With Team USA set to go up against an extremely slick-fielding Japanese team tonight in their semifinal matchup to determine who goes to the championship game against Korea, USA manager Davey Johnson is going with a bafflingly bad defensive alignment.

dumpsterFirst of all, it is highly questionable to go with an outfield of Ryan Braun in left, Curtis Granderson in center, and Adam Dunn in right.  Granderson is decent enough, but I am tempted to say that an outfield of Granderson in center and two completely immoble industrial-sized trash dumpsters in left and right would catch more fly balls.

But most baffling of all is Davey Johnson’s decision to go with worst-defensive-shortstop-in-baseball Derek Jeter at short while actually-pretty-good-defensive-shortstop Jimmy Rollins is the DH!

Actually, this is of course not baffling at all, since most crusty old baseball men still think Jeter is awesome at defense, but really, it’s hard to think of a defensive move more damaging to the squad’s chances of victory, other than putting Dunn at 2B or something.

7 Responses to “Team USA heading into must-win semifinal game with one hand tied behind its back”

  1. Paul Moro says:

    Three errors. Four unearned runs. Congratulations, Davey Johnson.

  2. Last night’s lineup really was a defensive nightmare.

    Years from now when somebody asks you what kind of ballplayer Adam Dunn was, you can tell him that Dunn hit exactly 40 home runs four seasons in a row, and that in a WBC game against Japan Dunn’s manager chose to play Mark DeRosa at first base instead of Dunn, even though DeRosa had never played the position before and first is Dunn’s “natural” position.

  3. DeRosa actually did play at first a few times with the Cubs. I would still rather see Dunn at first where he would theoretically do less damage and DeRosa in the outfield. The better question would be why is J. Roll DHing with Jeter playing short?

  4. http://www.sawauto.com/uploader/up1/1Donkey Throw.gif

    Look at that defense! How can you insult Adam Dunn?!

  5. Johnson decided not to put Dunn at first base because he knew Japan would just bunt in his direction all game. Frankly, I think that was the correct decision. And if DeRosa did play first base for the Cubs, that’s news to him. He told reporters before the game that he didn’t remember ever playing the position before.

    Kensai, that video pretty much says it all.

  6. Oh, and as for Rollins DHing…well, I think we all agree that was the wrong decision.

  7. I clearly remembered DeRosa at first regardless of what he told reporters. I looked it up on Baseball Reference and he played 10 games at first over the last 2 seasons on the North Side and 13 total for his career. It’s not a significant amount but it does in fact support the contention that he had in fact played the position. I suppose baseball players don’t always have the best memory or aren’t always the most accurate in their quotes.

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