Note: I feel like I have to say this before we go any further. I do not hate Fredi Gonzalez or want to start a FireFrediGonzalez.com. As long as the players like/play for him and he doesn't make any disastrous decisions like not playing Heyward at all, we're cool. However, there's nothing to really talk about, and this IS a problem, whether it will have a large impact on the team's performance or not. So read and "sign" my little petition in the comments because Heyward really should hit second.
When in the course of a baseball season a manager makes an irrational decision, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that the fans, beat reporters, bloggers, rest of front office staff, and spouses of all involved to declare how bad of a decision the manager is making and to threaten to dissolve the fanatical, financial, and filial bands which have connected them with the Team.
We hold this truth to be self-evident—the best hitters should hit at the top of the batting order. Whenever the manager acts in a contrary way to this end, it is the right of the fans involved with said manager’s Team to bitch and moan about it and to continue to do so until the decision is rectified. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that teams and managers should not change for light and transient causes. But when a long train of such moves, directed toward winning the World Series, demonstrate the error of the logic used by the Team and act contrary to its intended end, it is the public’s right to criticize the move until the error is corrected. The history of this manager is to place stereotypical lead-off hitters at the top of the order against all logic. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He let Alfredo Amezaga hit lead-off for almost 200 plate appearances in 2007 because he was fast and let Mike Jacobs hit clean-up for 250 plate appearances because he was a first baseman. Josh Willingham hit fifth 418 times.
He let Mike Jacobs, after a miserable 2007, to have over 300 plate appearances from the same spot in 2008. Dan Uggla hit fifth 447 times.
He placed Emilio Bonifacio in the lead-off spot 255 times and the second spot 193 times in 2009 because he was fast. Dan Uggla hit fifth 345 times and sixth 262 times.
He allowed Jorge Cantu to bat fourth 365 times in 2010 because he was, again, a corner infielder. Dan Uggla hit fifth 349 times.
He now hits Nate McLouth second over the obviously superior Jason Heyward, who he places sixth though he may well be the best offensive player on the team.
For using stereotypes to construct his batting order.
For ignoring that Heyward reached base more times (237) last season than McLouth did in his best season (230), and he did it in 60 fewer plate appearances. Heyward was injured for a month and a half of playing time while McLouth had a season he probably will never have again.
In every stage of these Oppressions, we the Public have protested in the most humble terms. Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Manager, whose character is thus marked by every lineup card which may define a Fredecision, is unfit to make the lineup card every day.
Nor have we been wanting in attentions to our beloved manager. We have elaborated on the logic of hitting good hitters at the top of the order. We have espoused placing guys with high OBPs in the first few spots. We have appealed to the sense of logic within the manager to change his ways for the good of the team. He has been deaf to these cries. We must, therefore, establish this petition and denounce the manager by using the term “fredecision” until he should choose a better course of action.
We, therefore, the fans of Braves Nation, undersigned in the comments section, appeal to Fredi Gonzalez, Frank Wren, and the Braves organization to encourage the use of Jason Heyward instead of Nate McLouth in the second spot in the lineup. Realizing that this change may not make much of a difference, we find it incomprehensible to do something so obviously against better judgment. A playoff berth is on the line. And for the support of this Declaration, with the firm reliance on the protection of Bill James and his disciples, we pledge our allegiance to the Atlanta Braves and hope for their continued success, which would be much easier with Heyward hitting second.
- Mark Smith, writer for Chop-N-Change