Last week, the people at BallIsLife created a fun fantasy game where you had to create an all-time basketball team based on players with different values. Drew Silva of Rotoworld fame created a similar game using baseball players. So here is MY (read: the best) roster.
Starter: Pedro Martinez ($3). The most dominant pitcher in an era where the balls and players were juiced. No-brainer and the biggest bargain on the list. Big Unit and Clemens were both beasts, but hard to beat Pedro at his best and he Petey is cheaper. Ryan and Maddux are cheaper than Martinez, but weren’t as consistently great as Pedro was in his prime.
Catcher: Mike Pizza ($2). The greatest offensive catcher of all-time that was better defensively than people gave him credit for. First ballot Hall of Fame mustache. You wouldn’t have to worry about Piazza’s poor arm with Pedro keeping everyone off the basepaths.
First Base: Lou Gehrig ($3). The guy never misses a game, is your prototypical power hitting first baseman, and seemed like a great person to play with. Pujols and Miggy are great, but are they really on the same level as Gehrig as overall players? And if so, are they worth the extra money? Jimmy Foxx would be fun to watch out at the bar, but I don’t know if you would rather have his baggage with Gehrig available. And Pete Rose has more hits than anyone in baseball, but I would want some more power out of my first baseman.
Second Base: Jackie Robinson ($3). Has a ton of speed and obviously can battle through adversity. Considering the options above and below Robinson, getting him at $3 is a great buy. He would also force Mariano to choose a different number.
Shortstop: Cal Ripken Jr. ($2). Another guy who will never miss a game and basically redefined how people thought of the Shortstop position. Not the pop of Tulo or the glove of Ozzie, but at 2 bucks, you can’t complain at all.
Third Base: Mike Schmidt ($4). Retired as the best third baseman of all-time. I think there is enough of a gap between Schmidt and everyone below him to make him worth the money. No way you can spend $5 on A-Rod because of the amount of results you get when you Google “A-Rod Controversy”. F that noise.
Left Field and Right Field: Barry Bonds ($5) and Stan Musial ($2). Every team has the one superstar that is a legit prick. Since I have avoided it until now, I figured I might as well use the prick card on Barry Bonds. It came down to Bonds vs. Ruth for the $5 outfield spot, but based on the $2 options, I thought I’d rather have Bonds + Musial over Manny + Ruth. Bonds was winning MVPs before he was using steroids and basically became Babe Ruth (who played in an all-white league) once he started juicing. Stan The Man is one of the most underrated superstars in baseball history.
Center Field: Mickey Mantle ($1). Switch hitting stud who was a legendary teammate, booze hound, and chick magnet. People talk how he was never able to fulfill his potential due to leg injuries, but a switch-hitting center fielder that hit for a .298 average while slugging 536 home runs is a heist at $1.
Closer: Mariano Rivera ($5). Any anti-Yankees fan knows how hopeless it felt to see Rivera coming in with the game on the line. The dude threw one pitch and was apparently one of the nicest humans to ever play the game. His blown saves in the playoffs have been named. “The Luis Gonzalez Game”, “The Sandy Alomar Game”, “The Dave Roberts Game”. Other than those few games, he was an assassin. He has the best postseason ERA of all-time and owns every relevant saves record. And in my opinion was even BETTER than those numbers show. Maybe it’s from all the nightmares that the Mets closers have caused me over the years, but I’ll spend the extra dollars to send the closest example of a sure thing that there is in baseball.
Below are the responses Silva has received thus far. What would your 10 man roster be?