Torsten’s take on his picks 11-15:
16) Pete Rose – Utility – Every roster needs to have a guy that can fill in at the corner infield positions. I figure mine should be baseball’s all-time hits king. Bet you didn’t see this pick coming… see what I did there?
17) Pedro Martinez – SP – There was a period of about 9 years where he was simply the most dominating pitcher of his generations. Other flames may have burned as brightly, but none for as long. Personally, I think he could have tacked a few years onto the back end of his career by switching to relief, but who cares. Happy to have him in my rotation.
18) Mike Piazza – C – I now have the TWO best offensive catchers in history on my roster. Sure, he won’t do much to shut down the opposition’s running game, but his offensive prowess far outweighs his defensive flaws.
19) Mickey Mantle – C – Wow, center field is a deep position. How does Mantle last to the 37th pick? You can look at the stats and see that he had an unbelievable career, but if you want to visualize how he played, think switch hitting Mike Trout. Trout is the best player in the game today, Mick was right up there in his day.
20) Goose Gossage – RP – Again, my staff is now where I need to focus. There are several awesome starters remaining but only a handful of dominant relievers, so I go with the Goose here. The prototypical closer before Tony LaRussa reinvented the position, Gossage couldn’t have been more intimidating on the mound if he was holding a machine gun. Plus, he could easily go multiple innings, as evidenced by the fact that he multiple time totaled more than 130 innings in relief in a season, and turned in 15 complete games in his one season as a starter. That’s a CAREER for most guys these days.
Shaun’s take on his picks 11-15:
16) Cal Ripken Jr. – SS/3B – At this point, it is a lot about squad roster makeup. Going in I wanted to be able to spend just two roster spots on the infield. I expected to go with a middle infielder and corner infielder, but I decided to go Cal here to back up the left side. He is a bat off the bench that can deliver a big hit regardless which of his seemingly 3 million batting stances he sported throughout his career.
17) Nolan Ryan – SP – Honestly, as I mentioned in the last installment, I was a bit torn between two guys to complete the fourth spot in my rotation, which is why I took Greg Maddux to be my fifth starter before selecting my fourth starter. It was a toss-up for my second power righty between Pedro and the Ryan Express, so as soon as Torsten selected Pedro, my decision was made.
18) Rod Carew – 2B/1B – Since I took Cal earlier, I was left with a roster composition dilemma. I am left needing a guy that can back up second and first. I could pick up a catcher that has experience at first, but a backup catcher is too valuable to also be backing up first. I could also take an outfielder that also has experience at first, or I could pick Rod Carew, one of the few that fills both second and first. The decision was easy,
19) Rollie Fingers – RP – Honestly, the thing I have written that I had the most fun doing was my Mustache Ride Through Time, so how could I possibly pass on the guy at the top of that list. Oh, not to mention the dude could deal.
20) Trevor Hoffman – CL – I have decided to select Hoffman as my closer. I will admit, if I am managing a baseball team, that position doesn’t exist. That said, if there is someone to take the ninth inning, up 2-3 runs, nobody on, and three outs to get, only one guy has done it more than Hoffman. Oh, and his circle change can eat up any hitter regardless of era.
Torsten’s take on Shaun’s picks:
I have to admit, I thought he began to round off his roster really well with these last five picks. Cal Ripken and his 431 lifetime homers to back up short, Ryan and his 7 no hitters, Fingers and Hoffman to help out a bullpen that he’d essentially neglected until now. If I was going to nitpick, and you know I will, it’s Carew. While brilliant in his own right, I personally would choose Tony Gwynn here, citing slightly superior batting average, and a vastly superior slugging percentage. That said, I can’t truly make a spirited argument against any of these picks.
So far: I had a plan going into these five picks, and I deviated because of the sheer awesomeness that was still available. I’m thrilled to have Pedro, the Mick, and everyone else… though if I was going to nitpick against myself, maybe a defensively better catcher in the mold of a Gary Carter, Yogi Berra, Benito Santiago, et al would have been a better choice. We’ll see…
Shaun’s take on Torsten’s picks:
Well, Torsten isn’t winning any good guy awards with his squad. A-Rod and Pete Rose on the same team, imagine the media circus. Pete Rose is the all-time hit leader, and can pretty much play any position. In an exercise like this, if he found himself in a starting lineup it would be a travesty, but as a utility guy, I get it. I mentioned earlier my thoughts on Pedro, but him as Torsten’s third starter and Ryan as my fourth, I feel I get the win there. Piazza is an amazing hitter, but it feels like a fantasy team pick rather than a real team pick. Granted, little is really known about Josh Gibson’s defensive prowess, but you certainly aren’t bringing in Piazza to help defensively late in a game. Torsten nailed it right on the head, center field is deeeeeeep. Mantle is often considered to be top ten best player in baseball history, but looking back, I don’t disagree with him falling this far. Goose is a great add to a bullpen, nothing more to say there.
So far: I love the development of my squad. The balance is there. I have waited on my bullpen, but I like the way it is coming together, and give me the first five picks to develop a rotation and I don’t think I could develop one I like more than the rotation I ended up with. My lineup is matchup proof, perfect balance of right handed and left handed bats, but looking back, I failed in that aspect on my bench, and spoiler alert, I will round it out with three more right handers, dropped the ball there.