The all-star lineup
Posted by yongeblood
After 15 years of having the Yankees (and to a smaller degree, the Red Sox) as the MLB team with the killer roster, it took me longer than it should have to realize that it’s now the Phillies who have that role – and in the NL, to boot, for ages considered the weaker league. Rollins, Utley, Pence, Howard, Victorino, Ibanez. 6 quality hitters that can generate runs any inning. Compares well to Jeter, Damon, Teixeira, Rodriguez, Matsui, Posada, Cano (2009 Yankees), or even to Henderson, White, Alomar, Carter, Olerud, Molitor. Not only that, but they have one of the best pitching rotations I’ve ever known. Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Oswalt, and young Vance Worley? Scary. Their fourth starter was the ace of his previous team.
I tend to cheer for the underdog in sports. (I wonder what that means psychologically…) When the Phillies were coming together, I was enjoying their pursuit of a championship. I’m still not tired of them, because this group has only won one Series. And I really want Doc to win a ring, because we in Toronto still have a collective major crush on the best player ever to wear a Jays uniform. It’s sad for us that he’ll probably enter the Hall of Fame as a Phillie.
Not to say it always happens. I booed the Yanks even when they started winning in ’96. But the rising of the Red Sox and Rays earlier this decade was enjoyable, despite them also being division rivals.
I think that the all-star lineup is far more common in baseball, with it not having a salary cap, meaning a team with a lot of money can go out and buy a good team. The NFL seems to have the most different playoff-bound teams and champions. The NHL might be the biggest test of good management, with a tight salary cap forcing good drafting and development, and scouting projection as necessary in order to build a winning team. (Detroit Red Wings, I tip my cap to you.)
The NBA has a few all-star rosters, and is far more disparate than MLB. I hate how a few teams absolutely dominate the league, and that’s pretty much always the case. I don’t have the stats, but I’d bet that the NBA has the fewest playoff upsets of all major leagues.