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Saturday, August 06, 2011

Samuelsen: Some Jim Leyland lineups too weak to stomach

But, but that’s unpossible…Inge is in Toledo.

There is no issue with keeping guys on the bench engaged and keeping the starters fresh. Every team does it. And the Tigers do it, too.

But four guys in the same game? Does Leyland really fill out his lineup card on Thursday with Don Kelly batting second and playing first base (his first start there all season) and think that it gives his team the best chance to win? I doubt it. He looks at the fact that Alexi Ogando is pitching, the Tigers are 0-2 against him and that the benched players are a combined 0-17 against him this year and says to himself, “this may be a tough one for us.” Leyland wants to win and he needs to win this year or his sixth season as the Tigers manager will probably be his last. I don’t think he planned on losing Thursday. But I also don’t think he did all he could do to win either. It’s a long season, and it seemed like he was willing to sacrifice the sprint (Thursday’s game) for the marathon (a division title).

...This is not high treason. I’m not accusing Leyland of giving games away. And I see his logic in giving guys days off on certain days. I’m just strongly suggesting that you might want to stagger it a bit. And he might want to avoid doing it during weeks like this one where the Tigers already have a day off. It’s good for the team. It’s good for the fans. And in terms of job security, it would be good for Leyland.

Repoz Posted: August 06, 2011 at 12:38 PM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: projections, sabermetrics, tigers

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   1. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 06, 2011 at 01:56 PM (#3894184)
The second paragraph in the blurb is the retort to the third. Resting them all at once makes it really tough to win one game (in this case, one game where you didn't like your chances anyway), but staggering the rest could make it pretty tough to win two or three games. Resting guys the day before or the day after a scheduled off day gives them two full days to recharge, which just might help them play better when you ask them to go the next ten games in a row.
   2. Tricky Dick Posted: August 06, 2011 at 05:49 PM (#3894290)
This is a fairly common complaint that fans have with most managers, not just Leyland. That leads me to believe that Leyland isn't alone in putting a number of bench players into the game together on a rest day. I suspect that the points made in No. 1 are valid.
   3. Srul Itza Posted: August 06, 2011 at 06:48 PM (#3894327)
This reminds me of the many complaints from Yankee fans about Joe Torre using a "house money" line up with lots of scrubs in a series after the Yankees had won the first two games.
   4. tshipman Posted: August 06, 2011 at 07:15 PM (#3894341)
Virtually every long term successful manager uses "getaway" lineups. People used to complain about Dusty doing it a bunch too.
   5. bobm Posted: August 06, 2011 at 08:32 PM (#3894377)
Whitey Herzog also liked to rest players before an off-day.
   6. 1k5v3L Posted: August 06, 2011 at 08:40 PM (#3894379)
Tricky Dick, Gibson does this with the Dbacks fairly regularly. In fact, this past week, after the Dbacks won the first two games in SF (beating Cain and Lincecum), Gibson put out the all bench team against Vogelsong, who shut them down completely. Of course, the Dbacks also had new acquisition Jason Marquis starting the game, and the Giants handed him his behind on a paper plate.
   7. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 06, 2011 at 08:41 PM (#3894380)
I think fans complain about this because they get sick of the manager choosing the same player all the time to fill in on these days when they aren't trying to win very hard. If Dusty Baker plays a "house money" lineup 30 times a season, and it always has Tom Goodwin in it, let's face it, Tom Goodwin is playing way more than he deserves, and maybe they should be putting in a youngster with some promise instead.
   8. bobm Posted: August 06, 2011 at 08:48 PM (#3894383)
[7] I think fans complain about this because they get sick of the manager choosing the same player all the time to fill in on these days when they aren't trying to win very hard.

Also, it's irritating when you actually go to a game and you've paid to watch a home team lineup filled mostly with bench players rather than regulars.
   9. Tricky Dick Posted: August 06, 2011 at 10:02 PM (#3894442)
Also, it's irritating when you actually go to a game and you've paid to watch a home team lineup filled mostly with bench players rather than regulars.

That's understandable. It would irritate me too.
   10. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 06, 2011 at 10:15 PM (#3894448)
That's understandable. It would irritate me too.


Except that as an Astros fan, watching your starters is about equal to seeing everyone else's regulars.
   11. Perry Posted: August 07, 2011 at 03:22 AM (#3894526)
Didn't realize it was so common, I thought it was just Cardinal fans being driven crazy by LaRussa doing that. Cards win the first two games of a series, the third game looks like a spring-training B game.
   12. jcnyc Posted: August 07, 2011 at 01:12 PM (#3894592)
This is like the old Bobby Cox "Sunday Lineup". Used to drive people crazy.
   13. McCoy Posted: August 07, 2011 at 01:37 PM (#3894602)
People used to complain about Dusty doing it a bunch too.

People used to complain because that was Dusty's REGULAR lineup.
   14. Something Other Posted: August 07, 2011 at 10:04 PM (#3894819)
It's annoying as hell, but I think there's something to it. If you understand that you can't play most of your regulars more than 150 games, or more than, say, 15 game in a row without suffering a serious drop off in performance, what's the optimal strategy?

Do you rest everyone at the same time, send out your B lineup, and hope to get lucky?
Do you rest one guy at a time and routinely go from an expectancy of 5.0 runs to 4.8 runs per game?

You'd have to make some suppositions, but this is the kind of thing that lends itself to deep scrutiny. I'm frankly a little surprised at you people for not delving into this.

Surprised, and yes, a little ashamed.

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