Friday, March 28, 2008

All Lang Team

Members of the Rays front office have put together the 25-man All-Time Al Lang Field, culled together from the seven teams who trained on this site.

Here are the teams:
Boston Braves (1922-37)
New York Yankees (1925-42, 1946-50, 1952-61)
St. Louis Cardinals (1938-42, 1946-97)
New York Giants (1951)
New York Mets (1962-87)
Baltimore Orioles (1992-95)
Tampa Bay Rays (1998-2008)

And the players:
Yogi Berra (Yankees) .285, 359 home runs, 1,430 RBIs
Gary Carter (Mets) .262, 324 home runs, 1,225 RBIs
What manager wouldn't want to swap these guys in and out?

First base
Stan Musial (Cardinals) .331, 475 home runs, 3,630 hits
Lou Gehrig (Yankees) .340, 493 home runs, 1,995 RBIs
The only problem I see here is, who do you sit? The guy with more than 3,600 hits? Or the guy who hit .340? Oh, and the rumor I heard was Gehrig didn't take too many days off.

Second base
Rogers Hornsby (Braves) .358, 301 home runs, 2,930 hits
Red Schoendist (Cardinals) .289, 2,449 hits, 773 RBIs
Sorry Red, but no way Hornsby rides my bench.

Third base
Wade Boggs (Rays) .328, 3,010 hits, 1,513 runs
Ken Boyer (Cardinals/Mets) .287, 282 home runs, 2,143 hits
Boggs had the bat, Boyer had the glove. Yet I'd put Boggs in there, just to see him spoil a dozen two-strike pitches per at-bat.

Ozzie Smith (Cardinals) .978 fielding percentage, 2,460 hits, 580 steals
Cal Ripken, Jr. (Orioles) .276, 431 home runs, 3,189 hits
We start Ripken, and then throw the Wizard in there for some late-inning defense. Sound good?

Joe DiMaggio (Yankees) .325, 361 home runs, 2,214 hits
Willie Mays (Giants/Mets) .301, 660 home runs, 3,283 hits
Monte Irvin (Giants) .293, 99 home runs, 443 RBIs
Mickey Mantle (Yankees) .298, 536 home runs, 2,415 hits
Roger Maris (Yankees/Cardinals) .260, 275 home runs, 851 RBIs
Lou Brock (Cardinals) .293, 3,023 hits, 938 steals
Babe Ruth (Yankees/Braves) .342, 714 home runs, 2,217 RBIs
Darryl Strawberry (Mets) .259, 335 home runs, 1,000 RBIs

Wow. Wow. Well, the Babe never sits. Hard to sit a .342 hitter with that sort of power. DiMaggio? He plays. OK, so now what - Mays, Mantle, Marris, Brock - someone has to sit. I just hope the Carl Crawfords of the world know who roamed that outfield grass before they did.

Starting pitchers
Bob Gibson (Cardinals) 251 wins, 2.91 ERA, 3,117 strikeouts
Tom Seaver (Mets) 311 wins, 2.86 ERA, 3,640 strikeouts
Nolan Ryan (Mets) 324 wins, 3.19 ERA, 5,714 strikeouts
Whitey Ford (Yankees) 236 wins, 2.75 ERA, 1,956 strikeouts
Steve Carlton (Cardinals) 329 wins, 3.22 ERA, 4,136 strikeouts

I don't foresee too many losing streaks with this rotation.

Dennis Eckersley (Cardinals) 197 wins, 390 saves
Lee Smith (Orioles/Cardinals) 71 wins, 3.03 ERA, 478 saves

Smith may have more saves, but Eckersley, in his prime, was awesome. He gets all the save chances - unless, of course, he as to face Kirk Gibson.

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