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Debates Round 2 Matchup 2


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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 3/30.

 

Topic: Should Lenny Harris make the 25 man roster?

 

Yes - Juanky

 

No - Accord

 

Either side may begin.

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Guest Juanky

My opinion on this matter isn't a popular one, by any means. Most here want Mr. Harris to retire, some want him to stay on as a coach, still others even want him to replace Bill Robinson as hitting coach. Fine praise for someone who supposedly can't hit!

 

I won't deny that one of the chief reasons for keeping Lenny on the roster is a sentimental one. It would be a nice piece of history to see Mr. Harris become the first person ever to accumulate 200 career pinch hits in the Major League. The ball he hits, the bat he uses, even his spikes might be sent into the Hall of Fame. Also, once he hits 199 there will be some nice little attention coming our way as tends to happen when a player is breathing down the record book's throat.

 

But, there are other reasons.

 

- Lenny had the highest pinch hitting average among all remaining bench players from last season. That's right, higher than everyone's god off the bench Damion Easley.

- In Close and Late situations, Lenny had a homer and 6 RBIs in just 24 at bats. If only some of the other players could manage an RBI every four at bats.

- With Runners in Scoring Position, Lenny chocked up 15 RBIs in 35 at bat, better than an RBI every 3 at bats. He was even better with Runners in Scoring Position and two outs, driving in 7 runs in 20 at bats. Almost an RBI every two at bats!

- Lenny puts the ball in play when it's needed, striking out only 8 times out of 95 total at bats, sending runners over on ground balls late in games when runs were scarce.

- Even with all this producing of the most important thing in baseball (runs!), Lenny had a down year at the plate. He hit .211 overall, there's no denying that. However, he is a career.268 hitter who is known to produce when it counts most. He hit .286 in his time with us in 03, and the season prior to that he hit over .300 with the Brewers. Washed up, I assure you.

 

There are also the not so apparent reasons. Lenny is a lefty off the bench when the chances are we won't have another. Lenny is a team leader, coming up with the socks up idea that promoted team unity in a time of crisis last season, and led to a winning streak. Lenny is like Mike Redmond, though they lead in different ways there's no question they both have great clubhouse presence and their leadership is key.

 

Lenny can get you a hit when you need one. Just ask Eric Gagne.

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Lenny, I love you man, but it's time to retire.

 

If Lenny got to 200 career pinch hits last season, he would not have even considered playing another season. Lenny's motivation for staying on this team is a selfish one and he is blocking a bench spot that could be occupied by Joe Dillon or another stud prospect that earned themselves a spot in the show, but won't get it.

 

Yes, Lenny had one of the highest pinch hit averages among all bench players last season, but how many times did he choke when it really counted?

 

Game after game, you would see Lenny's number called in a big late game situation only for him to strike out or pop out. Lenny only came up big once all of last season, and that was against Gagne, but take a look at 99% of his AB's and they were nothing to brag about.

 

Damion Easley came up big numerous times last year, such as his huge home run in Cleveland or his big game heroics against the Mets. Chris Aguila earned himself a spot on the Marlins, but he may not get it because Lenny is too selfish in chasing a meaningless personal record that nobody cares about. Chris Aguila or Joe Dillon deserve the major league AB's that Lenny will be getting every night.

 

Chris Aguila ended last season on an absolute tear and he continued to prove himself with impressive stats in Spring Training, unlike Lenny Harris who is batting a dismal .112 with 0 HR, 0 RBI.

 

And let's not forget out outfield situation. Encarnacion and Conine will be platooning in RF and all indications point to Encarnacion getting the starting job, this means we'll have Conine on our bench most of the time and Niner is going to be our #1 option off the bench in late game pinch hit situations, not Lenny Harris.

 

Lenny is past his prime, yes he is the all-time pinch hit king, but that doesn't mean he's the same player today he was 10 years or even 2 years ago. Babe Ruth retired from the game as the all-time home run king, but in his last season he was no better than a career minor leaguer.

 

I'm one of the biggest Lenny Harris fans on MB.com and even i'm agreeing with the majority of members in the fact that it's time to hang up his cleats.

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Guest Juanky

Let's start off the piece by clarifying something: The words 'Joe Dillon' and 'stud prospect' should never be uttered in the same paragraph again. Thank you.

 

Has Mr. Dillon earned a spot on the roster? One would think that for a right handed minor leaguer on the wrong side of 28 to take the job of an established and historically good left handed bat off the bench he would have to hit the cover off the ball in Spring Training. Oops. A .208 average in the Spring Training that is supposed to determine your life isn't good for someone aspiring to be in the majors, I'll take the proven reliable bat over someone who can't even prove themselves capable of making the club in spring training.

 

How many times did he choke when base hits were needed? Was it anymore than other plays? Easley's homer was as a starter, he wouldn't know a pinch hit last season if it hit him in the face with a whale. You say Lenny had only one hit worth mentioning (apparently someone forgot to link you to actual stats - you can find them at http://www.floridamarlins.com), yet that was exactly one more than Easley's off the bench. If Damion is the answer, I really don't want to know the question.

 

What you fail to mention is Chris Aguila will make the team anyways. I agree he needs to be on here, but his roster spot is assured on the bench along with Easley and Conine should he not start like we all expect. There's absolutely no reason to bring him up, as Lenny wouldn't be taking his job, he'd only be protecting his own. That's what you fail to realize, Lenny isn't stealing anyone's job. Dillon wasn't here last season and Harris is trying to steal his spot away. Lenny is fighting to keep his own job. How is that selfish? You'd do it too if your job was on the line.

 

I agree 100% that Jeff Conine is the first bat off the bench. There's no questioning this. However, let's look at the bench for this team. There will be five spots - four of them as locked in as possible, and one up for grabs in this debate. We have:

 

R Damion Easley

R Jeff Conine

R Matt Treanor

R Chris Aguila

 

That's an AWFUL lot of right handed hitters. Do you really want to put Joe Dillon, ANOTHER right handed hitter on the bench, or do you want to actually have someone that hits left handed available besides Carlos Delgado. Newsflash, he's going to be starting. Dontrelle Willis isn't a left handed pinch hitting option every night. And bullpens are not exactly stocking up lefties to throw at us so we can bash their brains in. The majority of major league pens have one left hander, if that. You're going to tell me that a bench without a single left handed bat is going to succeed in making a division run? Nope, it won't.

 

The facts are simple. Aguila, Conine, Treanor, and Easley are all going to be on this team. It's Joe Dillon vs Lenny Harris, according to dear Mr. Accord. Now you have to ask yourself as you process this: do you want a right handed, career minor leaguer, who when given the chance to earn the 25th spot on the team laid an egg? Or do you want a left handed, all time pinch hit leader, who has come up with key hit after key hit in the one and a half seasons with us, highlited by his ending of the most impressive closing streak of all time? Dillon can't even get himself to the majors and he's supposed to give us a stronger bench?

 

If you want a good bench who has some balance and can get key hits when asked, put Lenny on there. If you want to be overloaded with righties who with one exception have never proven they can get hits when called upon, put Dillon on there. Seems like a pretty clearcut choice to me.

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