Well, that is how I’d start my ultimate Red Sox team: Give Pedro the baseball, watch him brush back an occasional batter just for the sport of it while embarrassing the rest with the unmatched repertoire from his heyday … then, profit.
I bring this up because RadioBDC’s Adam XII, my Red Sox podcast brother along with Steve Silva, put together a version of the recent and fun trend that has become a sub-timewaster on Twitter:
You know the drill. You have X-amount of dollars to spend to put together the ideal all-time anything: rock band, hockey team, NBA starting five, or, my favorite from the cramped aftermath of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, an arena.
Here’s the menu of options Adam came up with for the Red Sox:
What, neither Drew brother? VOID.
Actually, it’s a well-considered and thorough list, even if I have no bleeping idea who Lou Criger is. (And upon looking him up, the .221 career hitter appears to be a turn-of-the-century Gary Allenson.)
Eric Wilbur put together his team right here. It’s charming, with all of its Marty Barrett opposite-field grit. Now, meet the champs:
SP: Pedro Martinez ($3): The best pitcher in baseball history for less than Roger Clemesn? So obvious even Grady Little would take him here. (Sorry, had to.) I look forward to Pedro drilling the the leadoff hitter to start a brawl in the matchup with the Ultimate (Devil) Rays roster, presumably Julio Lugo.
C: Carlton Fisk ($5): It’s a damn shame Pudge, who hit .284/.356/.481 during his 11 years with the Red Sox, actually spent more time with the White Sox (13 seasons). This rights Haywood Sullivan‘s most blatant of so many wrongs.
1B: David Ortiz ($4): If his .455/.576/.795 slash line in three World Series victories doesn’t do it for you, maybe you need a more recent piece of evidence regarding the reason for his indisputable place on this roster:
He turned that baseball to powder. That thing exploded like the Randy Johnson bird. Even the midges sympathized
2B: Bobby Doerr ($5): Doerr walked nearly 200 more times than he whiffed, finished in the top 10 in MVP balloting eight times, and had a career slash-line of .288/.362/.461 with 223 homers in 14 seasons. Sorry, Pedey. This guy was better, and he has the plaque in Cooperstown to prove it.
SS: Nomar Garciaparra ($4): Bettah (.357) than (.372) Jeetah.
3B: Mike Lowell ($1): The 2007 version only. And only because Butch Hobson was a glaring oversight. I’ll admit this, though. I can’t recall Lowell ever making a bad throw. I can’t recall seeing Hobson make a good one.
LF: Manny Ramirez ($2): “What, no Ted Williams?” [10,000 sports writers simultaneously collapse on a fainting couch.]
CF: Ellis Burks ($1): Hell, did you see him at the Class of 2004 reunion? He’s 49, and he looks like he could be starting in center field right now. Probably should, actually.
RF: Tony Conigliaro ($2): No one is pitching him inside with Pedro around.
Adding Hobson, Pat Dodson ($0), Pokey Reese ($0) and Chico Walker ($0) to my bench and Rich Garces ($0) as my entire bullpen and, let’s see, that puts me at … $27.
Three bucks left, huh? Gonna use that to go off the board and add both Drew brothers at a buck each. (Actually, .71 cents for Stephen since it’s pro-rated.)
And that last buck? Saving it for Giancarlo Stanton in 2016. Der.
Let me know in the comments about the team you put together to get destroyed by mine …