World Series Game 2: Josh Hamilton's Groin Pains

From Beyond the Boxscore:

Believe it or not, the difference between an optimized lineup and a typical, mildly foolish one you'll see MLB teams use is only about one win over 162 games.

Just about every statistically savvy person would agree. But every time a lineup is released, the tweetnut gallery can't resist poking holes in it. Nick Punto hitting cleanup, for example, would cause the internet to completely fail. It would take six weeks for Twitter to recover.

It's a strange juxtaposition. It's just so danged fun and easy to make fun of a manager's lineup. This is coming up because Josh Hamilton has a strained groin, and according to ESPN ...

Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton said his strained groin is bothering him enough that if this were the regular season, he'd probably be on the disabled list.

Yet he's hitting third. Every game, Josh Hamilton is hitting third, even though he probably wouldn't be playing at all under different circumstances. Dave Cameron makes an impassioned plea to hit Hamilton sixth, complete with .gifs that show him hitting mostly with his upper body. (Hamilton, not Cameron.)

It's a good idea to take any advantage you can get in the World Series, and an extra at-bat for Mike Napoli at Hamilton's expense is probably a good idea. But how meaningful is it? Unless Hamilton's groin is going to turn him into the equivalent of a .230/.280/.280 hitter -- which, hey, it could do -- there probably isn't a reason to second-guess Ron Washington for keeping him right where he is. There are always so many better reasons to second-guess Washington, people. 

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