I'm not opposed to off day's in principle but these specific offdays have been exceptionally boring. Boring to the point that they haven't offered up anything specific for me to rant write about so I thought we'd treat this pre-Labor Day Friday with a little levity. I'll talk more about the Astros series later this afternoon, but for now everyone put on your GM cap and lets build a team.
Simple game and everyone loves to play/bicker over the selections. We're just going to set up the foundation of the team picking 2 position players and 2 pitchers. (For the farm addicts pick 1 of each from the minors and 1 of each from the majors).
1). Albert Pujols - There were about 3 or 4 guys that I'd consider starting a team with and I almost wanted to pick several of them over Albert. Evan Longoria had a monster rookie year playing good defense at the hot corner. Troy Tulowitzki isn't far removed from his .291/.259/.479 campaign playing the best SS we've seen since Adam Everett. Both have had recent injuries (Longoria's very recent), that worry me a touch but they'd be excellent defendable choices in my opinion. The other player more Albert's age is Alex Rodriguez and there's probably a debate still to be had about which of those two is better although that argument is dwindling as ARod ages. Still at the end of the day, Albert may very well be entering his prime and is having the best year of his career thus far. He's still (unbelievably) only 28 and will hopefully have a long graceful aging curve. (Aside: Can he play through the elbow pain for his entire career?)
2). Matt Weiters - Do you know how difficult it was not to type Colby Rasmus name here? It was almost crippling. If I wanted to go with the long shot choice, I'd go with Elvis Andrus whom I think will be a decent offensive SS but a superb defensive one. He was part of the Mark Teixeira trade and is holding his own as a 20 year old in AA. Not a particularly safe bet though. [resists urge to change back to Rasmus] I really think Rasmus is the second coming of Grady Sizemore, who by the way is having an under appreciated season w/ 30HR and 30SB. I'm not going to discuss catcher defense because I remain very skeptical of its impact on the game but good catchers are hard to find. Wieters has the potential to be a great one with all the offensive tools: power, average, plate discipline, etc. Let's be clear, I'm a fan of Rasmus but if I get to pick whomever I want, I'll go with Weiters.
3). Roy Halladay - Age before beauty. . . where's Harangutang when you need him. There's quite a few younger pitchers that you could go for -- Lincecum, Lee, Haren [weeps] -- but Halladay is like a fine wine coming to fruition. He's pitched 200 innings the last three years in a row; if he makes 5 more starts this year he could easily get to 240 IP. What's amazing is that he's doing it all with a 3.00 FIP in the AL East. That's crazy good.
4). David Price - If I was bitter, I'd pick Rick Porcello here and let's just say that I made use of the backspace again. Porcello is having a great year for the Tigers but it's at A+ -- admirable for a youngster but there's a lot that can happen between A+ and the majors. I'm a believer and, while I'm (mostly) over the 2007 draft, David Price was the #1 pick overall last year and is already in AAA. He looks ready to contribute to a stacked Tampa Bay pitching core that already includes 3 front of the rotation type pitchers in Scott Kazmir, James Shields and Matt Garza (Aside: did the Rays fleece the Twins in that trade or what?). Price has great stuff and throws with the wronghand -- something that's not easy to find.
There you go. Rip into it folks. It's a 7:05 start time tonight at the ballpark from hell Minute Maid Park. Enjoy your Friday!