Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

My ultimate lineup

Jerry Crasnick at ESPN.com has his ultimate starting nine. I thought this sounded like fun... here's mine! I picked these based on the lineup I would want, combined with defense, youth (how long this lineup would be consistent), and box office draw.

1. Bobby Abreu, RF, Phillies
Abreu is a 3 hole hitter, and his stats agree. However, he has a great OBP and can run when on the basepaths. He's one of the few legitimate 40-40 players in the league, with some serious sock to his bat (as he displayed last night). Since he's batting lead-off in the All-Star game, obviously Tony LaRussa agrees with my assessment. All that, and Abreu is solid in the field as well.

2. Brian Roberts, 2B, Orioles
An exciting young player who is having his breakout season. Can't really think of a better second baseman at this time. Excellent defensive range to be coupled with those 15 home runs. Roberts would be a perfect two-hole hitter, someone who makes contact, can lay down a bunt, and stay out of a double play.

3. Albert Pujols, 1B, Cardinals
This is such a difficult decision to make. Who is the best hitter in the game? Even though Derek Lee is having an insane year so far, Pujols still gets my vote. What is insane to me is how infrequently the man strikes out for the type of swings he takes. All that and he still hasn't hit his prime yet. What has impressed me is his defense at first, where in another year he will challenge for a Gold Glove.

4. Manny Ramirez, DH, Boston
I'm just filling the DH spot with the best available hitter where I don't have to care about defense. I'd rather have Ramirez than David Ortiz. All that, and you don't have to watch his nightly adventure in left field!

5. Eric Chavez, 3B, Oakland
I have Chavez at fifth simply to break up the string of righties (don't want three in a row). Luckily Chavez can more than hold his own here and bring a Gold Glove to boot. He's heating up this year after his normal slow start. I still believe he's the premier third baseman in the game. Look, I know Alex Rodriguez plays this position, but I want Chavez, both for his left handed bat and surer glove.

6. Vlad Guerrero, RF, Anaheim
It's insane to have a guy this good bat sixth, I know, but I do think it's important to have Chavez break up the string of righties to force opposing managers to use the bullpen. Guerrero is a beast with the widest strike zone I've ever seen. The home runs he hits against the M's are simply nuts. Guerrero can even steal a couple of bases now and then.

7. Miguel Tejada, SS, Orioles
Tejada, in the past two years, has blown past any challengers to the crown of best shortstop. Not only does he make highlight reel plays (even for someone his size) but he is getting better and better offensively. He is one of the best teammates I've ever seen, and hopefully will win a World Series at some point.

8. Victor Martinez, C, Cleveland
This was the toughest call, because there aren't really that many good catchers. Some might say to go with Joe Mauer, but he hasn't fulfilled his promise yet and is still injury prone. Martinez has slumped this year, but still has numbers that compare favorably with everyone else. He's still young, is a lefty, and isn't a slouch calling a game. Pencil him in as an all-star five of the next seven years.

9. Ichiro, CF, Seattle
Yep, I'm sticking Ichiro in centerfield, since I know he can play it extremely well, even if he doesn't like it. I like Abreu's on-base percentage better, which is why Ichiro is batting ninth, but the nine-spot is supposed to be your second lead-off hitter. Ichiro will do that.

I noticed as I picked these that most of these players are from the American League. There are a few players I didn't pick from the NL, like Andruw Jones or Miguel Cabrera, but I just don't see them as better than the players I chose. Feel free to complain.

posted by Gavin @ 3:28 PM  0 comments

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