Earlier this week I wrote about Will Venable’s place in the batting order and how his hitting second would most definitely ensure that my soul would settle in purgatory, never reaching the treasure trove of celestial paradise.

But before I wrote that piece on Tuesday morning, I called Craig Elsten of 619 Sports last Sunday morning during the Padres pre-game show. I implored Elsten to ask Bud Black what the rationale was behind batting Will second. Why on EARTH, was he batting Venable second!? I believe those were my precise words. Well Craig didn’t let me down. Filling in for Darren Smith on Tuesday afternoon Craig interviewed Buddy and finished the interview with the following question:

I get input. I get feedback from folks out there, in Padres Public, in the world and I love to have this opportunity as a conduit to talk to you about it. What is the mindset, or what is the thought process at the top of the order . . . Venable in the #2 spot? What’s the thought process, why you like to put Venable 2nd?”

Here’s what Bud said . . .

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I’ve been reading select chapters from The Book by Tom Tango, Mitchel Lichtman, and Andrew Dolphin. It is a book about “playing the percentages in baseball”. The chapter I keep coming back to for further reading and understanding is called Batting (Dis) Order and relates to creating the optimal batting order with the players on a team. The reason I return to this chapter is because the sight of Will Venable batting second for the Padres, a reoccurring trend, makes me want to vomit. And I’m trying to understand it all*.

*I’m trying to understand Bud Black’s rationale but more specifically why I have yet to actually vomit. Seriously.

I want to try and distill the chapter down to its basic elements. I think I have a grasp of the chapter but will readily admit that I am not a statistician. Feel free to add insight or correct me where I have erred. I won’t yell at you in all-caps-internet-style.

Before we tackle The Book, let’s wrap our arms around . . . The Will Venable.

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