Anyway, on the home front, I've submitted to a background check and a drug screen, so I think I'll have a job offer soon. That might further screw with the schedule here, but at least I'll be drawing a real paycheck again.
On the sports front, I had a conversation with my dad a little while ago while watching the Dodgers and Phillies on MLB. He's a pretty big fan of Matt Kemp, and really, who isn't? Besides Rihanna, anyway. The conversation actually started with James Loney and his lack of power. That seemed awfully rare from a first baseman, especially in this era. Then I made the comment that the Dodgers get more than their fair share of homers from center field, which most teams don't get.
That got us thinking, what happened to power hitting center fielders? Right now we have Kemp and Josh Hamilton,* and that's all we could come up with right now. There are some guys who can hit homers, like Shane Victorino, but it's not really a feature of their game. What happened to the power hitting center fielder? The last time I can really think of one was Ken Griffey, Jr., before the injuries mounted. But think back a little further, and you'll come up with quite a few through history. Heck, all three New York teams had them in the 50's and 60's. You know the song. "Willie, Mickey, and the Duke." It's a long way from my favorite baseball song, but it's iconic nonetheless. Or at least Cooperstown thinks so.
*Hamilton, though, is probably more a left fielder these days after injuring his ribs last year. So then we're just back to Kemp.
I've thought about it a little more, and I did come up with Jim Edmonds in the interim between now and Griffey, but that's been about it. I did some searching around, and apparently Andruw Jones had more home runs than I remembered. I remember him hitting some home runs when he was younger, but I seemed to remember that power dropping off before he left the Braves. Which, I suppose might be true, but he still packed more punch than I remember. Other than that, there seems to have been a real dearth of power in center. I suppose that just goes to show that you put defense up the middle and offense on the corners.
That, then, got me thinking about another lacking field: Hall-of-Fame third basemen. It seems like an unenviable job. I know third was probably my least favorite infield position to play. I liked first more than third. And it seems to get back to that idea of how you structure your team. It seems that many times you have a third basemen who hits for power, but not as much as the first baseman or a left fielder. He will typically field pretty well, too, but not as well as your middle infield. So third base seems to fall into that "jack of all trades, master of none" zone that leaves them out of Cooperstown. Much like many fifth hitters in a lineup. Sure, they have some pop, but they typically aren't nearly as feared as three or four hole guys.
Building a baseball team is something you could (and I'm sure people have) write volumes about, and maybe it's something I'll have to learn how to do even better. I've spoken to the commissioner of the Prospect League, and he desperately wants a team in Lafayette as well. Now we just need to find somebody who's willing to commit somewhere in the neighborhood of $200,000 to buy a team and cover the initial costs (equipment, travel, me). As much as I think I will like this IT job, running a team would be a dream that I would have to pursue if the opportunity came up. Wish me luck!