1. Center field: Willie Mays Hayes
The showboating center fielder showed up to Indians spring training in 1989 without an invite and managed to earn a roster spot based solely on his blazing speed. Willie is the ideal leadoff hitter when he keeps the ball on the ground and is a threat to steal any base. Basically, he’s the equivalent of Rickey Henderson, except he doesn’t speak about himself in the third person.
2. Shortstop: Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez
Benny is the most versatile player on the squad. He can play, and excel, at any position on the diamond. His speed and patience at the plate make him an ideal No. 2 hitter. Having The Jet and Willie Mayes Hayes on the base at the same time would wreak havoc on the base path.
3. Right Field: Roy Hobbs
Roy Hobbs was arguably the greatest pure baseball player in the history of our unreal baseball universe. This is a guy that struck out the equivalent of Babe Ruth and hit Mickey Mantle-esque home runs. Who else would you rather have hitting in the three-hole?
4. Left Field: Pedro Cerrano
We all know about Cerrano’s notorious issues with the curveball and his faith in, lets say, less conventional religions. But when he trusts his instincts at the plate and leaves Jobu in the locker room, Cerrano can flat-out rake. Put a fastball anywhere near the plate and you’ll be fishing it out of the Cuyahoga River.
5. First Base: Lou Collins
Easily the most underrated fictional baseball player of all time, Collins is an RBI machine for Minnesota. He’s got a solid glove at first base and is basically the Todd Helton of the make-believe baseball world, a consistent workhorse who speaks with his play.
7. Third Base: Ray Mitchell
Before Roger prayed for the Anaheim Angels to win the pennant, Ray Mitchell was the only player who could make contact with a baseball on the lowly Angels. But he wasn’t merely a good player on a bad team, he was a very good player, and as the heavenly angels helped Mel Clark and the rest of George Knox’s team, Mitchell continued his high-powered offensive performance without the aid of God’s henchmen.
8. Catcher: Jake Taylor
Jake Taylor is the unquestioned captain of this squad. Many might argue for Crash Davis in the spot, but Crash is the consumate AAA player, and his bitterness would affect the team at times. Plus, Taylor was an all-star in Boston a few years ago, before his knee problems.
9. No. 1 Starting Pitcher: Steve Nebraska
Nebraska was discovered by veteran scout Al Percolo in the Mexican leagues. He was treated like a godlike figure, and considering he effortlessly threw over 100 mph and hit 500-foot home runs, it was justified. He has a some social anxiety issues, but his talent is basically inhuman.
11. No. 3 Starting Pitcher: Henry Rowengartner
Henry Rowengartner is always one slip away from loosening the miracle tight tendons that allow him to throw nearly 100 mph as a 12-year-old. But when Rowengartner is on the bump, he has the attitude, ability, and savviness of a veteran. He helped lead the Chicago Cubs advance over the hated New York Mets and to eventually win the World Series.
12. No. 4 Starting Pitcher: Billy Chapel
Toward the back end of the rotation we have two crafty veterans entering the twilight of their careers, starting with Billy Chapel. The Tigers pitcher appears to be a combination of Atlanta Braves legends Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine. Before his potential career ending hand injury Chapel was the best pitcher in baseball. Although he retires at the end of his perfect game performance, he still has a lot left in the tank.
15. Bench: Rex “T-Rex” Pennebaker
T-Rex is an all-star who is typically more concerned with video game covers and his own stats than his team winning games. But with the right veteran leadership, he could be an incredible asset off the bench and eventually challenge for Cerrano’s spot in left field.
17. Bench: Bobby Rayburn
Bobby just signed a $40 million contract with the Giants and has a habit of underperforming, but he’s got a lot of pop in his bat for a centerfield and provides a lot of power off the bench.
18. Bench: Kelly Leak
Leak isn’t exactly the best team player, but besides Benny “The Jet,” he’s the most versatile player on the team. He smokes on the field and has a bit of a drinking problem, but it doesn’t seem to affect his play.
19. Bench: Clu Haywood
Putting Haywood on a team with a bunch of Indians players may not be the best idea, but he’s the first Triple Crown winner since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. You can’t argue with that kind of offensive output. Even if he’s kind of a dick.
22. Bullpen: Kit Keller
Everyone is always asking about her older sister Dottie, but Kit is the player you want on your team. Dottie just wants to settle down and start her family, but Kit is determined to be a star. The chip on her shoulder will never fade away.
23. Long Relief: Jim Bowers
Bowers is the perfect innings eater. He’s not good enough to be a starter and doesn’t have the electrifying stuff necessary for a back of the bullpen role. However, he’s the perfect long reliever whose bizarre antics seem to work in a Turk Wendel-esque fashion.
24. Set-Up Man: Sam “Mayday” Malone
According to Coach and the other guys in the bar, Sam was one of the best relievers in baseball until his alcoholism took a toll on his career. But his cool demeanor tells me Mayday is exactly who we want in that eighth-inning role.
Hitting Coach: George Knox
George Knox was a manager of a perennial contender in Cincinnati before coming over to the Angels. While the Angels and Roger were mostly responsible for the team’s winning ways, Knox was still the man ultimately making the decisions. And pinch-hitting Hemmerling for Mitchell is still one of the ballsiest managerial moves of our time.
Third-Base Coach: Billy Heywood
Third-base coach is one of the most high-pressure positions in coaching. The only time you get noticed is when you screw up. Billy Heywood is a baseball genius. You’d never know he was standing there.
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