All Fish TeamFollow @RoyalsBlue_com
By: Zach Hodson
Few things are more synergistically enjoyable than sitting in a folding bag chair by your favorite pond or river’s edge, the soothing timbre of Denny Matthews coming out of your wind-up radio, a nice cold Boulevard in one hand, and a simple fishing rod in the other.
Now, I am no a-fish-ionado, but I have been known to cast a line from time to time. Right now, things aren’t going so well in the Royals kingdom. We can’t hit the ball, we can’t catch the ball, and we can’t throw the ball. However, with the increased eye of scrutiny on the team this year, there is little I can say that hasn’t been said a hundred times already.
So, I present to you a completely ridiculous list of the best baseball team in history containing only players with fish or fishing related names. And before you apply your logic and reason to this exercise, keep in mind that “best” can connotationally mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Sometimes, best is because the player is one of the best in MLB history at his position. Sometimes, best is because I grew up following that player and have personal attachments or memories. Sometimes, best is just because his name is ridiculously funny given the context of this article.
1 – CF – Mickey Rivers
2 – LF – Mike Trout
3 – 1B – Steve Garvey
4 – DH – Tim Salmon
5 – C – Carlton Fisk
6 – 3B – Brooks Robinson
7 – RF – Kevin Bass
8 – SS- Lip Pike
9 – 2B – Shad Berry
On the Bench
1B/OF – Mike Carp
SS/2B – Bobby Sturgeon
OF – Johnny Gill
C – Steve Lake
2B/3B – Jiggs Parrott
Leading off in centerfield, we have Mickey Rivers. The speedster should be able to slap a single or lure a walk to get on the base baths for the big fish to follow. In the 2 spot, LF Mike Trout. He might take a walk, he might hit a homerun, he might single and then steal 2 bases. As one of the most exciting players in the game right now, he could probably fit in any spot of the lineup. But I like him as a perfect tackle-box-of-options asset right here. Hall of Fame 1B Steve Garvey hits in the three hole (yeah, yeah, a bit of a stretch. I won’t tell if you don’t). With his high career BA (.294), a nose for hitting with runners in scoring position (1308 career RBIs), and excellent plate discipline (1003 career BB), he should be able to be both a run producer and high on base guy.
DH Tim Salmon bashes his way into the clean-up spot, with 299 career home runs (which must be frustrating for him) and a .884 career OPS. #5 is Hall of Famer C Carlton Fisk (the hook here being that “Fisk” translated from Danish is “Fish”). He won’t hit for average, but with 376 career home runs and 1330 career RBIS, he’ll drive in a flood of runs. Yet another Hall of Famer hits in the 6 spot, Brooks Robinson. Known for his once-in-a-lifetime talent with his glove more than his bat, he still amassed more than respectable offensive numbers during his very long winded major league career to warrant this spot.
The lineup starts over a bit in the 7hole with RF Kevin Bass. Nothing extraordinary or flashy, he’s just a solid major league player with a little bit of pop and some speed. SS Lip Pike hits next. Though from a different era (some even argue he was the first “professional” baseball player), he boasts a .332 career BA and should be able to bat in any stragglers on the pond. Finally, in true “2nd leadoff hitter” form, we’ve got 2B Shad Berry rounding out the lineup. He doesn’t get on base a remarkable clip, but can swipe you a base if needed.
Off the bench, you’ve got a few options in the live well. Need a big late inning hit or homerun? With career OPSs of .778 and .703 respectively, Mike Carp or Jonny Gill could be your guy. Defensive replacements Bobby Sturgeon and Jiggs Parrott (the original Oregonian ball player) battled hard in spring training for the backup infielder spot, but neither the skipper nor Gilligan (who serves as the GM for this seahorse-beat-to-death running fish joke of a team) could bring themselves to pick between them. So they kept both. Steve Lake floats along as a very fine defensive backup catcher. His 45.4% success rate at throwing out runners trying to steal ranks 9th all time.
1 – Catfish Hunter
2 – Hooks Dauss
3 – Preacher Roe
4 – Ray Fisher
5 – Arlie Pond
In the Pen
The starting rotation boasts over 700 career wins, led by the ace whisker man himself, Catfish Hunter. Hooks Dauss and Preacher Roe serve as a solid 2-3, with Ray Fisher and Arlie Pond anchoring down the back end with solid sub 3.5 career ERAs.
The bullpen? Well, it’s a work in progress. Holding leads on the line could be a problem for this team as the school of Marlin Stuart, Art Herring, Brandon Puffer, Harry Eells, George Caster, and Chummy Gray hold a combined average career WHIP of 1.55. If they don’t find a way to stop putting people on base, they’re going to be swimming with sharks all season.
If the team can stay afloat long enough, I think they can make a real rush at the playoffs. However, it may come down to that leaky bullpen. Unfortunately, help may not be on the way as there isn’t much depth to be found in the minors. Perhaps the club can channel some untapped potential, or possibly even ship off the dead weight and reel in some talent by the trade deadline.
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