Opening Day Lineupstravaganza: Pirates @ Cardinals, 4:15PM

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The Cardinals will be without Skip Schumaker today because Pirates starter Paul Maholm is a lefty and Tony La Russa likes to fiddle around with that sort of nonsense. Brian Barden becomes the opening day third baseman because Troy Glaus is a fragile china doll. And with an outfield of Rick Ankiel, Ryan Ludwick and Chris Duncan, starting pitcher Adam Wainwright better hope that no balls leave the infield. Other than that, it's a lovely day for baseball in St. Louis!

The Pirates come to town ready to start 2009 on a good note. However, with Nyjer Morgan leading off and playing left, they're obviously continuing their task of tanking to get high draft picks, in the spirit of the Rays. You've got superstar in training Andrew McCutchen just chomping at the bit to be the everyday CF. Make it happen soon, Pirates people.

You have come here for the lineups. I will bring them to you:

Nyjer Morgan, LFBrendan Ryan, 2B
Freddy Sanchez, 2BRick Ankiel, CF
Nate McLouth, CFAlbert Pujols, 1B
Ryan Doumit, CKhalil Greene, SS
Adam LaRoche, 1B Ryan Ludwick, RF
Andy LaRoche, 3BYadier Molina, C
Brandon Moss, RF Chris Duncan, LF
Jack Wilson, SS Brian Barden, 3B
Paul Maholm, SPAdam Wainwright, SP

I think the Pirates will surprise us with a win today, but then lose 161 games in a row.

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Duncan, I'll give you, but what's wrong with Ankiel and Ludwick in the outfield? The team ranked second in fielding last year according to the Fielding Bible. I thought you were a stats guy, Iracane.

I'm just disappointed that the pitcher is batting ninth.

Ankiel has the range of a guy who used to be a pitcher but then failed and decided "hey, maybe i'll learn how to play outfield" and then learned but really has no range. He should not play centerfield.

Where are Rinku and Dinesh now?

This is a bad game to judge Ankiel's range by eye (and by comparison), since McLouth is a lead-filled statue out there.

Ankiel in the two-hole?

Where have you gone, Tommy Herr?

Is anyone else having issues with GameDay?

No, but I completely forgot to, you know, actually follow the games.

I have switched to ESPN's GameCast. It's not nearly as good as MLB's GameDay

Ankiel had better Range Factors in CF in 2008 than Shane Victorino, Coco Crisp, and Mike Cameron.

Granted only 89 games at the position, but still, it's science.

You Cards fans are a learned sort.

I think it's mostly a matter of seeing the games. For example, I have no idea if anyone can play outfield very well at all for the Yankees, but I could probably rank all the Cards' position players.

Hint: Johnny Damon has a noodle arm.

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