Friday, May 08, 2009

The All-Fat Team

OK it's been a while but I have nowhere else to put this musing.

Today, I interviewed ESPN's Jayson Stark for a piece I'm working on. We were joking about how the Manny suspension story is kind of ruining his week and I said that if Pujols gets implicated, there will be almost no great, untainted natural hitters from this generation. I said that Griffey might be the last guy under the bar. Jayson said he's rooting for Ryan Howard to be the slugger everybody remembers.

Then it occured to me - baseball has come full circle. It went from fat guys hitting the ball forever to musclemen, now it's fat guys.

So here it is - the All-Time-All-Fat team. This is a list of the best baseball players who fall under the "fat" category. You don't get points just for being comically fat or having a fat "phase" a la "Fat Elvis" or "Fat Miggy Cabrera."

C: Ernie Lombardi

I've never looked at Pudge Rodriguez and thought "fat," in all honesty. Plus Lombardi scores big points for being known in baseball folklore as the slowest guy ever to play the game.

1B: Ryan Howard

Fat guy, hits the ball very far, very often. Off to a good enough career start to beat out Boog Powell, Cecil Fielder and Prince Fielder for this slot.

2B: Ronnie Belliard

Only fat guy I can think of at second.

SS: n/a

Fat guys don't play shortstop.

3B: Terry Pendleton

Third is kinda "thin" on fat guys too.

LF: Kevin Mitchell

Fat guy, hit the ball far.

CF: Hack Wilson

Kirby Puckett wasn't "fat" until he had health problems and you know it. Hack Wilson was 5' 6", 195 and allegedly had a neck the size of a telephone pole.

RF: Tony Gwynn

Not a slugger, but one of the greatest hitters of all time. I used to get cheap seats to Padres-Pirates games at Three Rivers Stadium in right field just so I could sit near Tony.

P: Babe Ruth

You save an outfield spot this way. In my world, the DH was never invented.

Manager: Tommy Lasorda


Honorable mention: Boog Powell, Cecil Fielder, Prince Fielder, Kirby Puckett, Bartolo Colon, CC Sabathia, Fernando Valenzuela, Andres Galarraga, David Ortiz, LaMarr Hoyt