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busch beaters

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the balloting's over for the all-time all-busch team at the cards' official web site. but the discussion continues over at fungoes, where pip has subjected the question to a systematic, sabermetric analysis. so far he has named ted simmons as best busch catcher and lou brock as best busch leftfielder; both no-brainers. ozzie will be the shortstop, tommy herr the second baseman, and edmonds likely the centerfielder (although ray lankford may give him a run for his money, and willie mcgee should also make a good showing). because longevity is an important criterion (and rightly so) under pip's system, my guesses are that keith hernandez will edge mcgwire at 1st base and terry pendleton will trump rolen at 3d. as for rightfield, george hendrick will probably emerge from a crowded, undistinguished field. if all my assumptions are correct, that would make the starting eight:

simmons c
hernandez 1b
herr 2b
smith ss
pendleton 3b
brock lf
edmonds cf
hendrick rf
the most striking thing about that lineup is that it doesn't include albert pujols, the best cardinal player of the busch era; he simply hasn't played long enough at any one position. the other thing that jumps out at me is that half of the 1982 world championship team is on the roster, plus a fifth player (pendleton) from the herzog era. whitey still rules.

how would you construct a batting order out of that group? brock leads off obviously; i'd bat hernandez second because of his high obp, with edmonds 3d and simmons cleaning up. that leaves hendrick fifth, and i would bat ozzie smith sixth -- it has been shown that the #6 hitter leads off an inning more often than any other lineup slot except #1 -- with pendleton and herr rounding things off.

but remember, these are only my educated guesses; keep an eye on fungoes to see where the chips actually fall. plus you'll want to see who comes in as 2d- or 3d-best at a given position. brock may be an obvious choice in left, but who ranks right behind him --coleman? lonnie smith? gilkey? how do the three playoff-dynasty catchers (mccarver matheney porter) line up behind simmons? how will the battle royale in centerfield -- mcgee, edmonds, lankford, and oh yeah curt flood -- shake out? fun series.