Marco was settled in at the back of the 2 train this morning. He had the newspaper folded over and was scribbling lineups in the margins with a stubby pencil.
“We’ve got the players to make this work,” he said. “It’s not gonna be easy, but we can get it done.”
Marco was looking ahead to tonight’s game against Detroit and the next few weeks without Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada.
“I think you keep Damon at the top and move Melky to second,” Marco said. “Melky has been our best player all year and he should be near the top of the lineup. Abreu stays the number three hitter and Derek moves into the cleanup spot.”
Marco waved his hands to warn against any argument.
“This team is built to have a righty in the cleanup spot,” he explained. “We need The Captain there because Alex is gonna be out for awhile. He protects Abreu in front of him and the lefties – Matsui and Giambi – that follow.
“Derek is now our biggest right-handed bat,” Marco continued. “And that’s how I’d make out the lineup card tonight: Damon in left, Melky in center, Abreu in right, The Captain at short, Matsui at DH, Giambi at first, Gonzalez at third, Cano at second and Molina behind the plate.”
Marco paused and considered.
“It’s a good lineup,” he said. “The whole thing hinges on Captain Cleanup and I’m comfortable with that.”