The Greatest Lineup Ever Assembled

     Coral (West Coast College Student) and I were trying to come up with "The Greatest Lineups" that we could assemble the other night on instant messenger.  And I threw out some names, as did she, but now that I have the time to research it, I will give my conclusion on the great debate.

     Let me give a premise though.  Imagine that every player that ever existed is walking around in a giant field for no apparent reason.  And a friend and I are choosing our two teams to compete against each other.  It makes it easier to know that I have to compete against someone.  Because I am choosing the players i want to give me the best chance to win, rather than just a team of players that I like.  And the odds that we would choose identical teams is obviously very unlikely, although similiar teams would probably be fairly unavoidable.  I am going to have a starting lineup, and one starting pitcher.  And every player happens to be in their prime.  So just think we are choosing every player at their best.  This seasons Craig Biggio wouldnt be walking around this field.  All players are at their peaks.  We can each choose the same player since we have some kind of cloning machine or something (we have a special machine for Bonds’ giant head).  And yes, we have a cloning machine, might as well, right?  I mean it is already very improbable to have every baseball player to exist hanging out in the same field ready to play a baseball game, so two young adults can get their point across.  And the lineups have a DH, because, well, it is my creation to begin with.  And I have no idea who he is picking.  So I am choosing my lineup regardless of who the opposing pitcher is.  Here we go!

     1)  2B  Joe Morgan

     2)  LF  Ted Williams

     3)  CF  Willie Mays

     4)  DH Barry Bonds

     5)  1B  Albert Pujols

     6)  RF  Babe Ruth

     7)  3B  Mike Schmidt

     8)  SS  Nomar Garciaparra

     9)  C  Johnny Bench

      Second Base-  Joe Morgan, as annoying as he can be as an announcer, is probably the best second baseman to ever play the game.  His 75′ and 76′ seasons were completely ridiculous.  He finished each season with an OBP over .444, stealing over 60 bases in each, and winning a gold glove in each.  From the second base position!  As long as he didn’t share his opinion too much, he would be welcome. 

     Left Field-  Ted Williams may be the greatest player ever.  Top 5, no question.  Batting him second to keep the righty/lefty platoon as long as possible.

     Center Field-  Willie Mays is tough to argue with.  There were a few others I could have gone with.  Griffey, Dimaggio, Mantle, etc.  But I figured I would go in this direction.  He could do it all and more.

     Designated Hitter-  Barry Bonds was a great left fielder, before he grew out of his body.  So since the 02′ version would be my choice (all accusations aside) I put Williams in left, so Bonds doesn’t trip over his own feet. 

     First Base-  Albert Pujols.  Controversy huh?  Wait till we get to the SS position.  Pujols before this season was considered to be the best player in baseball.  But he has a year that is still really good, but AROD overshadows him and all of a sudden he seems to be second.  He is young, I know, but has created 9.5 runs per game.  He will be as good as anyone, ever,  if he continues this pace.

     Right Field-  Babe Ruth.  I feel like I sold out taking Ruth.  But no one will argue this pick.  I could have gone with Frank Robinson or Hank Aaron, etc.  But passing on Ruth may hurt me if my opinion of modern day players turns out wrong. 

     Third Base-  Schmidt may be the best defender this position has ever seen.  Some have said Rolen may be better, but it is incredibly close from what I hear.  Could have gone with a few others as always, but settled on Schmidt.

     Shortstop-  Nomar in his prime was incredible, and yes I get to choose these players, so I go with one of the greatest offensive forces ever at the position.  He was [ok] on defense.  And I had faith in him on either side of the ball when the game was on the line.  AROD would be the best SS ever had he stayed there.  But I would choose Nomar over ARod because I want someone who will come through in the big game, or at least makes me feel more comfortable.  It was so hard to decide, I just went with my heart I guess.  And Wagner had easier competition (my opinion) and never saw a slider (from what I hear).

     Catcher-  Johnny Bench.  Is anyone going to truly argue this?  Sure I could have chosed Berra or a few others.  But come on, Bench was awesome. 

     Starting Pitcher-  Pedro Martinez of course.  There is more than one capable choice here, but in his prime he was the best, in my opinion.  Bob Gibson or Sandy Koufax probably would have been my next two choices. 

     And when I say "prime."  Peak years.  Not necessarily singular.  Brady Anderson for a season, was a heck of a ballplayer.  But I am not going to choose a player because they had one very good season.  And I actually feel bad even mentioning Brady Anderson in this blog to begin with.  But what’s done is done. 

     So there is my incredible lineup, set up for my fictional sandlot game, with whoever my fictional friend is. 

    

    

9 Comments

nomar? you really do have a soft spot…and why not? it’s your team. do we get to post our picks? if so, i have to think about it.
so did you get a chance to watch buckholtz yesterday?

baseball is truly an amazing thing. if someone asked me the outcome of the sox double header yesterday…i think everyone would have said lackey would crush the rookie and beckett would steamroll santana. that’s why they play’em , right?

meanwhile speaking of nomar, i’m a bit bummed that he won’t be playing tonight

i’ll go with this line-up:
lou gehrig 1st

rogers hornsby 2nd

alex rodriguez 3rd

ozzie smith short

roy campanella catcher

babe ruth right

ted williams left

mickey mantle center

roger clemens pitcher

All good choices. And remember at Nomar’s peak he will be much higher on the list than he will be on the All time SS’s list. Per 162 games he is 4th in Win Shares among Bill James’ top 100 SS’s ever.

I didn’t get to see either game yesterday.

interesting point about nomar.
considering your question yesterday about bedard vs verlander….what if we were to throw beckett into that mix. who would you take?

i forgot my DH i’ll take hank aarons in right and ruth as my DH

I don’t know. Beckett has had his blister issues. Verlander is the youngest. But the margin isnt significant between he and Beckett and it is 4 years between he and Bedard which isnt like comparing him to Schilling or anything. I would actually feel more comfortable in a big game with Beckett or Bedard [right now]. But Verlander is young, and more unproven. And I truly believe that this Beckett will stick around, last years Beckett was not the one we will see. I do believe that if he gets stuck with a catcher post Varitek that cant call a game well, that he might revert back to his 06′ form to a small extent.

And as for Nomar. You know that feeling that you have when Jeter is up in a clutch situation, like u are confident he will get the job done? I had that feeling with Nomar. I don’t have that feeling with Manny or Drew, and with the game on the line Ortiz obviously gives off that feeling.

clearly beckett has matured way beyond expectations this year, and it looks like the changes are for real. i think he definitely has the respect for varitek that might keep some of his wild impulses in check, but those should fade as he matures anyway.

i was thinking how i’d feel if the yanks traded jeter…i’d be sick about it. i know that nomar was truly beloved up there.

there really are “those” players, the ones that you’d pick every time the game was on the line.

any, i’m off to the dodgers game…later

1b Lou Gehrig
2b Joe Morgon

3b Mike Schmidt

ss Alex Rodriguez

lf Barry Bonds

cf Willie Mays

rf Babe Ruth

c Johnny Bench

dh Ted Williams

back-ups Ozzie Smith, Stan Musial, Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Honous Wagner, Ty Cobb, Yogi Berra

Starting Pitchers:

Sandy Koufax

Roger Clemens

Lefty Grove

Walter Johnson

Bob Gibson

Bullpen:

Christy Matthewson

Bob Feller

Rollie Fingers

Dennis Eckersley

Mariano Rivera

my bad

pull Bob Feller – and put Steve Carleton in the pen (we’ll need a lefty there)

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