We wrap up the Zodiac League previews with a stinging proviso--that the Scorpio "A" team is sitting on a starting rotation that is as deadly as the scorpion's tale itself.
Sometime soon--when we are not editing a movie, planning a film festival, or putting the finishing touches on our new office space--we will consolidate all of the info regarding the Zodiac League, and get ready to actually play it. Will our off-the-cuff predictions be worth a pitcher of John Nance Garner joy juice?
(Oddly enough, John Nance Garner--FDR's first vice president--was born on November 22.)
The Scorpio "A's" (that's "A-team," not Athletics, in case you're arriving here for the first time...) aren't sitting especially high in hitting. Here is their projected batting order:
Bid McPhee, 2b; Bill Terry, 1b; Stan Musial, lf; Ken Griffey Jr., cf; Ed Delahanty, rf'; Roy Campanella, c; Pie Traynor, 3b; Rabbit Maranville or Bobby Wallace, ss
Lineup slots 2-6 are pretty solid (Bill Terry is a bit better than most people think, and Campy should drive in a lot of runs), but the edges are a bit fuzzy.
But the pitching--particularly the starting rotation--will give you goose bumps.
Walter Johnson, Tom Seaver, Bob Gibson, Bob Feller, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling
Willie Hernandez, Bob Stanley, Al Holland, Joe Page, Jim Brewer, Mark Eichhorn
In the immortal words of Hughie Jennings (not on this team...): "Ee-yah!"
The "B" team is more "balanced" in that its pitchers are just about as spotty as its projected batting order:
Toby Harrah, 2b; Rick Monday, cf; Gary Sheffield, rf; David Ortiz, 1b; Ralph Kiner, lf; Vern Stephens, ss; Ned Williamson, 3b; Deacon McGuire, c
The "A" team could use Stephens, but the rules are that we go with the Hall of Famer on the "A" team (unless there are none for any particular defensive position). The "B" team, which doesn't have to follow that rule, thus gets a badly needed break.
Here's the pitching:
Jim Bunning, Carl Mays, Dwight Gooden, Jim Kaat, Dave McNally, John Candelaria
Rawly Eastwick, Armando Benitez, Pete Richert, Gene Garber, Jeff Nelson, Joe Hoerner
There is a lot of pitching depth in Scorpio-land, certainly more than any other astrological sign. The "A" team is seriously loaded, and it will be very interesting to see how they do.
All we need do now is set the controls for the heart of the sun...