The Other Fifteen

Eighty-five percent of the f---in' world is working. The other fifteen come out here.

Pouring lead

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, spring training statistics and results are meaningless. People mostly use them to justify opinions they already held, so far as I can tell.

And like I said yesterday, Lou wouldn't be looking at this crazy new lineup of his unless he saw something in it already. And, sure enough, the early returns have come up rosy:

That lineup experiment with Ryan Theriot batting leadoff and Alfonso Soriano batting second? It just may have passed the experimental stage after Cubs manager Lou Piniella used what might be his Opening Day lineup Thursday.

"We're going to stay in that configuration for a bit and take a good look at it," Piniella said.

And he later drove home the point: "The weather's cold in Chicago when we play the first six weeks or so of the season. And to get [Soriano] to the point where he might have to run [batting first], it's just taking chances."

Which... whatever. He got to see the game today and I was watching Gameday, but I really don't know what convinced him that today's lineup was working. Okay, I do know: he liked the idea of the lineup going into the game, and getting the W didn't hurt the idea. It's like pouring lead or reading tea leaves; you get out of it largely what you put into it. Like I said, spring training results are basically meaningless, so if Lou decides to start acting like some mystic when it comes to justifying his decisions - whatever, they're the decisions he wanted to make anyway, so I don't know what would stop him exactly.

[An aside - Lou has convinced himself that it was a lack of small-ball ability that caused the team's struggles early on last season. I'm more convinced that it was a small sample size effect that worked itself out as the season progressed. Lou seems less likely than I to accept that there are things out of Lou Piniella's control, which I suppose I understand but I am growing more and more frustrated with overall.]

Wittenmyer chimes in, calling this a prelude to a Roberts deal. I'm growing rather calloused to Roberts trade talks; I refuse to believe in any such thing until Roberts is actually traded, if that ever comes to pass.

UPDATE: Bruce Miles is my frakkin' hero. Just... go read it all.

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2 Responses to “Pouring lead”

  1. # Blogger Gavin

    The Cubs' weak start last season was one of the biggest cases of a run of bad luck I've seen. Their team BABIP was improbably low, and every time somebody made hard contact, it seemed to go right to one of the fielders.

    So, no, I don't think it was the lineup.  

  2. # Anonymous The Hawk

    Hey Colin,

    Any idea to find out how many runs a guy scored in the first innings of games as leadoff man in a given season? I can't seem to isolate that info at


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