30 March 2008

Irrationality Owed Us

Yes, it is irrational that Ethier wins the starting job over Pierre based on Spring Training Stats. If Ethier had instead been the one to hit below 0.200 and Pierre had hit over 0.300 then Ethier still would have been the better choice. Ethier is the better player, the better hitter, the better fielder, the better thrower, and less than 100 at-bats against rusty major league pitchers and AAA pitchers isn't going to prove or disprove that.

But you know what? Irrationality owed us. The signing of Pierre was irrational; the insistence that only he could play center field for 161 games last year was irrational. ( He came off the bench in one game. ) Ideally the Dodgers will make all their decisions based on rationality and clear thinking. But if they're going to be irrational about things, then damn it I want it to work out the right way sometimes. Today, it did. Pierre goes to the bench. It's the right decision. Sometimes throwing darts can pick the right stock.

Now both Ethier and Kemp have to hit. A man who awards a starting spot based on Spring Training may not hesitate to pull a starter after a three week slump. It's a long season. But it's good to start it out the right way, at least.

Things seem to be turning the Dodgers' way as the season opens. After a spring full of injuries and losses and some shaky performances, the Dodgers are ending on a high note. Billingsley has quieted the fears that he wasn't quite ready with his gem Friday night, though of course he does need to build up a little bit more stamina. Ethier is starting in left. ( Why not right field, I wonder? ) Kent has returned from injury after it appeared he might not be ready by opening day. I feel good about this team. I feel like they can win 100 games.

Irrational? Yes. I wouldn't have it any other way.