This passed summer I coached a girls T-ball team. As far as I can remember we only batted out of order twice in 14 games. I think this is pretty good for girls aged four to six. You expect stuff like this to happen when dealing with young children. Where I do not expect players to bat out of order is Major League Baseball. Why am I on a batting out of order tangent?
Yesterday Ozzie Guillen was released from his managerial contract by the White Sox. A rumored replacement is former Royals manager Buddy Bell. When I think about Buddy Bell’s tenure as Royals Manager I think about this game in which David DeJesus and Angel Berroa batted out of order because Bell gave the Angels a different line-up than the one he posted in the dugout. Just another Yackety Sax moment for the Royals in a decade filled with them. I just assumed this kind of stuff only happened to the Royals. But does it? This got me thinking how often batting out of order occurs in Major League Baseball.
Turns out, batting out of order happens quite a bit. Look at this page from Retrosheet.org. They have a listing of all known “batting out of turns” in the history of Major League Baseball. Just in the last decade this has happened nine times. When you consider how many games are played in a season it’s very rare. It’s more rare than a pitcher throwing a no-hitter, but not as rare as a perfect game. I guess this should make me feel better in a misery-loves-company sort of way.
Buddy Bell was also at the helm for a 19 game losing streak. I remember the batting-out-of-turn more than the losing streak because I was in attendance for that game. I was on a two week vacation during most of the 19 game losing streak. Granted, the 2005 Royals’ had little to no talent for Bell to work with. But historical futility seemed to be the theme for the Royals 2005 season.
Have fun White Sox fans.