Pitcher List Fictional Draft Review: Andy Patton’s Picks
Baseball has long been woven into the world of pop culture. From the iconic “Where have you gone, Joe Dimaggio?” line in Mrs. Robinson to the lovable kids of The Sandlot, baseball and American Culture have connected. We at Pitcher List decided to weave the world of TV/movies into baseball in our own unique way, with a handful of writers deciding to participate in a Fictional Mock Draft.
Here are the 12 players I selected. I ended up with more real players than I originally hoped for, and doubled up on references to the iconic movie Eight Men Out, but overall I’m happy with how this team turned out. I believe I was supposed to take a DH instead of a fourth pitcher – but the site is called ‘Pitcher List’ right?
Anyway, take a look and let me know what you think. Enjoy!
Round 1: Eddie Cicotte, RHP, Eight Men Out
Cicotte was a borderline Hall of Fame pitcher who compiled a 209-148 record, a 2.38 ERA and 249 complete games in his illustrious career. His career came to an end after the infamous Black Sox scandal of 1918, which was made famous in the movie Eight Men Out.
I’m happy to have Cicotte anchor my rotation for this fictional fantasy team.
Round 2: Bobby Rayburn, CF, The Fan
Wesley Snipes and sports movies, name a more iconic duo. (If you said Kevin Costner and sports movies, then damn. You win.)
Moving on, Bobby Rayburn (Snipes) is a three-time All-Star outfielder signed by the San Francisco Giants in the mid-1990’s. He has a surly attitude but elite five-tool talent. He couldn’t be more Barry Bonds if he lied to Congress about it, and I’m stoked to get this elite production in the second round.
Round 3: Nuke LaLoosh, RHP, Bull Durham
Eddy Calvin ‘Nuke’ LaLoosh possesses a million-dollar arm and a ten-cent head, at least according to his catcher, Crash Davis. But thanks to Davis’ tutelage, not to mention the sultry teachings of Annie Savoy, played by Nuke’s future wife in real life, Susan Sarandon, Laloosh is able to harness his ability and dominate in the minor leagues, as one would expect.
Bull Durham is my favorite baseball movie, and Nuke is one of the best baseball characters out there. He will always suffer from control issues (and possibly anger issues), but I’ll take a chance on that rocket arm in the third round.
Round 4: Casey, 1B, Casey at the Bat
One of the first fictional baseball stars, Mighty Casey is technically 0/1 with a strikeout according to the iconic poem. However, he is known as a pure slugger and is entrusted to carry the Mudville squad to victory. His arrogance gets the best of him and he strikes out after watching the first two pitches.
Casey was portrayed in a 1927 silent film Casey at the Bat. He is betrayed by his manager and the scout who found him – they get him drunk and bet against him in the upcoming game. If Casey can stay sober, I think he’s a very strong middle of the order slugger for this squad – even if he is prone to strikeouts.
Round 5: Salvador Perez, C, Pitch
I’ll admit I never saw Pitch, the TV show about a female pitcher in the big leagues that was cancelled after one season, but I do know that she gets taken deep by Royals catcher Salvador Perez. Perez is a six-time All-Star, a five-time Gold Glove winner and a two-time Silver Slugger winner. As much as I love Crash Davis and the movie Bull Durham, this seemed like a no-brainer.
Round 6: Johnny Damon, LF, Fever Pitch
Fever Pitch is a movie about a diehard Red Sox fan (played by diehard Yankees fan in real life Jimmy Fallon) who falls in love and struggles to balance his love of the Red Sox for his love of Drew Barrymore. At the end of the movie, Drew runs across the field at a Boston game, past a bewildered Johnny Damon, to confess her love.
Damon makes a high-quality addition to my outfield, and I’m happy to shift him to LF where his weak arm and limited range can serve me a little better.
Round 7: Snoopy, SS, Peanuts
The only non-human on my roster, Snoopy allegedly hit 713 home runs out of the shortstop position, according to the Peanuts comic strips. He was robbed of a chance to tie Babe Ruth because his inept pitcher, Charlie Brown, gave up a game winning hit to prevent Snoopy from getting another at-bat. Tragic. Either way, I’ll take a powerful middle of the order slugger at a key position.
Snoopy was said to have good fetching skills defensively, although his ability to make the throw to first is certainly questionable.
Round 8: Steve Sax, 2B, Homer at the Bat (Simpsons)
Probably my most boring pick, but I needed a second baseman and really wanted to give a shoutout to this iconic episode of the Simpsons. Even though he got arrested for virtually every crime in Springfield, I still think Sax would make a nice middle infield compliment to Snoopy. One can’t throw the ball to first base – and the other is a cartoon dog. (If you don’t get this joke please look up Steve Sax and the yips).
Round 9: Buck Weaver, 3B, Eight Men Out
Weaver isn’t the most impressive big leaguer, only slashing .272/.307/.355 across nine big league seasons. Still, he managed to hit .324 in the 1918 World Series, a sign that he is clutch when necessary and also that he is of high character, clearly choosing not to participate in the Black Sox scandal that rocked the baseball world that year. He was banned anyway, ending his career at age 29.
He may not be a superstar, but his grit, integrity and ability to play well in crunch time will be crucial for this team’s success.
Round 10: Rigo Sanchez, LHP, Trouble with the Curve
If you can snag a high school left-hander with a heavy fastball and a nasty curve, who easily lays waste to the No. 1 pick in the MLB Draft, you have to take a chance on that kid. And while the snotty Bo Gentry was on the road to being a Delmon Young-style bust in the big leagues, the youngster Sanchez showed a lot of promise after Clint Eastwood’s daughter scouted him up in Trouble with the Curve.
A big kid with a nice 1-2 FB/CB combo, Sanchez might profile as a late-inning reliever when all is said and done, but just because we never saw a third pitch doesn’t mean he doesn’t have one. I see a Luiz Gohara-type arm here, and I’m happy snagging him in the tenth round.
Round 11: Paul O’Neill, RF, Seinfeld
Seinfeld adores their baseball jokes, although it is rare to actually see the player on the field. That made Keith Hernandez, Joe Dimaggio, Mickey Mantle, Jay Buhner and Danny Tartabull all ineligible for our draft. Paul O’Neill, however, is shown blasting two home runs after he made a promise to a sick kid. I’ll happily take a five-time All-Star and former batting champion to round out my position players.
Round 12: Kenny DeNunez, RHP, The Sandlot
Benny ‘The Jet’ Rodriguez is the star of The Sandlot, but the hard-throwing right-hander DeNunez is by all accounts the second-most successful player of the group. He certainly took his baseball quite seriously, and eventually played some professional ball. I love his demeanor on the mound and couldn’t resist taking one of the Sandlot kids, especially with my last pick.
(Graphics by Justin Paradis @freshmeatcomm)