Sunday, May 26, 2013

Speak Up, Brantley! My Thoughts On His BOP & Contract Talk

i didn't want to clog my upcoming Brantley blog with these thoughts so they're getting a separate blog =D

on the 21st day of May 2013, Brantley had hit in every spot in the batting order this season. yes, he says he doesn't mind it and will do whatever is good for the team. yet he admitted last year after Manny was fired that he didn't like being thrown all over the lineup and wanted some kind of consistency. now, just because Tito Francona is manager, am i supposed to believe that he's all the sudden okay with this? i'm not buying it.

Tito has been changing the lineup quite a bit since the beginning of the year, and he always has a reason, but the reasons aren't adding up. first, he had Brantley batting 5th, which of course wasn't my favorite place for him, but i accepted that and it grew on me. but then he moved Santana up to the 5th spot because he was on a hot streak and batting in the high .300s, so Brantley was moved to the 6th spot for a few games. then when Bourn was out hurt, Brantley was awarded the luxury of leading off. by the time Bourn finally came back, Brantley was just kinda being plugged in wherever and he lost a stable position. lately, he's been hitting in the 7th and 8th spots. the reasoning behind that is because Santana walks and gets on base more than anyone else, Tito likes him ahead of Reynolds since Reynolds can hit balls out of the park. and Brantley bats behind Reynolds for protection. uh, since when does Reynolds need protection? i've heard it all now. however, as recently as a couple days ago, Tito had Reynolds batting 5th and Santana 6th, which went against everything he previously proclaimed. confused yet? and let's not forget how at the start of the season, Tito liked Reynolds hitting lower in the order so that his strikeouts wouldn't hurt us too much. every day seems to be a new story, and unfortunately for Brantley, he's the only one who has to deal with being placed in all the different lineup spots. just because Brantley can hit in every place in the lineup doesn't mean he should continue to move around to every place in the lineup.

in my perfect world, well i shouldn't say it like that because i think everyone knows by now that i want what Brantley really wants (to lead off and play center). so how about i say, ideally, Brantley would bat 5th, Reynolds 6th, Santana 7th (because this kid always gets into trouble when he's batting higher up in the order. he's been steadily batting around the 5th spot this month and we've seen his batting average dip down, have we not?), Chiz or whoever is taking his lineup spot 8th, and Stubbs 9th. 1 through 4 seem to be untouchable at this point unless someone gets a day off, so hop on board because complaining about that will get you nowhere. it's been made apparent to me that power is favored over batting average, and sadly Brantley will never have the power that some of the other players on the team do. but i would hope Tito would value contact over power.

when the guy with the highest batting average on the team is batting 8th, and certain guys who strike out more than Brantley are batting ahead of him, particularly Giambi Juice, this is when i have a problem. i don't care if it's a testament to the depth the team has this year, that is just not right. by now it's obvious that Brantley is too nice and too much of a quiet pushover. it reminds me of something i used to have to deal with back in grade school. boys would cause trouble sitting next to each other in class, so the teacher would have to separate them. and who was always asked to switch desks with one of the boys? that's right, it was me. this happened at least once a year in one of my classes. my teachers thought i was a nice girl and wouldn't mind it, and i never said anything to make them believe otherwise. i should have spoken up and said i don't want to be separated from sitting near my friends because other people were disrupting class. it felt like a punishment to me and i didn't like it. now in the case of Brantley, i feel like maybe he should speak up and say something along the lines of "you know, i'd like to have more of a regular spot in our lineup." maybe Tito would oblige. he won't know if he doesn't ask. he is such an important piece to this team. if he makes a demand, i bet they'd listen. i think it would be wise to keep him happy now, considering he's eligible for arbitration after this season...

because we have more power hitters on the Tribe this year, what Brantley is doing for the team is usually overlooked by many. he's worth more than he's currently being paid and i won't blame Michael at all if when it comes time for extension talks he just says forget it. it's not going to be easy to decide how much he should get, as he is a center fielder by trade playing phenomenal left field. he's playing better left field than we've seen in quite some time. his numbers aren't very good for a left fielder, but they're great for a center fielder, which Brantley is now not. so that right there makes this a tricky topic. plus the fact that he has the ability to pretty much hit anywhere, which not all players possess as has been demonstrated by some Indians in the past, that should increase his value as well.

since we have at least one outfielder who is currently being paid more than Brantley yet who is also performing on a much lower level than Brantley, i think he can use that as leverage to get a nice pay raise. but again, because this team is not positioning him where he truly wants to be, i can't confidently believe that he will sign a long-term extension. it honestly would be smarter if he held out. i've said many times before that i only want what's best for him, and if we can't/don't give that to him, i can't be upset if he leaves. but we will cross that bridge when we come to it. these are just my thoughts and opinions and virtually don't mean anything. after all, i'm not his agent. though i think i might make a pretty damn good one ;D

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