Graphic: The Dutch Team’s Innovative Defensive Alignment

Dutch Depth Chart

In soccer, the Dutch are famous for having re-invented the game in the early 1970s by means of what has become known as “Total Football” — a strategy devised by Ajax and Dutch national-team coach Rinus Michels, which demanded technical ability from every position and emphasized a fluidity of play.

As the graphic here suggests, there’s reason to believe that Hensley Meulens, manager of the Netherlands’ entry in the forthcoming WBC tournament, is about to do for baseball what Michels did for world football 40 years ago. Faced with a roster featuring four young and talented shortstops — Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox), Jurickson Profar (Rangers), Jonathan Schoop (Orioles), and Andrelton Simmons (Braves) — Muelens has turned lemons into delicious and Zeitgeist-defining lemonade, choosing to deploy all four of the aforementioned players at shortstop at the same time.

“How fine is the line between genius and madness?” Muelens appears to be asking. Except in Dutch, probably. Or in Papiamentu, maybe, too — i.e. the other official language of Muelens’ native Curaçao.

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12 Responses to “Graphic: The Dutch Team’s Innovative Defensive Alignment”

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  1. Rags says:

    Wait, their catcher is named Kaboom!?!

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  2. Gert-jan says:

    The same coach also told the world: “soccer is war”, or “voetbal is oorlog”. His teams played fluent but also had the ruthless players you could send on a mission. Young shortstops, speedy outfielders and a guy that can barely run to first base without icing his knees seem hardly like the merciless defenders of The Netherland in the 70’s.

    On the other hand, always play your best players…

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  3. dstoke85 says:

    This graphic sucks. I have no idea where the guys are being positioned…

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    • dstoke85 says:

      Am I missing something? Is this a joke of some sort?

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    • syh says:


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    • Choo says:

      Boegaerts is playing Left Ballgirl. Simmons is playing that extra position in softball – rover? For safety reasons, the two are tethered together by a long orange rope. Jones is playing Right Ballgirl and is staked to first base by a similar rope to prevent him from chasing cars or wandering out to center field. Kieboom is defending the on-deck circle and is staked to home plate, presumably to keep him from exploding too close to the stands. Profar and Schoop are playing the two MI positions and, because they are OMG like total BFF4Life, share the world’s longest titanium necklace.

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  4. TKDC says:

    I think I just figured out why Andruw Jones signed in Japan – so he’d have a shorter trip to play in the WBC. Typical, lazy Andruw.

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  5. Damaso's Burnt Shirt says:

    Please tell me it’s called the Dutch Oven.

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  6. Toasty says:

    Still better than the Tigers’ infield.

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