Ok, now that you've memorized the AL rosters, let's jump in to the NL. Again, these teams are going to be the two individuals on each NL team who would best represent their club in a 2-on-2 basketball showdown.
Atlanta Braves: Tommy Hanson and Yunel Escobar
- Hanson checks in at 6'6'', 220, so he'll be the muscle on the team. Escobar has a reputation for being a bit of a firebrand that doesn't much get along with people, so he'll be the aggressive, Kobe-style player. Competitive streaks like that can mean a lot in 2-on-2. And, yes, we fully expect this team to lose in the first game.
- The Marlins are going to go with the Two Towers approach. Johnson (6'7'', 250) and West (6'8'', 240) are two of the biggest players in this tournament. Hard to beat that kind of size - and that's leaving off 6'8'' Chris Volstad as well.
- Sarge the younger has (had?) serious hops and Pelfrey is 6'7''. We felt it important to go with Pelfrey here since there's a decent chance that a team with Matthews and Jose Reyes would lose by default after both players got hurt five points into the first game.
- The Flyin' Hawaiian runs the point and Howard bangs in the post. Simple enough - but we also feel like Brad Lidge should be tabbed for any and all potentially game-winning shots.
- If we're going to keep up with the admittedly rather absurd notion that strong outfield defense translates to good floor skills on the hardwood, then Morgan is an obvious choice. And Dunn, of course, is the polar opposite. Hopefully for his sake this is a halfcourt game so he doesn't have to move too terribly much.
Chicago Cubs: Carlos Zambrano and Sean Marshall
- Big Z could easily turn into a regrettable pick if he starts doing his pointing-to-the-sky thing after every good play he makes, but he's a good, hefty athlete. Marshall is 6'7'', which at this point is starting to seem like an automatic qualification, but there doesn't appear to be much in the way of guard-sized talent on this team. We're sure the Cubs would love to sign Alfonso Soriano up for this with the hope that he'd get hurt and they could void his contract.
- We've got the Reds going super small here; Ray-Herrera is listed at 5'6'' which means he's probably even shorter, and Taveras is right around 6'0''. But we're hoping for some Bogues/Webb-esque magic from R-H, and Taveras' speed and defensive abilities are a clear plus. They're gonna have to be dynamite on offense, though, to keep up with the teams that are going to score at will in the paint.
- In the interest of transparency, we'd never heard of Evan Englebrook until we checked the 'Stros 40-man roster. But, well, he's 6'8'', so we're going to assume that failing any non-baseball athletic gifts, he can at least stand in the way of, say, a 5'6'' dude. Bourn is on this squad for his excellent speed, much like Willy Taveras, the man he's replaced in center field for Houston.
- Gomez is fast, and Gallardo gets the nod because the tall guys don't seem like good options and I like him. Whatever. This is an awful team. You can get 1000/1 odds that Paris Hilton will be elected President in 2012 - you've got a better chance of winning that bet than riding these guys for a championship appearance.
- McCutchen is a phenomenal talent, and Jones came out of nowhere to shock the world (OK, maybe just the Bucco fans who noticed) last season. Can he do the same in this tournament? Well, since it'd be a shock to the world if it even happened, we say 'why not?'
- It's just impossible for us to imagine Pujols not being dominant at something, so he's an easy choice. As for Wainwright, guess how tall he is? Did you say 6'6'' or less? Well, then you must not've been paying attention earlier.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Justin Upton and Dan Haren
- Upton is perhaps one of the best athletes in the entire league despite being only 22, so we kinda have to include him. The DBacks don't boast anyone that stands 6'7'' or taller, so we went with Haren, who for some reason, just looks like a guy who has some nice post moves and can hit a jumper. We wouldn't quarrel if you opted for Stephen Drew, though. We would quarrel if you chose Adam LaRoche.
- Fowler is a great athlete with speed to burn, which is a nice plus considering that he's 6'4''. Reynolds is the magical six-feet-seven-inches tall, which not coincidentally is also how tall Adam Wainwright is. You know, in case you got it wrong last time.
- Kemp has a good blend of speed and size, and shares a surname with one of the more infamous power forwards to lace up high tops, so he's like a guaranteed star in this business. Broxton...well, we picked Broxton because we want to watch a 6'4'' 300-lb man play the post. Afford us some small such luxuries, won't you?
- Kyle Blanks is 6'6'', weighs nearly 300 pounds, and rocks a mean afro. It seems unfair to the other teams to pair him with anyone but The Grand Poohbah of Grit.
- Lincecum's manic energy and hair bring hopes that he can be a latter-day Steve Nash Which then raises the question - can someone be the latter-day version of another person who's still active? Sandoval is the only real bat on this team, so he's the muscle to back up Lincecum's small frame. Who cares if he's only 5'11' 240 or so? You can't leave off the Panda.
So there you have it. We've got all the rosters, so clearly soon it's time for the games to begin.
We really need Spring Training to start soon.