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.