Monday, April 4, 2011

Play Ball (with super heroes)!

Baseball season has arrived! Normally this would be where I make some sort of mocking comment directed toward John Cerilli and his beloved New York Mets, but given the 0-3 start my Boston Red Sox are off too, I think I’ll keep quiet for the time being (if there’s one thing I remember from 2004, though, it’s that starting off 0-3 isn’t ever the end).

Though I absolutely hated playing baseball when I was a kid both because the kids pitching could never throw strikes and I ended up sitting in the outfield for literally hours every night and was also terrified of getting hit by those same wild pitches after watching a teammate get a black eye from one, I came around on the sport later in life, mostly in college and immediately after. I find it a far better spectator sport that you can have on in the background at home while you do other stuff or have a great experience watching at the ballpark.

For the most part, though, the two things that most got me into baseball were watching with my dad during the summer of 2004 after I graduated and before I started and Wizard and then being in a fantasy league with my buddies. Unfortunately, my college friends lost interest pretty quick, and while I was in a league with some high school pals right up through last season, they’re all investment bankers and kept upping the entry fee, so I had to bow out and save my wallet (never mind that we only started paying dues the year after I won…but I’m not bitter).

So to fill that fantasy baseball void in my life this year, I’ve decided to draft my seven-person dream roster of super heroes who I’d send out on the diamond if the league didn’t check for performance enhancers and super soldier serum.

If you’re going by win-loss record, you need to go with Batman, who regardless of how tough or wily the opposition is always finds a way to claim victory. This is a dude who beat a pack of White Martians with a lighter and some luck—imagine what he could do against the Cubs! My one concern would be going against whoever drafted Bane, but I’ve got to put my faith in the system and imagine that all that if the league is testing for HGH, they’re not just going to let Venom slide.

On the other hand, you can’t ban The Hulk from competing since he didn’t choose to be caught in that Gamma Bomb, he’s just an unfortunate accident victim who has overcome his unfortunate circumstances to flourish as a rampaging man-monster. It would be a challenge finding Hulk a uniform that isn’t going to mysteriously transform into torn purple pants, but that’s an obstacle I’d be willing to overcome in order to gain the home runs he brings to the team. What’s a home run when it comes to super heroes? I’m not entirely sure, but if you can hold up a friggin’ mountain during Secret Wars, surely you can notch a few!

There are few positions more important to a good fantasy baseball team than the utility infielder. You need to have that player who can float from first to second to shortstop to third and fill in for whoever gets injured or has a day off. Who in comics has more versatility than Donna Troy? Sure she has an incredibly convoluted history, but the advantage is that just about wherever you plug her in, it kinda sorta makes sense. Need a Teen Titan? Donna! Looking for a Darkstar? Donna! Diana’s too busy to be Wonder Woman for a few issues? Donna! Your shortstop pulled their hamstring? Donna Troy!

First off, he’s been throwing Wolverine at bad guys in a move explicitly called the Fastball Special for decades, so you know he’s got a great arm and can be your ace pitched. Second, he’s got the power to transition over be the Designated Hitter as well, so you’re aces for interleague play if need be. But most importantly, Colossus will be the king of the RBI given how used he is to bailing his X-Men buddies out of jams and holding off that collapsing door or attacking army of goons so they can slide in for the win.

I’d pick The Spectre for an often overlooked key category: Saves. In the DC Universe, when a big event is going badly for the good guys, they consistently count on The Spectre to come out of the bullpen and turn things around. The guy arm-wrestled The Anti-Monitor at the dawn of time during Crisis On Infinite Earths, threw Parallax in chains at a crucial point in Zero Hour and more often than not plays cavalry after the starting team goes down. While Crispus Allen is still getting the hang of the gig, he’s got the work ethic to be an all-time great.

He’s spent nearly 20 years around Todd McFarlane, he’s got to have picked up a thing or two from Mark McGwire’s balls.


1 comment:

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