Let’s talk about lineups

When I open Al Gore’s internet each day, I never know what to expect. It could be horrifying, it could be fantastic, one never knows. But one thing I can count on each and every day is that someone will complain about Ricky’s lineup.

On the FromThe108 podcast and on the mean streets of Twitter, I’ve said that Ricky’s lineups are not all that concerning to me. For most of his time with the Sox, he hasn’t had much to work with. And now that he does, he’s looking to construct a consistent lineup but there are a number of factors at play like holding people in AAA for service time, or positive covid tests, or injuries. But that has been met with resistance, so I’ll try something else today. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and look at a beloved manager’s Sunday lineups in a very celebrated season.

That’s right, I present to you some of Ozzie Guillen‘s finest Sunday lineups from 2005.

The Gold Standard

July 17th 2005 is such a beautiful lineup. It reminds you what an incredibly talented team we had that year. This is the lineup that you want each and every day. When Frank is gone, it’s Carl Everett, but still great.

 White Sox lineup July 17, 2005

The Leadoff Spot

If Scott Podsednik wasn’t in the lineup on Sunday, Ozzie mainly used two players to fill in that leadoff spot. Pablo Ozuna, who had a .313 OBP in 2005 and Timo Perez who had an incredible .266 OBP that year. The lineup below is from April 17th, but these guys at the top of the lineup was not a rare occurrence. Pablo Ozuna started 20 games in the leadoff spot that year and Timo started 16 games. That’s about 22% of the season. The Ricky equivalent this year would be leading off Leury Garcia about 13 times. I’m sure Twitter would not burn down if that happened.

White Sox lineup April 17th, 2005

Multiple Bench Guys

I’m sure you looked at that and said, well hey, it’s just one guy in the lineup, not a big deal. What I hate is when Ricky puts a bunch of bench guys in the same lineup. It drives me nuts. Well then, let’s take a look at August 21st. Stacking the lineup with Pablo Ozuna, Chris Widger, Brian Anderson, and Geoff Blum would figuratively, and possibly literally, set your head on fire if Ricky did something similar. About the same lineup took the field the following Sunday. The Sunday after that was a bit different with Geoff Blum starting at SS.

White Sox lineup August 21st, 2005

The DH Spot

“But Chorizy-E, you missed the great thing Ozzie did there. He gave Konerko a day at DH to rest him. Ricky wastes the DH spot too often and I hate it!”
-Angry reader about to close my stupid post

That’s true, that is a good use of the DH spot that day. However, and not to keep picking on Timo Perez, the lineup below is not a good use of that DH spot. Timo actually ended up with 22 PA from the DH spot that year for a scorching .465 OPS. There are some other studs that hit in the DH spot that year, but we’ll get to them shortly.

White Sox lineup with Timo Perez at DH

Clean Up

At this point, you’re likely saying, at least he never hit a Nicky Steaks type at clean up. I mean, who would do some shit like that. Well, sorry to be the one to tell you, but the original Big Boss Ross, Ross Gload was our clean up hitter on April 24th, 2005. Don’t worry, that was the only time he started there that year. I mean, Joe Borchard also started a game batting clean up (and DH), but he was made for that spot in the lineup.

White Sox lineup April 24th, 2005

I didn’t put this together to bash Ozzie. I was always a fan of Ozzie. Rather, I felt we should take a look at what happens to lineup cards over the course of a season. We have no idea who is tired or sore or hungover or has the clap or who is a well liked player getting a Rudy-esque send off as they unceremoniously end their time as a big leaguer. And because of that lack of information, it’s difficult to say who should be in the lineup and when they should be. But I can tell you this, there are a lot more important things with the team to stress about than the lineup card.

One last thing, check out all the subs on the last day of the season. It’s a fun box score, especially with that 1:08 start time.



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