WAIW Cubs Blog Roundtable, Week 9: Awesome Edition

Friday, May 22, 2009

WAIW Cubs Blog Roundtable, Week 9: Awesome Edition

. Friday, May 22, 2009

The dominant visualized lineup of Ginger Russ from the College of Idiots

We at WAIW are lucky enough to be acquainted with the operators of a bunch of excellent Cubs blogs. Every Friday throughout the 2009 season, we're going to bring as many of them as we can together to share their thoughts on being Cubs fans. This week, asked the operators of these blogs to come up with their all-time fantasy lineup. The catch, though, is that it was driven not by career stats, but why what players they've come to love for one reason or another. Steve and I posted our lineups here. Now, then:

Cubs fans of all generations have seen legends pass in and out of Wrigley Field - some with Hall of Fame-caliber careers, and some who earned their status through an unquantifiable mix of intangibles only devotees of the Boys in Blue can really understand. Fan bias is perhaps the biggest deciding factor in who's fondly remembered decades later and who ends upas more of an organizational footnote. Given the chance, and perhaps a time machine, what lineup would put out there to play an evil team of vampire St. Louis Cardinals for control of the universe?

The Ted Lilly Fan Club

P: Ted Lilly
C: Gabby Hartnett (Jody Davis as back-up/DH for interleague games)
1B: Derrick Lee
2B: Sandberg
SS: Banks
3B: Ramirez
LF: Billy Williams
RF: the Hawk
CF: Jerome Walton
RP: Lee Smith (backed up by Ted Lilly wearing a mustache)

That lineup took about 30 seconds to put together, then we blacked out at it's awesomeness.
We're not going to defend any of these choices (why not Santo! WTF is Walton doing there?) nor explain them. For us, it was a mixture of emotions and events that brought them onto the list, not carear path. This is a good exercise, but likely to elicit some strong opinions, so we'll leave the humor aside for this one.

- The Ted Lilly Fan Club admittedly left humor aside for this one, which is why you take Mustached Ted Lilly with deadly seriousness


C - Gabby Hartnett - Not only because he remains the alpha male in Cubs' catchers history nearly a century after his career, I also have an affinity for grown men nicknamed "Gabby".

1B - Mark Grace - Maybe it just seems right since he was at first base for more than half of my life, maybe I'm just hoping he'd hit for the cycle again or maybe because I wasn't legal the first time around.

2B - Ryne Sandberg - Growing up in the 80s and 90s, three males fascinated me - Zach Morris, Donnie Wahlberg and Ryne Sandberg. Only one of those adorations has stood the test of time. (Okay maybe two, but Zach Morris can't play second base.)

SS - Ernie Banks - In addition to his killer production, the dream team would have the epitome of a "clubhouse guy".

3B - Ron Santo - It's no secret I think Aramis Ramirez is God's gift to third base…as long as that statement is followed with "since Ronnie." And maybe a couple more games would give the Veterans Committee even more proof why Ron belongs in the Hall. But can we at least throw Rami up in the booth for an "Awww, jeez" with Pat?

LF - Billy Williams - Consistent on the field and classy off the field - a rare find these days (she says, with the tone of a bitter crotchety old man).

RF - Andre Dawson - Dude, the blank contract. What more do you need to hear?

CF - Hack Wilson - Never one to turn down a ribbie…or a beer.

P - Kerry Wood - There's no DL in the dream world and my selection assumes an injury free what-could-have-been. That…and I really need to break out my "Got Wood" t-shirt again.

RP - Carlos Marmol - Nasty, filthy, lights-out, amazing, God: whatever you want to call him, Marm's got the stuff dreams - and their lineups - are made of, in any decade.

- Jen writes Cub Blogging, or at least she will until she fulfills her dreams by joining Donnie Wahlberg on an arson spree


sp -- Rick Sutcliffe -- the 1984 version was as automatic as I can remember.
c -- Gabby Hartnett -- Homer in the gloamin'. Backstop when the Cubs were an NL power.
1b -- Phil Cavaretta -- Lane Tech kid became everyday first baseman at the age of 18.
2b -- Ryne Sandberg -- Cornerstone of the franchise in the 80's.
ss -- Ernie Banks -- Mr. Cub
3b -- Ron Santo -- Cub legend was pretty good back in his day.
lf -- Billy Williams -- What a sweet swing.
cf -- Hack Wilson -- The man would booze all night and hit homers during the daytime.
rf -- Sammy Sosa -- An absolute offensive force in the late 90's and early 00's.
rp -- Bruce Sutter -- Split fingered fastball was at times impossible to hit.

- WPBC, of Waxpaperbeercup, gets points for using a Lane Tech product in the lineup. I think local and drink local, which is an entirely original philosophy of my own.

Ginger Russ

Anyone can pick the Cubs best players over the years to make their "perfect team". And there is sure to be your debates: Sosa vs. Dawson, Three Finger vs. Fergie, Soto vs. Todd Hundley. But if you are to field a team that would play against an evil team of vampire Cardinals, you need three things that thwart evilness, vampires, and annoying birds: Gingers, Steroids and Midgets (OH MY)!


P - Rick Sutcliffe. The Red Baron was a three-time All Star, won the NL Rookie of the Year award and the Cy Young, but his greatest accomplishments include doing his best Harry Caray impersonation by showing up drunk unexpectedly in the broadcast booth during a Padres-Brewers game in 2006 and currently going all Chuck Norris on his colon cancer.

CF - Matt Murton. Ginger Matt rode into Chicago on a unicorn with a bang, hit almost .300 with the Cubs, and then was traded for some guy named Rich Harden. He also inspired one of the greatest Cubs blogs ever.

RP - Ryan Dempster. This Cunuck is known for his horrible Harry Caray impersonation, which he does sober, and signing a ball for a girl in the bleachers in which he requested to see her tits. Despite reports, he doesn't hate beady-eyed freaks with bad clothing lines.


RF - Sammy Sosa. Yes, WE ALL LOVE Slammin Sammy and his antics - his double kiss after a home run, his salsa blasting in the clubhouse, his leaving early before the game is even over. Amazingly, Sosa forgot all English when he went before Congress to testify about his alleged steroid abuse.

LF - Rafael Palmeiro. Palmeiro played the first 2 of his 20 years in baseball with the Cubs and probably never took steroids while on the team. But in 2005 he was named by Canseco as a user and then tested positive later that year. Ironically he returned from his 10-day suspension on "Rafael Palmeiro Appreciation Day", which he celebrated by buying earplugs to block out the loud boos from fans.

C - Benito Santiago. Santiago only played for one year with the Cubs. It was in SF under Dusty's watchful eye in 2003 that a Giant's clubhouse attendant found a package of syringes while cleaning out his locker. He would later be named in the Mitchell Report for the incident.

And Your Midget Infield

SS - Ryan Theriot. The Riot stands a towering 5' 11" and is a member of the little person duo, "The Cajun Connection" with Mike Fontenot. He could also be included in the steroid category of my list, as he has been implicated by the great journalist, Sun-Times columnist Rick Telander, of possibly using PED's, which would explain his new power surge and new man boobs.

2B - Mike Fontenot. Little Babe Ruth is an inch shorter than Theriot at 5'10" (Seriously folks, if you've been to Cubs game and have stood at ground level, you know neither Ryan or Mike are as tall as their listed heights. Hell, I'm as tall as Fontenot wearing cleats, and I'm only 5'7".) Fontenot has the most amount of nicknames on the team, including "Fonte-yes", "Swamp Thing", Little Babe Ruth", and "The Pocket Rocket".

3B - Luis Salazar. Salazar played 3B for the Cubs from 1989-1992. Salazar was listed at 5'9" during his playing days and his highlights included hitting .326 in September to lead the Cubs to the NL East Championship and posting a .368/.632 line in the '89 NLCS, second best only to Gracey. He also loves Pabellon Criollo, a hearty dish made from a delicious combination of carne mechada (shredded beef), arroz blanco (white rice), caraotas negras (black beans) and tajadas (fried plantains).

1B - Matt Stairs. Stairsey only played one year with the Cubs, but I must admit he is on my list of favorite Cubs of Yore. He is another Canadian and has played for virtually every team in the majors (11) before winning a ring last year with Philly. At 5'9", he is the smallest 1st baseman I could find playing for the Cubs, and probably also the fattest.

You might also need some supporting members to help, including:
Yosh Kawano, the longtime clubhouse manager and known bird hater.
Lloyd Rutzky, a 41 year veteran of slinging the suds at Wrigley to distract LaRussa with free Strawberry Daquiris.
Darren Baker, Dusty's kid and batboy to distract the evil with cuteness.
and of course Harry Carey to call the game, because who else would you want to do it?

- Ginger Russ is over at the College of Idiots, where he brings a calm, measured approach to recent Cubs proceedings

A League of Her Own

Okay, here we go. Mind, these are not necessarily the best BASEBALL decisions, driven by heart as much as head.

1B Mark Grace--We were all charmed by his golden blonde locks and dreamy blue eyes. The batting average didn't hurt, either. Back up is Eric Karros, whose awesomeness is only limited by the fact that he was only here for one year.

2B Ryno. Duh. We didn't even vote for a backup.

SS Ernie. For obvious reasons. What is not so obvious is that we came up with Dunston as a backup, i think because we enjoyed seeing if Grace could catch the 101 mph fastballs he fired over there.

3B Santo. Ramirez comes in a very close second, but loses points for being even LESS durable than Ronny. We mean Ronny right NOW, not when he was playing.

C Jody Davis. Our backup was Hector Villanueva, who we all agree would probably want to be left off our team, preferring to sit down somewhere with a sandwich and a beer.

OF Sammy Sosa. We hated him at the end, but only because he broke our hearts. I chose Davey Martinez as the backup.

OF Billy Williams

OF Soriano.


Bielecki (who knew he had so many lingering fans? I refer to this as the "Cubs Convention" effect)

Other players getting a lot of votes (so I guess this would be our bench): Gary Gaetti (?), Mickey Morandini (if any of us could remember where he played, he might have even made the starting lineup. did he play 2b?), Andre Dawson (I think the knees held him back), Corey Patterson (no idea what that's about), Kyle Farnsworth (in case the benches clear) and Randy Myers (and because we think he'd be BFFs with Beck).

-Cubbiejulie runs A League of Her Own, where she put our question up for an excellent community debate. Also noteworthy is the presence of two awesome guests on their latest podcast. Check that out.

Ivy Envy

CF - Jerome Walton - He's fast. He's better than Willie Wilson. And with a bevy of mediocre center fielders in our lifetime, you might as well pick a rookie of the year.

2B - Ryne Sandberg - How could you not pick him when our moms, aunts, sisters and middle-aged female acquaintances everywhere marveled at the man's luscious rear end? Oh, and he was pretty good at second base, too.

1B - Derrek Grace - The perfect hybrid of two great Cubs first basemen and No. 3 hitters. He has the hands of Lee, the consistent bat of Grace, and a pscysofrentic work ethic consisting of quiet leadership and chain smoking. While this super mutant makes our mouth water, if we have choose one, we choose Mark Grace.

RF - Andre Dawson - In combat against vampire Cardinals, the Hawk need not wield a stake to dispell the undead, his dagger-staring plate approach will send foes running. He catches balls with his bare hands, hits bombs, and would have killed Eric Show if given the chance. Just pray Country Joe West is nowhere near home plate. He gets the nod ahead of Sammy Sosa only due to Sosa's lack of clutchness at the plate.

3B - Aramis Ramirez - Ron Cey rolled off the tongue very easily, but after further review, it was difficult to ignore the man who jammed the stick into the spokes of third-base's revolving door.

SS - Shawon Dunston - How could you deny a spot to a guy with similar career statistics of the great Philadelphia Blue Jays short stop Granny Hamner? The Shawon-O-Meter captured our hearts, and Dunston reciprocated by helping the stat-trackers saved on carrying a third No. 3 to the ball park. The first number wasn't changing. As they always say, you don't need to do long-division to be a baseball player -- just hit the damn ball and run it out like someone's chasing you.

LF - Matt Murton - Corey likes his ruby locks, calling him a fellow "Pelo Rojo," not to be confused with 1960's Minor-Leaguer Enrique Rojo. We love his heart and determination.

C - Jody Davis - Jimmy calls him his favorite Cub. Andy almost went with switch-hitting catcher Damon Berryhill, but at the last second went with Paul Bako -- wait, no, Jody Davis.

P - Rick Sutcliffe - This man was more than a simple "Pelo Rojo," he's the reason the Cubs broke a 39-year playoff drought in 1984 -- pitching to a 2.69 ERA and a 16-1 record with the Cubs. He gave up just 9 home runs in 150 innings.

RP - Randy Myers - He knows Kung Fu, and showed that by planting a forearm shive to the face of a crazed fan that charged him during a game. For one year, he was the most reliable Cubs closer ever -- words that just don't seem to go together. His 53 saves in 1993 was an NL record that stood for five years.

- List compiled by Corey and Andy of Ivy Envy and the Ivy Envy podcast's regular guest, Matt Veto

Lingering Bursitis

P - Ryan Theriot
C - Ryan Theriot
1B - Ryan Theriot
2B - Ryan Theriot
SS - Ryan Theriot
3B - Ryan Theriot
LF - Todd Hollandsworth
CF - Ryan Theriot
RF - Ryan Theriot
SP - Ryan Theriot
RP - Ryan Theriot
Closer - Ryan Theriot

Manager - Ryan Theriot
Batboy - Ryan Theriot
Chef - Ryan Theriot
Valet Parking Chief - Ryan Theriot
Groundskeeper - Ryan Theriot
HR Executive - Ryan Theriot
Director of Player Personnel - Ryan Theriot
Head Scout - Ryan Theriot
Accountant - Ryan Theriot
Announcer - Ryan Theriot
GM - Ryan Theriot
Owner - Ryan Theriot

Just imagine what the GRIT3 would be like.

- Lingering Bursitis writes over at Thunder Matt's Saloon, as well as Unprofessional Foul, an excellent football (football = soccer) blog. See how cultured we are?

View From the Bleachers

Ed. note: VFTB also put it up for debate. Here's what they came up with.

Some good choices, to be sure. Yet note the unbridled hate for Steve's lineup. I smell another BLOG FIGHT. Glad to see someone else came up with Kosuke, though.


Chip Wesley said...

Thanks for the TMS love Ginger Russ.