Pitcher Ervin Santana of the Kansas City Royals shared a brilliant idea: During All-Star week, there should be a dodgeball game for pitchers.
Let's just ignore all the things that could go horribly wrong — like elbow injures, concussions and prolonged feuds — and just think about how fun it would be. Much better than the Home Run Derby, right? Who wouldn't want to see the guys who get millions of dollars to throw baseballs toss dodgeballs at each other instead?
Like you're probably doing now, your faithful Big League Stew bloggers quickly imagined who would be the best dodgeball players among major league pitchers. Then we did the only logical thing: We picked teams.
David Brown and I played fantasy dodgeball managers. I had the first pick (because I said so) and we took turns from there. Here is how our teams took shape:
WHIP IT GOOD (managed by Mike Oz)
1. Aroldis Chapman: Just a hunch, but if Chapman can throw a baseball 104 mph, I think he'll do pretty well throwing rubber balls for my dodgeball team.
2. David Price: Not only is Price a good pitcher, but I think he'd be good at another part of the game: dodging the ball. He's pretty athletic and my team would have a mascot in Price's dog, Astro.
3. Chris Sale: He's got wicked stuff on the mound, and a delivery that's been baffling hitters over the past two years. I feel like he's the kind of guy who would be able to take out three opposing dodgeballers with one throw.
4. Bartolo Colon: Bartolo has two things going for him that I think would translate well to dodgeball — dude is incredibly accurate and he's a survivor. Much like he's been able to stick around the MLB, he'd be able to stick around the dodgeball court.
5. Clayton Kershaw: I figure I gotta have a Dodger, right? It's right there in the name! Plus, Kershaw is quite the competitor — whether you're talking about on the mound, or with his clubhouse hobby, ping-pong.
6. Jose Valverde: Intimidation is part of the game. I'll be damned if I'm not going to have a guy with a two-toned goatee and crazy eyes throwing balls for my squad. He's my enforcer and my loose cannon.
DODGER DOGS (managed by David Brown)
1. R.A. Dickey (DB): There are faster pitchers, but imagine a knuckler coming at you in the dodgeball arena. It will mess everyone up mentally. You guys are dead in the water, Oz.
2. Zack Greinke: He can't play basketball anymore as per his contract, so he's got to get his energy out some way. Unpredictability is key in dodgeball, and Greinke is like the MLB's version of a box of chocolates.
3. Matt Harvey: Free of clothes also means free of inhibitions, which makes Harvey — the guy with the best stuff in the league — even more dangerous on the dodgeball court.
4. Yu Darvish: Like Dickey, relies on deception with four-pitch arsenal. Good luck figuring out what's coming.
5. Derek Holland: We need a lefty and he's the leftiest guy in the majors. How can you have a dodgeball game without the oddest personality going?
6. Ervin Santana: Because it was his idea and I'd feel bad if he didn't get to play.
* * *
Your turn: Who would you draft for your MLB pitcher dodgeball team?
BLS H/N: Cut4