Rules are as follows:
- No current or past Red Sox players are eligible. As much as I love watching Papi, Manny and Youk hit, they can't be included. This will include past prospects like Kelly Shoppach and Andy Marte.
- Character and work ethic counts. Meaning Elijah Dukes will not be on the team.
- Guys I would personally like to play with. This is not an informed decision, just the impression I get watching them play. They may be complete assholes for all I know.
- Age counts. I want a team I can watch play together for at least 5 years.
- The DH rule is in effect. Pitchers pitch, as it should be.
- I can only take one player for each team. So, as much as I would like to, I can't take Sizemore and Hafner from the Indians.
- I'll post their salaries for shits and giggles, but they really don't matter. Just like the current Red Sox.
- They have to play their established position. For example, I can't pick Manny to play third, even though it would be highly entertaining to watch him try.
Away we go.
Jose Reyes - SS - NY Mets ($2,875,000): A no brainer. He's my favorite non Sox player and possibly the most electrifying player in the either league. Seems to be improving defensively and when he comes to bat anything - from a bunt single to a 400 foot home run - could happen.
Carl Crawford - LF - Tampa Bay Devil Rays ($4,125,000): Still only 25 years old and has improved every year. Would like to see more power from him, but there's not much to complain about here. Has the potential to be a 30-30 man for the next 10 years.
Kelly Johnson - 2B - Atlanta Braves ($380,000): Another 25 year old who is turning into a superstar. Where the hell do the Braves find these guys? Is there an old cotton farm where they genetically engineer them? I need answers, dammit!
Torii Hunter - CF - Minnesota Twins ($12,000,000): At 31, he'll be my veteran presence on a younger team. But what a presence. Continues to improve at the plate, which is astounding after 10 years and - with apologies to Coco, Grady and Andruw - he is the best defensive center fielder in the majors.
Prince Fielder - DH - Milwaukee Brewers ($450,000): Unbelievably, he's only 23 years old. Technically a first baseman, so I can move him to the field if necessary, but I would prefer him at DH so I can pretend he's Papi, Jr. Adding him to the team not just for his ability (which is unlimited), but also the sheer exuberance he exhibits when playing. The kind of teammate I would want.
Matt Holliday - RF - Colorado Rockies ($4,400,00): Technically he's a left fielder, but I'm moving him to right at Fenway. Tough corner, but when you're hitting .347 with 10 homers already, I'll fit you in somewhere.
Adrian Gonzalez - 1B - San Diego Padres ($625,000): I was going to pass over Gonzalez so I could take Jake Peavy from the Padres pitching staff, but I need a solid first basemen and he fits the bill perfectly. That he's only 25 and makes less than a mil a year makes it all the better.
Aramis Ramirez - 3B - Chicago Cubs ($9,000,000): Yeah, he's questionable at best at third, but I'll take his bat over any other third baseman.
John Buck - C - Kansas City Royals ($440,000): Toughest call on this list. Couldn't take Rodriguez from the Tigers because I wanted Verlander on my staff. Couldn't take De Luca since I have Reyes. Couldn't take Posada because he's a fucking putz. That leaves Buck. Decent arm and above average bat for catchers.
Justin Verlander - P - Detroit Tigers ($1,030,000): 5-2 with a 3.31 ERA. Fastball that can hit over 100 combined with a devastating slider. Easy call.
John Lackey - P - LA Angels ($5,833,333): Liked this guy so much I passed on having Vlad in my outfield. Besides being 8-3 with 2.36 ERA, he's one of the most consistent pitchers in the baseball.
CC Sabathia - P - Cleveland Indians ($8,750,000): Yeah, he's huge, but injuries have mostly stayed away from him. Besides, he's a lefty and throws some nasty shit. Almost picked Carmona, but he could still implode at any moment.
Dan Haren - P - Oakland A's ($2,250,000): Currently sporting an astounding 1.64 ERA and is just hitting his prime at age 26.
Roy Halladay - P - Toronto Blue Jays (12,750,000): Recent struggles aside, has there ever been a more unheralded ace in baseball? One of the few pitchers I dread when I see him on the schedule.
Closer: My biggest problem. I figure the middle relief guys will sort themselves out, but I really want Papelbon as my closer. He fits my profile perfectly. But since I can't take him, Rodriguez from the Angels (see Lackey, John), or Codero from the Brewers (see Fielder, Prince) I'll settle on....
Bobby Jenks - P - Chicago White Sox ($450,000): Yeah, I know, but he's only 26, won a World Series, and doesn't rattle easily. Hey, it was either him or Rivera, who's 37. Exactly.
Today's distraction: Sox - Yankees again this weekend. Does it seem like they've played each other A LOT already this year? Anyway, here's one man's list of the 10 Best Rivalries in Sports. I would argue numbers 2 and 3 should be flipped.