The Best of What’s Around

With Opening Day of the 2008 Major League Baseball season a few short hours away, the staff at has come up with the inaugural All-Pro Team of Awesomeness. This is a team of players, handpicked by Dylan and me, who represent what this site stands for. These players may not necessarily be the best at their respective positions, some may not even be good at baseball at all, but they have the attributes to make them worthy of this prestigious honor.

To be eligible for this team, players have to meet certain requirements:

  • No Yankees allowed
  • Must be able to play hurt, and not spend more time on the DL then on the active roster. (This means Rocco Baldelli is out.)
  • Must keep their name on the sports page, not on the police blotter.
  • Not on the Mitchell Report. Sorry, Roger.
  • Most importantly, these are players that Dylan and I like. It was hard to not make it all Red Sox, but we did our best.
  • No Yankees allowed

Here is the 2008 All-Pro Team of Awesomeness

Catcher: Jason Varitek
Varitek is not only the captain of the Boston Red Sox, but we are making him the captain here as well. Although he’s getting on in years, he still prepares his pitchers well and calls a great game.

First Base: Mark Texiera
Tex flies under the radar as far as elite first basemen go. He’s solid every year he plays.

Second Base: Dustin Pedroia
The baddest man in Boston provides the scrappy trash-talking factor for the team. If this guy was 6 feet tall, he would be a household name.

Shortstop: Orlando Cabrera
I still can’t get over the Sox not signing him in favor of Edgar Renteria. The O.C. was great for Boston during their 2004 run.

Third Base: Alex R…..NOT! David Wright
This guy has every chick in New York City wanting him, and he still goes out and hits .324 with 30 HRs. Plus I like the fact that Derek Jeter gets this guy’s leftovers. Best 3rd baseman in NYC.

Right Field: Vladimir Guerrero
Vlad swings for the fences with every swing of the bat and has a laser-rocket arm. What’s not to like? He once went yard in the on-deck circle.

Center Field: Grady Sizemore
Sizemore plays the game like a new and improved Jim Edmonds. Not to mention, Grady is a pretty cool first name.

Left Field: Carl Crawford
Poor Carl, playing in relative obscurity in Tampa, still manages to put up great numbers. And he has to play his spring training games next to road-rager Jon Weber.

Designated Hitter: David Ortiz
This one was obvious. He’s one of the most likable people in all of sports as well as the greatest postseason clutch hitter on the planet. Plus, I can’t really think of another DH worth a damn.

Starting Pitcher: Josh Beckett
He makes the team due to his remarkable playoff record and the fact that he never smiles during a game. This guy epitomizes intensity.

Starting Pitcher: Scott Kazmir
This future Red Sox led the league in strikeouts last year. Also Dylan has a man-crush on him, and vice-versa.

Starting Pitcher: Jake Peavy
He’s great at nothing but really good at everything.

Starting Pitcher: Felix Hernandez
His nickname is King, and he one-hit the Red Sox last year. That’s good enough for me.

Starting Pitcher: Tom Glavine
Token old-timer of the staff and 300-game winner. Also Dylan saw him play high school hockey in Billerica, Mass.

Closer: Jonathan Papelbon
Great stuff. Decent dancer. Crazy as hell.

Bench: Carlos Pena
The pride of Haverhill, Mass.

Bench: Troy Tulowitzki
Pretty good ballplayer, even if he does play for the Rockies.

Bench: Joe Mauer
Close personal friend of Matt McLaughlin, so he makes the team.

Bench: Kevin Millar
This guy will never make it out on the field for this team, but he’s a fun guy to keep around.

Manager: Sparky Anderson
My dad’s favorite manager when I was growing up.

League Commissioner: Bill Lee

Here’s our team. I think that they would fare pretty well in the league. Who makes your Team of Awesomeness?

19 Responses to “The Best of What’s Around”

  1. Matt McLaughlin Says:

    Mauer is a .315+ hitter. I love Tek but this kid has a Pudge like cannon that can hit the cover off the ball. I just wish he played for a different team so that he would get a little pub.

    As for Dylan’s Man Crush on Kaz, I think we can all admit that there is atleast one player like that for us all. I think you hit it with Mauer. Kid is money.

    I think Dave’s is Dustin “Keg Belly” Pedroia, If only there was a Sophomore of the Year Award for Dice-K to win this year.

    Matt “I wish my sideburns were as cool as Joe “I Channel Brady Anderson” Mauer’s” McLaughlin

  2. The Best of What’s Around | Major League Baseball News Says:

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  3. Dave Says:

    Hey Matt,
    I am a huge Mauer fan. Dylan and I debated the Mauer/Varitek decision. I voted for Mauer, Dylan swayed me with the fact the Tek is great leader and calls a great game. Mauer is the next Varitek in the league.
    Pedroia is definitely my favorite player. I like any player that I am taller then, faster then and have less body fat then. With that being said…who else should make the team?

  4. Matt McLaughlin Says:

    Carlos Pena of the Tampa Bay Rays (1B)
    Great up and coming youth with fielding prowess and power. Papi or Ryan Howard in a year or two. Look for a breakout.

    Hanley Ramirez of the Florida Marlins (SS)
    Kid has it all. Hes 7-10 years too late to be one of the “Shortstop Crew” but reminds me of a clean Tejada.

    Ryan Braun of the Milwalkee Brewers (3B)
    Kid is money. He isnt getting pub in Milwalkee but then again, who ever has.

    Garrett Atkins of the Colorado Rockies (3B)
    Fantasy stat monster.

    Im sorry but these guys definatly made my A-Minus List. I wasnt looking for the guys who have the big name, big contract but the guys who provide that same pop for a portion of the luggage.

    Aki Iwamora of the Tampa Bay Rays (2B)
    Moving over from third base has only brought Aki into the crosshairs of Shelley Duncan, but Aki has leadoff numbers and bases equal runs

    Vernon Wells of the Toronto Blue Jays (CF)
    Torii Hunter. Just under paid and playing in Canadia.

    Curtis Granderson of the Detroit Tigers (CF)
    He is a gamer. He could go year round.

  5. Dave Says:

    Nice choices Matt,
    I’m not sold on Hanley Ramirez yet. I think he may be overhyped, and I’m not sure he can live up to these great expectations of him. I like the choices of Wells and Granderson. Granderson had a breakout year last season. You hit the nail on the head with Wells / Hunter comparison.
    I was close to adding guys like, Chase Utley , Aaron Rowand, Eric Byrnes, and Sean Casey, just because they are good thefoulline type guys, that can also play a little ball.

  6. Matt McLaughlin Says:

    I would definatly agree with those 4. Rowand runs through fences, Byrnes jumps over them, Casey is an All Star on any other team than the Sox/Yanks, and Utley has been the “Gold Standard” of 2B’s for the past 3-4 years.

    So this is the 2008 Inaugeral All-foulline Team?

    Matt “Rommel! I Read Your DAMN BOOK!” McLaughlin

    (What movie is that quote from… a little bit of history if you will..)

    btw, I bought a 2000 Miata MX-5 Special Edition Friday. The Mascot Rolls in Style Now. lol

  7. Dave Says:

    This is our team. We reserve the right to make any changes. I heard about your car through the grapevine. Dylan and I were going to photoshop a pic of T.C. Driving a Miata, and make that our team mascot. I’m not savvy enough on a computer to pull that off. It would have been pretty funny.

  8. Dave Says:

    Also, the movie is Patton.

  9. Christian McCrory Says:

    so i get up at 5 to watch all the pregame and the game and i could ahve got up at 10 and seen the only thing that matters….damn

  10. Dave Says:

    welcome back C-mac. We need you to sign up for our Fantasy baseball league. The draft is tomorrow night and we are short a few players. Go to a post I wrote called “Spring is in the air”. Directions for signing up are in the comments section.

  11. Freddy Sanchez Says:

    Solid list, maybe the only thing that I might change is if your going to go with a “token old-timer” I’d have to take Maddux over Glavine. Also i’d have to move Tek to the bench, and go with either Mauer, or stay true to my native son and go with the up and coming Russel Martin behind the plate. Oh and old Vernon Wells certainly isnt under paid anymore. Right before last season started he signed a 7 year 126 millon contract extension, and with the year he had last year its almost more fair to call him overpaid!

    P.S. How about that Brendon Moss? I for one would not be surprised to see the sox go 162-0 this season.

  12. Dave Says:

    We debated over Maddux or Glavine, but since Dylan saw Glavine play hockey in high school, he was the obvious choice. I really like Mauer, but he isn’t the leader the Varitek is ..yet. I’m sure that he’ll be the starter next year. As for Wells, he is definitely not underpaid. But he fits the quiet All-star, solid citizen criteria. Also I felt the need to have a player from a Canadian team. I was really close to making it Alex Rios, but since Wells has been called Vernon his whole life, I thought we’d give him a break.
    I’m curious to see if Dylan’s recent infatuation with JD Drew is squashed now that his replacement Moss had such a good game.
    We all know that it doesn’t matter if the Sox pull a Patriots and go 162-0. It’s the playoffs that count.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    My infatuation will not go away for JD Drew. He makes nothing but good choices in 08, this game, he made the good choice not to play, he’s a team player through and through. I loved that game today. I hate that they are in Japan, but only for the sake that I’m worried they’ll be tired coming home from this series to the states. But, I love the japan thing, and the entire country it seems like over there getting into these games, and for the opener to come down to the wire, awesome. Best way to start a day that I know of.

    In sadder news. I’m an contemplating my retirement, or brief retirement from the After today’s softball practice, I fear I have become the type of guy that is really funny ( in my own mind at least) online, and has no clue how to talk to girls in real life anymore. I will ponder all of this over the next few day….

    Dylan ” move the Marlins to Japan for a season so I can watch baseball every morning and the Red Sox won’t have to travel there” Hamilton

  14. Dave Says:

    Chicks dig It’s a known fact.

  15. Matt McLaughlin Says:

    It is official, as the Commissioner of the Inaugeral Fantasy Baseball League, I would like to thank everyone for joining up. We now have a full list of teams and no more spots are available. We here at the Commissioner’s Office are looking forward to tomorrow’s draft, and seeing how the teams stack up against each other.

    Now it is a well known fact that this season will hold triumph for some and mainly tragedy for all who are not trumphing. I.E. everyone but me.

    Dave has been gracious to provide the motivation for domination. The world famous Winner’s Prize pack. Also known as The Theodore Samuel Williams Memorial Cup, or (running title, but something along those lines). We’ll figure something out for that. But WIN IT! Even if it is an old Boot filled with magnets and teeshirts!

    Seeing as how this is the first year, I would like to just say that I really hope this is a regular and VERY annual thing from now on. May the trash talk be spoken, may the whoopings be laid and may true and honest baseball fans share in a great experience together.

    First rule of buisness. Whom ever takes the first Yankee will probably be ridiculed and heckled for the season. Expect it.

    Second rule. If someone becides Dylan takes JD Drew he may cry. Expect it.

    Third rule. Lets conduct this league in an intelligent fashion. Coco Crisp for Jose Reyes or Branden Moss for Papi is not a decent trade. Its utter lunacy. Prepare to be denied by 4 people. Trades are put up into a 2 day grace period where if 3 people or fewer veto it, its going through. 4 or more its blocked. It keeps the teams fair. It was not my doing and I have no leeway of denying trades becides my teams vote. It is a CBS thing. Crappy trades will be blocked. Expect it.

    Fourth rule. Commissioner gets a cut of the winnings. Im thinking 30-95%. The only thing is it will be 100% because The Showstoppers will own. And I havent even seen the team. Its just they have a damn good Coach/GM.

    Lets have a great season guys, looking forward to a great time.

    Matt “The Commissioner of’s Fantasy Baseball League” McLaughlin

  16. Dave Says:

    Thanks for the motivational speech Commish. I have a moral dilemma. Do I pick a team that I think will win this tough competition and claim the luxuorius prize package?? (A-Rod with a first round pick) Or do I pick a team that resembles the All-pro team of Awesomeness?? This is a decision I need to make sooner rather than later. I’m not sure I could live with myself if I pick a Yankee. Decisions… Decisions. With that being said,there is no way in hell, I’m losing to a giant stuffed bear, even if he is the commissioner. This is going to be fun.

  17. Matt McLaughlin Says:

    This stuffed bear is higher on the depth chart than Weber is. Im in the 720’s or so. Hes not on there.

    Matt “At least Im not a purple dinosaur or a teletubbie” McLaughlin

  18. Matt McLaughlin Says:

    The Best Player Not In The League

    The Best “Player” In the League

    Who has a picture? Not J-Web.

  19. the foul line » Blog Archive » You’re My Favorite Says:

    […] couple of years ago I wrote a post called The Best of What’s Around. The post listed a team of players that I really enjoyed watching. Guys that played hard, […]

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