From: Kevin Hench
Subject: Chugging Along
How are we doing this?
The house of cards continue to wobble but refuses to fall. Even after Trot's heroic performance, our leadoff hitters are batting .228 with a .295 on-base percentage for the season. As you know, this would be atrocious for a No. 9 hitter. But for a collection of leadoff hitters? And yet we keep on chugging along, spitting and coughing to be sure, but chugging along nonetheless.
Every starter in our rotation has been injured, from the seemingly insignificant split callous to the hugely-terrifying, world-changing, breath-stopping rotator cuff inflammation. And yet we keep on chugging along.
Every guy in our lineup has had long stretches of looking awful at the plate, though thankfully Doug Mirabelli had his with the Texas Rangers. Since joining the Sox, in 89 at-bats, Mirabelli has hit .303 with an outstanding .396 on-base percentage and an impressive .506 slugging percentage. And he gunned down yet another runner last night as he continued to shape his reputation as the second-best defensive catcher in the American League. And, if that weren't enough, he's made two tags at the plate the last two nights, one blocking the dish and one reaching out and bringing the ball back to the runner. He's done it all. He just has to keep it up for one more month. That's right, our No. 9 hitter has been our most consistent guy with the stick. And yet we keep chugging along.
As for our most recent lineup of Everett, Bichette and O'Leary batting 4-5-6, does any other team in baseball put three guys in those slots with 13 or fewer home runs? No. And yet we keep chugging along.
The new manager smiles after grand slams. I like that. Smiling is allowed in baseball, right? Unfortunately, he also seems prone to bizarre decision-making, like putting D-Lew in left to finish last night's game instead of putting him in right and O'Leary in left, or putting D-Lew in center, Trot in right and O'Leary in left. Truth be told, I think he forgets to do certain things, which is pretty inexcusable given how slowly the game moves. Football coaches facing mass substitutions and a dwindling play clock can be forgiven for oversights, but baseball managers should never be caught off guard. You can literally run onto the field and call timeout any time you want. You can even ask the umpires what you should do. I think Gene
Lamont should send the signs into the dugout from the third-base coach's box, leaving Kerrigan with the easier task of ratifying the more-experienced Lamont's decisions. Anyone noticed how good Lamont has been in the third-base box this year? Maybe that's why Duquette didn't offer him the gig. We're in a pennat race and we've got a a manager with zero experience. And yet we keep chugging along.
I can't explain it, but as long as they're chugging along, we might as well
chug along with them. Sam Adams, anybody?