Sunday, March 27, 2005

Batting Order Change

With the end of Spring Training drawing near, Francona has begun to adjust the batting order to represent real games instead of just putting people places where they will get a certain amount of at-bats. At the beginning of spring training, Edgar Renteria was slated to be the #2 hitter in the lineup (I still want Bellhorn, but hey, whatever). However, there's been a change. Trot Nixon was moved into the 2 hole the other day. This makes the lineup look like this:

1. CF Damon L
2. RF Nixon L
3. LF Ramirez R
4. DH Ortiz L
5. SS Renteria R
6. 1B Millar R
7. C Varitek S
8. 3B Mueller S
9. 2B Bellhorn S

Here's a few things I don't like about this order. There are too many lefties bunched together. Granted, Ramirez breaks them up, but a team could put in their situational lefty for an entire inning without really being worried. That's no good. Let's look at speed. Who are the fastest two players on the team? Damon and Renteria. But Damon will have Bellhorn in front of him and Renteria will have Ortiz in front of them. These guys aren't that fast. Why are all the switch hitters at the bottom of the order? Why is Renteria, a man whose career high in HRs is 16, batting in a power spot in front of Millar, who hits for power? Renteria is a singles hitter. How are his singles going to drive in Ortiz unless David is on third? It's silly, if you ask me. Renteria belongs at 1, 2, or 9 in the lineup. Definately not 5. Here is my proposed batting order:

1 CF Damon L
2 2B Bellhorn S
3 LF Ramirez R
4 DH Ortiz L
5 1B Millar R
6 RF Nixon L
7 C Varitek S
8 3B Mueller S
9 SS Renteria R

Notice how not a single lefty bats after another lefty. Notice how Renteria and Damon won't be held up by slow players. Notice that by batting 9th, Renteria will become like a 2nd leadoff man, getting in scoring position in front of RBI guys like Bellhorn, Ramirez, Ortiz, Millar, and Nixon. The middle of the lineup needs to be powerful with guys who hit for extra bases.

Hockey at Fenway?
The Red Sox are starting to get desperate for revenues. I think the appeal of skating at Fenway would die down because when you're inside Fenway on the field, you can't really see the city at all except for the Pru. Then again, this will get the Save Fenway morons all excited. I think this idea is riddled with flaws though. There's way too much that can go wrong and very little that can go right. I think it would be a better idea to have high school or college football games or even soccer games at Fenway as opposed to hockey games. I also think the Red Sox should save all the capital they have in an effort to build a new ballpark but that would be too easy I guess.

Schilling to start Pawtucket's Opening Day
April 7th in Indianapolis against the Indianapolis Indians. If all goes well, the earliest he could start would be April 13th against the Yankees, the first game 5 or more days after the 7th. Before this AAA start, he will pitch in 2 minor league Spring Training games. I didn't see his alst start against the Twins but I saw highlights at the casino (won $150 in Hold Em) and he didn't seem like he was pushing off smoothely. I'm worried that he might be coming back too soon. As great as it would be to see him pitching in April, I'd much rather see him pitching in October.

UNH lost to Denver in the Regional Finals yesterday. Cornell lasted until overtime against Minnesota but fell 2-1. There are now no teams east of the Mississippi in the tournament and I've suddenly lost alot of interest in it. I was hoping for Cornell because if they won it all, the party here in Ithaca, NY would be SICK. Oh well.