Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mantle, Maris batting order: Fat Mike gets it wrong ... again.

WFAN sports talk radio in New York has the most obnoxious tech phobic blowhard in America: Mike Francesa.  He does the afternoon slot, which for some unknown reason, is also simulcast on the Yankee Entertainment Sports (YES) network, which means that we can see Fat Mike and what he's doing and not doing.

Yesterday Fat Mike was running his mouth about it being the anniversary of Roger Maris hitting the first of his record 61 home runs in 1961.  Mike was reading it from pieces of paper.  He's so ignorant of computers that he cannot even read it from a screen even if some teenage intern looks it up for him.

Fat Mike was droning on about how new Yankee manager Ralph Houk would eventually move Maris into the third spot in the Yankee lineup with Mickey Mantle fourth, i.e., switching and reversing their order in the Yankee lineup.  WRONG!

Houk's predecessor Casey Stengel had already done that in 1960, the first Yankee season for Maris.  In 1960 Mantle batted third in 67 games and fourth in 46; Maris batted fourth in 65 games and third in 40 games.  In 1960 from Sept. 17 through Oct. 2 in the final 14 games of the regular season: Maris third, Mantle fourth.

1960 World Series games:

1: Maris third, Mantle fourth
2: Maris third, Mantle fourth
3: Maris second, Mantle third against Pirate lefty Vinegar Bend Mizell
4: Maris third, Mantle fourth
5: Maris second, Mantle fourth against Pirate lefty Harvey Haddix
6: Maris third, Mantle fourth
7: Maris third, Mantle fourth

Mantle batted behind Maris in all seven WS games in 1960.  MLB network had a major review of the 1960 WS in the fall of 2010.  Fat Mike could have seen the batting order simply by paying attention to that.

It took Houk until game 30 in 1961 to finally put Maris in the third spot in the batting order for good.  Prior to game 30 Maris started 11 games batting third.  After that the only games that Maris started and did not bat third were three games in which Mantle did not start and Maris batted fourth.  In 1961 Mantle batted fourth in every game that he started.

Fat Mike's ignorance is inexcusable.  Fat Mike, learn to use a computer.  The data is just sitting there waiting to be reviewed.  Get off your fat ass and do some research.

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