Making two good baseball teams in Chicago has proven difficult. In fact, making one good one has been no piece of cake either, considering the two teams have combined for 1 World Series victory in over 90 years. Perhaps the Cubs and Sox should do what corporations do when faced with failure: merge together and get rid of all the dead weight.
So, what I'm doing here is taking the best players between the two teams to make one good team. I've given myself the freedom to move players to different positions -- within reason. There will be no Paul Konerko in CF, for example.
1. Kosuke Fukudome (CF): He's not the greatest defensive CF'er out there, but the options are limited. Fukudome's .400 OBP looks sweet in the leadoff spot.
2. Alexei Ramirez (SS): He gets the nod over Castro because he's the steadier fielder of the two, but fret not Cubs fans...
3. Starlin Castro (3b): You'd like a little more power from your 3rd baseman, but Castro is too good a hitter not to be on this team. And this team isn't going to need power. They need guys to get on base -- and not clog them-- for the next few guys.
4. Paul Konerko (DH): Of course I'm using the DH. We're trying to build the best team here.
5. Carlos Pena (1B): He's a better defensive player than Konerko. The .221 average is unsightly but the .352 OBP is solid, as is the 13 HRs. He gets the 5th spot to break up the string of righties.
6. Carlos Quentin (RF): I'm a little troubled by the way this OF defense is shaping up, but we'll beat people up on offense.
7. Alfonso Soriano (LF): Not a bad hitter in the 7th hole. OF defense is officially a horror show. I'm also taking half his salary and donating it to charity. He won't get booed so much then.
8. Geovany Soto (C): Pierzynski can't throw anyone out. And I think Soto will start hitting.
9. Darwin Barney (2b): I was tempted to put Beckham here but I'm going with defense here since this team will hit. His singles and lack of walks don't hurt you as much at the bottom of the lineup.
C: AJ Pierzynski: Could start if Soto keeps slumping.
IF: Gordon Beckham: A better talent than Barney, but he hasn't played that way.
OF: Reed Johnson: Defense!
OF: Brent Lillibridge: Defense, part 2. Versatile guy too.
Mark Buehrle: Steady veteran at the top
Matt Garza: Better than his record indicates
Phil Humber: Having a great year
Ryan Dempster: He's been pitching well of late.
Carlos Zambrano: His FIP is actually better than Buehrle's. He edges out Floyd. Besides, wouldn't you want to see him and Guillen together?
Carlos Marmol (R/CL): Gets the edge at closer because of experience and demonic slider.
Sergio Santos (R): Righty Set-Up man has great stuff too.
Sean Marshall (L): Lefty Set-Up guy has been more consistent than Thornton this year.
Jessie Crain (R): This bullpen is looking nasty.
Matt Thornton (L): Could make his way up if he pitches like his old self.
Kerry Wood (R): I'm taking him off the DL.
Chris Sale (L): Would like another lefty...and how many long relievers can throw 95 mph?
Manager: Ozzie Guillen Quade can coach 3rd base. I like Ozzie. He tells it like it is.
GM: Me Can I be any worse than Hendry or KW? On second thought, don't answer that question.
I'm thinking this is a pretty good team except for that OF defense -- and the bullpen is filthy. The rotation is solid, though it could use a true ace, and we have a powerful lineup and a solid bench.
What do you guys think? Who would you put on the team?
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