I Haven't Watched Nearly Enough Tim McCarver This Season, And I Miss Him

Saturday, May 03, 2008

(posted by One More Dying Quail)

Joe and Tim had a discussion last inning on the Alfonso Soriano and the problems created by his return from a recent calf injury. Somehow, they got around to talking about Soriano's place in the batting order - should he stay at the top or should Piniella drop him lower was pretty much the dilemma they were considering.

McCarver's thoughts? "Soriano should stay in the leadoff spot because that's what he's always done and if you drop him below the fifth spot in the order, you lose his speed."

Oh, Tim. Tim. Tim. Speed is nice to have at the top of the lineup, I'll grant you that. If you have somebody who is fast and can steal bases and "make things happen", that's good. But you also want someone who can get on base with some consistency, which Soriano has a tough time doing (career OBP: .325; 2008 OBP: .211). Everyone is the same speed in the dugout.

And as for utilizing someone with speed lower in the lineup...I realize it's the American League, which has the designated hitter to screw everything up, but Julio Lugo is one of the fastest players on the Red Sox and he's hit ninth in the majority of the games he's played this season.

Personally, I'd consider using Fukudome in the leadoff spot. He's an on-base machine. But that's just me.

(I'm not going to devote an entire post to this at this point, but possibly the most ironic moment of the 2008 season just occurred: Tim McCarver saying, "Can't a guy just be in a slump? Why does everything have to be a curse?" while they were talking about the various Cubs curses and the SI cover jinx. This from the same network that mentioned Babe Ruth in every other breath in the 2003 and 2004 playoffs.)

(Ha. "The one thing pitchers love to do is hit in consecutive innings. They know something good happened for their offense if that happens." They won't notice otherwise?)

Posted by One More Dying Quail at 4:21 PM


Fox mention curses? Noooo...

Anonymous said...
May 3, 2008, 6:41:00 PM  

I'd put Reed Johnson at the top of the line up, but hey, I'm not qualified to make decisions like Tim McCarver

Dr. Oh No Romo said...
May 3, 2008, 6:45:00 PM  

Even Marv never did baseball! What is Kenny Albert doing out there? He cannot describe a play for his life!

Anonymous said...
May 3, 2008, 8:36:00 PM  

I suppose McCarver could have a different opinion on curses than FOX? Just because the network won't shutup about it doesn't mean he believes it.

Anonymous said...
May 4, 2008, 8:31:00 AM  

Soriano's OBP is inadequate for leadoff, of course. But the even better argument for moving him down is that, in the leadoff spot, you're wasting his primary attribute -- which is not speed, but power. In the NL, where the leadoff man comes up after a (usually) weak #8 hitter and the pitcher, he gets relatively few RBI chances. Leadoff, especially in the NL, is the worst possible spot for a power hitter.

McCarver is an old-school type who hates sabermetrics, obviously, but even HE should see the wisdom in batting Soriano fifth.

jvwalt said...
May 4, 2008, 10:06:00 AM  

Did you all see Fox predict the Fontenot home run in the fourth? We can start the Fox conspiracy theories now! Where were they when I needed them for the derby.

Anonymous said...
May 4, 2008, 9:57:00 PM  

McCarver also said something about the Cubs having a curse on them "since some guy named Murphy brought a goat to the ballpark one time."

It was Sam Sianis who brought the billy goat - thus the "Billy Goat Tavern".

I actually threw a pillow at the television when he said that.

Anonymous said...
May 5, 2008, 8:44:00 PM  

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