Monday, October 31, 2011

The TPA All-Hallow's Eve Team

By The Common Man

Happy Halloween, everybody! You know, The Common Man really has to apologize for not being around more over the last couple weeks. The newest addition to The Common Man’s family, a little baby Girl who shall be henceforth known as The Girl, coupled with The Boy’s growing precociousness, has played havoc with TCM’s schedule. Plus, if you didn’t know, TCM writes during the week on Getting Blanked now (his weekly post is up today on that site, comparing the 2011 season to classic horror movies) and is posting twice a week on NotGraphs (his first post, in which you can see his beautiful baby girl is here). So things are busy.

But TCM doesn’t intend to neglect The Platoon Advantage this offseason. He knows where he came from and who he has to thank for all of these recent developments. Plus, with Bill, Jason, and Mark around, our site will be churning out quality stuff all offseason. Anyway, in honor of All Hallow's Eve and our renewed acquaintance in these pages, please enjoy this team of All-time Movie Monsters:

Catcher: Damian Miller
Damian Thorn, obviously, comes from The Omen. He’s a creepy little kid whose father is the devil and whose mother is a jackal, who gets adopted by Gregory Peck and his wife in the film. People keep dying in eerie ways around Damian, especially when they come close to figuring out there’s something wrong with him. Alas, the only thing creepy about this Damian Miller is how closely he resembles Mark Wahlberg.


First base: Frank Thomas and Blake Stein.

TCM is cheating here, but only because Frankenstin was a hideous monster sewed together from many different people, so TCM figures that his first baseman can be too, and the prospect of combining The Big Hurt and Blake Stein was too much to resist. Our Frank and Stein figures to lose some of Thomas' incredible offense, but probably ends up 15-20% gawkier and better on defense. Frank Thomas’ actual defense was simply too horrible for TCM to allow it to live again.

Second Base: Billy Bates

Bates only managed 54 plate appearances in his career, mostly for the Milwakee Brewers, but was acquired mid-season by the Reds in 1990 along with Glenn Braggs. He actually made the postseason roster as a defensive replacement and pinch-runner. He was caught stealing once, scored two runs, and actually had a hit in his only World Series at bat, finishing his career with a 2.000 postseason OPS. His mother must be so proud.

Third Base: Otto Kruger

Wow.  Guy looks like a mortician.  So this works well.  Krueger had a short run as a starting 3B at the turn of the 20th century, providing a great deal of offense at the hot corner for the Cardinals in 1901 (112 OPS+) while playing what was probably disappointing defense (as Bill James taught us, the hot corner was more of a defense-first position until Harland Clift came along). Krueger didn’t last long after the leagues stabilized again following the American League revolt.

Shortstop: Gene DeMontreville

Clever, this one. Trying to hide his true nature with the “treville” tacked on to his name. You can’t fool The Common Man, Gene. The power of Christ compels you. DeMontreville had a great three year run from 1896-1898 for Washington and Baltimore, in which he hit .337/.380/.417, a 116 OPS+. In a terrible deal, the Chicago Orphans acquired him straight up in 1899 for Bill Dahlen. Over the next eight years, Dahlen would have 33.7 WAR over the next eight seasons, while DeMontreville would only play for five more years and generate 3.9 WAR.

Left Field: Sherry Magee

A bit of a stretch maybe, but mage is another word for witch, and practitioners of the demon arts are all the rage this time of year. Magee came up at 19 and was a very productive outfielder for a very long time with the Phillies, Braves and Reds, hitting .291/.364/.427 with a 136 OPS+ and was roughly as valuableas Hall of Famers Dave Winfield, Richie Ashburn, Zack Wheat, Willie Stargell, Billy Williams, and Andre Dawson. His career ended early as a 34 year old with the World Champion Reds in 1919. He finished 1-for-2 in the Series with a single. He died young, at just 44, from pneumonia.

Center Field: Van Voorhees Snider

The Common Man remembers Snider because several baseball cards touted him as a big prospect back in 1988 because he hit .290 at AA Nashville with 23 homers. The all grown up The Common Man looks back now at Snider and sees him as an incurable strikeout machine with no control of the strike zone (he walked 22 times that 1988 season in 556 plate appearances) who was already 24. Snider quickly washed out at the Major League level and was never heard from again.  Also, seriously, whose middle name is Voorhees?

Right Field: Vlad Guerrero

Vlad the Impaler is, famously, the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula, a bloodthirsty tyrant so evil that he actually became the immortal embodiment of everything unholy. Based on his performance over the last three seasons, it seems like this Vlad does have an expiration date and that it’s fast approaching. But no one was more dangerous in right field or at the plate in the early part of the 21st century. There simply was no way to pitch to this guy. Without the milestone numbers, and with all those years he played in Montreal, it will be interesting to see if Guerrero makes the Hall of Fame. He’s clearly deserving.

Designated Hitter: Johnny Damon

Damon is close to Demon or Daemon, and many consider the designated hitter an unholy concept. That’s good enough for us. Prediction: Damon will haunt us at Hall of Fame voting time for years to come, as the last remnants of the BBWAA dinosaurs argue for his HoF worthiness.

Starting Pitcher: Randy Wolf

Randy can only be used three days out of every month, but he’s awesome on those days.

Relief Pitcher: Mike Myers

Who else could it be?  I feel relieved already


Jason Wojciechowski said...

Bless you, TCM, for finding a way to get Blake Stein in this.

William Tasker - Caribou, ME said...

Bravo! The first Halloween piece this year I didn't hate.