Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Dodgers Franchise Deep Six

And the last of the classic eight National League franchises is off the board! And there's only one classic AL team to do after this one! So how do the boys from Brooklyn and L.A. look?

1stDazzy VanceMike PiazzaGil HodgesJackie RobinsonRon CeyPee Wee ReeseZack WheatDuke SniderCarl Furillo
2ndSandy KoufaxRoy CampanellaDolph CamilliDavey LopesAdrian BeltreBill DahlenJimmy SheckardWillie DavisDixie Walker
3rdDon DrysdaleMike SciosciaJack FournierJim GilliamGeorge PinkneyMaury WillsGary SheffieldMike GriffinReggie Smith
4thClayton KershawJohn RoseboroSteve GarveyTom DalyJoe StrippBill RussellDusty BakerMatt KempShawn Green
5thNap RuckerPaul Lo DucaJake DaubertEddie StankyRed SmithRafael FurcalPedro GuerreroPete ReiserBabe Herman
6thJeff PfefferRussell MartinWes ParkerSteve SaxCookie LavagettoGermany SmithWally MoonBrett ButlerWillie Keeler

Pretty good indeed! Three of their four infield spots on the 1st Team are from the Boys of Summer era, as are two of the three outfield spots. Is it safe to say that was the greatest period in Dodger history?

Some people might be upset that I named Dazzy Vance starting pitcher for the 1st Team over Sandy Koufax, but I thought the numbers merited it. Koufax had an incredible peak, but Vance's was plenty dominant as well. The main difference is that Koufax is a legend of living memory, while Vance played in the 1920's for the Daffiness Boys. Clayton Kershaw is making his way up the list too, so this generation may have its own immortal Dodger hurler to tell their grandchildren about.

Third base was definitely the weakest position here. I never realized how few great third basemen the Dodgers have had. I wasn't familiar with George Pinkney, the 3rd Team third sacker, until I compiled this list. And to think he was the greatest Dodger third baseman until the 1970s.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Indians Franchise Deep Six

After doing these pretty steadily for a while, I guess I got preoccupied in the last month. But I'm back, and I have a new Deep Six for you, my beloved audience! Today we shall look at the Cleveland Indians!

1stBob FellerVictor MartinezJim ThomeNap LajoieAl RosenLou BoudreauAlbert BelleTris SpeakerJoe Jackson
2ndStan CoveleskiSteve O'NeillHal TroskyRoberto AlomarBill BradleyJoe SewellCharlie JamiesonKenny LoftonManny Ramirez
3rdAddie JossCarlos SantanaAndre ThorntonJoe GordonKen KeltnerTerry TurnerJeff HeathLarry DobyElmer Flick
4thSam McDowellJohn RomanoEd MorganBobby AvilaBuddy BellRay ChapmanJoe VosmikEarl AverillRocky Colavito
5thGaylord PerryRay FosseGeorge BurnsCarlos BaergaGraig NettlesOmar VizquelDale MitchellGrady SizemoreShin-Soo Choo
6thMel HarderJoe AzcueMike HargroveJason KipnisToby HarrahAsdrubal CabreraMichael BrantleyBrett ButlerBraggo Roth

The Indians are pretty darn good at starting pitcher. Gaylord Perry wasn't an Indian for very long, but he wore the uniform long enough, and was dominant enough to make it.

Center field and shortstop were probably the deepest fielding positions, and third base was a lot stronger than I expected it would be. Right field ain't too shabby neither.

Catcher and first base were weaker than perhaps you realized. Victor Martinez and Carlos Santana, both current-day players who were pretty good for a while crack the Top 3 catchers. Hal Trosky was a fine first baseman who had the misfortune of playing in the American League at the same time as Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, and Hank Greenberg. He's a solid 2nd Teamer behind the great Jim Thome. After those two, there's not a lot to write home about.

Second base was the position where stars burnt briefly but brightly. Lajoie was an easy choice for the 1st Team, but the two Hall of Famers who follow him down the column, Roberto Alomar and Joe Gordon, played only three and four years, respectively, with the Tribe. But oh, how great they were. I wanted to give Bobby Avila some extra credit for his longevity, but in the end, I just thought those two deserved to be ahead of him. Jason Kipnis has been impressive so far, and is already close to passing up Baerga. Can he continue his ascent?