Roundtable Preview: WAIW Dream Lineups

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Roundtable Preview: WAIW Dream Lineups

. Thursday, May 21, 2009

As part of our ever popular (at least with me and Steve, who can not have to write at the end of the week) Friday Cubs Blog Roundtable feature, Steve and I asked our blogger friends this week for their dream lineups. While we usually sit on our asses and enjoy the excellence of our fellow bloggers, this time we just had to put in our own answers. We're doing it a day early, so as not to intrude on a regular feature constructed with the express purpose of not being about us.

By the way, did you know that "bloggers" is a word under which puts that "you're WRONG" red line? Check out the WAIW dream lineups after the jump.

Name: Steve
Height: 6'11"
Livelihood: Accountant
Religion: Accountant
Eyes: Laser
Fake Embarassing Secret: Still waiting for that Ace of Base comeback

P – Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown – This man makes Koyie Hill’s accident look like me complaining about when my toe cramps up. Losing parts of 2 fingers in a farming accident, Brown ended with 239 wins and an incredible 2.06 E.R.A. That means even he could count how many runs he would typically give up on one hand.

C – Geovany Soto – This season’s early struggling aside, a hitting catcher that is strong on defensive and knows how to manage pitchers is a rare find, and I hope that in 10 years from now this inclusion on my all-time list doesn’t look foolish.

1B – Cap Anson – Cap played in 27 seasons, and was the first player credited with 3,000 hits. Additionally, he is part of the brain trust that started Spring Training, without which, College of Idiots might not be with us today.

2B – Ryne Sandberg – No question here. My favorite player of all time. Off the field, he cemented his place in my heart with his Hall of Fame induction speech that I think should be required viewing for every rookie in the game.

3B – Ron Santo – Not only one of the greatest hitting third basemen ever in the game, he is also a master of medicine (when his diabetes would act up in the middle of a game, a candy bar was eaten to quell the fire) and soliloquy (he can shout “oh noooo” in ways never imagined).

SS – Shawon Dunston – From my memory, he always had a sweet pair of shades on, and inspired the Shawon-O-Meter ( Him, along with the aforementioned Ryno and the soon to be mentioned Hawk, are what made me a Cubs fan.

RF – Andre Dawson – No one was more exciting for me to watch at the plate than Dawson. He could crank a ball out of the park like nobody’s business, and was easily the best player in RBI Baseball (on a stacked NL All-Star team).

CF – Rick Monday – This really has nothing to do with skill, but solely based on the saving the flag incident.

LF – Alfonso Soriano – I chose Soriano for 2 reasons. First, he has won me over as a lead-off hitter and can make you regret stopping to get nachos and Old Styles on your way to your seat with the amount of lead-off homers he hits. Second, he represented a change in culture for the Cubs, where they proved that they were going to start spending money to get talent to win, not just ride the coattails of Wrigley’s popularity.

RP – Kerry Wood – I was sad to see Kerry go, because he is what I want every Cub to be. While being from Texas, he fully embraced Chicago as his home. While most memories of Wood are as a starter, I miss him closing the game for us, and when his fastball was on, he was almost untouchable.

Name: John
Education: Southern
Beard: Awesome
Favorite Snack That Will Lead to Premature Death: Hostess Fruit Pies (TM)
Fake Embarassing Secret: Cried at the end of "Backdraft"

SP – Mordecai “3 Finger” Brown - I'm a fan of graphic novels (which my girlfriend misguidedly calls "comic books"), and the idea that a horrific accident can lead to a super power fascinates me. I'm fairly certain that Miner Brown's curveball is the closest this concept has ever come to reality.

C – Randy Hundley - Another fascinating myth to me is the tough-as-nails everyman. Hundley caught an undgodly 161 games in 1968. Frankly, he's the one on that team who I suppose most people thought would lose both legs first. But no, he's still kicking ass as a baseball legend while simultaneously looking like a guy who is going to bring your pitcher of Miller Lite and ask what bowling shoe size you need.

1B – Frank Chance - Certainly there are flashier players I could pick, but Chance was the figurehead of the last Cubs to hang a World Champions banner. Tinker to Evers to This Guy remains an awesome part of Cubs history.

2B – Ryne Sandberg - Like Steve said, no debate needed.

SS – Ernie Banks - He's such an important public face of the team that I think people forget how dominant he was as a player. This was not just a friendly, smiling player - this was a guy who would knock around your pitcher until he cried and ended up garnering MVP votes over a 15-year period.

3B – Ron Santo - The contrarian in me tried to make a case for Stan Hack, but really, there's no contest. Ron was not only an amazing player and the last ballplayer to self-medicate with Snickers, but the Platonic ideal of a homer broadcaster. Criticize his work in the booth all you like, but it's gratifying to have someone yelling "oh COME ON" at the same time as you.

LF – Billy Williams - A player often lost in the shuffle of bigger personalities, Billy was a dominant force who should have taken the MVP in 1970. Maybe it was a lack of PR, maybe it was the fact that "Sweet Swingin' Billy from Whistler" is just a crappy nickname.

CF – Hack Wilson - A relic from the days when great players were also often unbridled alcoholics. His power numbers are insane even for today. The year he hit 191 RBI (a record I hope never to see broken), he didn't even get a single MVP vote. I like to think he retaliated by drinking a handle of Jack Daniel's and punching the prime minister of Australia.

RF – Andre Dawson - As a kid playing baseball in the various cul-de-sac and farmer's fields in the neighborhood (hey, I grew up in the burbs), we would always call out what player we were playing as that day. I always yelled "I'M ANDRE DAWSON" before anyone else could make a sound. Of course, once I got up to bat, it was painfully clear that I was, in fact, myself.

RP – Rod Beck - This comes back to how much the 1998 Wild Card season meant to me (damn ye, raised expectations!). He was clearly a hybrid of a walrus and a trucker. His one good year with the Cubs (51 saves) endeared him to me for life. Though he played most of his career elsewhere, he's always going to be a Cub to me.

BN – Mark Grace - When I become Orwellian ruler of America, I'm going to go back and wipe from history the years Grace spent in Arizona.

BN – Gabby Hartnett - An insane force from back in the day when the Cubs only winning the pennant was a disappointment. Damn ye, lowered expectations!

BN – Kosuke Fukudome - This is the one I'm going to get absolutely murdered for in the comments. Really, you'd imagine Cap Anson should be in this spot, but he was a racist sumbitch, so fuck that guy. But (and it always comes back to my obsessions), I've been fascinated with Japanese baseball since I saw a documentary on the league as a kid (actually, "Mr. Baseball" with Tom Selleck). When he came to the Cubs in 2007, I got tickets for Opening Day at Wrigley. When he lined his first pitch as a major leaguer to the wall for a double, I was ecstatic. When he tied the game with a 3-run homer in the bottom of the ninth, I was high fiving strangers with a Christmas Morning look on my face. Even when he's struggling, I remember his potential, or watch his excellent defense, and think about how much I love watching him play when he's on. I'd say that I've never wanted a Cubs player to succeed so hard. Sure, I'm leaving a lot of greats unmentioned, but Kosuke has legitimately contributed a lot of enjoyment to my Cubs fandom.