19
Feb
09

Team USA Roster Rundown!

Catcher:

  • Brian McCann. I know the dude’s on the Braves, but he can hit. I don’t know if he can catch, but he can certainly hit. He posted a .301/.373/.523 line in ’08, good for his second Silver Slugger award and his third consecutive All-Star selection. Ian Kinsler and Hanley Ramirez round out his ‘Similar Batters’ list on B-R, and Yogi Berra shows up on the ‘Similar Batters through Age 24’. Not bad, eh?
  • A.J. Pierzynski. Love the name, hate the player. Well, not ‘hate’ per se, but he’s awfully annoying (and I don’t even care about the White Sox). He should be the primary backup, if there is such a thing.

First Base:

  • Kevin Youkilis. I really can’t stand this guy and his batting stance, but he’s a good enough player. If he goes into a slump, then there’s always Mr. Playoff Miracle himself…
  • Evan “E-Lo” Longoria. It might seem slightly weird to see him playing first base, but he can’t do too much damage there. I mean, if Ryan Howard and Prince Fielder can “field” this position without causing irreparable damage to the psyche of everyone around them, then I’m sure that the reasonably smart and extremely athletic Longoria can manage just fine. Plus, he’s got as close to a porn star name as you’ll find on this roster, and some people think that’s hot. Don’t worry, I won’t judge you.

Second Base:

  • Dustin Pedroia. The really awesome tiny guy who swings from his heels and is good at everything will find a way to make the opposing pitchers uncertain about their depth perception.
See? He's just so small-looking.

See? He's just so small-looking.

Shortstop:

  • Jimmy Rollins. I really, really don’t understand why they’re going to start Derek Jeter. According  to Fangraphs’s value stats, Rollins was a +13 hitter and a +13.5 defender this year, but Jeter was a +8.6 hitter and a -0.4 defender. But Jeter isn’t bad, so it’s not like the shortstop will make or break the series.

Third Base:

  • Larry Wayne “Chipper” Jones III. There is actually an almost 50% chance that he will find a way to get on base. He posted an OBP of .470 last year, so put him near the top of the lineup and expect a lot of RBI opportunities for everyone batting below him. And you could put E-Lo here, too.

Left Field:

  • Ryan Braun. He’s actually used to playing left field, so he won’t run into the wall or anything. (Too bad Aaron Rowand isn’t on the team.) He could play 3B, too… you know what? Screw this. E-Lo is DHing.
Dude looks like Billie Joe Armstrong.

Dude looks like Billie Joe Armstrong.

Center Field:

  • Grady Sizemore. Some people think he’s the hottest baseball player alive. I’m not sure about that, but he is awfully pretty.

Hed be so much cuter without the funny-looking guy on his hat. Maybe he can come play for the Phillies when his contract is up — hed look good in pinstripes.

He'd be so much cuter without the funny-looking guy on his hat. Maybe he can come play for the Phillies when his contract is up — he'd look good in pinstripes.

Ooh.

Pretty, eh? (Once again, somebody needs to take the funny-looking dude off his uniform.)

Right Field:

  • Ryan Ludwick. Silver Slugger with a funny name — randomly OPSed .966 this year, and probably plans on trying to do that again.

Designated Hitter:

  • Evan Longoria or David Wright. Longoria is awesome, Wright is annoying. They’re both good hitters, but there are finer points to bringing the best out of them: E-Lo needs to be convinced that he’s playing the Red Sox, and David Wright just needs to be reassured that it’s not September.

And now, I present the beautiful, the amazing, the stunning and shocking and miraculous:

Starting Pitchers:

  • John Danks. I really have nothing to say about this guy, except that he’s pretty good. Move along.
  • Roy Oswalt. I love the guy. He’s on my fantasy team (more on that later). Went 17-10 this year with an SO-to-BB around 3.5, and manages to be unnoticed ’cause he’s on the Astros. People say he’s a lot like Jon Lester, which automatically makes me assume he’s pretty damn cool.
  • Jake Peavy. He’s very, very good. He also has interesting hair.

"Why is this watermark hitting me in the face?"

"Why is this watermark hitting me in the face?"

  • Justin Verlander will be around if they need another starter. He’s like Barry Zito, except he’s paid a lot less and he’s not nearly as cute.

Relief Pitchers:

  • Brad Ziegler. I listed him first because he had the longest streak of consecutive innings without an earned run or a strikeout this year. So he’s cool.
  • Joe Nathan. Probably the best reliever on the staff, and definitely has the most first names of any of them. He’s hardly bad-looking, either.

Hes actually on the Twins now. Has been for several years.

He's actually on the Twins now. Has been for several years.

  • Brian Fuentes. I just like guys named Brian, because I almost always mistype it as “Brain” the first time around and it never fails to make me smile. (I know, I’m weird.)
  • J.P. Howell. Acronym dude alert! I like him. He’s funny. (Other acronym dudes on the roster include B.J. Ryan, J.J. “I couldn’t have come up with this surname as a joke if I’d tried” Putz, and the aforementioned Pierzynski.)

Very, very nice-looking.

Very, very nice-looking. Sort of like Ollie Queen, you know? From Smallville? What do you mean, 'cool people don't watch Smallville'?

That pretty much wraps it up. It’s somewhat unfortunate that Scott Kazmir won’t be playing, but I can show a couple photos of him anyway, just to make myself happy.

He looks a bit like Cillian Murphy, but hes a lot taller. And I owe you all another watermark apology.

He looks a bit like Cillian Murphy, but he's a lot taller and he really needs to fix his hair.

It really pains me to see the Mets patch on his sleeve, but apparently hes overcome the burden of having once played for such a recently unimpressive organization.

It really pains me to see the Mets patch on his sleeve, but apparently he's overcome the burden of having once played for such a recently unimpressive organization.

And here we have the mandatory baseball card photo:

Gotta love that. 26!

Gotta love that. Number 26!

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