On Sunday afternoon in Wrigley field, the Blue Jays fielded a rather unorthodox lineup. Much was made of the words written down on the card at game time, but I’d like to take one step back in time. Surely John Gibbons didn’t just pick the names out of the hat, there must have been some method to the madness. Let’s imagine ourselves as a fly on the wall Sunday morning in Chicago…
John Gibbons: DeMarlo, you got a pen?
DeMarlo Hale: Sure, boss.
JG: And you got one of the lineup cards they gave us Friday?
DH: I got one of them too.
JG: ’bout that time again.
DH: Yes, ’bout that time.
JG: Look, let’s just get dis done. And don’t give me one of those looks.
DH: What looks?
JG: Those looks like you thought I din’t think it all the way through. It’s a log-i-cal thing.
DH: I’m not sure I know what you’re saying.
JG: If we do it log-i-cally, eight hitters for eight slots, ‘course pitcher bats last in the NL, it will flow logically. Look. Just lookit… let’s just get this done.
JG: Alright. Hendricks is a righty. So Carerra leads off. He’s fast, been hitting well all year.
JG: Martin’s still hurt. Gotta use Josh in the two slot. Hasn’t had a hit this weekend, but he’s due.
JG: Smoaky looks good still, put him third. Jose bats fourth.
JG: Do you want to tell him he’s batting lower than that? Because I’ll tell you what, if we move his name any lower, I’m gonna make you tell him it was your idea… Besides, who else is going in there?
DH: Don’t get mad at me. We aren’t even in the bottom third of the lineup yet.
JG: Montero is gonna bat 5th, because he’s gonna hit a home run against his old team today. That’s how that goes, right?
DH: Ha, sure it does.
JG: Okay, so Pillar is in center. And I’ve got Goins at second. Good kid. Like that kid. Lots of big moments for him this season.
DH: That’s seven. Who bats in front of the pitcher?
JG: Well, Aoki can work the count. Maybe run a little bit if the pitcher bunts him over. Good range out there in left.
DH: Uh, about that.
JG: About what?
DH: There’s two guys in left field, Zeke and Nori.
JG: Aw, s_t! Don’t look at me with that face.
DH: I’ve only got the one face, John.
JG: I told you… lookit. I got this. I can’t ask Marco to go out there and not give him some bats, score some runs. We already lost the g—amn DH! I got this!
DH: All I’m saying is the outfield is pretty crowded.
JG: Jose can play third. Heck we had Martin out there, nobody died. It can’t be any worse than that.
DH: Okay, now it’s crowded in a different place entirely.
JG: Stop it! JD is still going to play third. He’s just gonna play it thirty, forty feet to the left of where he’s used to.
DH: Don’t you think Goins at short and Josh at–
JG: –Josh has never started a game at second base! Are you nuts?
DH: But he’s never started a game at sho–
JG: Stop saying things or I’ll send you out there to show him the card and make you tell ‘em it was your idea.
JG: Exactly. Hey, one your way out, could you put a couple cans in the fridge for me in case I get myself thrown out early today? Don’t look at me with that face! And stop shakin’ your head! Logic took us right through the whole thing Demarlo, it’s like math, you can’t fight it!
And that’s how you get this lineup:
1. Ezequiel Carrera – RF
2. Josh Donaldson – SS
3. Justin Smoak – 1B
4. Jose Bautista – 3B
5. Miguel Montero – C
6. Kevin Pillar – CF
7. Ryan Goins – 2B
8. Nori Aoki – LF
9. Marco Estrada – P
Lead Photo: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports