Roy Halladay and the Ultimate Game 7 MLB Lineup
It's Game 7 of the Galaxy Series.
It's Space Jam on a baseball diamond. The aliens are taking over the world regardless (their weaponry is way stronger because they are light years ahead of us in terms of technology. The only reason we want to win is to avoid total elimination. See, this is kind-of-sort-of realistic).
The aliens set the rules, so they say we need a designated hitter (remember, the aliens are advanced, they've long done away with pitchers hitting). We're allowed two pitchers, eight position players and a designated hitter.
Who do you choose? Remember, this is Earth we're talking about, and more importantly, America. Let's not let our Boston biases get in the way or anything like that.
Starting Pitcher: Roy Halladay
Forget Tim Lincecum and Ubaldo Jimenez. Forget Justin Verlander and Aroldis Chapman. Forget Tim Wakefield and R.A. Dickey.
The aliens are an advanced creature with Bryce Harper's bat speed and Ichiro's hand-eye coordination. They won't be blown away by 100 mile per hour heat or lazy knuckleballs.
There's one thing that the aliens can't change, especially on Earth. That's gravity. Which is why we're starting Roy Halladay and his nasty sinker and cutter.
Even the aliens will be driving the sinker straight into the ground. Our outfield might as well save their energies for hitting.
It's just science.
Catcher: Yadier Molina
The aliens are a cocky bunch, so they think they're going to run all over us. Not with Yadier Molina, The Weapon, behind the plate.
We don't expect much hitting from our catcher. If we did, of course we'd take Joe Mauer. We want to shut down the running game, and we feel that with Molina, we have a good chance of doing that as the aliens are still adjusting to this thing called dirt.
First Baseman: Albert Pujols
The St. Louis Cardinals send their second player to the Galaxy Series with first baseman Albert Pujols. The aliens rejoice that we don't send noted giant Ryan Howard until they remember that Pujols is a four-time Fielding Bible Award winner, and they won't get any balls by him.
We tell our other first baseman candidates Howard, Prince Fielder and Adrian Gonzalez to stay loose in case they're called upon to DH.
Second Baseman: Dustin Pedroia
The aliens initially scoff at the inclusion of the diminutive Dustin Pedroia. Pedroia, in turn, unleashes a Lazer Show from the tip of his bat in going 3-4 with two doubles and a home run.
Robinson Cano and Chase Utley, discouraged by their exclusions, go play wiffle ball home run derby instead of watching the big game.
Third Baseman: Kevin Youkilis
We really, really wanted to avoid a Boston bias with this selection, but Earth is in a shortage of solid third baseman. We wanted to choose Alex Rodriguez, but, man, he just can not hit in the clutch.
After that, the talent level really falls off. We thought about Adrian Beltre, but he's too streaky. We thought about Mark Reynolds, but then realized he'd strike out five times and homer once.
We settled on Kevin Youkilis because we know he'll get on base and work counts, which shouldn't be a deciding factor in a game like this.
Seriously, where are all the third basemen? Somebody find out how quickly Bryce Harper can learn the hot corner.
Shortstop: Jose Reyes
After some consideration, we take speed over power and take Jose Reyes over Troy Tulowitzki. We're also trying to keep the lineup balanced between lefties and righties, so we'll take the switch-hitting Reyes over the right-handed Tulo.
We figure Reyes and his .341 batting average are good for at least two hits in this big game, so we'll bat him second and hope our big bats can drive him in.
Left Field: Carlos Gonzalez
We make a tough decision in taking Carlos Gonzalez over Ryan Braun. So far, our lineup is lacking in power.
Braun would have contributed his 21 home runs, but Gonzalez helps us balance our lineup (which, by the way, will be constructed lefty-righty throughout).
Remember, we're looking for all-around players because we'll have no substitutes. Maybe in a normal game, we take Braun and pinch run or sub CarGo in defensively.
In this scenario, we'll ride the young Gonzo and hope he comes through as pictured above.
Center Fielder: Matt Kemp
It kills us not to take Jacoby Ellsbury, but Matt Kemp's ability to literally change a game from anywhere in the lineup makes him impossible to pass on.
By taking Kemp, we add some pop to our lineup without losing anything defensively.
Also, maybe Rihanna shows up to cheer on her ex, and the aliens are distracted for just a split second. Hey aliens, you can have her. Just let us keep Earth.
Right Fielder: Ichiro Suzuki
We're very, very nervous about this pick. Common sense says to take Joe Bautista and his 31 home runs, but we hate one-dimensional players.
We know that Ichiro is on his way out and having the worst statistical season of his storied career. But if our lefty-righty lineup is going to work, we need one of the best leadoff hitters off all-time batting first.
So Ichiro slaps a few singles, steals a few bases and plays flawless defense with an outfield assist. I think he gives us a better shot at winning than Joey Bats.
Also, the entire of continent of Asia, previously indifferent due to the exclusion of its players, rallies behind Team Earth.
Designated Hitter: Adrian Gonzalez
In sticking with our assumption that all-around players are better than one-dimensional players, we select Adrian Gonzalez to DH over Jose Bautista, Ryan Howard, Prince Fielder and others.
Gonzalez is no slouch when it comes to hitting home runs, but he is not a prototypical designated hitter.
The GM of the Earth All-Stars takes some flak for picking the batting average leader over the home run leader, but then the world watches Gonzalez go 4-for-5 with two doubles, a home run and six RBI, and they're OK with it.
Closer: Mariano Rivera
Who else would we take? Certainly not that nut Brian Wilson. Jonathan Papelbon? We'll pass. Heath Bell? He blew out his knee sliding into the pitcher's mound.
That leaves us with Mariano Rivera closing out the game to save the world. We'll ignore Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS and focus on the career.
This guy has been the best in the game for a decade with exactly one pitch. He gets the nod in the bottom of the ninth, and using this lineup and this lineup only, Earth lives on.