Line-up Disorder Syndrome Strikes the San Francisco Giants

Line-up Disorder Syndrome (LDS) is a tragic breakdown of the neurons in that area of the brain used exclusively by Major League Baseball managers to create their everyday line-ups. This dreaded disorder can also strike General Managers who meddle in their manager’s day-to-day line-up and fielding position decisions.

There are many who believe LDS has infested the San Francisco Giants front office for the past three years, and the raw scientific statistics certainly seem to back that up. But it’s only now, as people have become more comfortable talking about LDS, that we can try and do something about it.

orangescientist 2How does LDS happen? Medical researchers, wearing long white lab coats and appearing to be busy working in what looks like a large laboratory, believe the actual electrons that help baseball managers create effective batting line-ups and fielding assignments somehow short-circuit. The results are line-ups consisting of overpriced older veteran players who are slow and past their prime; line-ups filled with competent and moderately talented players who can’t possibly win, but at least won’t embarrass the manager and the front office; or line-up slots given to mediocre players who the manager wants to make feel good for some reason.

Medical science does not know why this tragic disorder occurs, or how to stop it, but Line-up Disorder Syndrome can lead to some horrifying sights: Edgar Renteria attempting to shape-shift his posterior as he goes for a routine ground ball to his right; Bengie Molina having the time to plan even the smallest details of his upcoming retirement as he runs to first base on a routine ground ball; Travis Ishikawa determined to make contact with those pesky breaking balls bouncing a foot in front of the plate.

Perhaps the two worst line-up episodes in 2010 were 1) batting Bengie Molina in the clean-up spot in May when his resume was perhaps the exact opposite of what a clean-up hitter should be; and, 2) continuing to lead off with Aaron Rowand in May as he was doing his best to fight through one of the worst slumps in his career.

Any number of things can be done to combat LDS, but I’d rather not watch Ryan Seacrest host a third rate TV fundraiser on the Farm Implement Channel. Instead, I decided to donate my personal time and limited expertise to devise and present several Giants line-up templates that are simple and easy to use, as we wait to see if science or Line-up Disorder Syndrome wins this battle.

The Mark DeRosa is in line-up:
1. Andres Torres CF
2. Freddie Sanchez 2B
3. Pablo Sandoval 3B
4. Aubrey Huff LF
5. Mark DeRosa RF
6. Buster Posey 1B
7. Juan Uribe SS
8. Bengie Molina C
9. pitcher

Notes: DeRosa played 10 games in RF in 2009, 38 games in 2008, and
22 games in 2007. Yes, it’s possible.

The Mark DeRosa is out line-up:
1. Andres Torres CF
2. Freddie Sanchez 2B
3. Pablo Sandoval 3B
4. Aubrey Huff LF
5. Buster Posey 1B
6. Juan Uribe SS
7. Nate Schierholtz RF
8. Bengie Molina C
9. pitcher

Notes: OK, Aaron Rowand may have to be in Schierholtz’s spot, but Schierholtz is one of the best defensive right fielders in baseball. Renteria backs up Uribe at short. From the bench.

The Bengie Molina is essentially retired line-up:
1. Andres Torres CF
2. Freddie Sanchez 2B
3. Pablo Sandoval 3B
4. Aubrey Huff 1B
5. Mark DeRosa LF
6. Buster Posey C
7. Juan Uribe SS
8. Nate Schierholtz RF
9. pitcher

Notes: OK, Aaron Rowand may be in Schierholtz’s spot. But enough of this “Posey needs more time to become a catcher” manure.

The 2010 best possible Giants
line-up:
1. Andres Torres CF
2. Freddie Sanchez 2B
3. Pablo Sandoval 1B
4. Aubrey Huff LF
5. Mark DeRosa 3B
6. Buster Posey C
7. Nate Schierholtz RF
8. Brandon Crawford SS
9. pitcher

Notes: Uribe adds great strength from the bench as a super-sub, which is why he was resigned by the team.
Now why would we want a line-up like this?

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