...well, then that's okay.
Overreaction to Opening Day is the right of the paranoid fan. When Tim Lincecum only pitches three innings, it’s our right to start freaking out. Was his velocity down? Was his control the only problem? Did he revamp his delivery? My co-worker heard from a friend that some guy on KNBR said he looked hurt, so should we tank the season and try and trade the #5 pick and an expiring contract for Stephen Strasburg? I cherish this right of the paranoid fan.
Instead of freaking out about Lincecum – who’s fine, of course– let’s bask in the warm glow of Opening Day and highlight one of the many positive aspects of the day. In the grand scheme of things, the order of the lineup means about as much to the Giants’ season as would a costume change for Lou Seal, but two points stick out:
- Ishikawa hitting in front of Rowand
- Burriss hitting eighth
I’m not sure if Felipe Alou would have had the same lineup – he would have had Brian Wilson warm up in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings before sitting him, of course – but I’m sure that Dusty Baker wouldn’t have. This is all conjecture, but Dusty would have known that Burriss is the speed guy. He’s the guy with speed. Ergo, he would have been at the top of Dusty’s lineup. And Rowand is a veteran "power" guy. There isn’t a chance in the world that Dusty would have had Ishikawa hitting in front of Rowand. My guess at what Dusty’s lineup would have been:
2B - Burriss
SS - Renteria
RF - Winn
C – Molina
CF – Rowand
1B – Aurilia
3B – Sandoval (replaced in the 6th–inning by Juan Uribe)
LF – Lewis
Is it fair to make fun of a hypothetical lineup of a manager who hasn’t been around for over six years? No. But sometimes you can appreciate Bochy a little more when you think about how other managers drove you nuts. Bochy watched Ishikawa and Rowand hit this spring and said, dang it, until the Rowand of 2007 shows up, there’s no reason he should be higher than seventh in the order. It sounds simple, but that’s an unusual decision for a Giants manager to make.
The first time Rich Aurilia starts at first against a right-handed pitcher, the love-in is over, but for a day, Bochy’s on my good side.