What if the All-Star teams weren't divided by league?
Beards vs. Babyfaces and other potential ASG lineups
The 2015 MLB All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile is rapidly approaching and consuming exponentially more of our thoughts with each passing second. Specifically, we're thinking ... what if the teams weren't split based on AL vs. NL?
If you took the existing All-Star rosters and re-categorized the players based on different criteria -- age, facial hair, handedness, nationality -- what would the optimal lineups look like in each scenario? We tried our hand below, but feel free to weigh in with your own opinions in the comments.
This year's Futures Game will feature a U.S. Team vs. World Team format and that got our wheels spinning. We took the existing All-Star rosters and re-categorized the players based on different criteria and tried to come up with optimal lineups for each scenario. Enjoy the fruit of our labor.
The age cutoff here was 25-and-under on one roster and everyone else on the other. Oddly enough, the Vets get a platoon advantage by stacking their lineups with right-handed hitters against the southpaw from the South Side, Chris Sale. And no matter how well Max Scherzer is pitching right now, imagine watching him try to go through Trout, Rizzo, Harper, Stanton and Arenado in order. #WouldWatch.
For this, we used the most recent Associated Press image available for each player to determine whether they qualified as bearded or not. Stanton made the Beards roster by the hair on his chinny-chin-chin. And Trevor Rosenthal is a good get in the closer's role as he's been known to sport a babyface, but has recently been rockin' some face fur.
The platoon means nothing here, as you have lefty hurlers tossing to righty batters and vice versa on the other side. Holt, Vogt and Crawford make appearances here as guys at right-hand necessary positions in the field, but lefties at the plate.
The World Team is stacked with veteran power hitters, but a bit lacking on defense. Without a third (or really even a second) natural outfielder, we decided to load 'em up with power and hope Albert Pujols remembers how to play left field -- it's only been 12 years since his last appearance there. Joey Bats actually made 12 appearances in center for the Blue Jays last year, so that shift isn't all that farfetched.