Thursday, August 7, 2014


It's the "showy" sign--at least that's what all the astrology mavens like to claim.

It's frickin' Leo the Lion, and in the Zodiac League (which, by all rights, should have its simulation staged in San Francisco...note to self: suggest that fearless game-runner relocate long enough when we are done previewing all this schlock to give the Bay Area its due) it is quite simply a packed house.

One hundred and eighty-seven players with enough "look-at-me" juju to make the cut and have their names inscribed into the master list. It's no wonder that the fingers feel like lead pellets.

And, as you might expect, there are some serious "look at me" players to be found on this list.

As in three of the greatest ballplayers who will be long on the outside looking in when it comes to the Hall of Fame (not that we're talking about those punters anymore after their chickensh*t rule change).

As in: Bonds, Barry; Clemens, Roger; Rodriguez, Alex.

The presence of these three "amigos" should have all versions of the press--the throwback racists; the so-called "mediots," inheritors of the tradition of ignorance; and the new breed of overly-numerate kacksters--swarming around this team like the creatures unleashed when a rock is rudely wrested from its chthonic moorings.

Heck, when we witness a juxtaposition like this one, it almost makes us want to actually believe in all this schtuff.

But that's a discussion for another time (and probably another universe). So let's focus on the lineups and pitching staffs for the Leo "A" and the Leo "B" team--with the proviso that this is one "B" team that will be loudly disputing its status--these are folks who need reinforcement(s).

Just to placate them, we'll talk about the "B" team first. We're going to exercise a thimble full of caution and place Mike Trout on this squad...figuring that three years doth not a mega-God make. (Five or six years, maybe: but not three.)

So here's the "Leo B" lineup:

1. Mike Trout, cf;
2. Cupid Childs, 2b;
3. Roberto Clemente, rf;
4. Sherry Magee, lf;
5. Harlond Clift, 3b;
6. Nomar Garciaparra, ss;
7. John Olerud, 1b;
8. Jorge Posada, c.

The pitchers we've selected for the "B" starting rotation:

Andy Messersmith, Dolf Luque, Max Lanier, Max Scherzer, Tiny Bonham, Rube Walberg.

The pitchers we've selected for "B" bullpen:

Troy Percival, Greg Minton, Paul Lindblad, Bill Campbell, Larry Sherry, Gerry Staley.

It's a fun team, though probably a bit on the whiny side. We especially like having two Maxes in the starting rotation. But it's likely to be a bit on the short side in terms of power.

The "Leo A" team doesn't suffer quite as much in that department, as you'll see:

1. Larry Doyle, 2b;
2. Alex Rodriguez, ss;
3. Barry Bonds, cf;
4. Harry Heilmann, rf;
5. Carl Yastrzemski, lf;
6. Todd Helton, 1b;
7. Sid Gordon, 3b;
8. Ted Simmons, c.

Now it's a darn shame that Sid can't be on the same team with the two Maxes, but the compensating factor is that we have Barry and Harry batting back-to-back. And we're sure that sometime we'll drop A-Rod down in the order just to get Larry, Barry and Harry properly aligned.

Too bad that Sherry and Gerry are trapped on the "B" team. But thank goodness Huey, Dewey and Louie have a previous engagement.

The "A" starting rotation will allow us to sweep all of this under the rug (or the Tuscan sun, depending on what you're willing to read when you take that summertime funky ride/just to tan your hide):

Christy Mathewson, Roger Clemens, Burleigh Grimes, Don Drysdale, Larry Corcoran, Vida Blue.

And the "A" bullpen is a thing of perverse beauty (and believe us when we say we know more than we want to about that topic):

Hoyt Wilhelm, Billy Wagner, John Wetteland, Clem Labine, Huston Street, Tom Burgmeier.

Now this is a "look at me" team that's worth looking at. They may not win (though they just might), but  they will make a lot of noise.