By Matt Snyder
Fans are always griping about how managers in the majors put together a batting order, so Rays manager Joe Maddon took it to the people for Friday night's game. He had an afternoon luncheon with the Tampa chamber of commerce and let the group make the lineup we'll see on the field against the Twins.
“I know how many times I’ve been criticized for my different lineups, so I thought I’d let the chamber of commerce luncheon people make our lineup,” Maddon said. (TBO.com )
His only rule was that Ben Zobrist and John Jaso were given the day off. From there, the Chamber made the lineup. Here's what they came up with:
1. Sam Fuld, LF
2. Johnny Damon, DH
3. Matt Joyce, RF
4. Felipe Lopez, 3B
5. B.J. Upton, CF
6. Sean Rodriguez, 2B
7. Dan Johnson, 1B
8. Kelly Shoppach, C
9. Reid Brignac, SS
Joyce looks to be the fan favorite, and Maddon noted as much.
“The third choice was the one that surprised me a little bit, though I think it’s a good choice tonight, that was Matt Joyce to hit third,” Maddon said. “His table was really loud, and so I thought based on the support he received from table, I think it was seven, that Matt belongs in the three-hole.”
Just another reason to love Maddon, who has long been a favorite in baseball circles.
UPDATE: The Rays won 5-2, Joyce collected three hits in four at-bats and Maddon thanked the chamber via Twitter -- also noting Joyce would be in the three-hole again Saturday.
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