June 21, 2011

Red Sox Considering Playing Gonzalez In RF (Is It April 1?)

The Red Sox have discussed playing Adrian Gonzalez in right field for some of the games in the upcoming nine-game interleague road trip that starts Friday in Pittsburgh.

Terry Francona:
We've talked to him. We'll see. I'm glad he's willing to do it. I don't want David [Ortiz] to sit nine straight games ... maybe a couple of times ... I know he's done it. We'll see.
Gonzalez:
I wouldn't say it's willingness, but the fact that I've done it before. If I was approached on it, and Tito wanted to do it for a couple games, I'd be OK with it. I'm not an outfielder, and I wasn't an outfielder, but if it meant getting Papi in the game and get him a few more games, it's definitely something I would do.
He's done it before? Of Gonzalez's 1,567 professional games (637 in the minors and 930 in the majors), he has played in the outfield in exactly one of them: September 30, 2005. Eight innings in right field, three putouts and one error. ... Gonzalez also says he has played the outfield in winter ball.

This idea is wall-to-wall insanity. Forget about EB's dubious ability to chase after line drives in the gap -- why risk an injury (hamstring, running into a wall) to an absolutely torrid wrecking ball of a hitter in games against the friggin' Pirates and Astros?

SoSH:
redsox2020: "If they want Ortiz in the lineup this bad, why don't they just let him pitch?"

curly2: "[S]it him the last game in Pittsburgh. It's a day game after a night game, and they're off the next day, so it would be like two days off. Play Papi at first that day. Then maybe you can give Adrian one of the games in Houston as a day off."

Buzzkill Pauley: "By 'we'll see' I assume Tito meant 'no way in hell' but hey, we'll see."

22 comments:

FenFan said...

What a clusterf**k! I can see why it is being considered - why sit one of your two hottest hitters for each of the next nine games? - but cannot imagine that it makes sense. Why put Gonzo at risk to injury playing outside his comfort zone?

Unfortunately, I think your best option is to simply have Tiz play first once during each series and then have Gonzo play all the other ones.

I know you're not a fan of the DH rule, Allan, but I believe it's time to make it the norm in both leagues for this reason here, especially if there are plans to extend interleague play.

Jere said...

Still unbelievable to me that a major sport in the middle of the season suddenly makes teams play by different rules.

Who wants to see Interleague Play? 53%. Okay, we'll do it!

Who wishes they were a FIRETRUCK?? 100%!

Anyway, I think just play David twice or thrice and in the other games you've got him as a great pinch hitter for the pitcher.

Kathryn said...

Jere, you want to be a firetruck?

Agreed about the change in rules. It's amateur.

9casey said...

Injury risk aside, you actually weaken yourself at 2 postions..

I for one love the DH it is painful to watch pitchers try and hit.

I am suprised the DH is not in both leagues yet....

Tom DePlonty said...

Great idea. I'm sure we all want to see Ortiz and Gonzalez on a collision course, headed for a popup falling in *just* the right spot in shallow right.

laura k said...

I know you're not a fan of the DH rule, Allan, but I believe it's time to make it the norm in both leagues

You make it sound like Allan has control over this and he's standing in the way. :)

In this case, the problem is not the DH, it's interleague play.

The rule-change for the most important games of the year, the World Series, is completely crazy, but if the season weren't spoiled by interleague play, this wouldn't be happening now.

(I prefer not to be a firetruck.)

laura k said...

I am suprised the DH is not in both leagues yet....

It is surprising. It's used everywhere else - college, minors, Japan.

But thank dog the NL holds out to remind us how baseball should be played.

Jeremy said...

Should? One league in the whole world does not make a convincing argument that baseball "should" be played that way. More like the other way around?

I dunno, maybe my brain is too caught up in logic and not enough on feelings.

As for feelings, I love the DH rule. It gives your lineup 9 batsmen, not 8 plus a pitcher who has an arm (and body) strengthened in a totally different way (there's logic again). Maybe I'm way off target there, correct me if I am wrong.

Why "should" baseball be played this way? Because one league is the holdout?

Sorry, I don't buy it (on your short comment anyway)

Also, I'm not so sure there's undue risk of injury for AG. He could have any of the same issues at 1st base (diving, running for fouls (there's walls there, too), runners clipping his legs on the base, etc) its about 50-50. He may not be trained on how to handle every situation, but he's got an excellent head on his shoulders, and learning a new position should not be outside of his abilities. And since he has (yes, very few) played in the outfield before, its not like he's clueless about what to do.

I would leave the managing to Theo.

allan said...

Why "should" baseball be played this way?

Rule 1.01: Baseball is a game between two teams of nine players each ...

laura k said...

Sorry, I don't buy it

I wasn't trying to sell you anything.

laura k said...

Can someone explain what is meant when people say "I don't like to see the pitcher hit"?

It's often something people repeat without further explanation, I assume because it's supposed to be so obvious.

I enjoy the increased strategy of DH-less play, I love when pitchers do get hits (that's an extra-special hit, to me), and there are non-pitcher position players who don't hit very well, either.

The pitcher is playing baseball. Playing baseball involves two distinct jobs: playing your position, and taking your turn at bat.

I don't understand why inventing a 10th player whose only job is to hit is thought to enhance the game. I don't think the game of baseball needs any enhancements.

But those who say "I don't like to see the pitcher hit", what's that about?

laura k said...

I would leave the managing to Theo.

Not to Tito?

Opinions and commentary on managerial decisions are a big part of baseball discussions. Perhaps you've noticed.

Tom DePlonty said...

Also, I'm not so sure there's undue risk of injury for AG. He could have any of the same issues at 1st base (diving, running for fouls (there's walls there, too), runners clipping his legs on the base, etc) its about 50-50.

I'm pretty sure it's not 50-50. First basemen spend most of their time catching balls that are thrown to them. Right fielders spend most of their time judging, running down, and catching (often on the run) balls off a bat, and constantly have to run toward walls while watching those balls, something first basemen almost never have to do. And AG is slow, which makes right field all the more difficult for him play. You have to weigh the value of keeping Ortiz in the lineup against the defensive downgrade at both first base and in right field, and yes, you have to look at the risk of injury. It would be pretty stupid to lose Gonzalez for some stretch of time due to injury in the name of stacking the lineup against a bunch of mostly weak NL teams. (Philly is not, of course.) Especially when the lineup is as powerful as it is anyhow, and there are other ways to get Ortiz at-bats late in the game too.

Jeremy said...

I meant Tito, fingers typed Theo.

I said I love the DH rule, not that "I don't like to see pitchers hit" so I can't answer that. I like having the DH more than I like pitchers hitting. That is not me saying I don't like to see pitchers hit.

Ok, I didn't think anyone was selling me anything, I just didn't feel convinced (by your comment) that since 1 league does it, it should remind us thats the way its supposed to be played. If that was the case more leagues would be doing it, not less.

Do you want other rules turned back, or just this one? Other rules have changed. Was that the way baseball should be played too? (with all of the original rules) Why is this one rule not liked and the other rule changes are? You don't think the game needs enhancements. What about the "enhancements" like the reduction of a base on balls from 9 balls (through the years) to 4 balls? And so on and so forth for other rules that have been applied since the beginning of the game.

and Allan, quoting the whole rule makes a distinction your partial quote leaves out:

1.01
Baseball is a game between two teams of nine players each, under direction of a manager, played on an enclosed field in accordance with these rules, under jurisdiction of one or more umpires.

This rule reads (to me) like the one for soccer, only so many players on the field AT ONCE. using a DH is a substitute for a pitcher for that half inning, not an addition. also, "in accordance with these rules" takes into consideration all the other rules that follow this one.

Jeremy said...

I still feel the probability is 50-50. First basemen almost never have to watch for walls? How often do foul balls go between first and the wall/dugout? Never?

laura k said...

I said I love the DH rule, not that "I don't like to see pitchers hit"

Then clearly that comment was not directed to you.

allan said...

)Why is this one rule not liked and the other rule changes are?

It's simply how I feel. (Rules can always be changed, so there is no real right or wrong.)

What about the "enhancements" like the reduction of a base on balls from 9 balls (through the years) to 4 balls?

I understand your point, but this is a bad example.

BBs have been four balls for more than 120 years. The evolution of the number of balls to make a walk through the 1880s seems more of an attempt to create the ideal balance between balls/strikes and pitcher/batter than a simple change of the rules.

Tom DePlonty said...

First basemen almost never have to watch for walls?

Of course they do sometimes, but there is a difference between chasing a foul popup drifting toward the dugout and running down a ball headed at full speed off a bat toward the right field wall. Compound that times having 1,500 games of pro experience at first base, and 1 in the outfield. If you can't see the potential for problems, I'm sure there is nothing more I can say to convince you.

laura k said...

Btw, when I said "the way baseball should be played," I was being facetious. There's an "in my opinion" implicit in the comment, which hopefully does not need to be stated every time we opine.

allan said...

which hopefully does not need to be stated every time we opine.

In my opinion, it does.

FenFan said...

You make it sound like Allan has control over this and he's standing in the way. :)

Then I suppose I need to stop referring to Allan as "The Commish." ;-)

In this case, the problem is not the DH, it's interleague play.

That ties to my comment on interleague expansion. Make it one way or the other. My vote is to include the DH.

But thank dog the NL holds out to remind us how baseball should be played.

:-)

allan said...

Cafardo, June 22:

Well, it sure sounds as if Adrian Gonzalez is going to see some time in the outfield.

Gonzalez has been working out there and Terry Francona and his coaches will next map out the possibility of where it would best suit Gonzalez to play. Both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia don't have a huge, ominous rightfield, and he may get some time in those venues on the next 9-game interleague road trip which begins Friday. ...

Francona said this morning that he's concerned about David Ortiz sitting for 11 days (9 games), but he's also concerned for Gonzalez "if something ever happened he'd catch a lot of (bleep)." Not to mention that Francona would as well.

***