The offseason can be very boring for a baseball fan. There is only so much "Hot Stove" talk to fill the 3 1/2 months until Spring Training, especially for a team like the Phils who have 90% of their roster set for next year. So we have to come up with stuff to fill the time and the blog space. Here is what I came up with today...
It's been so much fun watching the Phils the last few years. Great players, great teams, mediocre utility players. But it hasn't always been this fun watching the Phillies. There have been many, many lean years filled with poor, poor players. Of course, mixed in with the slop were great, entertaining players and the '93 team. So I decided to put together my "Ultimate Phillies Lineup" consisting of the eight position players from the past that I would like to see play again. Here goes.
1. Lenny Dykstra – LF – He played for the Mets, but I won’t hold that against him here. Instead, I’ll focus on what made Dykstra great for the Phillies: loads and loads of chew tobacco and his hat folded haphazardly and placed into a back pocket during at-bats. I’ve never seen anyone else put their hat in their pocket while they hit and it will be a special day when I do.
2. Juan Samuel – 2B – No one threw the ball to first quite the same way Samuel did. He would scissor his arms, left over right, making an “X” shape before uncurling and slinging the ball sidearmed to first where it would be gracefully snagged by Von Hayes. That’s what I want to see again, even more than Mickey Morandini's mullet.
3. Darren Daulton – C – Have the Phillies had a better catcher? Have they had a crazier one? He makes the team on both counts, just as long as this game is played in the next three years.
4. Pete Incaviglia – LF – My favorite Phillie from the ’93 team. Mullet? Check. Awesome ‘stache? Check. Slightly overweight? Check. Homers? Check. Hall of Fame worthy? He’s got my vote.
5. Pat Burrell – 1B – A third baseman at “The U”, Burrell was the Phillies first baseman of the future…until the future came and was moved to left. But he’ll play first for this team, even though it pushes Von Hayes and his freakishly wide stance to the bench. My man crush on Burrell is well documented on this site, so I don’t think a further explanation on his inclusion is necessary.
6. Dave Hollins – 3B – He threatened to punch pitching teammates if they didn’t “protect” the batters and retaliate for HBPs. He added that they shouldn’t worry about the batter charging the mound because he would beat the batter there. Literally, beat them. This team would need that attitude.
7. Jim Eisenreich – RF – Eisenreich’s determination, hustle and quiet productivity left me wishing that all Phillies outfielders would have Tourette’s Syndrome. “Beaker,” as nicknamed by my grandmother because of his prominent nose, was the less-talented version of Chase Utley. He was professional, fundamentally sound, silently intense and very clutch.
8. Steve Jeltz – SS – Couldn’t hit worth a Bruntlett, but I would love to see the greatest jheri curl in Phillies history turn another 4-6-3 with Samuel.
In addition, any game this team would play would have to take place at the Vet and I would have to watch them from section 713 while drinking cans of High Life that I duct taped to my leg to sneak them in. Good times.