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?