Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Filling Up the Bench

Voting is now open at FenwayPark100 to fill out the rest of the All Fenway Team. This time, you get to select the 12 bench players. The rules don’t say you need to split them up any specific way. So, let’s see who should be on the team. The players left to choose from are: Roger Clemens, Dom DiMaggio, Bobby Doerr, Dennis Eckersley, Bruce Hurst, Bill Lee, Jon Lester, Jim Lonborg, Mike Lowell, Frank Malzone, Trot Nixon, Johnny Pesky, Rico Petrocelli, Jerry Remy, Jim Rice, Reggie Smith, Bob Stanley, Luis Tiant, Mike Timlin, John Valentin, Jason Varitek, Mo Vaughn, Tim Wakefield, Carl Yastrzemski, and Kevin Youkilis.

That’s quite a list. How on earth am I going to whittle that down? Let’s make it easy, and start with the members of Baseball’s Hall of Fame. The fact that Bobby Doerr isn’t the starting second baseman is a crime. So, he needs to be on the bench. Jim Rice had the misfortune of playing the same position as Ted Williams. But, he’ll find a nice spot as a power hitter off the bench. The same goes for Carl Yastrzemski. He’d be the starting left fielder for almost any other team. On this team, he’s a super sub at left, first, and DH. So, that’s three votes. (I’ll get to Eck later.) Now, there are a couple players (other than Doerr) I would have put in the starting line-up. So, it’s an easy vote for Dom DiMaggio, Bob Stanley, and Jason Varitek. Now I have six votes. As for the other six?

I don’t have any starting pitchers on my bench. So, how about one of those. Unfortunately, the one that stands out is Clemens. I have to give it to him. I know Eck is in the Hall of Fame. But, he built that resume as a closer, and none of that was with the Red Sox. I don’t think I can put him on a Fenway team.

That puts my seven bench players at 1 SP, 1 RP, 1 IF, 1 OF, 2 OF-1B-DH, and 1 C. That’s actually pretty good variety. Let’s spread it out a bit more.

Another starting pitcher I’d give a slot to is Tim Wakefield. When you’re second in wins for the Sox, you need to be on the team, right? Another reliever? How about Mike Timlin? He was a key member of the pen for a long time. I think I want him back there. Another infielder. Let’s go with Rick Petrocelli. I could use some power on the bench from an infielder.

Two more. Another outfielder this time. Reggie Smith looks to be the best of the available outfielders. Let’s go with him. And whom am I missing? I’ll go with Kevin Youkilis simply because he can play first or third. Really, the only reason I’d replace a guy in this starting line-up is for defense. So, having Youk there is a nice option.

So, there you have it. Doerr, Rice, Yastrzemski, DiMaggio, Stanley, Varitek, Clemens, Wakefield, Timlin, Petrocelli, Smith, Youkilis. Wow. That would actually be one hell of a starting line-up for an all-time team. I bet that team would beat a lot of teams from other organizations. Seriously, look at that bench:

P – Clemens
C – Varitek
1B – Rice
2B – Doerr
3B – Youkilis
SS – Petrocelli
LF – Yaz
CF – DiMaggio
RF – Smith

Not bad at all.

Who is on your bench?

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