Sunday, August 17, 2008

Second City Squad

So I thought I'd have some fun with this post. It's more from the "what if" category which I promise to move away from after this one. But for now, I'm rolling with it.

Currently, there are only three cities that have two major league teams: Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. While the Mets and Yankees faced off in the World Series eight short years ago, right now Chicago's Cubs and Sox along with Los Angeles' Angels and Dodgers are playing great baseball. But if these cities were allowed to pick their best players for one elite team, who would reign supreme?

The way I got onto this topic was in thinking about Chicago and how tough it would be to combine the two rosters. But of course, I decided to try it anyway:

C - Geovany Soto (Cubs)
1B - Derrek Lee (Cubs)
2B - Alexei Ramirez (Sox)
SS - Ryan Theriot (Cubs)
3B - Aramis Ramirez (Cubs)
LF - Carlos Quentin (Sox)
CF - Reed Johnson (Cubs)
RF - Jermaine Dye (Sox)

SP - Carlos Zambrano (Cubs)
SP - John Danks (Sox)
SP - Ryan Dempster (Cubs)
SP - Rich Harden (Cubs)
SP - Mark Buehrle (Sox)

CL - Bobby Jenks (Sox)

From there, you could fill in the bench and bullpen in various ways. I imagine Mark DeRosa and Juan Uribe make the squad with their versatility, and Alfonso Soriano and A.J. Pierzynski would have spots too. The bullpen could be amazing, especially if you look at some starters who weren't mentioned above.

So, what do you think? Is the starting lineup I mentioned the best Chicago lineup? I doubt a combined New York (Mets and Yankees) lineup would be better. But what about Los Angeles now that Manny Ramirez and Mark Teixera are in the mix?


clauff said...

LA's lineup would be pretty exciting, I think. Assuming everyone is healthy, I could see a lineup like this:

Catcher: Russell Martin (LAD)
1B: Mark Teixiera (LAA)
2B: Howie Kendrick (LAA)
SS: Rafael Furcal (LAD)
3B: Chone Figgins (LAA)
LF: Manny Ramirez (LAD)
CF: Matt Kemp (LAD)
RF: Vladamir Guerrero (LAA)

SP: John Lackey (LAA)
SP: Ervin Santana (LAA)
SP: Jered Weaver (LAA)
SP: Chad Billingsley (LAD)
SP: Joe Saunders (LAA)

CL: Francisco Rodriguez (LAA)

I'm sure there's a spot for Jonathan Broxton and Scot Shields in relief, Andre Ethier in the OF or DH, same for Torii Hunter. Overall, I don't think the pitching is as strong, but a pretty decent team.

Pauly said...

Just for fun:

Catcher: Navarro
1B: Pena
2B: Uggla
3B: Longoria
SS: Hanley
LF: Crawford
CF: Upton
RF: Hermida

SP: Kazmir
SP: Shields
SP: Nolasco
SP: Garza
SP: Sonnanstine

RP: Gregg

This team has heart baby.

Pauly said...

Why not the NY teams too (because there are some mildly tough choices)

C: Pudge/Posada
1B: Delgado by an inch over Giambi? Not sure
2B: Cano
3B: Wright
SS: Reyes (yeah, Jeter is overrated)
LF: Damon
CF: Beltran
RF: Abreu

SP: Santana
SP: Chamberlain
SP: Petitte
SP: Mussina
SP: who knows, Maine? maybe Ollie?

RP: Rivera (no way Wagner is even close)

This looks like a team that wins every game 10-8. Pitching is definitely an issue in the Big Apple (which is why the Mets don't stand a chance in the postseason)

Pauly said...

One more because Im BORED:

C: Salty
1B: Berkman
2B: Kinsler
3B: Davis
SS: Tejada or Young?? hmmm...I think I would have drafted Tejada ahead of Young)
LF: C. Lee
CF: Hamilton
RF: Bradley

Here's where it gets ugly:
SP: Oswalt
SP 2-5: A collection of total garbage. Padilla? Come on. Backe? Give me a break. Wandy? Lord have mercy.

RP: Valverde

OK, so this team gets thrashed by all of the other ones. But every once in a while they will win by 20-plus runs. :)

Greg said...

Yeah, those two trades bringing in Manny and Teixera makes a big difference for the LA squad. However, I do think the Chicago pitching has the edge.

Paul, I noticed that you picked David Wright over Alex Rodriguez on the NY team. I think you've got to go with A-Rod there, although in an AL League you definitely want both of those bats in your lineup. (Heck, even in an NL league you'd probably put one of them in left field or something like that.) As for Reyes over Jeter, I agree with that given where they both are currently at in their careers.

Now that I've looked at the combined Texas (Astros and Rangers) starting pitching, that is absolutely hilarious. Thanks for pointing that one out!

clauff said...

How about looking at the two Pennsylvania teams? How many Pirates make the team?

Catcher: Ryan Doumit (Pitt)
1B: Ryan Howard (Phil)
2B: Chase Utley (Phil)
SS: Jimmy Rollins (Phil)
3B: Andy LaRoche (Pitt)
LF: Pat Burrell (Phil)
CF: Shane Victorino (Phil)
RF: Nate McClouth (He's a CF, but I slotted him over to RF - Pitt)

SP: Cole Hamels (Phil)
SP: Brett Myers (Phil)
SP: Paul Maholm (Pitt)
SP: Jamie Moyer (Phil)
SP: Ian Snell? (Pitt)/Joe Blanton? (Phil)

CL: Brad Lidge (Phil)

Clearly, this team is light years behind the other teams, with Pittsburgh really not supplying much to the team. To put it in proper perspective, the hitting is actually pretty darn good, but the pitching outside of Hamels/Lidge is pretty bad. I think it's probably the weakest of the Second City/State squads in a close race with Texas.

Greg said...

Ah, I thought that there was one more. Pennsylvania slipped my mind.

Just for the heck of it, what if there was an All-California team? Something tells me that the Padres, A's, and Giants wouldn't be contributing too many players. Heck, would they contribute any? Maybe some of their pitchers such as Jake Peavy.

Although, if we were to do a Bay Area team of Giants and A's... hmm... it sure isn't 1989 anymore (when they met in the World Series). I don't even want to see what that team would look like--it would be too depressing.

clauff said...


You're right. The Bay Area All-Star team is pretty depressing. But, I'm a glutton for punishment, so I did it anyways. As you might expect, their starting pitching is actually better than some of the other teams we've put together on this post, but their hitting is atrocious. Again, assuming that everyone is healthy, here what you have:

Catcher: Bengie Molina (SF)
1b: Frank Thomas (Oak) - he has to play 1b, otherwise, I'll have to pick a guy I have no idea about - Daric Burton or Travis Ishikawa anyone?
2b: Mark Ellis (Oak)
3b: Eric Chavez (Oak)
ss: Bobby Crosby (Oak)
LF: Fred Lewis (SF)
CF: Aaron Rowand (SF)
RF: Randy Winn (SF)

What's sad is, I had to look up the rosters just to make these decisions.

SP: Tim Lincecum (SF)
SP: Matt Cain (SF)
SP: Justin Duchscherer (Oak)
SP: Jonathan Sanchez (SF)
SP: No idea - Greg Smith? Dana Eveland? (Oak)

CL: Ugh. Huston Street? (Oak) or Brian Wilson? (SF)

All I got to say is UGLY.

The most interesting question is, if all these teams were really in the playoffs, which team would come out on top? You'd have to think it was the team with the best pitching (assuming they have adequate hitting). So, who is your vote for team to win it all?

Pauly said...

No idea how I forgot Mr. Arod. Probably because I was a Wright owner for 2-straight years when he had his "break-out" seasons. I think he is the only Met I will ever like.

I still think the Florida team can sneak up on any of these squads. :)

Greg said...

C-Lauff, I was having a perfectly good day until I looked at that Bay Area "All-Star" team (if you can call it that). The worst part is that both Fred Lewis and Randy Winn spent significant time on my fantasy team this year...

As for the "best" of these combined teams, my vote is for Chicago. Maybe I'm a homer, but if they're healthy, they're loaded.