Monday, May 25, 2009

10 comments Memorial Day Sadness and a Baseball Dream Team

I sat down to do my MMQB Review with great eagerness, and as I was following the stupidity of Peter King I realized that what I was writing was shit. I am going to do the worst thing in the world and follow Peter King's ignorant football exploits in MMQB tomorrow morning, which I know ruins the whole MMQB fun, especially when I try to get in his mailbag. I still posted a question to it though. I would rather write something good a day late than write a post on a holiday that is half ass and then bury it tomorrow when I write again. Peter King is my favorite person to write about and I don't want to half ass it. I am sorry if this ruins the MMQB experience for you, but we'll just pretend tomorrow it is Monday. I know hundreds will be boycotting my posts and traffic will dip to all time lows based on this...

I saw an interesting article on where Ted Keith in his mailbag gets asked actually interesting questions (compared to the shit that Bill Simmons and others get).

If you were starting a major league franchise today, and Bud Selig offered you any player to choose from, who would you choose?

-- Pat, Chicago

I am horrible at answering questions like this but I am going to give it a shot anyway.

Catcher: Joe Mauer, Twins, 26

I guess so. I am partial to Brian McCann personally because he hasn't quite had the injury issues Mauer has had. He does walk more and hit for a higher average than McCann, so I will begrudgingly agree. If I was drafting a team, I would choose McCann because I am very homeristic when it comes to him and he is a year younger than Mauer.

First Base: Albert Pujols, Cardinals, 29

I guess 29 is not too old to build a team around. If it were, I would struggle because my other choices are around the same age. Pujols is the best hitter in baseball that has not been caught, yet, for steroid use. He would be my first baseman since Howard, Tex, and Morneau are all of similar age.

Second Base: Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox, 25

This guy struggled between Pedroia and Kinsler. I feel like Kinsler has a more complete body of work right now, simply because he has three full seasons in baseball, compared to Pedroia's 2 full seasons...but Pedroia is 2 years younger and he would be my choice as well.

I do wonder why Utley's hip injury scared Ted Keith away but he still chose Mauer at the catcher position despite his injury history.

Shortstop: Hanley Ramirez, Marlins, 25

I feel like Ramirez is playing SS by default and will be an outfielder at some point in the near future, so I would put Elvis Andrus at this spot if it were 2011. This guy is choosing some good guys for each position, but I think I would choose Jose Reyes for this spot because I think he is more of a complete package than Ramirez and I am trying to build a team here, not name the best player at each position. Reyes is my choice at SS.

Third Base: Evan Longoria, Rays, 23

Again, this is a choice made by Keith based purely on potential and Longoria's less than one year service in the majors. Sure he actually has played 166 games over two seasons but he hasn't played a full season yet. His numbers are absolutely ridiculous and there is not a decent chance he will hit similar to this for the rest of the season. I could be wrong, and he may get 180 RBI's this year with 50+ homeruns. If I were building a team I would be tempted to choose Longoria, but I would also probably think David Wright might be a bit safer choice.

Keith says that Wright's homerun numbers fell and that worried him, well Longoria hasn't even been in the majors long enough to have his numbers fall or even see trends in his batting statistics. I am going to be a contrarian and choose Wright.

Left field: Ryan Braun, Brewers, 25

There is not a whole lot to choose from here in my opinion. Braun is an easy choice for me, especially since he improved his fielding in left field.

Center field: Grady Sizemore, Indians, 26

I want to put Granderson in this spot pretty badly because it seems like he does everything very well, but Sizemore does as well. Matt Kemp may be in this spot in a few years in my opinion but for right now Grady would be my choice as well.

Right field: Justin Upton, Diamondbacks, 21

Swing...and complete miss. I will give Ted Keith his potential guys and I will take players who actually play well and make me want to build a team around them. Nick Markakis is my choice and if he wasn't my choice then Upton would be somewhere on the list. Yes, I realize Upton has an OPS over 1.000 right now but I still want to see more of him before I put him on my baseball dream team. What I want to see is his BA and OBP stay where it is all year, then he has the RF spot. His numbers based on this incomplete baseball season makes me think he could be the choice, and he is still young, but Markakis is my choice based on prodcution.

Starting Pitcher: Zack Greinke, Royals, 25

Not to harp on this point of actual production, but other than last year and the beginning of this year Greinke has been an above average MLB pitcher. Tim Lincecum is my RH pitcher and Cole Hamels is my LH pitcher. I also know I just chose two NL pitchers and that Greinke plays in the American League so he should be rated higher but I am not factoring that in. Plus I think Lincecum would be fine in the AL.

Relief Pitcher: Jonathan Papelbon, Red Sox, 28

Building a team, I may want a guy with as much stuff who is three years younger in Jonathan Broxton, but this is another easy decision because Papelbon is young and has proven he is one of the best closers in the majors. Though I am not a huge fan of Papelbon, I would want him to be my closer on my dream team.

Ok, you can tell me how stupid I am or how lazy I am if you want.

Here's the question I asked Peter King for this week. I upped the assholeishness to see if he would post my question.

"Can we have a moratorium on Brett Favre news until he actually retires or signs with a team? I would really appreciate it, I am Favred out. Also, is there a team not located in the Northeast part of the United States that you like to have a good record for the upcoming NFL year? I heard there is a team not located in the Northeast that had the second best record in the NFC last year who are returning 21 of 22 starters from last year's team who could have a good year. I am not denying Tom Brady's return is an important story, but do I really have to read about it in your MMQB AND SI this upcoming week? I promise there are other NFL teams playing games this year not located in a 600 mile radius from New York."

It will never get posted, it's barely a question. Enjoy your Memorial Day and we'll deal with Peter tomorrow.


Chris W said...

BGF: quality post.

I don't dispute most of your choices, and I think you're dead on with Wright--not contrarian at all.

Mauer or McCann--can't go wrong

Pujols is a no brainer.

I wonder why you didn't bring up Utley--yes he's on the wrong side of 30 but he's still the best hitting 2B in the game BY FAR and has a much much much longer track record than Pedroia. He'll be producing strongly for at least 5 more years. You can't build around THAT?

Reyes for sure at SS.

Wright for sure at 3B

Braun was a gimme in LF

You're a little too generous with Granderson--I think he's the fucking bees knees, but he's the 3rd best CF in baseball behind a 2 way tie with Beltran and Sizemore. I think you could just as easily build around EITHER since Beltran has the consistency and Sizemore has the age advantage.

RF: Markakis without a doubt.

I don't know about Lincecum over Greinke--I think Lincecum's a huge injury risk given his high stress pitching motion. Yeah Greinke has an average major league record, but that's because he's been IN the bigs for years...since he was like 20. You can't really hold that against him, can you?

ivn said...

at first base I suppose you could go Prince Fielder or Miguel Cabrera if you want to go younger. I could make the homer pick and go with Youkilis...he's 30 but with only four full years under his belt, he plays both corner infield spots, he has an "old man's game" (so to speak) that lends itself well to age...I dunno, guess I'm just being a little too biased here. can't seriously argue against Pujols.

can't argue with the picks at second, short, or third (I wouldn't sleep on Ryan Zimmerman, even though I guess I'm trying too hard to be contrarian. in a similar vain I'd like to extend a shout-out to Aramis Ramirez, who happens to have the misfortune of playing third base in the same league as David Wright...I think he could be the best 3B in the AL until Longoria reaches his potential, for whatever that's worth).

in the outfield, I'll take Hunter Pence in right. he's gritty, and he plays the game the right way. and he's white! there isn't a stat in the world that can convince me that's a bad way to pick a team. although in all seriousness I'd like to throw Adam Jones's name out there. I still can't believe the Mariners traded him.

Bengoodfella said...

Chris, thanks for liking the post. I thought McCann-Mauer was a toss up and it really has been in my mind for so long. I just wait for one of them to himself from the other.

I don't think I am too full of myself to say that I weighted age a little bit much in getting my team together. I tried to pick guys on the right side of 30. I wanted to put Utley in there but did not because of his age, and I would put him in before Kinsler. If he puts in 5 more good years, then yes you could build around it. I went against my own theory of basing it on production in this case. I actually thought about that while I was working in my yard today, that I should have not been so difficult on age. Utley has a longer track record of production, which is something I focused on, so I should have chosen him on my dream team. Plus, he is not that old.

Beltran does have the consistency but I wasn't sure if I wanted to build around him at the age of 32. I read somewhere the Granderson was well on his way to become so underrated he is actually overrated and I can see how that would happen. I think Sizemore is my pick and if I wanted to pick a backup I would choose Beltran.

I guess there is an injury risk to Lincecum, and I understand that, but until he actually gets injured I think I would want him on my dream team. Greinke/Hamels would not be far behind him though if he did start to have injury problems. I should not hold the fact Greinke has been up in the majors for a while against him and I am really not worried about the length of time he has been up, just that Lincecum has been great since he got to the majors. Of course, if I wanted to base it on production and not potential I would have gone with Sabathia or someone like that.

Bengoodfella said...

I completely missed on Adam Jones, I actually forgot about him completely, but I still think I want Beltran or Sizemore first.

I am not a big Fielder and Cabrera fan because I think both are going to gain weight, which may ultimately mean nothing, but I am afraid it may affect their future production. I would consider Youk to be a step below Pujols and Wright, and that could be my bias because I don't like his beard.

The Mariners got Eric Bedard in the Adam Jones trade. Why wouldn't they make that trade again? He's actually pitching pretty well this year but they still traded Adam Jones for him, which they will regret when Bedard leaves as a free agent.

Chris W said...

The issue I have at 2B is that yes you want to pick youth over age, all things being close, but age is the ONLY advantage Pedroia has over Utley.

Utley has been greater than 900 OPS the last 4 years. Pedroia, even in his huge breakout season last year, was under 900, and I'm not talking about .897 or something. He was .868. He hit an insane amount of doubles, but Utley has him big time on HR, BA, OBP, SLG, etc etc etc.

It's kind of like...ok, let's say you're building a team for the next five years--do you want Felix Hernandez or Johan Santana? Frankly, I think you'd be crazy to take Felix over Johan for any reason but salary. Right?

Lincecum and Greinke is a huge tossup, I would agree. I can't fault anyone for preferring Lincecum because Lincecum, Halladay, Santana, Greinke, and CC are the 5 best pitchers in baseball and are all pretty close to one another, IMO.

I just think Greinke is the kind of once in a lifetime pitching talent that's just going to continue being insane and won't really be vulnerable to injury because he usually throws SOFTER than he's capable of, as opposed to Lincecum who's constantly throwing 94 AND a slider, and has that fucked up motion.

But it is true that Lincecum is an incredible pitcher and at this point has a much better track record than Greinke.

Bengoodfella said...

Well, I don't include salary in any of the comparisons between these players, so I would take Santana over Felix Hernandez. Under the same principle I would take Utley over Pedroia. I was not really looking at his OPS, I was looking at his statistics from last year and kind of ruled out Utley early because of his age.

I would have found all those advantages Utley had over Pedroia (hopefully) if I had not ruled him out too early because of age.

Though I am sensitive to the fact that Greinke holds back and that Lincecum looks like he is about to have a body part fly off during his delivery, I would still probably take Lincecum for my dream team. Of course if he got injured and I played your dream team I would be wrong but that's the risk I take in this fantasy world where the middle of a lineup can have Wright, Pujols, Braun, and Markakis.

AJ said...

C - I'd go with Mauer.

1B - Albert, no one else is in his league. If you want younger, Cabby or Adrian Gonzalez.

2B - Utley, just like Pujols, no one is in his league there.

3B - I'd go with Zimmerman.

SS - Hanley.

OF - Pence, Braun, Granderson. I like Granderson more then Sizemore for obvious reasons (I'm a Tigers fan), but really because I think he is better then him. I get to watch Grady for 30 games a year at least and I don't see anything that makes him better then Granderson. Grady is good, I just think he's a little to over rated.

P - Well if we are talking about just 1, then I'd go with Greinke. I like Lincecum a lot, but if I'd have to choose 1 I would choose the guy pitching in the AL. I would put Verlander on the short list too...people forget he is still young. If you haven't seen Porcello pitch yet (besides that Yankees game), he looks like he is going to be real good (and he's 20). I'm not sure what to build around, but I'm taking Santana as the lefty (he just turned 30). Is 30 to old? That to me is a tough question...cuz I think he has at least 5 great years left in him, is that enough to consider building around?

Closer to me is a joke, you don't build around a closer so why even list it? If you aren't making a list that includes a long relief guy and a set up guy, then why include a closer?

Bengoodfella said...

I don't know why he included a closer in his "dream team," but I decided to include it also. If you want a set up guy, I am going to say Joba Chamberlain, just to make Wallace Matthews happy.

I thought about Hanley at SS but I don't really think he is better than Reyes, though I may just be imagining that. Either way, I would not argue because I have Hanley 2nd for that spot. I did not even consider Hunter Pence for the RF spot, I should look up his numbers and see if he is any better than Markakis.

It seems that the consensus does think Greinke should be chosen over Lincecum. I would choose Porcello but I am basing it on production and he hasn't been in the majors long enough. Santana is not too old to build around, he probably does have five or more years left, so I won't be ageist and not consider him. I have no idea who to put as a long relief guy and a set up guy...that's a tough one too.

Jeremy Conlin said...

Mark Teixeira is furious right now. Absolutely beside himself.

Bengoodfella said...

Haha, I enjoy that comment. Well I have a few things that I am not too happy with Tex about as well. We can sit down and discuss them he would like. He is getting over his annual April slump, so I can't make fun of him anymore.