The Starting Lineup
1. The Mariner, CF, Waterworld
Still unsure of how his amphibious speed-swimming will translate to sea-level land-running, we’ll take the gamble anyway and stick him at the top of the lineup. If he’s half as fast on land, he’ll make Ichiro look like the current Baseball Tonight incarnation of John Kruk. Not that yesteryear’s Kruk was any more nimble.
2. Jake, RF, Silverado
After the table-setting speed of the Mariner, the rest of the lineup is obviously lacking speed. Thus, this is where we’ll stick Jake, because Jake is a fast-sounding name.
3. The Postman, LF, The Postman
Sure, he’s a little overbearing and protective (and his “I bleed red, white, and blue” antics were a little much to take during last year’s election), but he consistently produces mediocre numbers. The only knock on him is that he’s slow. Nursing-home slow. And until we get the rule changed, horses still aren’t allowed on the base paths.
4. Charley Waite, DH, Open Range
He doesn’t move like he used to, but that’s the whole reason the designated hitter spot was created. When he gets ahold of one, though, oh my, it’s a sight to behold. Especially when he’s angry. In fact, let’s plant some false quotes in the papers about how Waite called all the other pitchers in the league “big pussies.” Then when he gets the inevitable brush-back pitch, the anger will flow double-, nay, triplefold. And then Barry’s record is in jeopardy.
5. Frank Farmer, SS, The Bodyguard
Not the greatest fielder or hitter around (batting this high in the lineup is evidence of the general offensive woes of the Costners), but if you’re looking for someone who’s loyal, true, and willing to take a bullet for you now and then, then that’s good ol’ Farmie. You’d think his confidence would be hurt with all the fans constantly singing “that song,” as he refers to it. But nope, he just drowns it out. The white earpiece continuously playing erotic recordings probably helps.
6. Thomas J. Murphy, 3B, 3000 Miles to Graceland
He’s not exactly trustworthy—but you need a man like that on your team. Especially at third base, where base runners, trying to get to home so quickly, sometimes lose their control and accidentally trip over the third baseman’s feet. Whoopsy!
7. Crash Davis, C, Bull Durham
As if there’s another choice.
8. Roy McAvoy, 1B, Tin Cup
Surprisingly, not so good at baseball. But damn, he’s charming! We’ll put him in the “clubhouse leader” category along with Jose Valentin and Julio Franco.
9. Frat Boy #1, 2B, Night Shift
His swing has quite a few gaps in it (as of today, his career batting average is .179), but his Gold Glove-caliber defense makes him an integral part of the squad. Plus, he’s still young; you can always teach adequate batting, but it’s tough to make a great fielder.
Billy Chapel, For Love of the Game
He’s got only a few years left before age finally catches up to him, but like any first-ballot Hall of Famer, Chapel’s got a few tricks left up his sleeve. Mostly his right one. That was the first lesson Chapel learned in magic camp while preparing for a career after baseball. Be cautioned: don’t give him your $20 bills to rip up—he learns that next year.
Ray Kinsela, Field of Dreams
The big plus on Kinsela is his knowledge of the game’s history. If you need someone to tell you who won the Cy Young in 1948, he’s your man. The problem is that he insists on using memorabilia as equipment: the baggy jerseys, the old dirty hats, the tiny gloves. And, worst of all, Gaylord Perry’s jockstrap, complete with aged spit stains. The stench in the locker room will become a complete nuisance in about 20 degrees.
Butch Haynes, A Perfect World
Is there any place else to stick a guy named “Butch” than the back end of the rotation? Besides the boxing ring? Or in prison?
Denny Davies, The Upside of Anger
I’ll be honest: I haven’t seen the movie. But I did notice in the preview that he usually has a drink in his hand. And this is where you stick the fellers who like their liquor. Drink on, Double D!
Robin of Locksley, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
He’s got the pinpoint accuracy and legendary stories of a closer, but he still has a big weakness: his enormous heart. Some days he feels bad for the hitters and generously offers up pitches right over the plate. We have to harden him somehow. Probably with voodoo. Or by turning him into a cyborg.
Lt. John Dunbar, *Dances with Wolves_
Friends of Indians and wolves alike, Dunbar is more of the spiritual leader of the team than a standard X’s and O’s type of manager. He might not know when to lay down the bunt sign, and for some reason McAvoy continually gets the green light on 3-0 counts, but he can deliver one hell of a pep talk. Dances with Wolves? More like Dances with Division Championships!