Bochy reserves right to sit Posey to win batting crown

Bochy reserves right to sit Posey to win batting crown
September 29, 2012, 1:28 am
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SAN DIEGO -- Major League Baseball's official statistics still show Melky Cabrera as the leader in the NL batting race with a .346 average, and it's no mistake. Cabrera will remain qualified until after the 162nd and final game, when he'll finish one plate appearance short.

As as you're no doubt aware, Major League Baseball approved Cabrera's request to amend Rule 10.22(a) so that he won't be considered qualified by adding an extra hitless at-bat to his statistics.

So the batting race is an actual race -- and Buster Posey is leading it.

Posey passed the Pirates' Andrew McCutchen on Thursday and entered Friday's game with a .333 average (.33268, to be more precise). McCutchen entered with a .332 average (.33158). He's now down to .330 after going 0 for 2 against the Reds. (Homer Bailey tossed a no-hitter by the way)

Posey is in the lineup tonight and will play regularly down this final week, although Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he'd rest his cleanup hitter on Sunday.

And Bochy could face an interesting choice in Wednesday's final regular-season game, since the Pirates will be done several hours before the Giants take the field at Dodger Stadium.

Would Bochy sit Posey with a slight lead?

"I definitely have that right, I'll say that," Bochy said.

If Bochy did sit Posey with a lead, it wouldn't sit too well with others around baseball. But it wouldn't be the first time controversy accompanied the final leg of a batting race. Remember Jose Reyes, bunting for a base hit and then leaving the game last year?

This goes back a lot further, though. Ty Cobb sat out to avoid losing any ground to Shoeless Joe Jackson. Wade Boggs also strategically sat down the stretch.

Then there is Ted Williams, who was hitting .39955 -- .400 when rounded up -- entering the final game of the 1941 season. He chose to play both ends of a doubleheader, went 6 for 8 and ended with the iconic .406 mark that is so well remembered.

Now that's how you go out.