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Debates Round 1 Matchup 6


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Here's how it goes. Each side makes their opening argument. One side goes first. Once the other side goes, the first side may post again and defend his argument. You can only go again once the opposing side gets to speak. You've got about 48 hours.

 

ONLY the competitors of this specific debate, the judges and myself may post in this thread.

 

At the end the judges will privately vote on a winner.

 

This debate ends 8:00 PM Eastern on 1/28.

 

Topic: Do we need two leadoff hitters in our lineup? (Luis and JP)

 

Yes - BenderRobot

 

No - jonnylons

 

Either side may begin.

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The reason we need 2 leadoff hitters is because it will put more pressure on the defense to try and get two speedy guys out. There is also the threat of them both being able to steal a lot of bases so you got a lot of pressure on the catcher there as well. You then have the chance of getting 2 early runs if they both get on base with our RBI producers in the 3-6 slots. Sure, Pierre does get alot of hits, but then again, he is also a free swinger at times. He will swing at pitches that are low and outside, giving him a chance to get out more. Thats where Castillo can step in and alot of times, with his patience he will get strikes, so more chances to hit the ball. His patience and speed on the basebaths can get the defense jittery, and the catcher has to keep a very close eye on them. If he doesn't, you got a stolen base. Same thing with the pitcher, they will need to pay attention to them, otherwise, you got a speedy guy or two in scoring position.

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The question clearly asks, do the Marlins need two leadoff hitters. The answer is likewise clear - No.

 

Need is far different from want. Need is necessity, the cold, heartless, force that determines cause and effect. You need to eat, have shelter and have clothing. The Marlins - in order to be a successful baseball team - do not need to have two leadoff hitters.

 

In fact, few teams around MLB do. The Red Sox, last year's world champs, did not have two lead off hitters. They won the world series. The Cardinals? Didn't have two lead off hitters, either. Nor did the Yankees, or Astros - the remaining two of baseball's final four from the post season last year. The fact that the Marlins do utilize such an attack is what makes them intriguing and an anomaly.

 

In fact, the only team in recent memory that has had two lead off hitters and has been successful has been the 2003 Florida Marlins. And the reasons they had 2 lead off hitters had more to do with necessity, that word once again, than anything. Necessity being working with what you got because you dont have the money to spend it on anyone else.

 

I do not disagree with BenderRobot's statements - they do little more than only accentuate what potential lies in the two-pronged attack of a dual lead off lineup. Since they only display the benefits of such a formation, those statements do little to explain the vitality of it. BenderRobot doesn't make a convincing argument for why we need two lead off hitters.

 

In fact, adding Delgado makes having two lead off hitters redundant - adding the potency of a bat like Delgado's only lessens the dependency on every bat in the lineup to an extent. The burden shouldered by Cabrera, Gonzalez, Conine, Lo Duca, Lowell, even Encarnacion becomes lighter. We could just as easily form an argument to include one of those hitters - or any hitter for that matter - in the #2 slot.

 

More to the point, to undercut BenderRobot's point, Juan Pierre is anything BUT a free swinger. He struck out 35 times in 678 AB's. That means he is putting the ball in play a lot, to say the least. He is more than adequate as a lead off hitter and putting Castillo at the #2 spot - to somehow act as another lead off hitter - only becomes redundant. You can just as easily put a hitter in the #2 slot that has a greater ability to drive in runs and get extra base hits than Castillo. In fact, once Pierre gets on base, his job then becomes to drive in Pierre and not just to get on base.

 

No matter how you slice it, there is no reason why the Marlins need to have two lead off hitters in their lineup. There is an upside, to be sure, but that isn't to say the Marlins, with their current lineup, would be just as successful with a more traditional lineup. In fact, the very notion of a more 'traditional' lineup only attests further to the anomaly of the Marlins two lead off attack.

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You do put up some good points in there.

But when I said JP was a free swinger, I never meant that he struck out alot, I just meant he swung at alot of inside and outside pitches.

 

Back to the reason Im posting this. As I have said before, having 2 fast runners (our leadoff guys) will put major pressure on the defense. When they are on base, they will put pressure on the pitcher and catcher. You never know, sometimes they will put pressure on the outfielders by trying to take second base on a flair to left center. We need two leadoff men because they make things happen when they put the ball in play. When JP hits a slow roller to third, the 3B may try to throw it to hard, and he will overthrow the First Baseman, putting JP on first or second, or if the ball gets to far away, maybe third. Castillo is able to slap the ball the other way or pull it down the right field line. Two leadoff hitters are a huge plus to the Marlins.

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We need two leadoff men because they make things happen when they put the ball in play. When JP hits a slow roller to third, the 3B may try to throw it to hard, and he will overthrow the First Baseman, putting JP on first or second, or if the ball gets to far away, maybe third. Castillo is able to slap the ball the other way or pull it down the right field line. Two leadoff hitters are a huge plus to the Marlins.

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The debate is not about what two leadoff hitters can do for the Marlins lineup. It is about whether or not the Marlins NEED two lead off hitters. The answer, despite your examples, is still 'No'.

 

With your example above, it is still hypotheticals that you are speaking about. Sure, the above scenario could happen - so could the 3B make an excellent throw and JP is out. Then Castillo hits a weak grounder and you have two outs with Cabrera up. Still, only speculation but it could just as easily - and is in fact more likely - to play out the way I described as opposed the the way you dreamed up. Professional baseball players are such because they can make spectacular plays in addition to the routine ones.

 

Again, and I cannot stress this enough, the Marlins 'two lead off' lineup is not by any means the standard in baseball. If it was, we wouldn't be having this discussion in the first place. It would be like arguing over whether or not the Marlins needed bats, or gloves, or even a clean up hitter. This is, and continues to be, an anomaly. The Marlins do not need to have two lead off men in their lineup.

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