For those of you who say that we should have five starters and then act when and if one of them gets hurt, I present to you the fictional wives of our 5 starters. Again, these are fictional wives! They represent the likelihood of each player making the weekly poker game and also are a reflection of how well they will play when at the table.
Brett Myers' wife is probably the best bet to allow her husband free reign to attend the weekly poker game. He makes almost every game (30+ GS for 4 years) and is now considered the best player at the table.
Jamie Moyer's wife is the second best bet to allow Jamie to play poker on a regular basis. Early in your friendship with Jamie, his wife was straight nuts. You didn't know when he would come out and how he would play. But, since they moved to Seattle together, he's been a sure bet to come to the weekly game (6+ seasons of 30+ GS). She is approaching menopause, which will put him out of commission soon. You hope it won't set in this year or next.
Jon Lieber has had an interesting marriage. He had a major fight with his wife in late 2002 that kept him out of the game until 2004. Sometimes, having a fight like that is good for a marriage and your buddy is even more fun when they straighten things out. In Jon's case, however, he has chosen to deal with his relationship problems by overeating. The question now is whether he can spend the time it will take with his wife to work out their issues or whether he will take the easy way out, let her nag him and stuff his face with ice cream to mask the problem. Since he's been playing in your game, he's been a good player for the big money rounds late in the evening. (Best ERA in Aug-Oct)
You don't really know Adam Eaton's wife that well. He was your friend in high school and then he moved away and got married. He just moved back to the area, so you invited him to be a part of your weekly game. You have mutual friends that tell you that he has been an erratic participant in his San Diego game. His play has been inconsistent as well. One week he'll win it all and the next he'll be the first one out. You brought him into your game more for his future potential than his past success. (#2 & #3 comps through age 28 are Westbrook and Schmidt and his #1 comp is your friend Brett Myers)
Cole Hamels wife is HOT! In fact, she may be the hottest woman you have ever seen. She has it all, looks, personality and money. You met her last year when Cole first started to come to the games and fell in love. As for Cole, he always brings beer, bets and wins a lot and is only getting better. What has you worried is Cole's stories about his wife's personality in high school and college. Evidently, she was a total psycho bitch. She would always be calling him, yelling and accusing him of cheating. He missed a lot of weekly poker games with his old friends back then. How often does a girl like that change into an angel?
The chances of these five guys all making the game every week seem pretty small to me. You know there is NO doubt that they won't ALL make it EVERY week. But for that, a few of the guys have brothers they can invite and you think they might be okay to fill in for a week. Even if they don't play really well, it will be good for them to get out of the house. You can see if they can play and they can learn a bit from the old pros. Basically, every one of the players has a younger brother they can invite (Justin, Gavin, J.A., Zack and Eude).
What has you excited (in a non-homoerotic way) is that you heard that there is a pretty darn good poker player that might move to your town. He makes the game almost every week (7/8 years of 30+ GS) and plays great in big-money games (6-2, 3.11 postseason). The thing is that (now I'm reaching) one of your friend's brothers really hates him, so you would have to cut ties with him (Gavin). You like Gavin's game, but he has let you down in the past and you're not sure if he'll ever get his act together. You would also have to get rid of the wings that everyone munches on in order to make room for this new guy. You have to have food at the game, but you think you can get some different and maybe even better food at the store before the next game.
With this guy, you are pretty sure you will always have 5 guys at the table. You may have 6 some games, but with the wives you are dealing with, that is doubtful. It's more likely you'll still have to have a buddy call their brother some weeks in order just to have a fifth. The question is, can you find more food and another lamp (reliever) before your next game? After all, good friends are really hard to come by these days. Especially those with cool wives. But then again, how would poker be when you can't see the cards and are hungry the whole game?