I didn't hear it myself, but commenters in this morning's post say that Ron Washington announced on the radio this morning, while being interviewed by Norm Hitzges, that Vladimir Guerrero will start every game in San Francisco when there is no DH.
That presumably means that David Murphy will be sitting, although I guess there is a possibility that Nelson Cruz could be benched to make room for Guerrero in one or more of these games.
I don't like the decision to start Guerrero, particularly against the Giants' righthanders, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain. Murphy is, of course, a better defensive outfielder than Guerrero...but that not withstanding, I'm not convinced that Murphy isn't the better hitter right now, as well.
Neither Murphy nor Guerrero hit well in the first two rounds, with Murphy posting a 733 OPS and Guerrero a 616 OPS.
However, Guerrero's poor postseason followed a weak second half of the season, in which he hit .278/.322/.426. Murphy, on the other hand, was one of the team's best hitters in the second half, putting up a .311/.388/.509 line.
And Murphy performed better against RHPs this year than Guerrero, putting up an 847 OPS against Guerrero's 810 OPS.
I'd feel more confident in this decision if Guerrero hadn't looked so off in the second half of the season, or if he'd produced more in the playoffs. And it may be that Ron Washington thinks that Guerrero's big hit in Game 6 has him primed to go on a hot streak, or that he feels his presence in the lineup will force the Giants to pitch to Josh Hamilton (although that wasn't the case in the New York series).
And of course, Guerrero has alpha dog status in the clubhouse, and it may be that there is some feeling that benching Guerrero would be perceived as a slap in the face by the other players, and cause unnecessary drama as the Rangers kick off their first World Series appearance ever.
We shall see. And who knows, maybe Guerrero tears it up, or maybe Murphy comes off the bench with a big pinch hit off a righty.
But one thing we can all agree on? Pitchers hitting and no DH is terrible.