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Batting Order

It's always made a little sense to bat Bonds third. It means more plate appearances over the course of the season and a guaranteed first inning at-bat. Bruce Bochy likes the idea, and now Bonds seems to be on board after all these years:

For me to (bat third), I need somebody who wants to run. Get on base and steal. That's the key ... and hitting third is different than before.
Hrmm. Haven't heard that reasoning before, but I'll take the word of one of the best hitters ever over my own preconceived notions. Of course, if you monkey around with Baseball Musings' Lineup Analysis Tool, it's easy to see that lineups don't make a whole bunch of difference. The difference between the sabermetrically orthodox lineup and the likely opening day lineup is about a tenth of a run per game. The difference between Bonds batting third or fourth in this simulation actually gives the edge to Bonds batting fourth (5.198 runs per game with Bonds batting fourth to 5.176 with Bonds batting third).

These simulations don't take into account some of the little things, such as Benji Molina running like Don Zimmer chained to a Volvo. Also, note that other lineups simulating better than the one we'll see in April include variations that have Randy Winn batting cleanup, so maybe the whole lineup construction business is to be taken with a grain of salt.

Long story short: It just doesn't matter much.

Short story long: I'm starting to dig this Bochy cat.

"Numbers have shown that walking Barry is not advantageous," Bochy said. "It's putting more runners on base.
More runners on base is a good thing? For the past decade, a malfunctioning Teddy Ruxpin doll was more likely to utter that phrase than a Giants manager was. Heck, one of the previous managers explicitly came out against the disease known as clogitis. Less bunting, a vague understanding that "numbers" might mean something, and a history of not overworking young pitchers? Rapture.