1. Julie Chen, SS, CBS Early Show
Part 1 of the Early Show double-play combo has got freakin’ amazing defensive range, averaging three web gems a week. However, by constantly putting up Corey Patterson-like strikeout numbers, she remains a weak table setter. According to popular rumor, her powerful husband is the reason behind her hitting leadoff.
2. Robin Meade, RF, CNN Headline News
Ever since her days in the minors with Chicago’s NBC affiliate, Meade’s been known as a dugout jokester. Her cheery attitude, cool demeanor, high batting average, surprising power, and shockingly filthy mouth make her the de facto clubhouse leader. It’s a good thing she is, too, or else there’s no way she would have gotten away with depantsing Couric during one of the players-only meetings.
3. Tina Weymouth, 1B, bassist
Consistent, repetitive, nonwavering output has been Weymouth’s M.O., producing the exact same numbers (.302 average, 30 HRs, 94 RBIs) throughout her entire 18-year career. And when I say exact, I mean exact. Go ahead and look on the back of her card. It’s scary. Almost as scary as her outfit choice on the front. Yikes. Where’s Jillian Barberie when you need her?
4. Linda Cohn, DH, ESPN
A solid outfielder in her younger days, she was hesitant to make the transition to DH following her move to the American League. But what a transition it was! She’s led the league in HRs for three of the past four seasons. The change will allow her to contribute her bat (and her papier-mâché ornaments, made of scorecards while the rest of the team fields) for an extra five or six years.
5. Maria Bartiromo, CF, CNBC
What makes her 11 Gold Gloves shocking isn’t the fact that she has to put up with constant distractions (whistle-based catcalls, irritating rings from cowbells, heartfelt marriage proposals, pleas for financial advice) from the outfield bleachers every time she’s on the field. No, sir. The real surprise is that she’s won them while contending with her own self-imposed distraction: an electronic stock ticker scrolling on the bottom of her always-flipped-down shades. Now that’s concentration!
6. Hannah Storm, 2B, CBS Early Show
The second part of the Early Show double-play combo has wandered for years, getting traded from team to team (and, in some cases, from sport to sport) until finally landing a primo spot here. Her professional demeanor (usually just shutting up and doing her job) probably helped with her transitions. As is the case for most quiet folk, however, if you listen very closely, and catch her in a moment of pure openness, she’ll tell you the greatest joke you’ve ever heard. Always be alert, for she never tells the same joke twice.
7. Morgan Webb, 3B, X-Play
If the Web-savvy rookie’s inclusion on this roster is a shock to anyone, they haven’t noticed her boundless wit, her attention to detail, her patience for putting up with inane co-hosts, her extraordinary on-base percentage, or her Maxim photo spread.
8. Lauren Sanchez, C, UPN News
While her batting average usually teeters around the Mendoza Line—which, considering the careful, spread-finger hold she has on the bat due to her daily manicure ritual, is quite extraordinary—her true worth is as a backstop. For some reason, whenever she’s lined up behind the plate, whoever is pitching really winds up and tosses some heat. It’s like they think they can actually throw through the mitt and maim the young up-and-comer in the face. Odd.
9. Christiane Amanpour, LF, CNN
Always the rambler, Amanpour is stuck in left field and at the bottom of every lineup simply because no one’s ever sure if she’s going to be around for the start of the game. She’s on the roster because one can always count on her as a late-inning pinch hitter or defensive replacement, even if she’s covering Middle Eastern skirmishes when the game starts. That’s commitment.
Diane Sawyer, Good Morning America
Always the consummate professional, Sawyer is the stopper of the rotation—always stopping a losing streak. What she’s lost in velocity over the years (she consistently threw in the triple digits for much of her early career) she makes up with increased mound presence, awareness of the batters’ weaknesses, and her private uncensored photos taken during her report on women’s prisons.
Katie Couric, Today Show
Finally content with her role as the No. 2 pitcher on the team, Couric has made amazing strides in the past few years. She’s finally mastered the ability to disorient hitters with her stretched Joker grin, her extraordinarily well-kept legs (the only player with guts enough to pitch in a skirt), and her slow-pitch-softball-tossed interview questions. While their eyes are still glazed over in delight, the ump sends them back to the dugout with a called third strike: a 95 mph fastball in the wheelhouse that they never even saw.
Paula Zahn, CNN
A No. 1 pitcher on any other roster, Zahn combines the intelligence of Greg Maddux, the various release points of El Duque, and the raw good looks of, well, Paula Zahn to create the most underrated pitcher in the league.
Greta Van Susteren, Fox News
While she pitches in the great style of intimidators like Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, and Bob Gibson, Van Susteren is anything but intimidating once she’s off the mound. Whether she’s setting up her Scientology tents, recommending plastic surgeons while not making you feel ugly, or just helping you learn the latest jump-rope technique, Ms. Van-S (her preference) will win your heart before you can chant “Miss Mary Mack-Mack-Mack …”
Ana Marie Cox, Wonkette.com
Brought into the back end of the rotation to give opposing hitters a wilder, less professional, more bloggy look, Cox has stunned the league with her nasty curveballs, dirty sliders, and anal-sex-enhanced political jokes.
Susan Orlean, The New Yorker_
The scribe’s best attribute is her ability to provide both long-inning relief (if someone in the rotation has a bad outing) or get a few crucial outs in the more stressful late innings. While her velocity never reaches 80 mph, her mastery of the eephus pitch makes many an opposing batter flail their arms (and, occasionally, their legs) as if they’d taken dancing lessons from Elaine Benes.
Nancy Grace, Court TV
Honestly, would you want to face a pitcher as intimidating as her in any situation?
Barbara Walters, ABC
As her calming presence on The View attests, Walters’s managing style is more in the vein of spiritual dugout rocks like Bobby Cox and Joe Torre and less like the chest-to-chest ump spitters Lou Pinella and Lloyd McClendon. Unless, of course, the umpire decides to call a balk. On either team. Walters hates that rule. Whenever it’s called, she runs out of the dugout like George Brett—except slower because of her age—and gives the umpire a piece of her mind. Utterances of “Gosh darn!” and “Give me a break!” are peppered with hints of the poor intelligence and sexual promiscuity of the umpire’s mother, creating one of the greatest spectacles this game, or any game, has ever seen.