Oh yes, it's true! I'm back and I've got fifteen hypothetical one-dollar bills burning a hole in my pocket. As a show of appreciation for the fine people of Minneapolis literally booing their Mayor from the streets he was sworn in to improve, I will build my hypothetical Twins lineup.
* Eleven-minute break for applause*
Starting Pitcher- Johan Santana $3 (Remaining: $12)
Johan for $3???? I legit had to make sure there wasn't another Santana on the mound that I was getting excited about. No disrespect to Jim Kaat and Burt Blyleven but Santana is the best pitcher here. He has two Cy Youngs to Kaat & Blyleven's combined zero. He made four All-Star games by himself to the five selections that Kaat-leven earned. Injuries stopped him from having the longevity of the other two gentlemen but the best pitcher here costs the third most? I'll take my chances.
Relief Pitcher- Eddie Guardado $1 (Remaining: $11)
Everyday Eddie for four quarters, are you kidding me?? Quiet as it's kept, this is what peak physical performance looks like:
BREATHE IT IN.
I mostly remember Eddie wearing #81 for the Reds like he was Terrell Owens and I know he had some rollercoaster appearances in relief but isn't that part of the fun of baseball? Do you want a physically fit person to come out there and strike out the side sending the home crowd home happy? Or do you want to see Everyday Eddie paint the corners with some 89 mph HEAT? I thought so.
Catcher- Joe Mauer $5 (Remaining: $6)
Gotta be Joey "Jim Thorpe" Mauer here. You know about the MVP award, the All-Star games, the Gold Gloves at the most demanding defensive position, and the Silver Slugger awards but that's boring. I'm always much more intrigued by Joe Mauer being the best athlete ever in high school before deciding to become an MVP winning catcher at the professional level. To this day, he's still the only athlete ever to win USA Today's High School Player of the Year in two different sports (quarterback as a junior, catcher as a senior). He struck out one time in his high school career, in between making multiple All-State teams as a basketball player and committing to Florida State to play quarterback.
Infielder- Rod Carew $4 (Remaining: $2)
I'll be honest. I was saving my big money for either Killebrew or Puckett and ended up going with neither. Killebrew was a tough cut but once I found out he doesn't smoke or drink due to his religion, I knew I couldn't have him on my team. Meanwhile, Gunnery Sargeant Rod Carew did six years as a Marine Corps reserve and I could use his discipline and gunnery sargeantry on my squad.
Also, Carew matched him in MVP's, made more All-Star games, won more batting titles and played better defense at a tougher position.
Outfielder- Torii Hunter $2 (Remaining: $0)
This was an easy choice. One, because of the limited funds I had left. But more importantly, because I've always liked watching Torii Hunter play. He's probably the third-best defensive centerfielder that I've seen after Ken Griffey Jr and Andruw Jones. He was also no slouch with the bat (His average season over a 10-year run: .276 average (.335/.482/.817 slashline), 24 homers & 89 RBIs in 141 games).
SP- Johan Santana
RP- Eddie Guardado
C- Joe Mauer
IN- Rod Carew
OF- Torii Hunter