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Tracy Defends Bizarre Bay Decision

Via Primer, Jim Tracy defends his decision to bay Jason Bay sixth:

Bay went 1-for-5 with three strikeouts and a double-play grounder in a 7-4 loss to Arizona on Wednesday night, failing to drive in any of the seven runners on base.

"We want to let him have an opportunity where he feels like there's a little more room around him to sort some things out," Tracy said.

Burnitz has one hit in his last 26 at-bats, but was strongly defended by Tracy after being asked if the outfielder had to start producing soon to keep playing. Burnitz also was booed Wednesday for not running hard on a groundball he possibly could have beaten out.

Spend more than a couple seconds trying to parse that, and your head will spin the way Tracy's is probably spinning right now. First you've got to figure out what "room" is, or how a sequential, time-based entity like a batting order can have anything to do with "room." Then you've got to figure out how batting later in the order gives a player any more "room." Then you've got to wonder whether "a little more room around him" is actually just a euphemism for "fewer plate appearances." And then you've got to wonder how it is that a player with a .408 OBP needs "room" to "sort some things out," but Jeromy Burnitz and his .229 OBP are doing just fine and should be batting ahead of Bay.