This guest-post is part of the 2016 Baseball Continuum Blogathon For Charity, benefiting the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation is the charitable arm of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and funds raised will be “put to immediate use to increase the pace from research trials into improved clinical care, to ensure state-of-the-art facilities, and to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families.” Please donate through the Blogathon’s GoFundMe page. Also, please note that the opinions and statements of the writer are not necessarily those of the Baseball Continuum or it’s webmaster.
One of my favorite things to do during the off season is to make up fantasy rosters. I’m not talking about fantasy rosters to win a fantasy league between friends or try to win serious cash on Draft Kings. These fantasy rosters are teams I would love to see face off on a real diamond, my own version of an all-star team.
The idea of a fantasy baseball team, albeit, one that was fantasy even to the execution of it being portrayed, was the squad of ringers from The Simpsons episode, “Homer at the Bat”. Mr. Burns, looking to win a bet against the Shelbyville Nuclear power plant, decides to hire pro ballplayers to beat his rival town’s power source in a softball game.
Mr. Burns, showing how senile or out of touch he was to baseball in 1992, made up a dream team of his own. Quickly, his assistant explains that nearly all the players he had chosen were retired and most were dead. As he further explained, his rightfielder, Jim Creighton, had been dead for nearly 130 years. Creighton was baseball’s first amateur star in the mid-1800’s. He died the days following an injury sustained in a game in October of 1862.
The plant’s team, filled with ringers included Hall of Famers such as Wade Boggs, Ozzie Smith and Ken Griffey Jr.. They picked some of the game’s best for that era. If I were to pick a team of ringers for Mr. Burn’s squad now, I’d take the approach of getting guys best suited for that slow pitch title game.
Catcher: Yadier Molina
I’m a sucker for a catcher who controls the game. I’d be remiss if I didn’t have a Molina behind the plate (sorry Bengie). Yadi has an epic record when he’s in the lineup. A tough out for any pitcher, he’ll also help his out pitching staff. Plus, I’d like to see a Simpsonized version of his neck tat.
First Base: Prince Fielder
I know for some reading this, there will be the out cry for Miguel Cabrera or even Albert Pujols. To that I say: C’mon, Prince Fielder is built like that guy who does only one thing in a slow pitch game – hit home runs. Every at bat the outfield plays the warning track and he either hits a bomb or a can of corn fly.
Second Base: Jose Altuve
I want a middle infielder who can essentially do everything. Altuve can make great plays on defense, hit for average, flash some pop and be a menace on the bases, especially score on a ball hit into the gap. Given his small stature, people would not expect great things from him. He’s out to prove his worth. Sure beats Steve Sax.
Third Base: Josh Donaldson
At third base, I want to see a guy who can balance some strong defensive play with his hitting. Josh Donaldson proved his skill this past season. When he’s not making a diving catch or hitting a ball into the next postal code (remember Canada), he’s adding a bit of flair.
Shortstop: Brandon Crawford
Crawford is my gamer. Even though he went to UCLA, he is deserving of the Dirtbag moniker. A solid glove man, which will be key for my defense heavy middle infield, his bat can bring a spark to the top or bottom of the lineup. He’s the guy whose uniform is always dirty after the first inning.
Leftfield: Yoenis Cespedes
When you’re setting an outfield for a softball game, you need lots of range and strong arms. Cespedes brings that and a lot of power in the bat. Plus I want to see him do his underhand flip back to the infield.
Centerfield: Andrew McCutchen
Another guy with great range in the outfield. Cutch is on this squad for not only his balanced ability as a ballplayer but also for his cool style. With the dreads, the jacked up socks and a lovable energy on this team, he’ll be a leader.
Rightfield: Bryce Harper
Another player with insane ability and equally awesome, if not slightly superior baseball sartorial tastes than Cutch, Harper is the bad boy of the team. Full of adrenaline and good looks, he’ll make the opposition’s girlfriends swoon over his look and his swing. He’s the team’s Hansel.
Starting Pitcher: Zack Greinke
If Harper is the team’s Hansel, Greinke is the Zoolander. Paying out in LA for a few seasons, he’s got the teen heartthrob look Dodger (and briefly Angel) fans were day dreaming over. He’ll strike out batters with his epic pitching and his golden locks.
Relief Pitcher: Brad Ziegler, Pat Neshek, Darren O’Day
What better guys to have close out a ballgame, if I need them to, that grabbing a bunch of solid sidearm relief specialists. I’d rather have submariners like Kent Tekulve or Dan Quisenberry but their long past their prime or in Dan’s sense, past on. Two are all stars, one guy had 30 saves for Arizona last year. I like my chances with these guys.
With my squad laid out, they should easily hit a few dozen home runs. If they play by my softball league’s mercy rule, they should have a comfy twenty run lead when the game is called after the fifth inning. Let’s hear Terry Cashman make a tune with this team…
Seth Poho is a play-by-play announcer for RLM Sports covering DIII and Ivy League Athletics. When he’s not announcing he’s an obsessive baseball fan.
This guest-post has been part of the 2016 Baseball Continuum Blogathon For Charity, benefiting the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation is the charitable arm of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and funds raised will be “put to immediate use to increase the pace from research trials into improved clinical care, to ensure state-of-the-art facilities, and to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families.” Please donate through the Blogathon’s GoFundMe page. Also, please note that the opinions and statements of the writer were not necessarily those of the Baseball Continuum or it’s webmaster.