Sunday, April 6, 2014


We've now made it to the portion of the ecliptic that (in terms of those folk who understand the "aspects" of these things...) bi-sects the beginning of the baseball season.

Yes, it's Aries, the astrological sign of highly driven folk, those who are often called "self-starters,"

And should we be surprised then, to discover a flood tide of starting pitchers whose birth dates cluster between March 20 and April 19?

Absolutely not.

It turns out that there's a flood tide of players in the pool for Aries--165 pitchers and position players in all.

23 of them are in the Hall of Fame.

That said, the Aries squads are not stacked with offense. They will both win more games than they lose when we get around to playing the games, but that above-.500 finish will be driven by the pitchers.

Here's the batting order for the Aries "A" squad:

Waner, lf; Cochrane, c; Speaker, cf; Cabrera, 3b; Crawford, rf; Sisler, 1b; Appling, ss; Doerr, 2b.

Here's the starting rotation:

Cy Young, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Phil Niekro, Addie Joss.

Here's the relief corps:

Elmer Smith, long man/swing man; Koji Uehara, Eddie Watt, righties; Ron Perranoski, Sid Monge, lefties.

Here's the bench:

Billy Goodman, Travis Fryman, spare infielders; Dave Justice, Clyde Milan, spare outfielders; Ernie Lombardi, Buster Posey, spare catchers.

Here's the batting order for Aries "B" squad:

Van Haltren, cf; Jennings, ss; Heath, lf; Reggie Smith; rf; Anson, 1b; Beltre, 3b; Carter, c; Boone, 2b.

John McGraw in 1890, before he became the pre-eminent
manager in the first half of twentieth-century baseball.
Here's the starting rotation:

Bert Blyleven, Vic Willis, Don Sutton, Billy Pierce, Lon Warneke.

Here's the relief corps:

Jack Stivetts, long man/swing man; Dick Radatz, Marty Pattin, Dick (Turk) Farrell, righties; Joe Gibbon, lefty.

Here's the bench:

Pete Rose, Jim Fregosi, spare infielders; Rusty Staub, Barney McCosky, spare outfielders; Ed Bailey, Manny Sanguillen, spare catchers.

It's very likely that the Aries "B" squad will try to put Rose into the lineup instead of Bret Boone, which will give that team some added "edge" (but in a sense somewhat different than the usual meaning of that term).

It's also possible that the "B" squad will see fit to put King Felix into their starting rotation.

One thing we do know for sure: the "A" team will be managed by John McGraw. And that fact alone would make them a team to watch.