You’re My Favorite

After spending a great day at the ballpark with my family, surrounded by really nice people, great weather and ballplayers busting their butts, I’m reminded of what a great game baseball is to watch.

A 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, weren’t jerks, and had a little personality. After today’s game, I’m inspired to write another one.

Once again, these guys aren’t the best players, but they’re all guys that I enjoy watching play the great game of baseball.

  • Catcher: Victor Martinez
    I like that he hits .300 and that he’s good for 20+ home runs a year. I love that he individualizes a different handshake for all 25 members of his team.
  • First Base: Prince Fielder
    Fat guys are jolly. And he’s the only 300-pound vegetarian in the world.
  • Second Base: Dustin Pedroia
    This is a no-brainer. He plays hard, he’s a smart-ass, and he’s my favorite player. Man-crush? That’s none of your damn business!
  • Third Base: Kevin Youkilis
    Sure, he looks like Yukon Cornelius, perspires like someone dumped a bucket of water on him, and has the weirdest batting stance in the league. I like that he gets super pissed
    like it’s game 7 of the World Series every time he makes an out. He’s a gamer.
  • Shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki
    I’m really not crazy about any of the shortstops in the league. Tulo rakes, but he has the tendency to get hurt every season. I figured I’d include him to show my support for my Polish readers. Plus, he grew a mullet for charity last season, which is awesome.
  • Outfield: Nick Swisher
    Ok, let’s get this out of the way: Yes, I know he’s a Yankee. But Swisher seems like a really good dude. He has his own charity called Swish’s Wishes that helps out sick kids, and another that supports our U.S troops overseas. He’s a damn Yankee, but he’s ok in my book.
  • Outfield: Curtis Granderson
    Yup, another Yankee. This guy is fun to watch. My wife nicknamed him “Crazy Legs,” because when he sprints around the bases his legs are flailing around like a newborn giraffe learning how to run. Plus. this guy always has a smile on his face. If I played for the heartless, soul-sucking New York Yankees, I’d be pissed. But to each his own, I guess.
  • Outfield: Ryan Braun
    The Hebrew Hammer is the best outfielder on the planet and just too good to pass over on my team.
  • Pitcher: Ryan Dempster
    Solid pitcher. Does a great impersonation of Harry Caray. Provides the comic relief on my team.
  • Pitcher: David Price
    Signs more autographs at the Rays spring training practices than any other player. Plus, a friend of mine ran into him at a crappy Port Charlotte eatery and confirmed that he’s a good guy.
  • Pitcher: Ted Lilly
    His middle name is Roosevelt! Theodore Roosevelt Lilly. It’s the greatest name in baseball. Little guy, huge name.
  • Pitcher: Jon Lester
    The silent assassin. I like that this guy doesn’t say five words during the entire season. He just goes out and wins. I really like that he’s going to win the Cy Young award this year.
  • Pitcher: Cole Hamels
    There’s nothing that he does in particular that I love, except crushing the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series. And that’s enough.
  • Closer: Brian Wilson
    Without a doubt,  this New Hampshirite is the craziest guy in all of baseball. I fear the beard… big time!
  • Manager: Earl Weaver
    This guy was Bobby Cox before Bobby Cox was. Weaver was once thrown out of a game while exchanging lineup cards at home plate. This team needs a fiery leader, and this guy is downright nuclear. And I went to a Baltimore Orioles game today, so he’s in.

This is the team of favorites I came up with. Good all-around guys. Of course, no team is complete without a few good bench players. Who should we add to the team?

30 Responses to “You’re My Favorite”

  1. allan Says:

    how about brian mccann. big guy makes bigs plays for his team and doesnt get much love from around the league and also 1 hell of a catcher I can’t tell u how many errors he’s saved from bad pitching over the years. it just seems like when we’re down in the dumps he gives us that spark we need n he always smiles n he’s a great clubhouse guy.

  2. Dan The #1 Rays Fan Says:

    Cole Hamels is a duchebag. I would add Carlos Pena. He’s really nice and he’s a great clubhouse guy. And Dallas Braden, anyone who owns A Rod that badly should make the team. And he threw a perfect game!

  3. Dave Says:

    I considered McCann. He’s a great all around catcher. He’ll be the backup o this team.
    Carlos Pena made it as a bench player on my last team. Great glove, ex Red-Sox, quiet leadership. He’s back on the bench for this squad. Hamels stays. Big game pitcher. Have you ever heard him talk? He still sounds like he’s going through puberty.
    Braden is out. As much as I liked that he owns Arod. I don’t want anyone on this team named after a major city. Of course if he changed his name to Boston Braden I would reconsider.
    Who else for the bench

  4. Dan the #1 Rays Fan Says:

    Mark Teixera? Manny? Aaron Boone? Buckner?

  5. Dave Says:

    Umm.. Not quite. I really hope this weather gets better. I’m really looking forward to this game!

  6. Dave Says:

    Weather is shaping up nicely…. Play ball!

  7. Dave Says:

    Dice K blows!

  8. allan Says:

    well guys shoot some updates on todays game for me when ya get home.

  9. allan Says:

    btw dan thanksd for the mag the article on freddy freeman was great.

  10. Dave Says:

    Rays walkoff homerun, after Boston tied it with back to back hr’s in the 9th. Really fun game to watch!

  11. allan Says:

    thats red sox red looks good on crawford…sorry dan lol

  12. Dan the #1 Rays Fan Says:

    What a game! The weather did clear up quite nicely. I love that stadium! I’ll steal an idea from Dave here, and give some Dan The #1 Rays Fan quick hits from today’s game.

    -The Rays offense looked really good today, even without Manny in the lineup. They worked the count well, and Damon and Jaso really hit some balls hard. I know Dice K sucks, but I was happy to see some good ABs.

    -Boston did not field their top offense today, with Pedrioa, Gonzalez, and Ortiz not making an appearence. Andy Sonnanstine took advantage, and threw 4 shutout innings for his best performance of the year.

    - I found myself very nervous before Crawford’s first AB against the Rays. I was sad to hear some boos from Rays fans, the majority actually. CC is the greatest player in the history of the franchise, and did not receive a contract offer from Tampa Bay. He didnt have a choice but to leave, and he chose the best situation offered to him. After having time to think about it, and seeing him in another uniform, I have made peace with it. Best of luck Carl, but not too much luck.

    -One out away from a victory, Rays young RP Brandon Gomes served up back to back jacks to give Boston the lead. Great piece of clutch hitting from the Red Sox, but I was sad to see Joe Maddon or Jim Hickey not coming out to the mound to talk to him after the first homer tied the game. Gomes is a young pitcher trying to impress everyone in the Rays clubhouse, is one out away from a save, and gets crushed twice. Could have been devastating for a young pitcher, and his composure fell apart giving up another bomb and a long double. It could have possibly prevented with a little coaching.

    -I was dreading the many Red Sox fans, thinking the offseason additions would make their obnoxious level through the roof. I was pleased to see that most of them just wanted to watch a good ballgame and support their team without being jerks. Maybe the early start time meant less people got drunk, but that goes for both sides. It was a pleasent experience, even with many visiting teams fans.

    -That being said, it NEVER gets old to see that sad looks on the Red Sox fans faces as they walk out of our stadium, having spent their hard earned money to watch a Boston loss.

    -Walking behind home plate before the game to check out the view, I ran across Rays General Manager Andrew Freidman. It seemed nobody knew who he was but me. It was pretty cool to see him at a spring training game.

    Great day for a ballgame, cant wait to go back! Go Rays!

  13. Dave Says:

    Good analysis Dan. It was a really fun game to watch. We had great seats behind homeplate. The weather was nice and cool, and the Sox JV squad looked pretty good. I thought the crowd was pretty close to 50/50 Sox/ Rays. I thought that was cool to see.
    I thought Dice K looked awful. Ellsbury struck out, hit into a double play and killed a Sox rally. Super
    I though Reid Brignac looked great at SS, making several impressive plays. Longoria, Jaso and Zobrist hit the ball hard.
    Joe Maddon looks like an idiot with his vow to grow his hair all year.
    The singing of the national anthem was the strangest variation that I’ve ever heard.
    Still I had a blast.. Going to Rays/ Pirates tomorrow.

    Did you like the stadium? I think it’s one of the best around.

  14. Dan the #1 Rays Fan Says:

    Charlotte Sports Park is now my favorite ballpark in sports. Its just outstanding. Put some more seats in and have the Rays play their all year round. Tear the trop straight to the ground. I can’t wait for more outdoor baseball in the Tampa Bay area. I hope they get a new staduim done soon, and its a retractable roof. Close it on the brutal days, and open it for night games were its not too hot.

    Dan”I wish I could go to as many spring training games as Dave” Mckewen

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Dan,

    I’m at a loss for words right now. On one hand I want to bash the Rays, but, you just said your favorite sports park in all of sports was in my beloved Port Charlotte. We have found common ground my friend. I love that stadium. The tiki bar, the grass birms on the baselines, dollar beer nights on thursday all summer long. I’m with you on tearing down the trop and moving the Rays to PC. I still won’t like them, but it’s a good move.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQesL-G4jPE I’m sure this isn’t new to any foulliners. But this is why Brian Wilson won a world series.

    Dylan ” Dustin can hit that pitch” Hamilton

  16. Dave Says:

    Wade Davis is getting rocked!

  17. Dan the #1 Rays Fan Says:

    Its a great video Dylan. And of course Davis is getting rocked. The Pirates are beastly.

    Dan” I wanna see Brian Wilson throw Chuck Norris 100 MPH” Mckewen

  18. Dan the #1 Rays Fan Says:

    Heres todays fun trivia question of the day! Try to get it without looking up the answer

    There are only 4 players in baseball history with world series rings from both the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. Who are the four players?

  19. allan Says:

    johnny damon and 3 other guys lol

  20. allan Says:

    actually there are 12 and 1 didnt finish the year with the team

  21. allan Says:

    hey dave I think you should put josh hamilton on ur team. guy has been a beast these past couple years and even tho he’s at the top right now he’s been at rock bottom. he’s shown ppl who have demons that u can get help and with hard work and dedication eventually u can get back on the path to which u originally started….BIG INSPIRATION to many.

  22. Dave Says:

    I agree he has been a great story, and has inspired alot of people. You want him in- he’s in.
    Thanks for the suggestion!

  23. Dave Says:

    Adrian Gonzalez singles during his first at bat for the Red Sox!

  24. Dan the #1 Rays Fan Says:

    And the Devil Rays paid him millions for ZERO production! All right!! Go Hamilton!

    But seriously, its a great story. This team is well represented. We have Bosox, Yankees and Rays on the team, which showed Dave wasnt biased. Nice job.

  25. Dan the #1 Rays Fan Says:

    Dave you have given me an inspiration. Im going to list MY team of awesomeness, to really get the debate flowing. Allan you should do the same.

    Catcher: Joe Mauer

    This one is not even close, Mauer is just plain awesome. If anyone is going to be the first .400 hitter since Ted Williams, its this guy. Oh and he has made the cover of MLB 11 The Show 2 years in a row.

    First Base: Albert Pujols

    I promise im not just naming the best player at their position for every one, but how can the Machine not make the cut?

    Second Base: Brandon Phillips

    This guy is a baller. He swings for the fences every single AB, he called out Cardinal players in the middle of a pennant race last year, and he names his gloves every single season. Will “Casper” bring Phillips another gold glove this year? I wouldnt bet against him.

    Third Base: Evan Longoria

    Look at your favorite player, now look at Longoria. Now back to your favorite player, now back to Longoria, now back to your favorite player, now back to Longoria… Sadly, your favorite player isnt Longoria.

    Shortstop: Troy Tulowitski

    I would have this guy every year on my team if I could. All he does is mash. So what if he gets hurt sometimes? He goes so hard it cant be avoided. Plus the Tulo chant is one of the best in baseball.

    Left Field: Ryan Braun

    It took a Tommy Hanson fastball to the elbow to keep this guy from winning the NL MVP last year. This year I hear he is wearing an elbow guard…. Look out league.

    Center Field: Andrew McCutchen

    That’s right, a Pirate made the list. This is no ordinary Pirate, this guy is Barry Bonds before his head was the size of the planet Venus. When he gets into his prime, expect a .300 average, 100 RBIs, stealing 50 bags and winning a gold glove.

    Right Field: Jason Heyward

    This one was easy, the most talented 5 tool player to hit the big leagues since Ken Griffey Jr. He already has the plate discipline of a 10 year vet, and he is only 22 years old. They should nickname him Freddy Krueger, because he will haunt the Phillies dreams for the next 15 years.

    Ace: Felix Hernadez

    Too bad he plays for Seattle, with a good offense behind him, he could win 25 games. Still, this king will rule over hitters with an iron fist the rest of the decade.

    #2 Starter: Roy Halladay

    Some say he’s the best pitcher in baseball, but he plays for the evil Phillies, and wasnt going to make my list. That was until I saw some of his new ads on TV, and he is really pretty funny. So the Doc can operate for this team.

    #3 Starter: Jon Lester

    Of all the Red Sox players, he might be my favorite. And I dont know why. I hate everything Sox related, and Lester kills the Rays everytime he toes the rubber against them. But theres something about him I like. Maybe its how much he has overcome, maybe its the fact that he doesnt run his mouth like Papelbon. Whatever the reason, Lester is ok in my book, and makes this team.

    #4 Starter: David Price

    Price is the ace of my favorite team, throws 98 MPH and has a smile that lights up a room. He makes the cut for my team any day.

    #5 Starter: Justin Verlander

    If he thinks im impressed by 102 MPH fastball in the 9th inning… Ok I am impressed, but that doesnt mean I wouldnt be able to crush it. Maybe the most underrated ace in the game today. All he does is win and log innings.

    Closer: Brian Wilson

    The coolest dude in baseball. End of story

    Manager: Bobby Cox

    This guy is as firey as it gets, leading baseball in ejections over a career. His players would also throw themselves in front of a bus for him, because he is the most player friendly manager in the history of the game. John Smoltz once said he took 10 million less dollars in a contract, just to play for Bobby Cox. Whoa

    So that’s my team of awesomeness. Some of the players were on Dave’s list, but some werent. Let me know what you think!

  26. Dave Says:

    Great team Dan. Thanks for taking the time to write it! I really enjoyed your Brandon Philips insight especially. This looks a lot like the team I plan on drafting on March 27th.

  27. Dan the #1 Rays Fan Says:

    Its strange, when thefoulline posts come on a regular basis, its gets the baseball writing juices flowing.

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