We have all heard the question before. If you could manage a Major League Baseball team, who would you choose from the current player pool to be on your team, and why?
The thoughts go zooming through your head, and then, after awhile, you realize, "Wow, this is harder than it seems." This is not wrong at all!
After much consideration though, I believe that I have got it! To any of you who were left off, I am sorry, these are just the guys who I feel would help my team out the most. You are all still great ball players in your own right, and are to be celebrated for your efforts!
Catchers (3)-First, I would carry three catchers because injuries are more likely to occur today, and you always need a great backstop managing your pitching staff. With that in mind, here are my three!
Starter-Russell Martin-He is young, hates days off, and can play other positions. All the while, he steals bases, which is almost unheard of from a catcher now, and hits for average and decent pop. He also fields well and calls a great game! Welcome aboard Russell!
Backups-Jorge Posada, and Dioneer Navarro-Posada makes the club because of the bat that he provides, while Navarro makes it because he is young, hits for average, and always seems to be on the basepaths, which would make the team a threat throughout the game.
1st Basemen (2)
Starter-Albert Pujols-He hits for average, insane power, and has a great glove as well! He is also always around the top of the MVP voting year in and year out. That's enough for me!
Backup-Ryan Howard-The man swings a vicious stick, and when he is hot, if anything is close to the zone, it is out of the ballpark. In addition, he plays a great first base, which is always a plus as well!
2nd Basemen (2)
Starter-Chase Utley-This is almost no contest. What other second baseman does it all, and sparks his team, as much as Utley? The only close player is the man below!
Backup-Dan Uggla-If only he could hit for more of a decent average, he may have overtaken Utley. The power rivals Utley's, but in the end, Utley has better qualities across the board. Uggla is a fine backup though, and is welcome here!
Starter-Hanley Ramirez-This was no contest. The man could hit 50 home runs, and steal 50 bases, in one season, one day. He has a cannon arm, and great range as well playing the position. He would probably even be my first pick if we were in a draft format, and I was picking first!
Backup-Jose Reyes-Was that fire coming from under his cleats? The man is so fast, as a leadoff hitter whenever he spells Hanley, I couldn't say no to him! Plus, the energy he gives his teammates is second to none!
Third Baseman (2)
Starter-Alex Rodriguez-The man that would be my first pick over Hanley in the end! He will probably beat the all time home run record by the time he is done. He also fields like a dream. Never mind the inability to hit in the playoffs, look at the rest of the team here, and that problem is solved!
Backup-David Wright-A great five tool player, plus one who has a great public image as well!
Outfielders (4)-I would only go with four because half of my team could probably play the outfield since they are such great athletes to begin with!
Left Field-Matt Holliday-The guy can bat .300 in his sleep, and he plays every game like it is his last.
Center Field-Josh Hamilton-Every team needs a guy who is grizzled, and who has been through something to give the rest of the team guidance in the event that they need it. Who better than Hamilton? Plus, a triple crown threat being on the team is not a terrible thing either!
Right Field-Ichiro Suzuki-The power is not that great, but the average is incredible, he steals bases almost daily, and just try running on that arm of his!
All Around Outfielder-Aaron Rowand-He hits enough, fields enough, and, as a backup, the guy would keep it interesting when on the bench, and run into anything and everything when playing for the team!
Pitching Staff (10)-I would go with ten because with more on the staff, spots could be wasted if they are not pitching enough.
Roy Halladay-He can go the distance every game he is in, he strikes people out, walks literally nobody, and has a nasty assortment of pitches. He can throw them deep into games as well, which makes him my ace.
Johan Santana-Every team needs a lefty, and on many teams, he would be the ace, but he can get lit up at times, which makes him my second in command.
Jake Peavy-His stuff is almost unhittable, and he can bring it late in games, you can't not have him on your team!
C.C. Sabathia-Another lefty for the staff. He is not doing that great this year, but look at the career stats for why he made the cut.
Tim Lincecum-He is young, and could be the next great pitcher in baseball. He is torture to hit against already, so just imagine what will happen when he relies on more than just his skills!
Relief Staff (5)
Joel Zumaya-True, the potential has not been reached yet, but the guy can throw around 103 miles per hour. The control is at least enough as well, so he has to be on the team as the first guy out there in long relief.
Billy Wagner-Left handed help out of the bullpen is always needed, and he is one of the best in baseball right now, even though some blown saves have happened lately, he is still filthy!
Kerry Wood-He has been a great closer, and if ever needed in a pinch, he could go out there and make a spot start for my team as well, which makes him great in the middle of my bullpen!
Francisco Rodriguez-Just try hitting that curveball out of the bullpen, and let me know how it goes! That is why he is my set up man!
Mariano Rivera-He would be the closer hands down! The playoff history and all of the big game history, and coming through when needed, all speaks for itself!
Now, since this is the team, and the order of my pitching staff from one through ten, which covers it all, what would my lineup order look like? It would be as follows.
1-Ichiro Suzuki-The prototypical leadoff man.
2-Hanley Ramirez-More speed at the top of the lineup.
3-Chase Utley-The guy to drive the top two hitters in.
4-Albert Pujols-There is no pitch he can't hit, which makes him a lethal clean up hitter.
5-Alex Rodriguez-The ultimate protection for Pujols.
6-Josh Hamilton-A triple crown threat to help the end of the middle of the order.
7-Matt Holliday-Provides the beginning of the end of the lineup with a bang.
8-Russell Martin-A great way to lead to the pitchers, who can actually hit a little bit as well!
In the case that I would be on an American League field, which means the designated hitter obviously, I would rotate between all of my backups because we would have to use everyone on the team with all of the talent that we have!
So there you have it, a dream team that cannot be beat, at least in this writer's eyes!