Let’s Start An MLB Franchise
Recently, Major League Baseball hosted a nation-wide job interview for their Dream Job – one in which the winner would spend the baseball season living in New York City, watching every baseball game of the 2011 season in a state-of-the-art Fancave. 16 television screens so that if a baseball game is on, it can be watched.
I saw a clip of MLB Network’s baseball crew interviewing the winner recently and they asked him if he was starting a franchise, which three players he would choose to build around. His answers were Derek Jeter, Felix Hernandez and Brian Wilson. And with that answer it made me curious as to whether MLB chose the smartest baseball fan for their Dream Job, or simply one that was simply fanatical.
If this guy wants to start his franchise with a 36 year old shortstop, the best young pitcher in baseball and a one-year wonder closer that’s his prerogative. But I bet I can choose three of my own players and blow his out of the water.
First off, you want to take a solid up-the-middle talent star. If he was starting his franchise in 1999, Jeter makes sense. But not now, not when Jeter is in the twilight of his eventual Hall of Fame career. There are really two elite shortstops in baseball right now and neither is Derek Jeter. My first choice is Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. At age 26, he’s just beginning to enter the prime of his career and would solidify the middle of your infield for a decade or more.
Next I’d look for an arm to anchor my pitching staff and Felix Hernandez would be my choice, and is the only pick I agree with. Since he’s taken, I’ll just go ahead and grab someone like Boston’s Jon Lester or Tampa Bay’s David Price. Young, uber-talented lefties don’t just grow on trees. Maybe Clayton Kershaw or Tim Lincecum.
Lastly, I would not take a closer. Unless you are Mariano Rivera, the closer role is simply too volatile and has much too high a turnover rate. I’d turn again to the offense and lock up a young, talented player at a premium position. I’d probably take Evan Longoria, the 25-year old wonderkid who can do just about everything.
I think my trio of Tulowitzki, Lester and Longoria would be a better start to a franchise than Jeter, Hernandez and Wilson. I have more youth and more talent and I also have those aspects at positions where talent is sparsest.