And don't get me started on the catchers! (Photo by Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images)
Cone: Based on his speed to first last night, you'll be looking for a new job next week.
Trev: Be that as it may, I have a difficult job for that week!
Cone: Will you be coaching the pitchers?
Trev: No, no, I'm the bench coach.
Cone: Who be the pitching coach?
Trev: No, no, no - Dubee the pitching coach.
Cone: ...huh. Well, now that I've been called up from Lehigh Valley, I'll have to get to know everyone on the team. You think you can help me with that?
Trev: Well, Cone, I have to tell you, the managers have very peculiar lineups these days.
Cone: Yeah? How do you figure? It seems pretty normal to me.
Trev: I mean funny...odd...nonsensical. Based on things like matchups, gut-feeling, defensive shifts. Strange substitutions, too -- the French style of player management. Called the "Francouer."
Cone: Hey, I remember that guy! He bought those guys in Oakland a bunch of pizza. The Phillies should sign him. I like free food...
Trev: Food guys don't play in this town, Cone. Why, take Hunter Pence...please! But seriously, you gotta think with your gut, not your stomach if you're going to learn these lineups.
Cone: But all my gut ever tells me is "Ribs!"
Cone: Oh yeah, I remember that game! They won, right?
Trev: In dramatic fashion! Ninth inning walk-off: it was a classic - a perfect example.
Cone: Alright, what was the lineup?
Trev: Well, you gotta have guys at every base, so we have Wigginton at first, Utley at second, and Michael Martinez on third...
Cone: I thought Michael Martinez was a shortstop.
Trev: He is.
Cone: Then who's our third baseman?
Trev: Michael Martinez.
Cone: He plays two positions? Cool! He must be really talented!
Trev: It would only stand to reason! But no. He's terrible.
Cone: He can't be that bad! I heard he's a switch-hitter. Plays two positions, and switch-hits? Sounds like a hell of a player to me.
Trev: Well, you got the switch part right, but whoever told you the hitter part must have had a bridge to sell you. He's versatile, though, so the gut puts him at third.
Cone: So our shortstop's playing third...then who's playing short?
Trev: Jimmy Rollins is playing short.
Cone: What position does Rollins normally play?
Trev: Rollins plays shortstop, a lot like Martinez.
Cone: Can he play third base, too?
Trev: Well, he's never tried it.
Cone: Does anybody on this team actually play third base?
Trev: Ty Wigginton plays third base.
Cone: But I thought he was playing first!
Trev: Well, sure, that's what I said!
Cone: Then who's playing third!?
Trev: Michael Martinez.
Cone: So let me get this straight. We've got a shortstop playing short, another shortstop playing third, and a third baseman playing first. Do we have an actual first baseman?
Trev: Well, that's an interesting question, my friend. We do have a first baseman, a heavy hitter named Ryan Howard.
Cone: Why isn't he playing?
Trev: He can't hit lefties.
Cone: Oh, so I guess this Wigginton guy must have beaten up the lefty pitcher pretty good, then, right?
Trev: As it happens, Wigginton went 0-3 with 3 strikeouts.
Cone: Huh...did anybody hit this guy?
Trev: Michael Martinez hit the other guys' pitcher pretty good. He went 2-2.
Cone: The shortstop?
Trev: No, the third baseman.
Cone: I thought he struck out three times.
Trev: No, that was the first baseman.
Cone: But the first baseman was benched because he couldn't hit lefties!
Trev: That's right.
Cone: Then who's playing first!?
Trev: The third baseman.
Trev: No, no, that's Wigginton!
Cone: The third baseman!
Trev: No, that's Martinez. At least until Utley can play there.
Cone: The second baseman? Then who's going to be playing second?
Both: THIRD BASE!
Cone: I'm so confused right now. At least tell me this merry-go-round lineup did well during this game.
Trev: Well, no; they stunk on ice. The first thing you need to know about the gut, Cone, is that it's always right. Except when it's wrong.
Cone: Does that mean it was right tonight?
Trev: Now you're getting it!
Cone: I don't even know what I'm sayin' anymore!!
Okay, so let's get this straight, you're making up your lineup, and you're facing a soft-tossing lefty named Jeff Francis.
Trev: That's right.
Cone: Who's going for us?
Trev: Cliff Lee. Great stuff, ace pitcher, but can't buy a win.
Cone: How'd he do this game?
Trev: Pitched a gem. Seven strikeouts, no walks, and just 2 earned runs. He had it all tonight.
Cone: Doesn't he have like really low run support or something?
Trev: He's gotten 66 runs in 168.2 innings. You can say he's been unfortunate in that area, yes.
Cone: Is that why the lineup was so screwy tonight?
Trev: It never hurts to shake things up, Cone.
Cone: So let me get this straight...
We have our shortstop playing shortstop. We have our other shortstop playing third base until our second baseman is ready to play third and our shortstop-third base-whatever can play second. Meanwhile, our actual third baseman is playing first base because our actual first baseman can't hit lefties. But our third baseman-first baseman-hot dog vendor or whatever he is can't hit lefties anyway!
Is there any first baseman on the team who can hit lefties?
Trev: We do have a kid named John Mayberry, Jr.
Cone: Where was he?
Trev: Center Field.
Cone: But they did get a big pinch-hit to tie the game, right?
Trev: That's true, they did.
Cone: Who was it that hit that two-run double?
Trev: Laynce Nix.
Cone: What position does he play?
Trev: First base.
Cone: Ahhh! Stop, stop! I don't give a darn!!
Cone: I said I don't give a darn!!
Trev: Oh, he's the general manager!