We could beat them forever and ever

Jeff Polman’s Strat-O-Matic replay of the 1977 season kicks off tonight and since ’77 is recent enough to drum up some nostalgia even in fans like me that weren’t born at the time, I’m planning on giving Sunday night updates throughout the pseudo-season with two purposes; to keep everyone updated on how everyone’s 1977 favorites are doing (and of course, to solicit the collective bench coach advice of anyone that cares to give it) and to post YouTube videos of awesome (and not awesome) music from 1977. If you’re not interested in this kind of stuff, I’ll put the body of the posts under the jump and you can just skip it.

The real ’77 Bucs won 96 games, but missed the playoffs by five games against the Phillies. This was, in no small part, due to Willie Stargell missing almost 100 games with an injury that year. That means that I can use Stargell, but there’s a pretty high injury risk for him during the season. Accordingly, I’m going to platoon him against lefties for now in hopes of keeping him healthy because his splits are not good in 1977 and the Bucs have plenty of pop against lefties. Here’s the Opening Day lineup that will take the virtual field against Steve Carlton tonight:

  1. Rennie Stennett, 2B
  2. Phil Garner, 3B
  3. Dave Parker, RF
  4. Bill Robinson, 1B
  5. Fernando Gonzalez, LF
  6. Al Oliver, RF
  7. Frank Tavares, SS
  8. Duffy Dyer, C
  9. John Candelaria, P

On most nights, however, the lineup is going to look like this:

  1. Stennett, 2B
  2. Oliver, CF
  3. Parker, RF
  4. Willie Stargell, 1B
  5. Robinson, LF
  6. Ed Ott, C
  7. Phil Garner, 3B
  8. Frank Tavares, SS

Yeah, that’s right. I benched Omar Moreno. Sorry, but there’s no room for a .295 OBP anywhere in my lineup, and especially nowhere near the top of it. He’ll get his share of time if Stargell gets hurt and if this team turns out to be a disaster defensively, I’ll start employing him as a defensive replacement (in center, with Oliver moving to left and Stargell or Robertson coming out) in late innings (well, I’ll tell Jeff to do it since he’s the one playing all the games). But for now, he’s on Willie Mays Hays treatment, doing pushups for every pop-up and riding the bench.

Moving on to the rotation, our instructions were that a five men will be used through the first two months, then anyone with the proper amount of starts will start going on three days rest. So the five man rotation for the virtual April and May is:

  1. Candelaria
  2. Jim Rooker
  3. Jerry Reuss
  4. Bruce Kison
  5. Odell Jones

Jones will likely get skipped regularly as the season moves along. We’re also playing on the 1953 schedule (that’s why we’re a few teams short of the actual 1977 roster) with lots of double-headers. Every team has a dedicated double-header starter with the implicit understanding that said starter will not be very good and is likely to get pounded. I’m going with Terry Forster.

Finally, as the post title implies, your 1977 music of the week:

Pat Lackey

About Pat Lackey

In 2005, I started a WHYGAVS instead of working on organic chemistry homework. Many years later, I've written about baseball and the Pirates for a number of sites all across the internet, but WHYGAVS is still my home. I still haven't finished that O-Chem homework, though.