Happy 4th all! Hope you're enjoying your day.
I've just received word that the National League would like you to believe that Clayton Kershaw is not an all-star.
I choose not to believe that. I also choose to believe Kershaw was held out because the Dodgers want to keep their pitching rotation order intact. With that bit of rationalization, I will continue on in my happy haze -- until Jonathan Broxton blows the N.L. lead on July 13th.
Today, in keeping with the Independence Day celebration, I am going to reveal my All-Sam baseball team. You know, like Uncle Sam. This is the team that I'd like to send out on the field on the 4th of July to kick the crap out of the New York Yankees.
I've got a 25-man roster here, so hold tight:
Right field, Sammy Sosa: The number of statistics put up by Sosa are staggering and difficult to relay here. Among the highlights: 609 career homers, three 60-home run seasons and an MVP award in 1998. How many of his vast array of power numbers were affected by performance-enhancing drugs is the big question. No question, though, that all the numbers are tainted by reports of PED use. But before all of that ugliness, Sosa was known as the happy-go-lucky, boisterous toast of Chicago. Interesting fact: Sosa's first career home run came off Roger Clemens. Make up your own joke.
Relief pitching: I'm going with Sammy Stewart, who saved 45 games in his career, mostly with the Orioles. We'd have to break him out of jail to get him to play, though. Also in the bullpen are Sam Gray (a 20-game winner for the Browns in 1928), Sam Gibson (1920s Tigers pitcher), and early 1990s Yankee pitcher Sam Militello.
For the closer, I am taking liberties, because it is my team and it is a Dodger player and if you're only going to pick two Dodgers on the All-Star roster then I'm squeezing one on here, dammit.
Takashi "Sammy" Saito is the closer. You must acknowledge the greatness of Sammy.
Bench: There is no designated hitter on this team as I pick only National League-style teams because we're not playing any Arena Baseball here. But I must put Sam Horn on the team as he's one of the most famous baseball "Sams" of recent times. He didn't live up to expectations, but he did spawn a famed website.
Also on the bench is defensive replacement Sammy Khalifa, the first person of Egyptian descent to play in the majors.
It's a shame to relegate Sam Jethroe to the bench. He was a Negro League star and the National League's Rookie of the Year in 1950 with the Braves. But I'll make him the first guy off the bench. Also on the bench is Sam Taylor, the White Sox catcher from the '50s; Sam Thompson, a Phillies hitting standout of the 19th century; and Sam West, an all-star outfielder with the Browns in the 1930s.
That is your 25-man all-Uncle Sam 4th of July roster. Apologies to Sam Mejias, Sam Ewing, Sam Fuld and Sam Perlozzo, among others.
Oh, and I almost forgot. Here is the All-Uncle Sams manager:
He did lead the Twins to the World Series in 1965. But Sam Mele is really here because he appears on one of the greatest manager cards of all-time.
Enjoy the rest of the day. Don't eat too many hot dogs and don't blow off an arm.