Stan Conte: you’re hired!

That quote is seriously one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard by a manager… and after dealing with five years of Jim Tracy I’ve heard some real doozies. At least he’d be so redundant I couldn’t make out what he was saying. But this? This is “Baseball Tonight”-like stupid.

Here’s a clue for you, jackass: just what the hell do you think we’re watching when the game is on? Do you think when I say “It’s Time For Dodger Baseball!” at 7 P.M. every night, we then just go run to our Sega Genesis and completely avoid what goes on during the game? Also, I’d love to hear the correlation between tweaked hamstrings and missed umpire calls (which you are so passionate about) with putting together sane lineups and good in-game managerial strategy.

Perhaps Bill James could write a new “Baseball Abstract” detailing this finding. I got it, he could come up with a new statistic: MUCATH (Missed Umpire Calls And Tweaked Hamstrings). Just picture the next time you’re getting into an argument with your friends over who is a good manager. It could go something like this…

Person 1: Say, you know, that Grady Little is a really shitty manager. He gives playing time to washed up vets and the better hitters have to fight for playing time.

Person 2: Obviously you do not pay attention to the game, as you play your “Virtual Baseball 1995″. Did you not see Grady’s MUCATH last night? Dude, it’s why we won! In fact, this year, Grady has contributed to his team’s success with a +22 MUCATH. He has such an insane MUCATH that he leads all NL managers in MUCATH… he is MOY material if not for his MUCATH alone, you fool.

“People only know part of it. There’s a reason why we do what we do.”

Really? So let me give you the benefit of the doubt for just this one second. So, because we haven’t taken into account a possible tweaked hamstring, is that why Ethier – the team’s hottest hitter since July – still has to fight for playing time? Did he tweak something last night that made Gonzo just HAVE to start in place of him? Because, you see, when Andre later came into the game today as a defensive replacement, he didn’t really look hurt. Oh well… it must have been a missed umpire’s call that kept him out.

But, you know, Grady, I’m glad you are showing a concern with player injuries because when me and my fellow fantasy nerds took a break to go grab our “Pong” game, we did notice a few things with injuries. For instance, we did notice Rafael Furcal still playing every day on one good ankle, we saw Jeff Kent playing on a bad hamstring, Matt Kemp hobbling around, and we still see Russell Martin running a little gimpy still. Speaking of Russell Martin…

I’m sure someone as cognizant as you has taken into account how much he’s been run into the ground, right, Grady? Surely for all these factors that you take into consideration – which we’re not capable of doing – that’s why Mike Lieberthal has only 12 starts this year and only TWO starts in the past FIVE weeks, right? Is that why he didn’t get to at least start one game during the Philadelphia series, his old team? Is that why Russell Martin has 73 of the 74 RBI’s generated from the catcher’s position this year?

Yes, Grady, you are right, there is a reason why you do what you do.

Because you’re a fucking idiot.

Now I have to cut this article short, as it’s almost 5:30 P.M. and it’s time for me to play “Baseball” on my Intellivision.

- Vin vinscully-face.jpg