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Baseball-Reference front page "team" building

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  • Pitchers - Tim Hudson (R/R), Andy Ashby (R/R), Emil Yde (B/L)

    C - Chief Zimmer (R/R)
    1b - Dick Stuart (R/R)
    2b - Sandy Alomar Jr. (R/R) [player-manager]
    3b - Tom Tresh (B/R)
    SS - Dave Concepcion (R/R)
    ​​​​LF - Tony Gonzalez (L/R)
    CF - Marlon Byrd (R/R)
    RF - Giancarlo Stanton (R/R)
    DH - Reggie Jefferson (B/L)


    Gonzalez, 7
    Tresh, 5
    Stanton, 9
    Stuart, 3
    Jefferson, DH
    Byrd, 8
    Zimmer, 2
    Alomar, 4
    Concepcion, 6

    Ok, I should have skipped this one. The only guys that really bestir me are Hudson, Stanton, Concepcion, and maybe Zimmer, and that's not really enough. Not to mention I'm putting a burly 6'5" catcher at second base with the justification that his father and brother played there, so he must have it in him.

    Hudson is the best player on the team, a consistent ace with a heavy sinking fastball that induced grounders and weak contact, but he could also strike one out when so inclined. Huddy should be a fairly strong HOF candidate, but he did his job without a lot of flash, didn't get much exposure in the postseason, and never had the big season where everything went right with a lot of wins and/or an especially low ERA that enables a serious run at a CYA.

    Ashby was a rather good pitcher, sometimes a #1, on mostly dreadful Padre squads. When they were good, like when they made a surprising run to the NL pennant, he shone, with a 17-9 record and a 3.34 ERA. (N.b., 3.34 in juice-soaked 1998 is really good!) Ashby had a similar repertoire of pitches to Hudson; another ground ball guy who had enough stuff to ring up K's; in his second big league appearance, Ashby threw an immaculate inning.

    Yde (pronounced EE-dee; he was one of ten children of Danish immigrants) had a few good years for strong Pirate teams in the mid 1920s but then lost his effectiveness and was out of MLB quickly, extending his career in the PCL. Yde, who threw a good fastball and an assortment of curves from a deceptive sidearm delivery, was a great all-around athlete; he was frequently used as a pinch hitter and pinch runner, and he was aggressive in fielding off the mound. Indeed, all three pitchers on this staff were exceptional fielders (indeed, it's somewhat surprising that Hudson never won a Gold Glove), and while Huddy and Ashby were used to pinch run less than Yde, they were all plus baserunners.

    The defense behind them is pretty mixed. Zimmer and Concepcion at catcher and shortstop (the most critical positions) are superstars, and third base is probably the best position for the versatile Tresh. The outfield is basically decent; although it really lacks a true center fielder, they're all going to be just fine. As mentioned, the pitchers really do a nice job as fifth infielders. And then there's the right side of the infield, with Dr. Strangeglove and the wrong Alomar, which is going to be a disaster.

    The lineup is pretty good. Gonzalez and Tresh start things off as guys who get on base, have decent speed, and a little pop. Stanton is the centerpiece, the best hitter on the lineup, with tremendous power. Stuart and Jefferson are your basic masters. Byrd and Zimmer are basically average hitters, and Alomar and Concepcion are below average hitters with a knack for coming through in the clutch.

    Alomar has been touted as a future manager for over a decade, and since we're torturing him by stationing him at second, we might as well make it up to him by letting him run the show.


    • Pitchers (all R/R) - Dolf Luque, Barney Pelty, Mike Timlin

      C - Arthur Irwin (L/R)
      1b - Rick Monday (L/L)
      2b - Mike Gallego (R/R)
      3b - Pie Traynor (R/R) [player-manager]
      SS - Al Bridwell (L/R)
      LF - Carlos Gonzalez (L/L)
      CF - Andruw Jones (R/R)
      RF - Cesar Geronimo (L/L)
      DH - Ben Chapman (R/R)


      Bridwell, 6
      Chapman, DH
      Monday, 3
      Jones, 8
      Gonzalez, 7
      Traynor, 5
      Geronimo, 9
      Gallego, 4
      Irwin, 2

      Luque is a legitimate ace, Pelty is a fine #2, and Timlin is a tireless reliever. Irwin is a fudge at catcher, but one I've used before - he's one of those 19th century play-anywhere guys. The outfield defense is ridiculously good -- the best ever in center, a four-time Gold Glover in center playing right, and yet another Gold Glover in left. Goodness, even the fourth outfielder, Chapman, is a darn good glove. Monday's just holding down the fort at first, but the rest of the infield is quite good. Chapman is the obvious leadoff guy, but he hits well enough to bat lower in the lineup, so I put him at #2 and moved Bridwell to leadoff -- Bridwell is almost entirely devoid of power, but walks a lot and runs pretty well, so leadoff is probably a good place for him. Monday is the strongest hitter all around, at least according to OPS+; his raw numbers are quite depressed by playing most of his career at extreme pitcher's parks in Oakland and Los Angeles. The powerful Jones cleans up, and Gonzalez will rake batting fifth. Traynor brings up the rear of the dangerous part of the lineup with his great batting average and extra-base power. Geronimo is a decent hitter at #7, and then Gallego and Irwin are weaker hitters who are sufficiently decent enough to carry their gloves at the bottom of the lineup. Irwin runs well, so there's that. The lineup alternates perfectly between left- and right-handed hitters; there's two lefties in a row when the lineup turns over, but that's unavoidable. I thought about letting Chapman manage, since it's a little easier as a DH, but there are good reasons not to go there; I went with Traynor instead, who's a fine choice.


      • Pitchers (all R/R) - Tim Keefe, Marty Pattin, Jean Dubuc

        C - Brad Ausmus (R/R)
        1b - Roger Bresnahan (R/R) [player-manager]
        2b - Joe Morgan (L/R)
        3b - Denis Menke (R/R)
        SS - Juan Uribe (R/R)
        LF - Jeffrey Leonard (R/R)
        CF - Bill North (B/R)
        RF - Bobby Tolan (L/L)
        DH - Blondie Purcell (R/R)


        North, 8
        Bresnahan, 3
        Morgan, 4
        Menke, 5
        Leonard, 7
        Tolan, 9
        Uribe, 6
        Ausmus, 2
        Purcell, DH

        Keefe is a HOF pitcher who won 342 games dominating for the New York Giants in the 1880s. Pattin and Dubuc are decent swingman, but the 19th century guys can pitch every day, right?

        Two catchers, so we'll leave Ausmus be and shift the versatile Bresnahan to first base; he'll also be a perfect #2 hitter. As has become common practice, we'll make the out-of-position guy manager. Morgan is the centerpiece at second base; a five-tool threat. Menke has a solid bat and steady glove at third, and Uribe, despite his roly-poly appearance, is an ace fielder at shortstop and carries surprising pop. In the outfield, North is a terrific centerfielder, and Tolan, also good, mans right; they both are pretty ordinary hitters but also have stolen base crowns. The team's only conventional slugger is Leonard in left, stashed there because he's below average. Purcell, the DH, can back-up at any position, though it seems he wasn't especially good at any of them.

        The speed in this lineup is breathtaking. In addition to North and Tolan, Morgan stole almost 700 bases, and Bresnahan and Leonard were usually good for about twenty or so each. Records are incomplete for Blondie, but he swiped 88 one season. Even Ausmus usually made it into double figures in his prime. Uribe and Menke didn't run much, but they weren't slow either. There's not much power, just a core mid-lineup that could clear twenty home runs in one of their better seasons (Morgan, Menke, Leonard, Tolan, Uribe).

        This group will have to play small-ball, getting on base and advancing runners by hook or crook. At least when Keefe is on the mound, they shouldn't have to score a lot to win.
        Last edited by Cougar; 05-23-2020, 08:17 PM.


        • Now this is an team worth a write-up!

          Pitchers (all R/R) - Curt Schilling, Ed Walsh, Pat Hentgen

          C - Bob O'Farrell (R/R)
          1b - Todd Zeile (R/R)
          2b - Rogers Hornsby (R/R)
          3b - Bill Melton (R/R)
          SS - Ozzie Guillen (L/R)
          LF - Shawn Green (L/L)
          CF - Chone Figgins (B/R)
          RF - Brad Hawpe (L/L)
          DH - Bob Dillinger (R/R)


          Figgins, 8
          Dillinger, DH
          Hornsby, 4
          Green, 7
          Melton, 5
          Hawpe, 9
          Zeile, 3
          O'Farrell, 2
          Guillen, 6

          The pitching staff is tremendous, with three of the greatest, most tireless workhorses of their respective generations. Walsh has the lowest ERA in baseball history and hurled baseball's last 40 win season. Schilling has 200 wins, 3000 K's, and the greatest SO/W ratio in baseball history. Somehow the merely very good Hentgen is the one with the hardware, winning the Cy Young award in 1996 when he paced the AL in innings pitched, complete games, and hits per 9 innings. The next season Hentgen led the AL again in all those categories save the last, and added games started to his black ink. Of course, the CYA didn't exist in Walsh's day, and the MVP award was only created in the latter stages of Big Ed's career; he finished second in both of the first two years it was available, behind Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker in what were arguably each of their greatest seasons. Schilling came in second for the CYA award three times in four years, finishing behind the Big Unit twice in perhaps his greatest seasons and Johan Santana in his top campaign. Until Adam Wainwright and Chris Sale slipped just barely by him in the past decade, Schilling had the most CYA support of any pitcher in history that never won one. All three of these pitchers were also important contributors to World Series victories for their teams, including superb performances in the Fall Classic.

          On offense, we start out with the greatest right-handed hitter in baseball history, Rogers Hornsby who posted statistics at the dawn of the live ball era in the National League that beggar belief. He won two MVP awards, and probably should have won closer to seven. Hitting ahead of him are two slap-hitting on-base specialists with stolen base crowns in Figgins and Dillinger; Figgins once led the AL in walks, Dillinger once led the AL in hits, and they both hit triples in bunches. Talented and dangerous sluggers Green, Melton, Hawpe, and Zeile bat behind Hornsby. The lineup winds up with the steady 1926 NL MVP O'Farrell, and light-hitting but scrappy Ozzie Guillen. The speed in the lineup is solid; in addition to Figgins and Dillinger, Hornsby, Green, O'Farrell, and Guillen were all above average baserunners and stolen base threats.

          Defensively, there are outstanding defenders at catcher and shortstop, the most critical positions, in O'Farrell and Guillen. Hornsby was merely about average at second base; he was sure-handed enough, but had limited range once he reached his mid-twenties. Of course, given Rajah's bat; his fielding was more than sufficient. Zeile is a very good fielding first baseman, which is a little amusing because he was pretty awful at his other positions, third base and catcher. Melton is a rather limited fielder at third base, although he's Brooks Robinson next to the legendarily skittish gloveman Dillinger, who's at DH where he belongs.

          The outfield doesn't rise much above adequate, although Figgins can cover a lot of ground and there are great arms in both corners. Lastly, it should be noted that Walsh was the best fielding pitcher of his time; he had tremendous range and would routinely call off his own infielders to scoop up a batted ball himself. He also had a remarkable pickoff move that came excruciatingly close to being a balk, but apparently wasn't, at least in the opinion of the umpires of the day. The other two pitchers were ordinary defenders.

          O'Farrell and Guillen are strong candidates to manage, but we might as well cede the role to Hornsby; if we didn't, he'd probably launch a clubhouse coup and seize the job anyway. This is a team that should be a pennant winner.

          It's been a while since anyone else has posted here. I'll send up a flare as I have done periodically and ask if anyone is reading these.
          Last edited by Cougar; 05-23-2020, 10:57 AM. Reason: Fixed autocorrection of "balk".


          • Starting pitcher - Claude Osteen (L/L) [player-manager]

            Relief pitchers (all R/R) - Bill Campbell, Gregg Olson, Dick Radatz

            C - Deacon McGuire (R/R)
            1b - Daniel Murphy (L/R)
            2b - Orlando Hudson (B/R)
            3b - Brooks Robinson (R/R)
            SS - Fernando Tatis Sr. (R/R)
            LF - Buddy Lewis (L/R)
            CF - Wally Moses (L/L)
            RF - Dave Parker (L/R)


            Moses, 8
            Lewis, 7
            Murphy, 3
            Parker, 9
            Robinson, 5
            Tatis, 6
            McGuire, 2
            Hudson, 4
            Osteen, 1

            Positional cheats - Tatis was much more a third baseman than a shortstop, but his son is a shortstop, so the old man can probably hack it. Also, Lewis hardly played any left field, only right, but it seems to make more sense to move him over rather than Cobra. Moses only played more than a trivial number of games in center field in three seasons, being mainly yet another right fielder. But, that was three more than anyone else.

            Osteen is a really reliable, cerebral starter, with an array of pitches and pinpoint control. Then the bullpen has three superb arms to close out games. The gigantic, howitzer-armed Radatz was so terrifying on the mound that he earned the sobriquet "Monster". He had three dominating seasons for Boston from 1962-1964, earning MVP votes, leading the AL twice in saves, and setting an AL record by winning 16 games in relief in 1964 while striking out well above one batter per inning. That record was broken twice in the 1970s, first by John Hiller of the Tigers, and then in 1976 by Bill "Soup" Campbell, a steely Vietnam combat veteran who featured a screwball as his "out" pitch; he won the Rolaids Relief award in 1976 and 1977. Lastly, Gregg Olson used a wicked curveball to pitch five sterling seasons as Baltimore's closer from 1989-1993, winning Rookie of the Year honors in 1989. Ironically, all three had their dominant runs come to a fairly sudden stop, in each case most likely due to overuse. Soup and Olson managed minor comebacks, but never again reached their previous heights. Radatz blamed his rapid downward spiral on mechanical problems, but he pitched over 500 innings in relief over three seasons, so most people believe he just wore out.

            Defensively, Brooks is peerless at third, of course, and Hudson is an ace fielder at second. If we assume Parker's knees are the 1970s versions rather than the 1980s, he's a top-flight fielder in right. Moses was a pretty good outfielder; he's not a great fit for center, but he should be fine. Similarly, both Lewis and Murphy were erratic defenders at skill positions, but safely tucked away in left field and first base, they'll be perfectly satisfactory. Despite what his astonishing career longevity would seem to imply, McGuire was a pretty mediocre defensive catcher. And Tatis Sr., a lousy fielder at third base, is going to be an adventure at shortstop; hopefully being flanked by the slick gloves of O-Dog and the Human Vacuum Cleaner will compensate for any deficiencies Tatis may have.

            The lineup has highly competent hitters from top to bottom. Moses was the fastest guy and got on base more than enough, so he'll lead off. Lewis and Murphy both hit for a good average and draw a decent number of walks; Murphy has a little more extra-base pop, Lewis a little more speed. Parker is the lineup's strongest hitter, whether one is talking power or average. The underrated Robinson, due to his glorious glove obscuring him in the batter's box, is a solid RBI man to protect the Cobra. The rest of the hitters in the lineup are pretty solidly average, but each has his own particular strengths, with Tatis having the most power, McGuire hitting for the strongest average, and Hudson the fastest and the best bat-handler.

            Osteen was a highly respected pitching coach following the conclusion of his on-field career; let's see how he does in the manager's chair.


            • It's Bob O'Farrell Day!

              Pitchers - Brad Penny (R/R), Brad Peacock (R/R), Wes Stock (R/R), Ace Adams (R/R), [Otto Hess (L/L)]

              C - Bob O'Farrell (R/R) [player-manager]
              1b - Otto Hess (L/L)
              2b - Ryan Theriot (R/R)
              3b - Javier Baez (R/R)
              SS - Ed Brinkman (R/R)
              LF - Marcell Ozuna (R/R)
              CF - Mike Cameron (R/R)
              RF - George Hendrick (R/R)


              Baez, 5
              Cameron, 8
              Hendrick, 9
              Ozuna, 7
              O'Farrell, 2
              Theriot, 4
              Brinkman, 6
              Hess, 3/1
              Pitcher, 1/3

              We really need Hess at first; none of the other guys are position players at all. That said, usually a guy can fake it at first for a batter or two at a time. I'm thinking we use Hess like a LOOGY that we can put on repeat, because he's not entering and leaving the game, he's just swapping positions. (The whole team, pitchers and batters alike, is R/R except Hess.) I thought about batting Hess ahead of Brinkman against RHP, but while Hess has a huge platoon split, struggling against lefties, Brinkman hardly has a platoon split at all, so vaulting Hess over Brinkman against righties yields little advantage.

              I expounded on Penny at length a few posts ago; suffice it to say he's a pretty good starter at his best; for his career overall, he was almost perfectly average, going by OPS+. Hess was basically an average starter too; decent stuff, but poor command - lots of walks, wild pitches, and hit batsmen. Peacock, still active, has swung between starting and relieving; he's about average too. Stock pitched middle relief for the Orioles and KC A's in the 1960s; also about average. The NY Giants used Adams as a closer, almost in a modern style, but he was only effective during the WWII years, when he was - you guessed it - about average, although being an average player when almost all the stars are missing is a somewhat dubious distinction.

              There's both good news and bad news about the defense. Brinkman was kind of like Belanger -- he had to be a great fielder, because his bat was below replacement level, and indeed he was - not Belanger level great, but definitely top shelf among non-immortals.. At third, because he can play anywhere and be awesome, is the young Baez, a superior fielder and one of the most exciting players in the game today. Cameron is a super-duper center fielder, and Ozuna is a center field talent in left. O'Farrell, as discussed two posts ago, is a very good catcher. So in the middle and points left of second base, we're awesome. Hendrick is a below average fielder in right field, Theriot is basically a replacement level fielder at second base, and Hess doesn't really know what he's doing at first base; the right side is a problem.

              The offense is pretty good for the first two thirds of the lineup, but the bottom third is a black hole. Baez hits for average and power, and has good speed, but is still (hopefully) developing enough plate discipline to grow his on-base skills. Cameron has patience, power, and speed, but hits for a mediocre average. Hendrick is a solid major league hitter, not really good at anyone one thing, but pretty good at everything. Ozuna is a talented hitter entering his prime, O'Farrell is about an average hitter (but good for a catcher) without a lot of power, and Theriot can hold his own even though one wouldn't really want to be batting him sixth. Then we're down to Brinkman (OPS+ 65), Hess (OPS+ 63), and whoever's pitching, who'll basically have a zero OPS+.

              This will be O'Farrell's chance to manage, but I think he'd really rather have Hornsby's team. I feel silly for not passing on this one.


              • Now Guillen is getting a second opportunity to manage on a far less stacked team.

                Pitchers - Juan Pizarro (L/L), Dickey Kerr (L/L), Harry Gaspar (R/R)

                C - Kyle Schwarber (L/R)
                1b - Frank Catalanotto
                2b - Jose Altuve (R/R)
                3b - Jeff Blauser (R/R)
                SS - Ozzie Guillen (L/R) [player-manager]
                LF - Edd Roush (L/L)
                CF - Taylor Douthit (R/R)
                RF - Hunter Pence (R/R)
                DH - Alfredo Griffin (B/R)


                Douthit, 8
                Roush, 7
                Altuve, 4
                Schwarber, 2
                Pence, 9
                Catalanotto, 3
                Blauser, 5
                Guillen, 6
                Griffin, DH

                If there's no DH, start Griffin instead of Guillen against LHP.

                The pitchers are best known for activities off the field or out of MLB. Pizarro, who had a successful if peripatetic major league career, was a native of Puerto Rico, and is remembered as the greatest pitcher in the history of the Puerto Rican Winter League, also managing in the league and mentoring youngsters. Kerr was one of the Clean Sox; he won two games in the 1919 World Series despite his tanking teammates. Only a few years later, after a series of holdouts, Kerr became a minor league manager and scout, most noted for discovering and nurturing a young Stan Musial. Gaspar had a similarly brief career with the Reds, also punctuated by holdouts for more money. In Gaspar's case, however, he held out because he had a very successful photography business in his native Iowa. He finally retired altogether to run the business, but continued to play semipro ball, eventually also managing them himself. He eventually sold the photography studio and moved to Southern California, opening a bowling alley.

                A rather good defense supports this pitching staff. Douthit was a superstar glove in center, pushing the merely good Roush to left; Pence was less gifted in right field but made up for it in hustle. Guillen and Altuve are a spectacular double play combination; if Griffin plays shortstop, he's pretty good himself. Catalanotto and Blauser are utility type guys who can handle the corners just fine. Schwarber at catcher is probably the only weak spot; the Cubs moved him out from behind the plate for good reason. But he can hold his own there.

                The lineup alternates perfectly between righty and lefty batters, winding up with the switch-hitter Griffin batting in the nine-hole. Douthit is a decent leadoff man, then Roush and Altuve are the most dangerous batters in the lineup. Schwarber is a masher at cleanup, and Pence is a solid bat protecting him. Catalanotto and Blauser are pretty good hitters, and then Guillen and Griffin are rather weak hitters, although they do run the bases well and are adept at bunts and hit-and-runs.

                As mentioned, Guillen, the 2005 hero of the South Side, as well as the 2012 villain of South Beach, will man the conn.


                • Pitchers - Steve Rogers (R/R), Derek Holland (B/R), Felix Rodriguez (R/R)

                  C - Mike Macfarlane (R/R)
                  1b - Todd Zeile (R/R)
                  2b - Ozzie Albies (B/R)
                  3b - Tony Fernandez (B/R)
                  SS - Frankie Crosetti (R/R) [player-manager]
                  LF - Tom Tresh (B/R)
                  CF - Freddy Parent (R/R)
                  RF - Marty McManus (R/R)
                  ​​​​​​​DH - Denis Menke (R/R)


                  ​​​​​​​Parent, 8
                  Fernandez, 5
                  McManus, 9
                  Albies, 4
                  Tresh, 7
                  Zeile, 3
                  Menke, DH
                  MacFarlane, 2
                  Crosetti, 6

                  ​​​​​​​Every position player can play shortstop, except the ones that can play catcher!

                  Rogers was an outstanding pitcher on awful 1970s and 1980s Expo teams, kind of a poor man's Dave Stieb. Holland is an active back-rotation lefty. Rodriguez was a solid setup man out of the 'pen.

                  The defense, as you'd expect, is very good. Everyone is playing a position they spent a fair bit of time at save McManus in right field; he'll get by.

                  However, the lineup is pretty ordinary, with scarce power. But, everyone except Crosetti is an average hitter or somewhat better (and Crosetti isn't as bad as his reputation), and there's a lot of team speed.

                  Crosetti can manage here.


                  • Pitchers - John Clarkson (R/R), Steve Hamilton (L/L), Roberto Hernandez (R/R)

                    C - Don Zimmer (R/R)
                    1b - Frank Catalanotto (L/R)
                    2b - Jerry Remy (L/R)
                    3b - Ossie Bluege (R/R) [player-manager]
                    SS - Topper Rigney (R/R)
                    LF - Barry Bonds (L/L)
                    CF - Jeffrey Hammonds
                    RF - Nelson Cruz (R/R)
                    DH - Ron Hunt (R/R)


                    Rigney, 6
                    Hunt, DH
                    Bonds, 7
                    Cruz, 9
                    Hammonds, 8
                    Catalanotto, 3
                    Bluege, 5
                    Remy, 4
                    Zimmer, 2

                    A couple of all time greats here in Bonds and Clarkson.

                    Clarkson was a superstar pitcher of the latter half of the 1880s, winning 209 games in five seasons from 1885-1889 where he averaged 543 innings pitched per season; he won 328 games overall; his effectiveness basically ended when the pitching rubber was moved back to 60',6". Hernandez was a star closer of the 1990s, saving 326 games in his career. Hamilton was a beanpole left-handed relief pitcher who pitched mostly for the Yankees during their bleak CBS years. Defense is a mixed bag - there are defensive legends in Bonds and Bluege, a defensive catastrophe in Cruz, and everyone else is more or less meh. Offensively, Rigney and Hunt are pretty good hitting on-base men batting ahead of the great Bonds, followed by the marvelous slugger Cruz. Hammonds and Catalanotto are average hitters at offense first positions, and Bluege and Remy are average hitters at defense-oriented positions. Zimmer, who extended his career at its end stages by converting to catcher, finishes off the lineup. We'll tap Bluege to manage; the Washington icon led the Senators to two second place finishes (one distant, the other by a single game) in five seasons in the mid-1940s.


                    • Pitchers - Bret Saberhagen (R/R), Johnny Vander Meer (B/L), Dave Boswell (R/R), Alexi Ogando (R/R)

                      C - Roy Campanella (R/R)
                      1b - Chuck Hinton (R/R)
                      2b - Phil Garner (R/R) [player-manager]
                      3b - Hank Thompson (L/R)
                      SS - Frankie Crosetti (R/R)
                      LF - Hideki Matsui (L/R)
                      CF - Johnny Bates (L/L)
                      RF - Thurman Munson (R/R)


                      Bates, 8
                      Hinton, 3
                      Thompson, 5
                      Campanella, 2
                      Matsui, 7
                      Munson, 9
                      Garner, 4
                      Crosetti, 6
                      Pitcher, 1

                      Munson in right field is a stretch, but if he'd lived, the corner outfield or first base was probably where he was headed. Campanella, so far as I can tell, never played anywhere but behind the plate - not in the majors, not in the minors, not in the Negro Leagues where he'd started his career at age 15.

                      Bates is a nice leadoff man from the deadball era whom I didn't know much about. He took a lot of walks for the day, ran well, and hit for a pretty good average for the time. Not a great outfielder, though. Hinton was a Swiss Army knife from the 1960s; a pretty good hitter with good speed. Thompson was one of the early black players in MLB following integration; he was very talented, but was a truculent alcoholic and failed to reach his potential. Campanella is a three-time MVP, a slugging cleanup man and one of the great defensive catchers of all time (great enough to shunt Thurman Munson to right field). Matsui was the second Japanese position player to come to MLB following Ichiro's breakthrough; a slugger nicknamed Godzilla, he had a nice half career in North America, peaking with a WS MVP in 2009. Munson, as mentioned, was a MVP himself, in 1976; the first Yankee captain since Gehrig led the rebirth of the Yankee dynasty. "Scrap Iron" Phil Garner was a feisty second baseman, and Crosetti, who managed the team two posts up, was a sure-handed, wide-ranging shortstop with a weak bat who nonetheless stole lots of bases for his day, drew a goodly amount of walks, and leaned into enough pitches to lead the AL in HBP eight times.

                      Bret Saberhagen is an ace pitcher, a HOF caliber player who fell short only because injuries besieged his career.

                      Johnny Vander Meer, of course, owns the most unbreakable record in any sport.

                      Boswell was a talented young starter for the Twins in the late 1960s; after winning 20 games in 1969, he blew out his arm losing a 1-0 shutout in the ALCS, and his career was basically over. He has the distinction of being the first pitcher whose career was foreshortened by Billy Martin's merciless overuse; adding insult to injury, Martin also beat up Boswell in a brawl (that, in Martin's defense, Boswell seems to have started) in a Detroit bar.

                      Ogando was a promising prospect with the Rangers who swung between starting and relieving; his career too ended early and abruptly due to injury,

                      Garner led what was apparently the only Astro team to win a pennant without an illegal sign-stealing protocol; he's a veteran manager that will do well leading this club.
                      Last edited by Cougar; 05-25-2020, 07:29 AM.


                      • Pitchers - Vic Raschi (R/R), Sid Fernandez (L/L), Kyle Hendricks (R/R), Nick Cullop (L/L) [player-manager]

                        C - B.J. Surhoff (L/R)
                        1b - Nick Etten (L/L)
                        2b - Bill Wambsganss (R/R)
                        3b - Tom Burns (R/R)
                        SS - Gary Disarcina (R/R)
                        LF - Darby O'Brien (R/R)
                        CF - Pepper Martin (R/R)
                        RF - Charlie Maxwell (L/L)


                        Martin, 8
                        O'Brien, 7
                        Etten, 3
                        Maxwell, 9
                        Surhoff, 2
                        Burns, 5
                        Wambsganss, 4
                        Disarcina, 6

                        Raschi was the fiery, flamethrowing workhorse for the early Stengel dynasty in the Bronx. El Sid was a portly lefty with an wickedly deceptive delivery and nasty breaking pitch that started for the Mets in the mid-1980s. Hendricks is active, a preternaturally calm control pitcher who led the NL in ERA in 2016, the year the Curse was broken. Cullop was a lithe left-hander who came to fame pitching a 12-inning no-hitter during a barnstorming trip to Cuba; he never fully established himself in the majors, but he had a lengthy career in the minors after he turned thirty. Towards the end of that tenure in the minors, Cullop started managing; he can manage here too.

                        Martin and O'Brien are strong hitters, decent fielders and heck-on-wheels baserunners. Etten was a top-shelf slugger for the Yankees for a short time in the 1940s; he couldn't keep his job due to terrible fielding. Maxwell was a solid batter for the Tigers in the late 1950s; more a left fielder, we need to use him in right here, which should be fine. Surhoff was the first overall pick in the amateur draft that became a steady professional; he didn't stick at catcher, though. Burns was a 19th century infielder with the Chicago franchise that became the Cubs; he had an average bat, good wheels, and a fine glove. Wambsganss and Disarcina were defensive specialists, although modern fielding metrics seem to belie Wamby's slick fielding reputation.


                        • Manager and backup catcher - George Gibson (R/R)

                          Pitchers - Tommy Bridges (R/R), Sonny Gray (R/R), Mark Eichhorn (R/R), [George Van Haltren (L/L)]

                          C - Steve Yeager (R/R)
                          1b - Bob Watson (R/R)
                          2b - Hobe Ferris (R/R)
                          3b - Tim Foli (R/R)
                          SS - Alan Trammell (R/R)
                          LF - George Van Haltren (L/L)
                          CF - Vince DiMaggio (R/R)
                          RF - Fred Schulte (R/R)

                          Lineup, no DH:

                          Trammell, 6
                          Van Haltren, 7
                          Watson, 3
                          DiMaggio, 8
                          Schulte, 9
                          Yeager, 2
                          Ferris, 4
                          Foli, 5
                          Pitcher, 1

                          If Gibson gives Yeager a day off, bat Ferris 6th and Gibson 7th.

                          Lineup, DH

                          Trammell, 6
                          Van Haltren, 7
                          Watson, 3
                          DiMaggio, 8
                          Schulte, 9
                          Yeager, 2/DH
                          Ferris, 4
                          Gibson, DH/2
                          Foli, 5

                          Bridges was a dominant pitcher of the 1930's with Detroit, peaking with three 20+ win seasons from 1934-1936; if this six-time All-Star is not a HOF oversight, he's about as close as it comes. Gray is active, turning 30 last season; he's a talented pitcher coming off arguably his best year, though I'd vote for 2015 myself. Eichhorn was one of the better middle relievers of the 1980s. Van Haltren started out as a pitcher, logging significant, roughly league average innings in three of his first four seasons before moving to the outfield permanently, save some cameos in a mop-up role. If he's to go to the mound, though, someone has to shag flies in left field; Bridges and Gray, whom he'd likely be relieving, are probably both spry enough to manage that. Probably just useful as a LOOGY, like Otto Hess a few posts ago.

                          Very good defense! Yeager is a fantastic catcher, Ferris is a very good fielder at second, there are two excellent shortstops on the left side of the field, with Foli moving to third in favor of Trammell. The defense boasts three centerfielders; Vince D. is the best and stays in center, with the more average Schulte shifting to right, and the weak-fielding Van Haltren stationed in left. Watson is a mediocre first baseman. If your defense's only weak links are at first and in left, you're doing pretty well.

                          The lineup starts out fearsomely with Trammell and Van Haltren, strong all-around hitters and brilliant baserunners. The steady, underrated Watson (RIP) is the team's best hitter and bats third. Then the lineup thins out fast. DiMaggio is really the only player left with better than average power, so he'll cleanup. Schulte is an ordinary, unpowered 5th place batter. Yeager and Ferris hit about equally as well, but we'll put Yeager at #6 since he has some modest home run power, while Ferri's extra-base hits are mostly triples; that could just be era and park effects, but we'll go with it. Gibson hits about as well as these two, but he's truly a singles hitter. Foli, a defensive specialist with an anemic bat, is last (other than the pitcher).

                          Gibson is a good defender, but not as good as Yeager, and a mediocre hitter, as Yeager is, but Yeager's just a hair better at the plate too. So we'll let Gibson manage; he skippered several seasons for the Pirates after his playing career concluded. In four full seasons, his squad finished in second place three times. - as a rookie manager, he placed fourth.


                          • Pitchers (all R/R) - Chick Fraser, Bob Shaw, Ted Wilks

                            C - Sandy Alomar Jr. (R/R)
                            1b - Lee Mazzilli (B/R)
                            2b - Hersh Martin (B/R) [player-manager]
                            3b - Bobby Lowe (R/R)
                            SS - Miguel Tejada (R/R)
                            LF - Jim Eisenreich (L/L)
                            CF - Wally Judnich (L/L)
                            RF - Ival Goodman (L/R)
                            DH - David Justice (L/L)


                            Lowe, 5
                            Mazzilli, 3
                            Justice, DH
                            Judnich, 8
                            Goodman, 9
                            Tejada, 6
                            Martin, 4
                            Eisenreich, 7
                            Alomar, 2

                            Fraser was wild in every sense of the word, but had a rubber arm that logged 3000 IP in ten years at the turn of the 20th century, mostly for dreadful teams. Shaw was the #2 pitcher behind his mentor Early Wynn on the 1959 Go-Go Sox; he won 108 games in a ten year career. Wilks was a starter-turned-reliever with the great St. Louis teams of the mid-1940s who led the NL in saves once there and later on with Pittsburgh.

                            Bobby Lowe was a speedy utility man in the 1890s. Mazzilli was the most popular player in Queens when Joe Torre was the manager. Justice was a good right fielder, but so was Goodman, and Justice DHed a lot, so he's used to it. Also, I can't stress this enough: He was married to Halle Berry.

                            Judnich was a terrific young center fielder for the Browns; WWII interrupted his career for three years, and he could not match his prewar play upon his return. Goodman was an all-around strong right fielder on the memorable Cincinnati Jungle Club teams of the late 1930s & early '40s. Tejada was a slugging shortstop that won the AL MVP in 2002 and led the AL in RBI two years later; he had a long consecutive games streak at the dawn of this century.

                            Martin was yet another outfielder from that era; a lighter but still good hitter who played on the Phillies before WWII and for the Yankees as the war was winding down. Martin briefly played second base in the minor leagues, and we were short there, so he gets the assignment, shifting Lowe, who played more second base than anywhere else, to third. Martin had a long post-playing career as a minor league manager, coach, and scout; since he's taking one for the team to man the keystone, he'll run the show.

                            Eisenreich was a solid left-handed hitter, often platooned, who was best known and most inspiring for his successful struggle against Tourette's Syndrome. Alomar is the talented scion of Sandy Sr. and brother of HOFer Robby who was a six-time All-Star at catcher despite being injured more or less constantly -- he only played 100 games four times in a twenty-year career. He did win ROY in 1990 and enjoy his best three year run for the terrific Indians teams that won their division five straight times in the late 1990s.


                            • Pitchers (both R/R) - Claude Passeau, Mudcat Grant

                              C/DH - Yogi Berra (L/R) [player-manager]
                              C/DH - Joe Mauer (L/R)
                              1b - Alvin Davis (L/R)
                              2b - Johnny Ray (B/R)
                              3b - George Scott (R/R)
                              SS - Jhonny Peralta (R/R)
                              LF, RHP - Jack Graney (L/L)
                              LF, LHP - Jose Cardenal (R/R)
                              CF - Larry Hisle (R/R)
                              RF - Brian Giles (L/L)


                              Cardenal/Graney, 7
                              Mauer, DH/C
                              Berra, C/DH
                              Giles, 9
                              Davis, 3
                              Hisle, 8
                              Scott, 5
                              Peralta, 6
                              Ray, 4

                              Passeau is a quality pitcher from the 1930s and '40s NL. Grant is a quality pitcher from the 1960s AL. Graney had doubles & triples power in the deadball 1910s, and walked a lot. Cardenal was a pretty good hitter and base stealer. Both are ordinary outfielders; they'll platoon. Mauer is a MVP and a likely HOF catcher with a great BA & OBP. Berra is a three-time MVP all-time great at catcher. Both very good fielders, they'll alternate between catcher and DH. Giles hits for average and power and takes walks. Davis is a hard-hitting star first baseman from the 1980s who won Rookie of the Year in 1984. Hisle is the 1977 AL RBI champion, a solid hitter with good power. George "Boomer" Scott is the 1975 AL RBI champion, a slugging corner infielder with power to suit his nickname; truly gifted at first, he's about average at third, but that's where we have a need. Peralta, a recent retiree, was a power-hitting shortstop with Cleveland, Baltimore, and St. Louis with a mediocre glove. Ray was a slick-fielding switch hitter with doubles power from the 1980s. Yogi seems like the obvious choice to manage.


                              • Pitchers - Jim Perry (B/R), Red Ehret (R/R), Kirk Rueter (L/L)

                                C - Joe Mauer (L/R)
                                1b - Babe Phelps (L/R)
                                2b - Dickie Thon (R/R)
                                3b - Billy Nash (R/R)
                                SS - Elvis Andrus (R/R)
                                LF - Goose Goslin (L/R)
                                CF - Hank Aaron (R/R) [player-manager]
                                RF - Oyster Burns (R/R)
                                DH - Edgar Renteria (R/R)


                                Mauer, 2
                                Burns, 9
                                Aaron, 8
                                Goslin, 7
                                Phelps, 3
                                Nash, 5
                                Thon, 4
                                Renteria, DH
                                Andrus, 6

                                Perry is a very good ace pitcher, a CYA winner and 200+ game winner overshadowed by his even more accomplished brother. Ehret and Rueter are good secondary starters that played about 100 years apart. Mauer was a Gold Glove catcher who also played first very well; Phelps was a subpar defender at catcher, first, or the corner outfield. Since good defense is more important at catcher than first base, Mauer will go behind the plate and Blimp will man first base. No real center fielder, but Aaron was fully capable of covering center field, and did for a couple of years. Andrus seems to be a slightly better fielder than Renteria, although Andrus hasn't had his decline period yet; it might be a wash, so perhaps they should alternate. Thon is probably the best shortstop of all, but we need him to cover second. Nash is an outstanding fielder at third, perhaps the best of his era. Goslin is pretty good in left field, Oyster is mediocre in right. The lineup is fierce, starting off with Mauer and his great OBP, then Burns, Aaron, Goslin, and Phelps are all dangerous all-around batsmen. The bottom of the lineup is full of speedsters; Nash and Thon are a little more dangerous than the shortstops, but none are bad hitters and they can all steal base, as could Burns, Aaron, and Goslin. Even Mauer ran pretty well -- team speed is a big strength. Phelps was truly station-to-station, though. Nash and Burns both managed a little, but I'm inclined to give the job to Aaron, who never managed or coached, but has been in the Braves front office for over 30 years (though he's been entirely ceremonial for awhile) and is of course the best player on the team, or almost any team.


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