The Yahoo! baseball writers gave some thought to how they'd go about building the perfect ballclub. Rather than simply list their dream team, however, they just picked a core: Owner, GM, manager, scouting director, position player, pitcher and a prospect. It appears that they actually made their picks fantasy draft-style too, inasmuch as every one of the writers picked a different guy for each role.
Fun exercise! And in keeping with the best traditions of the creative arts, I'm stealing the idea and making my own picks:
Owner: Me. Why on Earth would I pick a real owner? If I'm putting this team together, I think that makes me the owner. And I'm putting this team in Columbus, Ohio because that's where I live. Now watch as I swindle my fair city out of half a billion dollars of tax free bonds, land, and improvements to build my fabulous new ballpark. And no, it's not one of those brick-clad nostalgia houses that have been all the rage for the past 20 years. My park is going to be made out of concrete and steel and is going to look not unlike the Legion of Doom headquarters from the "Superfriends."
General Manager: Paul DePodesta. Probably not a popular choice, but I kind of like him. For one thing he's a blogger, so we probably have a lot in common. For another thing, he assembled quite a lot of talent in Los Angeles before the owners let the L.A. Times ride him out of town on a rail. Really, it may have very well been media relations which led to his downfall, and that's not anything that will be a problem for him here in sleepy Columbus. Especially with a Hall of Doom-building owner around to give incendiary quotes every day.
Scouting Director: Probably Roy Clark of the Atlanta Braves -- Yahoo!'s Jeff Passan gets it absolutely right when he notes that the Mark Teixeira trade would have wrecked any other team's farm system, but with the talent Clark has assembled, it barely made a dent. If Clark wasn't available I'd go with the Albert Brooks character from "The Scout." He found Steve Nebraska, for crying out loud, and that was a hell of a find.
Manager: If it were 20 years ago I'd probably say Bobby Cox, but I want someone a bit younger. Terry Francona wouldn't be a bad choice. As Yahoo!'s Steve Henson notes, a manager doesn't mean too much when you have a good GM, good players, and a coherent team philosophy, and Francona has shown that he can thrive in an environment where such things are provided and recognized. If he doesn't work out, though, I grab Ozzie Guillen, because at least he would make things fun.
Position player: None of the Yahoo! guys picked Albert Pujols. Sure, I guess maybe he's older than the kind of guy you'd ideally want to build around, but this team is launching tomorrow, right, and I can't think of anyone I'd rather have tomorrow than Albert freakin' Pujols.
Pitcher: Tim Lincecum. We're past the point where we're worried about his mechanics and everything, right? Sure, anything could happen tomorrow, but I like his chances of being an elite pitcher for the next ten years more than anyone in baseball right now.
Prospect: I'm not sure how you go with anyone other than Matt Wieters. Bonus: if the hype is to be believed, he can heal the sick with a touch of his hand, thereby further diminishing any injury concerns we'd have about Lincecum.
So that's my core. What's yours?