This certainly has been done before, but I thought I’d do it: What if you had to make a team made up of announcers and color commentators (either as regulars or as common fill-ins) from either TV or Radio, assuming you could have them in their prime? Well, it’d probably look something like this (there is a jump after the pitchers). I note what team or, in cases where they work for a national network, network they are currently commentating for.
Starting Pitching Staff: This is one of the big strengths, with Jim Palmer (Orioles), Bert Blyleven (Twins) and Don Sutton (Braves) already in the Hall of Fame and with Tom Glavine (Braves) and John Smoltz (Braves and TBS) are going to join them one day. How you’d order such a rotation is anyone’s guess.
Relievers: Dennis Eckersley (TBS), of course, is the closer. Jeff Montgomery (Royals), Larry Andersen (Phillies), Al Hrabosky (Cardinals), Dan Plesac (MLB Network), Rob Dibble (the obscure Compass Media Network radio broadcast) and Mitch Williams (MLB Network) form the rest of the bullpen.
Catcher: Tim McCarver (FOX), of course, is the starting catcher. Dan Wilson (Mariners) is his backup. Honorable mention to Ray Fosse (Athletics), who probably will be bumped up when McCarver retires after this season. Bob Brenly (Diamondbacks) is worth a mention too.
First Baseman: This gets difficult. No, wait… no it doesn’t. Frank Thomas apparently does the occasional analyst job for the White Sox. He’s good to have. Sorry, Keith Hernandez (Mets) and friends, but you are just going to have to be backups for days when Thomas is DHing.
Second Baseman: Plenty of possibilities, like Jerry Remy (Red Sox), Duane Kuiper (Giants), Jerry Coleman (Padres), Tito Fuentes (Giants), Harold Reynolds (MLB Network) and countless utility-men are possibilities. I’d probably go with Marlins Spanish-Language commentator and five-time All-Star Cookie Rojas, but there are plenty of choices that would be equally as good.
Shortstop: Cal Ripken does the occasional color commentary for TBS, especially during the playoffs. If he somehow gets hurt (fat chance) or the manager decides to move Ripken over to third to allow for another big bat in the lineup, then Barry Larkin (ESPN) or Nomar Garciaparra (ESPN) would take over.
Outfielders: Tony Gwynn (Padres) is a Hall-Of-Famer. So is Ralph Kiner (Mets). After that, it gets crowded. Rick Monday (Dodgers)? Gary Matthews (Phillies)? Dan Gladden (Twins)? Doug Glanville (ESPN)? Paul O’Neil or Ken Singleton (Yankees)? What about Jay Buhner (Seattle)? Wait, Luis Gonzalez does select games for the Diamondbacks? He’s in (just beating out Singleton). So you have Gwynn, Kiner and Gonzalez as your starting outfield, with Doug Glanville also on the team to provide an actual center fielder when needed. Oh, and Tony Oliva (Twins), too, although he’d probably be doing a lot of DH work with Frank Thomas.
DH: Flipping between Frank Thomas and Tony Oliva.
Manager: Lou Piniella, who does the occasional YES broadcast (usually when they are in Tampa). Apologies to Bob Brenly.
Announcer: Of course, this team would need to be announced by somebody. That somebody, of course, is the great announcer in baseball history: Vin Scully.
So, the final 25-man roster for this team is:
SP (5): Palmer, Blyleven, Sutton, Glavine, Smoltz
RP (7): Eckersley, Montgomery, Williams, Anderson, Hrabosky, Plesac, Rob Dibble
C (2): McCarver, Wilson
IF (6): Thomas, K. Hernandez, Cookie Rojas, C. Ripken, Knight, Larkin
OF (5): Gwynn, Kiner, L. Gonzalez, Glanville, Oliva
Not that bad of a team…