These times are crazy. There’s no sports to talk about, there’s very little debate happening other than whether or not you should be going out in public. As baseball Twitter comes to grips with this and we all decide which YouTube game we should be live tweeting, there are some things that can make you wistful for the game we love.
Something to pass the time.— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) March 15, 2020
You must make the lineup for a baseball game that you absolutely must win.
This is an interesting concept. It doesn’t actually talk about whether or not your life will depend on it, but I think we can all just assume that that was meant. There isn’t much to criticize with this lineup other than for some odd reason choosing Larry at the hot corner.
So, with that in mind, I put forth a lineup of my own.
My original lineup forgot someone. THIS is what I’d trot out:— Ethan Witte (@ethan_witte) March 16, 2020
RP Mo https://t.co/STfKajxwqW
I don’t actually put forth the lineup that I would put on the card, choosing instead to just go around the diamond and naming players. Let’s go around and look at the choices
On my original list, I had Ted Williams in left field and was pretty happy about it. The more I looked at the list, though, something felt wrong. Couldn’t put my finger on it, then it hit me - I’m forgetting the greatest player that ever lived! Adding Bonds seemed like the exact thing that couldn’t happen. In he goes.
Adding Mike Trout over Mickey Mantle was difficult as well, but Trout might end up taking Bonds’ title as the greatest living player by the time he’s finished. Can’t just leave that off. In right, that’s easy. Any list without Babe Ruth is invalid.
Heading into the infield. we’re gonna have two hometown guys in Schmidt and Utley. Schmidt is easy, but adding Utley might not make much sense. In the best case scenario, Utley might end up injuring the opposition with a great, hard nosed slide. At shortstop, I’m going with Oscar Charleston. This might not be the most popular choice, especially with names like Wagner, Rodriguez and Ripken out there for the pickings. Yet looking at Charleston, you have to go beyond what is on his Negro League Baseball Reference page. Looking up his story on the interwebs, you can find some fascinating information, one of which was when Bill James named him the fourth greatest shortstop of all time. Getting down to it, picking Charleston was pretty easy. Almost as easy as picking Lou Gehrig for the first base spot. Who else did you expect, Rico Brogna?
For my pitcher, give me the guy who won three games in one World Series. That’s the type of pitcher I’d want to win me a game I needed to win. And if he couldn’t go nine, I’ll take the greatest closer that ever lived.
With all that said, I ask: what lineup do you make?