Wednesday, March 28, 2007

All-Final Four MLB Team

This week is a huge one for American sports fans. Ohio State, Georgetown, UCLA, and Florida are eagerly awaiting Saturday’s Final Four. One night later, the major league baseball season begins as the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals take on the New York Mets. Major leaguers share numerous similarities to the teams and activities to be featured at the Final Four. With that in mind, here is the All-Final Four Major League Baseball team.

Starting Pitcher: Johan Santana, Minnesota Twins. Just as UCLA shut down Kansas, he easily shuts down Kansas City.

Catcher: A.J. Pierzynski, Chicago White Sox. He’s equally as beloved as Billy Packer.

First Base: Prince Fielder, Milwaukee Brewers. Cecil’s son is a Brewer whose father was a pro athlete. Florida has Corey Brewer and numerous sons of pro athletes.

Second Base: Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies. Since he’s a gritty player from UCLA, Ben Howland would love him.

Third Base: Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees. Like Monday night’s winner, he peaks in April.

Shortstop: David Eckstein, St. Louis Cardinals. He’s a Florida Gator who’s a defending champion. Aren’t all Gators these days?

Left Fielder: Barry Bonds, San Francisco Giants. UCLA is defensive-minded and follows Arron Afflalo. Bonds gets defensive while following Aaron.

Center Fielder: Kenny Lofton, Texas Rangers. Lofton played in the 1988 Final Four with Arizona. Ohio State enters this Final Four with 34 wins – equaling the number of Lofton’s major league teams.

Right Fielder: Magglio Ordonez, Detroit Tigers. In the ALCS, he hit a walk-off game-winner. In the Sweet16, Georgetown’s Jeff Green hit a walking game-winner.

Designated Hitter: Travis Hafner, Cleveland Indians. Like Greg Oden, he’s an intimidating big man in Ohio.

Relief Pitcher: Chad Cordero, Washington Nationals. In Georgetown fashion, he plays in D.C. and shuts down opposing offenses at the end of games.

Manager: Bobby Cox, Atlanta Braves. The Final Four is in Atlanta, where Cox is used to seeing postseason action. Unfortunately for him, he’s only had One Shining Moment.

General Manager: Billy Beane, Oakland A’s. Surely he loves Ohio State’s Ron Lewis, who hit a Moneyball against Xavier.

Owner: Frank McCourt, Los Angeles Dodgers. Now in the same city as UCLA, he’s a Georgetown alumnus. Like his alma mater before this week, the Dodgers haven’t been to the Final Four since the 80s.

Mascot: Billy the Marlin, Florida Marlins. He’s what Coach Donovan hopes to be on Monday: a Billy who’s been part of two Florida championships.