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Finals are over at last and my
head is killing me. My last final was in STAT 200, the bain of my existence.
At a ski area in Vermont, the daytime high temperature is normally
distributed during January, with a mean of 22 degrees F and a standard
deviation of 10 degrees F. You are planning a trip to Vermont this January.
What is the probability that you will encounter daytime high of 15 degrees F of
So now I
have nothing left to do so I need to start seriously blogging again. My idea
now, since the rest of the baseball world is playing GM, is to put together a
championship caliber team. The rules? All players stats and salaries are based
on 2008 alone, and you can’t spend more than $100 million. Try it sometime, it’s
actually kind of fun.
I’ve spent a
few hours on this little project and I think I’ve come up with a team that
could legitimately compete in any division in baseball, if not dominate some of
them. So here goes.
Rick Ankiel L RF
Chase Utley L 2B
Pujols R 3B
Hafner L 1B
Hamilton L LF
Martin R C
Reed Johnson R CF
Bobby Crosby R SS
Spot (because pitchers are players too!)
Martin – C (Los Angeles Dodgers – $500,000)
Russell Martin is everything you
want in a catcher. He defends the plate, he has a good relationship with
starting pitchers and he swings a big stick too. On the plus side, he’s an
everyday catcher too, which is huge for a starting rotation to have that kind
of consistency. He may not win games all by himself, but he puts the rest of
the team in position to do just that.
Hafner – 1B (Cleveland Indians – $8.05million)
I feel bad for Travis Hafner
because he never got a chance to really come about. He is a big, strong power
hitter who can send a ball into orbit at will. Problem was, he only needed one
good season to make pitchers afraid. So they stopped pitching to him. With a
lineup as shaky as Cleveland’s, pitchers could get away with it too. Give him a
little protection in the lineup and the league will have to invest in a few
more baseballs each season.
Chase Utley –
2B (Philadelphia Phillies – $7.8 million)
Chase is a rock star. Some may
give him a bad rap because he likes to throw out a few too many f-bombs in
public, but that’s exactly why I love him. He shys away from nothing. On the
field, he’s every little league coach’s dream. He plays like it’s his last game
ever and he wants to go out with style. He plays a great second base and won’t
hesitate to dive for that line drive. At the plate, he’s clutch and can go yard
at the drop of a hat.
Pujols – 3B (St. Louis Cardinals – $13.9 million)
Some forget that Pujols
originally came up as a Third Baseman. I had trouble deciding between him and
Chipper Jones for this spot but eventually decided to go with Pujols because of
his upside. Chipper is on the latter end of his career, and while he’s capable
of putting on a hitting clinic on any given night, he has trouble staying on
the field. Pujols is all upside and I don’t need any justification here.
– SS (Oakland Athletics – $3.5 million)
Bobby Crosby’s not flashy, he’s
not in your face and he’s not going to hit many walk-off home runs. What he
will do is step on the field between third base and second base and play solid,
fundamental baseball. He gets on base, which is important to any lineup. He’s a
catalyst to any offense and a rock to any defense.
Hamilton – LF (Texas Rangers – $396,830)
Josh is more than just a great story; he’s a top-tier ball player
too. The homerun derby was no fluke; this kid hits the ball hard every time.
Someone who can hit the ball hard will get hits more often than not.
– CF (Chicago Cubs – $1.3 million)
Reed Johnson flies under the
radar for the most part but he’s a good old-fashioned ball player. He puts me
in mind of Lenny Dykstra from the 1993 Phillies NL Championship team. He’s not
the biggest or the strongest but he plays like he’s the biggest dog in the
pack. Don’t tell him he’s not the cleanup hitter because he knows how to get
the barrel of the bat on the ball every time he makes contact.
Rick Ankiel –
RF (St. Louis Cardinals – $900,000)
I’m becoming a really big fan of
Rick Ankiel, fast. He’s the most naturally gifted athlete in baseball. Who else
could come up through the system as a pitcher (a good pitcher), lose his stuff,
get sent back to the minors, change positions to the outfield and make it back
to the majors? No one. He’s a guy I want on my team and I’ll find a place for
IF Ryan Theriot – R
(Chicago Cubs – $428,000)
OF Fred Lewis – L (San Francisco Giants – $392,000)
OF Shane Victorino – S (Philadelphia Phillies – $480,000)
IF Josh Willingham – R (Florida Marlins – $405,000)
– LHP (Philadelphia Phillies – $500,000)
What can you
say about Cole Hamels that hasn’t already been said? He’s a stud. He stares
down opposing batters and throws ridiculous stuff at them. He proved his worth
in the playoffs where it really counts. Now if only I could get him to cut his
hair a little bit. Those wavy locks have got to go.
– RHP (Toronto BlueJays – $10 million)
a work horse. He will make 30 starts a season and pitch at least 6 innings each
outing. You can’t put a price on that. It shortens each game to three innings
long and makes the bullpen’s life easier. He works the count well with a good
fastball/changeup combination and pulls the string when you least expect it.
– LHP (Chicago White Sox – $14 million)
flies under the radar a bit on the south side of Chicago but his repertoire speaks
for itself. He’s a low-ball pitcher who induces a lot of ground balls and
pop-ups and virtually takes the bat away from lefties. Not only that, but he gets
better as the season goes along and pitches well in the post-season.
Jake Peavy – RHP (San Diego Padres – $6.5 million)
behind this pick is simple. Jake Peavy will step out on the mound on any given
day and absolutely hurl the ball at the plate. He’s a hurler; plain and simple.
Backe – RHP (Houston Astros – $800,000)
Brandon Backe because he has good stuff but he can also swing the bat. I like a
pitcher who will at least try to act like a batter and make an effort to get on
The greatest picture ever taken!
Closer – Brad Lidge – RHP (Philadelphia
Phillies – $6.35 million)
ago, Lidge would have been toward the bottom of my list for closers. In fact, I
would probably have said the same in April. But it’s hard to argue with
perfection, which is exactly what Brad “Lights Out” Lidge was this past season
from April all the way through to the last out of the World Series. What else
can you ask for?
J.C. Romero – LHP (Philadelphia Phillies – $3.25 million)
Ryan Madson – RHP (Philadelphia Phillies – $1.4 million)
Ryan Rowland-Smith – LHP (Seattle Mariners – $395,000)
Carlos Marmol – RHP (Chicago Cubs – $430,000)
David Aardsma – RHP (Boston Red Sox – $403,250)
Boone Logan – LHP (Chicago White Sox – $405,000)
Ambiorix Burgos – RHP (New York Mets – $415,000)
Team Salary: $ 82,900,020.00
The team’s salary is good enough
to put the team in 15th place in Major League Baseball just ahead of
the Milwaukee Brewers. The one glaring hole I can see in the lineup is the lack
of a little balance. I have two players accustomed to being the #3 batter
hitting in different spots (Chase Utley and Josh Hamilton). I picked them
because I thought they are the types of players who can adapt to a new spot in
the lineup and hit different types of pitchers.
The next step in my plan is to
put this team in action on MLB 2K8 and see how they turn out. Yes, it’s just a
video game, but I can’t play GM in real life (not yet, anyway), so I have to
play GM virtually.
(SIDE NOTE – Coming in January
will be a PS3 game called ‘MLB Front Office Manager.’ A game that’s right up my
ally and good for anyone else who has aspirations of running a MLB team. I’ll
have a synopsis once I get a chance to play.)
Would this team win? I think so.
There is a lot of talent in the lineup from top to bottom so if one player
struggles, someone else can fill the void. Yes, there are more Phillies than
any other team but consider the source. This is based on 2008. If this was
based on 2007, you probably would see a few more Red Sox. If this was based on
1998, you’d see a bunch more Yankees. There are about a dozen and a half more
players I can think of that I could put in there and not lose any sleep., so
please, don’t think I’m snubbing anyone who isn’t deserving.
Any disputes? Please comment. I’d
love to hear your opinions.
P.S. The answer is 24.2%, in case you were wondering. Don’t ask me how I got the answer, because I really don’t know.
Someone commented on my last blog and made a valid point that I had every intention of writing about.
Moms do it great too!
My dad and I could erase everything by stepping into the ballpark but my mom and the Phillies were so very different. When they divorced my mom made sure that my sister and I got everything we would have gotten had they not split. She did here absolute best to play both the mom and the dad role when he wasn’t around.
She’s been a Phillies fan all her life, born and raised in the city of Philadelphia and she’ll never let me forget it. She went to the first and last games at the Vet as well as the one fateful game when they Phils wore their awful all-maroon unis. She lives and dies by the Phillies.
While I’ve been a Phillies fan ever since (and in spite of) the 1993 season. I did, however, become a big fan of Chipper Jones who plays for the rival Atlanta Braves. So while Philly fans will throw snowballs at Santa Claus, my mom would always take me down to watch them play the Braves and make sure we sat on the third baseline so we were closer to Chipper. And while I foolishly wore a braves cap to the one game, she was there to hide it for me so the Phanatic didn’t make fun of me, or to defend me from the drunken fans; one of which sported an eagles-logo tattoo covering his exposed and spent the game screaming at Ryan Klesko in left field.
I hate to tell a sad story again but I’m afraid that my life as it relates to the Phillies is not so different from a sappy Nicholas Sparks novel.
My mom was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer my freshman year of college and underwent chemo treatment. She lost all of her hair and was forced to wear a wig wherever she went. But when she came home and the wig became too itchy she took it off and covered her head with, you guessed it, a pink Phillies cap.
The cancer has been gone and come back again a few times, most recently in August of this year when she went back into surgery to remove a tumor where the cancer originated. I drove home to be with her and with more tubes in her than I care to describe, she asked me how the Phillies were doing.
Somehow, no matter how sick she becomes, she has the heart of a champion, the heart of a lion, the heat of a true Philadelphian.
Shortly after Brad Lidge struck out Eric Hinske to close out the series, I got a call from my mom as expected. On the other line was not the woman who had been through 5 years of chemo and 2 surguries; it was the woman screaming at the top of her lungs in pure celebration. HER Phillies had won, at long last.