The Tampa Bay Rays were expected to contend for the Eastern Division in the American League this season. To make a long story short, they are anything but contenders halfway through the season. Rays' manager Joe Maddon, who is considered by many to be one of the best managers in the game, has at times referred to the rock band "Meat Loaf" to put perspective on a series win "two outta three ain't bad."
In Thursday night's game against the Tigers, Maddon took that rock 'n' roll influence on baseball to a whole new level. Maddon's lineup was patterned after the song "Jenny" by the band "Tommy Tutone" batting them in the order of 867-5309. Now, if you don't know this song, check it out here. I'm sure you've heard it at some point in your life.
That's right, Maddon's lineup featured the Center fielder leading off, followed by the shortstop, followed by the third baseman, etc, etc. Batting eighth and ninth were the number two and four players, catcher and the second baseman. The DH was the zero in the equation, while the pitcher, number 1, doesn't bat and is not one of the 867-5309 players in any case. We can talk all day, but the fact that Eric Bedard gave up five runs in the first inning, while the Rays could only manage two hits against Max Scherzer, pretty much doomed Jenny's lineup.
Judging by the results, an 8–1 Tigers victory, Maddon might want to rethink the idea of picking his lineup from messages off a bathroom wall. Or maybe he just had the wrong area code.