Monday, March 02, 2009

Sports Illustrated Cover Team

Many great athletes have held the honored distinction of gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated over the years. Recently Philadelphia Phillies ace Cole Hamels made the cover of the creme de la creme of sports magazines. I decided to do some research and create a 25 man roster of current MLB players that have appeared on the SI cover. Rule- cannot appear on cover with more than 1 other person (preferably solo), thus no easy task to slap together a team because that negates the use of the Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies, or Diamondbacks team covers following World Series victories.

(*2008 stats listed)
1. Grady Sizemore/CF- .268/.374/.502 101 r, 33 hr, 90 rbi, 38 sb, Gold Glove
2. Alfonso Soriano/LF- .280/.344/.532 76 r, 29 hr, 75 rbi, 19 sb
3. Manny Ramirez/DH- .332/.430/.601 102 r, 37 hr, 121 rbi
4. Albert Pujols/1B- .357/.462/.653 100 r, 37 hr, 116 rbi, 7 sb
5. Alex Rodriguez/3B- .302/.392/.573 104 r, 35 hr, 103 rbi, 18 sb
6. Josh Hamilton/RF- .304/.371/.530 98 r, 32 hr, 130 rbi, 9 sb
7. Joe Mauer/C- .328/.413/.451 98 r, 9 hr, 85 rbi, Gold Glove
8. Jimmy Rollins/SS- .277/.349/.437 76 r, 11 hr, 59 rbi, 47 sb, Gold Glove
9. Derek Jeter/2B- .300/.363/.408 88 r, 11 hr, 69 rbi, 11 sb

*Carlos Ruiz/C- .219/.320/.300 47 r, 4 hr, 31 rbi
*Ichiro Suzuki/OF- .310/.361/.386 103 r, 6 hr, 42 rbi, 43 sb, Gold Glove
*Vladimir Guerrero/OF- .303/.365/.521 85 r, 27 hr, 91 rbi, 5 sb
*Aramis Ramirez/INF- .289/.380/.518 97 r, 27 hr, 111 rbi
*David Ortiz/1B/DH- .264/.369/.507 74 r, 23 hr, 89 rbi

1. Tim Lincecum- 18-5, 227 ip, 265 k, 2.62 era, 1.17 whip
2. Johan Santana- 16-7, 234.3 ip, 206 k, 2.53 era, 1.15 whip
3. Cole Hamels- 14-10, 227.3 ip, 196 k, 3.09 era, 1.08 whip
4. Daisuke Matsuzaka- 18-3, 167.7 ip, 154 k, 2.90 era, 1.32 whip
5. Josh Beckett- 12-10, 174.3 ip, 172 k, 4.03 era, 1.19 whip

1. Brad Lidge- 2-0, 41 s, 69.3 ip, 92 k, 1.95 era, 1.23 whip
2. Jonathan Papelbon- 5-4, 41 s, 69.3 ip, 77 k, 2.34 era, 0.95 whip
3. Kerry Wood- 5-4, 34 s, 66.3 ip, 84 k, 3.26 era, 1.09 whip
4. Trevor Hoffman- 3-6, 30 s, 45.3 ip, 46 k, 3.77 era, 1.04 whip
5. Juster Verlander- 11-17, 201 ip, 163 k, 4.84 era, 1.40 whip
6. Randy Johnson- 11-10, 184 ip, 173 k, 3.91 era, 1.24 whip

That lineup would kick the 1927 Murderers' Row Yankees ass. It has tons of power and speed and would easily break the single season record for runs scored (1067 by Yankees of 1931). Sizermore leading off has 40/40 potential and those falling in line behind him are all great batters in their own right. Any time you have Ichiro, Vlad, A-Ram, and Big Papi on your bench you know the regular lineup is killer.

Had to have a backup catcher, hence the inclusion of Ruiz. J-Roll, Sizemore, and Mauer provide Gold Glove defense up the middle. I took the liberty of moving Jeter to 2nd base because his arm truly isn't fit for SS anymore anyway. Soriano in LF is the only liability, but he's a better option than plugging Manny out there.

Went with an old school 11 man staff because honestly a 12th pitcher would simply become Rip Van Winkle in the bullpen. The 5 starters are all capable of 200+ innings, and if they need to miss their turn in the rotation all 6'10" of Randy Johnson and Justin Verlander await in the 'pen. RJ can also be used as a situational lefty, but honestly the other members of the bullpen (being all righthanded) are pretty damn good at retiring hitters regardless of handedness. Lidge will be the closer because he was perfect in save situations last season, including through the playoffs.

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Special...Enjoy!


Burton said...

This team can't lose. You've got it all, offense, defense, a strong pitching rotation! Excellent work, mon frere!

GM-Carson said...

This team would challenge the Mariners win record of 116.

Mr. A-Hole said...

How the hell can you start Josh Hamilton over Ichiro? Hamilton is a 1 year wonder, Ichiro is the fucking hit legend.

GM-Carson said...

I went with power over singles. Ichiro is awesome, but Hamilton knocked in nearly a run per game last season...not too shabby.

tamtam said...

why the hell did you put that slacker alfonso soriano in left field?! the white sox' carlos quentin is a way better left fielder and much more efficiant at the plate then soriano!!

GM-Carson said...

When was Quentin on the cover?

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