Time for the Mad Sosh’s Lineup Card Party to Wind Down

I was going to bite my tongue and just post my photos from Sunday’s Fan Fest and ensuing disappointing game. I was going to refrain from ranting and just see how things worked out for a little while longer, really I was. And then, this evening. Yuck!!! …only, I didn’t say yuck.

< rant >

Yes, Ervin Santana gave up five runs, four of them solo homeruns. Yes, the team was facing David Price. But five runs should not be an insurmountable deficit, especially with these bats in the lineup. The offense needs to find their swings, find their chemistry and start producing and, although it’s only April, they need to do it quickly before we fall too much farther in the hole. But one thing that would seriously help is a having a set lineup.

Look, I love Mike Scioscia and am absolutely not part of the crowd calling for his head, but the another day, another lineup thing has got to stop. 15 different lineups in the first 17 games is Lewis Carroll levels of ridiculous without any of Lewis Carroll’s awesomeness to me…hence my rusty attempts at cartooning. (Be kind. This is the first time I’ve put pencil to drawing pad with any greater cartooning intent than amusing my niece and nephew in years. *nervous giggle*)

Think about it, 15 lineups and none of them have worked? How do we really know that? I mean, did they really not work, or did they just not work that day? Because expecting to be able to assess a lineup accurately after just one game is kind of like going speed dating and expecting a marriage proposal from someone by the end of the evening. And if all Scioscia is trying to do is find a lineup that produces, why didn’t he stick with any of the lineups he used in games the Angels won? Clearly I’m not a baseball manager, but does this make sense to anyone?

We have pitchers with radically different styles and, apparently, way more depth than is good for us. I understand this. So if Scioscia can’t come up with just one lineup to stick with – and I do get that – than how about one lineup for fly ball pitchers and one lineup for ground ball pitchers or something like that? Restricting the crazy lineup roulette to two or three in some sort of regular rotation would surely be an improvement.

Again, I have no delusions of grandeur that I am some sort of baseball managing genius but certain things just seem obvious, especially after a few games. Albert Pujols should not be DHing, at least not this year, next year or any year so long as keeps making those outrageous defensive plays. Good God damn, that man can move. Young guys like Howie Kendrick, Erick Aybar and Peter Bourjos, who have a set position they aren’t experimenting with or trying out for should not sit out a game to “rest” unless there are legitimate reasons they need to rest and by that I mean illness and injuries. And they should have a static position in the lineup to go with their regular playtime. Howie was hitting! He was hitting a ton. Then he sat out a day and now he’s not hitting anymore. Yes, he should do his best to maintain his own rhythm but shouldn’t the lineup support him in this endeavor?

Also, Mark Trumbo needs to be in the lineup as often as possible, and Kendrys Morales needs to be in it more often than not. And leave Torii Hunter in right. Yes, I realize that doesn’t leave a whole lot of wiggle room. Scioscia is left with flopping Trumbo, Maicer Izturis and Alberto Callaspo at third; Trumbo and Vernon Wells in left; and Kendrys and Bobby Abreu at DH, because let’s be honest here, neither of them should be playing anywhere on the field right now. But he doesn’t need a whole lot of wiggle room with only two or three lineups on a regular schedule, now does he?

</ rant >

Am I sure the Angels will turn it around eventually? Absolutely. Am I sure it will happen in enough time to matter? Not completely, no. Especially not with the rate at which Texas is tearing through the opposition. I’m not giving up by any means – Hello, it’s April! – but something needs to change and fast…seriously guys. Don’t make me turn this blog around and start cartooning again. ;)

And, while we’re at it, Torii and Vernon (Because, yes, of course the Angels read this blog. Why do you ask? ;)), quit messing with Peter Bourjos’ walk. I don’t know for certain that that is what’s messing with his swing, but something sure is so you might as well cool it just in case.

Okay. Now </ rant >

10 Comments

The Tigers are kind of the opposite, as the keep the same basic lineup, and it’s not working. Then again, why Leyland puts two guys batting UNDER .100 in the lineup at the same time, let alone at all, still boggles my mind. Sciocsia is still one of the best, and should get this team up and running very soon. Your pic is very good, btw, keep it up!
–Mike

That sounds frustrating too, Mike. Surely there is a happy medium somewhere? And thanks!

– Kristen

Kristin,

First let me say I really like your art, regarding our beloved team I’m in total agreement with you I love Mike Scioscia but he really needs to settle on the lineup. This team is too talented to be where they are now, I know it’s early, however we will potentially be 8 1/2 games behind Texas by the end of the night. I’m afraid it for not careful they may run away with the division before we know it.

-ICE

http://the-angels-ace.mlblogs.com/

Thanks, Ice! And you’re not kidding about the dangers if they don’t right the ship soon.

– Kristen

I’m truly sorry to see such a painful start for the Angels. Regarding lineups, yes I couldn’t agree more with you Kristin. When I saw Pujols on quick pitch the other day in the DH role, I honestly laughed out loud. He is what probably top 3 in defense for his position in both leagues? I watched many Cards games including his first at bat in the majors, he was made to be on the field at all times. Back to the lineup. I’m batting him third all day long, all week long, all month long, all year long, all contract long. One more extra at bat in game for a guy like him makes all the difference on the scoreboard…..Good toon btw. No need to be apprehensive about it at all.
Jon

And given Pujols’ string of 0-fers since, Jon, I actually wonder if that DH stint didn’t mess with his head a little, plant some doubt. I sure hope not, though of course that’s fixable too. Thanks for the sympathy and the compliment.

– Kristen

At least Sosh knowws who’s pitching so he can fill out the lineup card correctly (I’m assuming anyway). And yeah, don’t wanna bring up the Rangers but jeesh those guys are scuuuuuuuuury.
–Jeff

Terrifying is more like it, Jeff. They’re all seven feet tall. And they shoot home runs and fireballs from their eyes and…oh, wait…that’s William Wallace. Still, scary indeed…and as far as the pitchers go, Sosh knows which names to write on the card but I’m not entirely certain that’s who takes the mound. Looking at the end results, there may be a few giant bubbling alien brussel sprouts lurking in certain garages and closets. It’s the only reasonable explaination. ;)

– Kristen

It’s really hard not to start managing the team whenever you see a decision that just blows your mind (in the bad way). That line-up carousel sounds pretty insane, but I know the Angels are a scary team when they get hot, and especially if they are running the bases well. Mike Scioscia is one of the better managers in the game, it’s just a matter of time. Enjoy year 2 of Vernon Wells…just 2 more after this! Jeff Mathis has only started 5 games for us but he’s hit a home run. He’s no Mike Napoli (sorry) though.

Ugh, bringing up Vernon, Mathis being above the Mendoza Line for once and Napoli all within two sentences? You really know how to wound a girl, don’t ya? ;) (no worries, I’m laughing as I type that.) Thanks, Mike! I do think they’ll be fine once they get it going. It’s just a question of how soon they get it going and will that be enough. In the mean time, it’s nearly May. The Orioles, Nationals and Indians are all in first place and Jeff Mathis has hit more 2012 homeruns than Albert Pujols. Somewhere in Hell, a small pile of snow balls is growing larger, LOL!

– Kristen

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