In case you haven’t heard, the Detroit Tigers are playing the New York Yankees tonight in Game Five of the ALDS. Most suspect that it’s going to be an uphill battle for the Tigers, whose batting, pitching and fielding is inferior to their opposition, the winners of the most competitive division in baseball.
However, just in case there was any room for optimism, manager Jim Leyland has decided to douse it in gasoline, light it on fire, stomp it out, shoot it, drag the dead optimism through the streets of the city, pour hot tar on it, tie it to two Ford Mustangs heading in opposite directions and then piss on its remains by batting third baseman for the day Don Kelly second in the lineup.
Don Kelly who collected an out in 70.9% of his plate appearances this year, a slight improvement over the 71.5% of at bats he’s gotten out in over the course of his career. Even against right handed pitching, the left handed batter had a sub .300 on base percentage this year to match his .292 career OBP vs. RHP. Making matters even strangers is the fact that of Kelly’s 288 career appearances at the Major League level, he’s only played third base 64 times.
Let’s take a look at the lineup and the rate at which these players avoided getting out this season, without comment:
- Austin Jackson, .317
- Don Kelly, .291
- Delmon Young, .302
- Miguel Cabrera, .448
- Victor Martinez, .380
- Magglio Ordonez, .303
- Alex Avila, .389
- Jhonny Peralta, .345
- Ramon Santiago, .311
Okay, so one comment: Maybe it’s just me, but wouldn’t you want the players who are most likely not to get out to receive more at bats in a game than those who aren’t?