No time to wade through this Bill Simmons/Michael Schur mess…not with a slice of “Moonmen On The Moon, Man” cake waiting!
Schur: I’m going glass-half-full again: The team would have a great offense if I hit ninth. Ellsbury-Pedroia-Youkilis-Gonzalez-Ortiz-Salty-Crawford-Sweeney/Ross-Iglesias is a great lineup, and gets greater if Crawford comes anywhere close to his 2008-10 averages. Also, the team would have a very, very good defense if you played short. Those same eight position players feature above-average defense at basically every position, so they can afford to swap Aviles in for a little extra offense if they need to.
Simmons: Man, I hope you’re right. Having a crappy shortstop is like having a crappy goalie, point guard, field goal kicker or closer. It just haunts you day after day after day.
Schur: Well, remember, Pokey Reese played 96 games in 2004, sported a 46 OPS+, and the team won the World Series. It’s a sign of how spoiled we are that a roughly league-average SS hitting ninth makes everyone freak out. (Me included.) Scutaro was a solid player, but he’s 36. Baseball Prospectus has him as being worth about a win and a half next year, and there’s a decent chance Aviles/Iglesias can match that.
Simmons: Believe me, I’m fine with Iglesias hitting .205 and being a vacuum at short. I really am. (I love when we have vacuums at short. I still miss Alex Gonzalez.) But you’re much more optimistic about Crawford’s 2012 potential than I am. The Ortiz/Crawford combo scares the daylights out of me. We’re playing with house money with Ortiz at this point — for all we know, he might be older than us.
Schur: Ortiz? Come on. He doesn’t look a day over 48.