Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Greatest Team of All Time (at least in my opinion)

One of my recent birthday presents was The Baseball Book, a Sports Illustrated compliation of stories, photos, and the like, put together in a large, coffee-book type publication. Inside the book, SI picks its ultimate baseball team, voted on by writers. Since I've never tried to tackle such a task, I figured I would do so; my fellow blog-mates on here can chime in with their thoughts as well. It's 25 slots, with a 5-man rotation, a bullpen, and reserves. Keep in mind, these guys would be taken as they were in the prime of their careers. Inevitably, there will be people left off this list who others think should be on it; that is the danger of trying to pick the best roster ever, limiting it to 25 players.

My starting 9:
C: Josh Gibson
1B: Lou Gherig
2B: Joe Morgan
SS: Honus Wagner
3B: Alex Rodriguez
LF: Oscar Charleston
CF: Willie Mays
RF: Ted Williams
DH: Babe Ruth
P: Roger Clemens

Rotation (Johnson would be #1 starter)
SP: Walter Johnson
SP: Lefty Grove
SP: Satchel Paige
SP: Pedro Martinez
SP: Cy Young
RP: Mariano Rivera

3B: Mike Schmidt
OF: Ty Cobb
OF: Mickey Mantle
1B/OF: Stan Musial
2B: Eddie Collins
1B/2B/3B/SS: Jackie Robinson
OF: Barry Bonds
C: Mike Piazza
C: Yogi Berra
OF: Hank Aaron

A couple of notes on this:
1) I had to go with Pedro in the rotation. It is hard for me to imagine a pitcher having a better stretch than he did in the late 90s, just as it is hard for me to imagine anyone being better over a long period than Clemens. Walter Johnson comes close, but taking into account that ballplayers have only gotten better over time, I just have to give Clemens the edge. Also, I know I went with six starting pitchers, but a lot of those guys pitched in relief in their careers as well.

2) I know A-Rod spent most of his career as a SS to this point, and may very well go back there if/when he leaves the Yankees. But, I had to have him in the starting line-up, and pairing him with Honus on the left side of the infield seemed better than pairing him with Mike Schmidt. It probably would be a better fielding infield with Schmidt, but I think Honus was the better all-around player.

3) My choice to have Barry off the bench was difficult, but I can't see benching any of the starting outfield or DH in favor of him. I thought about starting him instead of Williams, but I think Williams was the better overall hitter, and Mays can cover for Ted's defensive deficiencies.

So that's it; I could make a million changes if I thought about this for too long, but Contracts calls, and I have to stop at some point.

1 comment:

Mitch Kayak said...

Ty Cobb isn't going to like being on that team