Thursday, April 29, 2010
I know what you're thinking: "Why in the hell are we talking about Jeff Conine"? That is an extremely fair and legit question. I mean, not even the Conine family talks about Jeff Conine anymore. But recently, I've noticed an influx of old, crappy players coming back to the bigs and shocking fans everywhere with their ability to still be alive. Gone are the deadweights of Chris Gomez and Ray Durham; still hanging and banging are the rag arms of Rodrigo Lopez and Mark Hendrickson! So I've researched every major league roster (as I did two years ago for this post) and have come up with a 25 man team of players that I'm sure most of you had no idea were still being paid to play baseball.
For about a ten year stretch in the 90's and 00's, I never failed to ask the question, "Why is Jeff Conine still playing"? I could never figure out how he kept getting work. Clearly, he had the strongest strain of alligator blood around. He is the poster boy of this team, but he is not alone. Let's get started unveiling the 2010 Jeff Conine All-Stars.
Let me preface this by saying that the manager of this fine squad is none other than Cito Gaston! And yes, he managed this team of vagabonds in 2008 as well! Gaston has taken time off from the Danny Glover lookalike circuit (I'm gettin' too old for this shit!) to come back to baseball, so we're recognizing him with this distinct honor again.
Granted their unconditional release (they didn't make the team) - Miguel Cairo (CIN), Austin Kearns (CLE), Gabe Kapler (was on this list two years ago and may eventually become a Jeff Conine Hall of Famer), and Jason Michaels (HOU)
C: Brad Ausmus (LAD), Jason LaRue (STL) - Ausmus actually caught Warren Spahn! LaRue was released by the Reds 18 years ago. I figured he would be gone by now. It takes a lot for me not to include Jason Kendall and Pudge Rordiguez here.
1B: Jason Giambi (COL), Bobby Crosby (PIT) - I had no idea that the Giambino was still playing...and getting paid to do so! 4-5 years ago, Peter Gammons picked Crosby to win the AL MVP before the season started. This may or may not have been the cause of Peter's brain issues.
2B: Mark Grudzielanek (CLE) - I met Grudz at a baseball camp over a decade ago. I would not include him on my list of 1000 most awesome people that I've met. For the record, former Browns center, Mike Baab, would be in the top 100. The Miller High Life Guy would be in the top ten. Li'l Strut would be #12,366.
3B: Eric Chavez (OAK), Melvin Mora (COL) - Chavez might be one of the biggest busts of the past decade as he was either hurt or terrible at all times. But he's finally healthy this year...yet still awful. Even the Orioles didn't want to pay Mora anymore and that says a lot.
SS: John McDonald (TOR), Craig Counsell (MIL) - I hate McDonald so much. He shouldn't even be selling hot dogs at a major league ballpark. He is truly horrendous and looks like a narc to me. A narc to what? I'm not sure, but he looks like a tattle-tale. Counsell was instrumental for the Marlins winning the '97 World Series over the Indians (suck on that!). He has gotten drastically worse every year since but is still fooling the Brewers.
OF: Jim Edmonds (MIL), Frank Catalanotto (NYM), Fernando Tatis (NYM), Marcus Thames (NYY) - Anyone else think that three of these four guys have taken some serious "injections" over their careers? I can't wait for the day that Thames gets released. He has already cost the Yankees two games with his rotten defense in left.
SP: Kris Benson (ARI), Freddy Garcia (CWS), Brian Moehler (HOU), Ian Snell (SEA), Livan Hernandez (WAS) - Call me crazy, but I find Anna Benson to be hot. Well, at least I did five years ago. I have no idea what she looks like today. Garcia looks like The Rock. Moehler is 38 and has never been good yet still starts in the bigs. Snell sucks. Livan looks exactly like a Latin Matt Thompson which is about the biggest insult that I can hurl at someone.
RP: Scott Schoeneweis (BOS), Arthur Rhodes (CIN), Bruce Chen (KC), LaTroy Hawkins (HOU), Jose Contreras (PHI), Guillermo Mota (SF) - I believe that Schoeneweis found his wife dead...damn, I'm impressed that he's still pitching actually. Rhodes is 40 and proof that if I have a son, he WILL be a left-handed pitcher. There is no easier way to make a living. If I told you that someone named Bruce Chen was Panamanian, would you believe me? Hawkins has sucked for 26 of the 30 teams in baseball in my estimation. That goes for Contreras and Mota as well. How was Contreras so unhittable in 2005 yet hasn't been able to get anyone out since (or before for that matter)?
Closer: Octavio Dotel (PIT) - Dotel is the worst fulltime closer of the past decade. No one will be able to change my mind on that. Not even Todd Jones was as shaky as Dotel.
I hope that helped. Now you all know what kind of crappy players are still making jack while you sit in your cubicle with your pants off. But as bad as this team appears to be, I'd still take them over the Pirates...and I'm sure that they could outscore the Indians.