Nick Cafardo's Dream Team
Today's Boston Globe features a notes column by Nick Cafardo in which he wonders why postseason performance is not taken into more consideration when GM's assemble their Big League rosters. Here's Nick kicking off the piece:
For many teams, it's about getting deep into the postseason, winning it all. Yet how much thought goes into rosters to make sure teams have the players that will perform once they get there?
He notes that the Angels have not experienced much postseason success since 2002 and even points out that Mark Teixeira's output (keep in mind he had a .550 on-base against the Red Sox in the LDS) was inadequate in the 2008 playoffs.
Since 2002, the Angels have been a consistent division winner, but they never seem to get very far. Why is that? Do they have players that just can't come up big in the biggest moments? The Angels added Mark Teixeira in late July and he provided some much-needed thump to their lineup. While Teixeira did more than his teammates in the playoffs (seven singles and one RBI in 15 at-bats), it wasn't enough.
He then goes on to ask Mark Shapiro and Theo Epstein how they think about postseason performance when they go about player acquisition. To their credit, both are kind enough not to say, "Dude, are you kidding me? I have thousands and thousands of plate appearances and innings pitched worth of evidence and I am supposed to rely on some tiny subset to drive my decision making? Are you serious?"
But you get the sense they're both thinking it.
"In this market and in my opinion, [seeking good postseason players] is one small attribute that could be an added bonus but not a real driver in a decision. Postseason experience and, really, pennant race experience is meaningful in the ups and downs of a pennant race but difficult to quantify, and the bottom line is performance."
"[Identifying good postseason players] is certainly not a primary consideration - more of a secondary factor at best," said Sox GM Theo Epstein. "Ted Williams didn't perform in the postseason . . . I would take him!"
Anyway, I thought I would assemble a roster Cafardo can go to battle with. Some postseason standouts who, once in the playoffs, would certainly shine and carry his team to a title. Because, you know, if they have done it over the course of two starts or 50 plate appearances, you can trust they will do it again. It's just how they're constituted. It's how they roll.
C Y. Molina .809
1B C. Chambliss .726 (um, 1976 people. it's about impact)
2B J. Offerman 1.024
3B S. Brosius .696 (8 home runs. guy's clutch. count the rings.)
SS D. Eckstein N/A
LF B. Agbayani .853
CF D. White .815
RF P. O'Neill see Brosius
Add Johnny Podres, Jack Morris, Sterling Hitchcock and Mark Wohlers to this crew and I can't think of a pluckier bunch to win me 79 games and a World Series title.