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  • Hartsel & Stairs bat left-handed, everyone else bats right-handed.
    Hartsel throws left-handed, everyone else throws right-handed.

    Manager & backup catcher - Mike Matheny

    Pitchers - Jim Bouton, Hardie Henderson

    C - Shanty Hogan
    1b - Matt Stairs
    2b - Don Zimmer
    3b - Alex Bregman
    SS - Greg Gagne
    LF - Topsy Hartsel
    CF - Ellis Burks
    RF - Mike Marshall
    DH - Jim Lemon


    Hartsel, 7
    Burks, 8
    Bregman, 5
    Stairs, 3
    Marshall, 9
    Lemon, DH
    Hogan, 2
    Gagne, 6
    Zimmer, 4

    The pitching is mediocre. The fielding is rather good up the middle and on the left side, but very shaky on the right. The lineup is pretty imposing.


    • We were shy an infielder here, so I'm shifting Giancarlo Stanton to first base, which is a move that might make sense anyway -- maybe he'll make it through a few months without a leg injury.

      C - Matt Wieters (B/R)
      1b - Giancarlo Stanton (R/R)
      2b - Michael Cuddyer (R/R)
      3b - Tim Wallach (R/R) [player-manager]
      SS - Buddy Myer (L/R)
      LF - Michael Conforto (L/R)
      CF - Jose Cruz Jr. (B/R)
      RF - Jason Heyward (L/L)

      Pitchers - Ray Kremer (R/R), Denny Neagle (L/L), Al Benton (R/R), Jeremy Affeldt (R/R)


      Myer, 6
      Cruz, 8
      Conforto, 7
      Stanton, 3
      Cuddyer, 4
      Heyward, 9
      Wallach, 5
      Wieters, 2
      Pitcher, 1

      Two pretty good starters, two more pretty good relievers. Defense has standouts at catcher, third base and throughout the outfield. Myer is a very good second baseman who's overextended at shortstop. Cuddyer gets by at second. Stanton is a newbie at first. Two speedy, good on-base guys at the top of the lineup, then power-and-patience all the way down. Wallach has had a long career coaching and has been in the running for some managerial jobs; this is his big break.


      • All position players throw right-handed. All position players other than Dixie Walker (L) bat right-handed.

        C - Randy Hundley
        1b - Jimmie Dykes
        2b - Jerry Priddy
        3b - Stan Hack [player-manager]
        SS - Alex Rodriguez
        LF - Harry Steinfeldt
        CF - Jayson Werth
        RF - Dixie Walker

        Pitchers - Wilbur Cooper (R/L), Joaquin Andujar (B/R), Dontrelle Willis (L/L), Hank O'Day (R/R)


        Hack, 5
        Werth, 8
        Walker, 9
        Rodriguez, 6
        Steinfeldt, 7
        Priddy, 4
        Dykes, 3
        Hundley, 2
        Pitcher, 1

        Walker, Dykes and O'Day have already managed, so we'll give Stan Hack a shot here. He's got a pretty good pitching staff. Wilbur Cooper, who really ought to be in the HOF, is the ace; Andujar is a flamboyant, entertaining, clutch #2; Willis is a dynamic shooting star at #3, and O'Day, a workhorse, is the HOFer (alas, as an umpire) at #4.

        Defense is very good, with the only problem being a scarcity of outfielders; we only had two, both of whom primarily played right. Werth played a bit more center than Walker, so we'll use him there. Steinfeldt is the infielder that dabbled the most in the outfield, so we'll ask him to hold down left.

        Hack is a great leadoff hitter, and Werth is a fine #2. Dixie & A-Rod are a great 3-4. The underrated Steinfeldt led the NL in hits and RBI in 1906, plus doubles in 1903. Priddy & Dykes are solid, gritty contributors, and Hundley is a defensive specialist. Both Cooper & Willis are unusually good hitting pitchers; if there's a DH, it will be Willis against RHP and Cooper against LHP.

        This team is likely to contend.


        • 1. L Billy Goodman - 5
          2. L Darin Erstad - 8
          3. R Hans Wagner - 6
          4. L Hank Blalock - 3
          5. R Tom Daly - 2
          6. R Duff Cooley - 7
          7. L Mickey Morandini - 4
          8. L Rip Sewell - 9
          9. R/L Nap Rucker - 1

          (R Rip Sewell)

          L Don Gullet
          L Gio Gonzalez
          R Billy Rhines
          "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”


          • One of the best yet! (Though it slipped a little when I realized I'd mistaken John Roseboro for Willie Davis.)

            C - John Roseboro (L/R)
            1b - Keith Hernandez (L/L)
            2b - Nap Lajoie (R/R)
            3b - Ken Boyer (R/R)
            SS - Honus Wagner (R/R)
            LF - Gary Sanchez (R/R)
            CF - Jose Cardenal (R/R)
            RF - Harold Baines (L/L) [player-manager]

            Pitchers - Jim Kaat (L/L), Jon Lester (L/L), Jack Coombs (B/R), Kasuhiro Sasaki (R/R)

            Soooo...I thought we had three outfielders, but we didn't; two catchers instead. So I'll send Sanchez out to left field - he's young, strong, somewhat spry, hasn't won two Gold Gloves yet, and has never suffered first degree assault while in catcher's gear.

            The outfield is fine, but that infield is off the charts! Two inner circle HOFers around second base in Larry & Hans, and two guys in the waiting room in Mex & Kenny B. at the corners. Incandescent superstars, both offensively and defensively, at every infield spot.

            Baines is yet another HOFer, Kaat is another guy that ought to be there, Lester is a guy who is well on his way to working his way there, and Sanchez has the tools to make a run too.

            Roseboro is no HOFer, but he is a six-time All-Star & three-time World Series champion. Cardenal has nearly 2000 hits and over 300 stolen bases, Sasaki is a Japanese star that came to MLB, immediately established himself as one of the top closers in the game, and won Rookie of the Year.

            Lastly, Coombs had a brief peak as the ace of Connie Mack's dynasty best known for the the $100,000 infield; in his greatest season, 1910, he won 31 games to lead the AL, threw 13 shutouts to lead the AL, and had a 1.30 ERA, which somehow didn't lead the AL. But the next season, he slipped to 28 wins, which also led the league, so...yeah, still pretty good.

            Speaking of the $100,000 infield, how much would this one be worth?

            These guys aren't going to need a Joe McCarthy at manager, but there are several options here. I'm going to give Harold Baines the gig, just because he gets badmouthed too much. But he was also a first-base coach for awhile under Ozzie Guillen, so he's gotten to learn from him and yet still retain his placid temperament. He'll do well.


            Cardenal, 8
            Hernandez, 3
            Wagner, 6
            Lajoie, 4
            Baines, 9
            Sanchez, 7
            Boyer, 5
            Roseboro, 2
            Pitcher, 1

            Coombs was a pretty good hitter; if there were to be a DH, it would be him; still batting 9th, of course.
            Last edited by Cougar; 03-26-2020, 06:11 PM.


            • C - Tim McCarver (L/R) [player-manager]
              1b - Rickie Weeks(R/R)
              2b - Bobby Grich (R/R)
              3b - Blondie Purcell (R/R)
              SS - Bones Ely (R/R)
              LF - Kyle Schwarber (L/R)
              CF - Vada Pinson (L/L)
              RF - Bobby Higginson (L/R)

              Pitchers - Kenny Rogers (L/L), Jim Bouton (R/R), Colby Lewis (L/L), Johnny Kucks (R/R)


              Purcell, 5
              McCarver, 2
              Pinson, 8
              Grich, 4
              Higginson, 9
              Schwarber, 7
              Weeks, 3
              Ely, 6
              Pitcher, 1

              McCarver, who had some chances to manage but chose not to leave the broadcast booth (probably wisely), can manage this group.

              Pitching is underwhelming, if ok. Gambler is a sound #1, and Bouton had his couple big years before his arm gave out. Lewis and Kucks are strictly back rotation guys. Defense is fantastic up the middle, and adequate elsewhere.

              The lineup is pretty solid. Purcell steals a bunch of bases, McCarver is a speedy catcher who takes walks and hits an unusual amount of triples. Pinson does everything well except taking pitches, and Grich is the lineup's best batter overall. Higginson and Schwarber both have good power and OBP, Weeks is a nice hitter at #7, and Ely is a great bunter. This team will be competitive.


              • C - Cy Perkins (R/R) [player-manager]
                1b - Andres Galarraga (R/R)
                2b - Manny Trillo (R/R)
                3b - Juan Uribe (R/R)
                SS - Freddie Patek (R/R)
                LF - Red Dooin (R/R)
                CF - Mike Donlin (L/L)
                RF - Reggie Jackson (L/L)
                DH against RHP - Don Blasingame (L/R)
                DH against LHP - Ivan DeJesus (R/R)

                Pitchers (both R/R) - Mel Stottlemyre, Rich Harden


                Patek, 6
                Blasingame/DeJesus, DH
                Donlin, 8
                Jackson, 9
                Galarraga, 3
                Uribe, 5
                Trillo, 4
                Perkins, 2
                Dooin, 7

                Baseball lifer Perkins will manage from behind the plate. He'll have a very good pitcher in Stottlemyre, a pretty good one in Harden, and exceptional defense from himself behind the plate and around the diamond with Galarraga, Trillo, Patek, and Uribe. The outfield defense will be poorer; Turkey Mike and Reggie are erratic, and Dooin is a catcher, albeit an unusually speedy and spry one, plugged into left.

                Patek and the DH tandem are not the hitters you'd like at the top of the lineup, but they're great on the base paths. Donlin, Jackson, and Galarraga are elite hitters in the heart of the lineup, Uribe has some pop, Trillo is steady, and Dooin is scrappy.


                • C - Joe Torre (R/R) [player-manager]
                  1b - Willie Montanez (L/L)
                  2b - Aaron Hill (R/R)
                  3b - Arlie Latham (R/R)
                  SS - Al Dark (R/R)
                  LF - Tim Raines (B/R)
                  CF - Eddie Brown (R/R)
                  RF - Sam Thompson (L/R)
                  DH - Lee Lacy (R/R)

                  Pitchers - Carl Hubbell (R/L), Eppa Rixey (R/L), Candy Cummings (R/R)

                  Ok, this one's a pennant winner! All three pitchers are HOFers, so is their catcher/manager, and both corner outfielders. The shortstop ought to be too. The third baseman stole over 700 bases (granted, fewer than the left fielder), the shortstop and the first baseman both have doubles crowns, the center fielder was the NL hit king of 1926, and the second baseman has two Silver Slugger awards.

                  Can I just say again -- Get a load of that pitching staff!


                  Latham, 5
                  Raines, 7
                  Thompson, 9
                  Torre, 2
                  Lacy, DH
                  Montanez, 3
                  Dark, 6
                  Brown, 8
                  Hill, 4


                  • Pitchers (all R/R) - Kevin Appier, Pete Donohue, Rafael Betancourt, Danny Graves

                    C - Yan Gomes (R/R)
                    1b - Johnny Grubb (L/R)
                    2b - Bobby Byrne (R/R)
                    3b - Mel Ott (L/R) [player-manager]
                    SS - Jose Vizcaino (B/R)
                    LF - Ben Grieve (L/R)
                    CF - Tommy McCarthy (R/R)
                    RF - Magglio Ordonez (R/R)


                    McCarthy, 8
                    Grubb, 3
                    Ott, 5
                    Ordonez, 9
                    Grieve, 7
                    Byrne, 4
                    Gomes, 2
                    Vizcaino, 6
                    Pitcher, 1

                    The pitching is only decent, all the good fielders are out of position, and the bottom of the lineup lacks much dynamism. Ott is both the best player and has the most managing experience.


                    • Pitchers - Sid Fernandez (L/L), Dick Tidrow (R/R), LaTroy Hawkins (R/R)

                      C - Alex Avila (L/R)
                      1b - John Olerud (L/L)
                      2b - Hardy Richardson (R/R)
                      3b - Mike Kreevich (R/R)
                      SS - Rabbit Maranville (R/R) [player-manager]
                      LF - Carl Crawford (L/L)
                      CF - Curt Welch (R/R)
                      RF - Bob Allison (R/R)
                      DH - Joe Pepitone (L/L)

                      So I had a long writeup almost finished, and it got deleted, because I'm having just that kind of a car broke down, for no reason whatsoever, on a Friday after business hours, and I spent the day with a child, whom I love dearly, who must have been under the impression she was filming a PSA for vasectomies.

                      Anyway...this is a really good team, right? Everything should be pretty self-explanatory other than Kreevich at third base -- the White Sox tried him there a couple times in the minors, including for the entirety of his last season on the farm, so it wasn't foreign to him. I figure El Sid starts, Dirt throws middle relief, and LaTroy closes. And the lineup is pretty great -- speed, OBP, extra-base power, it's basically got it all. Terrific defensively too -- above average at every position, except perhaps third, with some legendarily great gloves in Rabbit, Olerud, and Welch.

                      Let Rabbit manage; he did have a 53 game stint with the Cubs in 1925 (which was disastrous, but whatever), and he is the team's shortstop and only HOFer. It might be funny, or it might just be crazy enough to work.


                      Crawford, 7
                      Welch, 8
                      Olerud, 3
                      Richardson, 4
                      Allison, 9
                      Pepitone, DH
                      Avila, 2
                      Kreevich, 5
                      Maranville, 6


                      • Manager/Utility - Fresco Thompson (R/R)

                        Pitcher - Al Maul (R/R)

                        C - Charles Johnson (R/R)
                        C/1b - Joe Mauer (L/R)
                        1b/2b/OF - Lew Fonseca (R/R)
                        1b/OF - John Kruk (L/L)
                        2b - Ozzie Albies (B/R)
                        3b/2b - Phil Garner (R/R)
                        SS - Ozzie Guillen (L/R)
                        LF/OF - Bobby Abreu (L/R)
                        CF/IF/OF - Ben Zobrist (B/R)
                        RF - Ross Youngs (L/R)

                        Remarkably good roster; really too many good players to squeeze onto the field at once.

                        Lineup against RHP, defensive emphasis

                        Zobrist, 8
                        Mauer, 2
                        Abreu, 7
                        Youngs, 9
                        Kruk, DH
                        Albies, 4
                        Fonseca, 3
                        Garner, 5
                        Guillen, 6

                        Lineup against RHP, offensive emphasis

                        Zobrist, 6
                        Mauer, 3
                        Abreu, 8
                        Youngs, 9
                        Kruk, DH
                        Albies, 4
                        Johnson, 2
                        Fonseca, 7
                        Garner, 5

                        Lineup against LHP, defensive emphasis:

                        Zobrist, 8
                        Mauer, DH
                        Abreu, 7
                        Youngs, 9
                        Albies, 4
                        Johnson, 2
                        Fonseca, 3
                        Garner, 5
                        Guillen, 6

                        Lineup against LHP, offensive emphasis:

                        Garner, 5
                        Zobrist, 6
                        Abreu, 8
                        Youngs, 9
                        Albies, 4
                        Johnson, 2
                        Fonseca, 7
                        Kruk, DH
                        Mauer, 3

                        This lineup is obviously going to put up bucketfuls of runs. Maul on the mound is an interesting pitcher; I had a long write-up on him early in this thread. He had an up-and-down career, but he won both an ERA title and a batting championship (which was retroactively lost when they changed rules about minimum PA and walks equaling hits), and late in his career had a 20-win season with a 2.10 ERA despite only striking out 1.2 batters per nine innings, which seems impossible, but true.

                        I'd probably tend towards the better defensive lineups...they'll score plenty of runs even while carrying Guillen, and Guillen is a way better shortstop than Zobrist, and Zobrist is a way better center fielder than Abreu. That said, as good a catcher as Mauer was, Johnson was even better.

                        Fresco Thompson was a pretty lousy player for the Phillies in the 1920s, who nonetheless was smart, funny, affable, and had some leadership (he was Phillies captain) & organizational skills. When he retired, he managed in the minors for a bit, then became a protege of Branch Rickey, eventually running the entire Dodger farm & scouting operation. He finally became GM in his own right in the late '60s when Buzzie Bavasi went to the San Diego expansion franchise, but then in a sad turn he promptly got cancer and died within the year.


                        • I'm still skeptical I made this work.

                          C - Craig Biggio (R/R)
                          1b - Lyle Overbay (L/L)
                          2b - Henry Larkin (R/R)
                          3b - Buddy Bell (R/R)
                          SS - Hughie Jennings (R/R)
                          LF - Dave Foutz (R/R) [player-manager]
                          CF - Willie Montanez (L/L)
                          RF - Ross Youngs (L/R)

                          Pitchers (all R/R) - Mudcat Grant, Nelson Briles, Alejandro Pena, Eddie Fisher, [Dave Foutz, Henry Larkin]

                          Four good starters, although two of them are playing positions with no obvious substitutes (and Foutz may be the best of the bunch). Two solid relievers, both good for multiple innings per appearance - and Pena has an ERA crown. Defense, despite two pitchers playing positions, is actually pretty good -- the left side of the infield is awesome with Hughie and Buddy, Youngs was very good in right, Overbay is better than one would guess at first, and Foutz & Larkin are perfectly competent in left & at second. The two offensive players at secondary positions are the weak links; Biggio wasn't a very good catcher, and Montanez wasn't really much good at anything he needed a glove for.


                          Biggio, 2
                          Jennings, 6
                          Youngs, 9
                          Bell, 5
                          Overbay, 3
                          Foutz, 7
                          Montanez, 8
                          Larkin, 4
                          Pitcher, 1

                          Three HOFers bat first, followed by a guy who ought to be there (albeit in large part for his glove), and then four more solid hitters. Overall, a pretty good lineup. By all rights, Jennings should manage, but I think I've used him before -- let's give Foutz a shot.


                          • Pitchers - Thornton Lee (L/L), Jair Jurrjens (R/R), Al Smith (L/L)

                            C - Mike Matheny (R/R)
                            1b - Alex Gonzalez (R/R)
                            2b - Phil Garner (R/R) [player-manager]
                            3b - Al Dark (R/R)
                            SS - Corey Seager (L/R)
                            LF - Chase Headley (B/R)
                            CF - Chet Lemon (R/R)
                            RF - Troy O'Leary (L/L)
                            DH - Javy Lopez (R/R)

                            Lineup against RHP:

                            Garner, 4
                            Lemon, 8
                            Seager, 6
                            Lopez, DH
                            Headley, 7
                            O'Leary, 9
                            Dark, 5
                            Gonzalez, 3
                            Matheny, 2

                            Lineup against LHP:

                            Garner, 4
                            Lemon, 8
                            Seager, 6
                            Lopez, DH
                            Headley, 7
                            Dark, 5
                            O'Leary, 9
                            Gonzalez, 3
                            Matheny, 2

                            Lee's the ace pitcher, an ERA king in 1941, an epic year in baseball. Jurrjens is a decent mid-rotation starter. Al Smith was a better Governor of New York than LHP, but he'll do at #3. Excellent defense, with the only weak link really being in left field, which one can live with. (In fairness, Headley is a good third baseman; he just got bumped to left.) Garner runs well, Lemon & Seager get on base a lot, and then Lopez, Headley, O'Leary & Dark can drive them in. Matheny makes us feel better about playing Gonzalez at 1b. Scrap Iron can manage.


                            • Pitchers (both R/R) - Jeff Samardzija, Terry Leach

                              C - Dick Higham (L/R)
                              1b - Don Mattingly (L/L) [player-manager]
                              2b - Ed Delahanty (R/R)
                              3b - Arlie Latham (R/R)
                              SS - Pee Wee Reese (R/R)
                              LF - Kevin Mitchell (R/R)
                              CF - Darryl Strawberry (L/L)
                              RF, RHP - Jack Tobin (L/L)
                              RF, LHP - Chris Sabo (R/R)
                              DH - Alex Bregman (R/R)


                              Tobin/Sabo, 9
                              Mattingly, 3
                              Delahanty, 4
                              Bregman, DH
                              Mitchell, 7
                              Strawberry, 8
                              Higham, 2
                              Reese, 6
                              Latham, 5

                              Pitchers are pretty good, but far from world-beaters; I suspect Shark may have been a better wide receiver, although he probably made more money and had a longer career with baseball. Strawberry has the talent for center field, but never quite managed to deploy that talent defensively, to put it gently. Sabo isn't a right fielder at all. And Delahanty & Higham are really subpar at second and behind the plate (though, for what it's worth, catcher appears to have been Higham's best position; Delahanty, on the other hand, was shifted to the outfield for good reason).

                              But Mattingly, Reese, and Latham are defensive superstars, and this is some kind of lineup! The career OPS+'s are 109, 127, 152, 144, 142, 138, 119, 99, 92. (Sabo & Tobin have the same career OPS+.) Everyone in the lineup other than Sabo led their leagues in multiple offensive categories,, including hits, runs, RBI, doubles, triples, home runs, stolen bases, batting average, and slugging percentage. (And Bregman is still getting better!) Delahanty, Reese, and Latham all led their leagues in stolen bases, and Strawberry, Sabo, and Tobin run well too. This team could score eight or nine runs a game.

                              A lot of good managerial candidates; I suppose I'll give it to Mattingly.


                              • Third base was the only positional challenge on this one. Galarraga played some third in the minors, and Dropo dabbled there in late in his career, but I supposed Zaun, who played there a little but less than the Big Cat or Moose, made the most sense. I could be wrong; if this team were real, I'd try them all over there, see who took to it best.

                                C - Milt May (L/R)
                                1b - Andres Galarraga (R/R)
                                2b - Dustin Pedroia (R/R)
                                3b - Gregg Zaun (B/R)
                                SS - Frank Fennelly (R/R)
                                LF - Jeff Burroughs (R/R)
                                CF - Vic Davalillo (L/L)
                                RF - Tony Conigliaro (R/R)
                                DH - Walt Dropo (R/R)

                                Pitchers - Tim Keefe (R/R) [player-manager], Phil Hughes (R/R), Tug McGraw (R/L)


                                Pedroia, 4
                                Fennelly, 6
                                Burroughs, 7
                                Conigliaro, 9
                                Galarraga, 3
                                Dropo, DH
                                May, 2
                                Zaun, 5
                                Davalillo, 8

                                Sir Timothy is an all-time great 19th century hurler who was dominant in the 1880s, and Tugger is one of the best left-handed relievers ever, putting out fires for the first World Series winners for two franchises. Hughes can mop up. The fielding up the middle is very good with May, Fennelly, Pedroia, & Davillio; off to the sides, Big Cat was nimble in his youth and sure-handed all along, Tony C. had a great arm in right and pretty good range prior to his tragic beaning, Zaun is a newbie at third, and Burroughs was a born DH.

                                The top 6 of that lineup is a beautiful thing. Fennelly, Burroughs, Galarraga, & Dropo all had RBI crowns; Conigliaro & Galarraga had HR titles, and Pedroia & Burroughs were both AL MVPs. The remaining three batters are are more than respectable, with OPS+'s in the lower nineties; little Vic runs well, as do Pedroia and Fennelly.

                                Smiling Tim is the team's greatest player, and he coached Harvard's baseball team for about a decade, so he seems like a wise choice to manage. Pedey Pedroia, one of the spiritual leaders of the Red Sox over their dynastic run in the first two decades of the twenty-first century, Galarraga, also a charismatic team leader; Fennelly, briefly the captain of the Cincinnati Red Stockings in 1888; Burroughs, who managed in the independent Western League and also managed a Little League World Series championship team from Long Beach; and May, who had a long post-playing career as a coach & minor league manager, merited consideration as well.


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