Thursday, March 26, 2020

I found some 1992 Topps cards, let's play a fake game

LIVING ROOM - Since its supposed to be opening day, we're going to see how the players on these 15 cards (18 total players) I found would fare in a fictional game with results that I make up as this post goes along.

We've got six pitchers out of the 15, so that's our staff. Our ace is clearly Charles Nagy, who ended up with a 4.51 ERA, 129 wins and three top-10 Cy Young finishes in a 14-year career, all but 12 1/3 innings of which came with the Indians. I'm comfortable giving the ball to Nagy to start our must-win-even-though-it's-opening-day-fake-game.













Nagy tires in the sixth and with a couple runners on and one out and clinging to a 4-3 lead (first baseman Eric Karros and outfielder Danny Tartabull both hit early two-run home runs) we need to get out of this jam. Do we go with Ken Dayley, who according to the back of his card attended the University of Portland, majoring in marketing AND enjoys listening to music? I think we have to. Dayley was a solid reliever after he went from the Braves to the Cardinals in 1984, and appeared on a pair of World Series-losing teams in St. Louis. Dayley gets the outs we need and we're off to the bottom of the sixth still up 4-3.

[Our lineup is pretty good, led by Karros and Tartabull. Dwight Evans, finishing up a great career and mullet with the Orioles, and Ken Griffey, finishing up a really good career with his son in Seattle makes a good 1-4.

























After that, prospects Ryan Klesko, Rico Brogna and John Jaha, part of the same "top prospects, first basemen" card (with Dave Staton!)

Dave Staton fact that goes on and on and on: September 15, 1993 hit his first career home run, a pinch-hit solo shot off Kevin Gross in the third inning of the Padres' 5-4 loss to the Dodgers. Staton was hitting for Tim Worrell, another rookie who gave up five earned runs in just three innings and took the loss. The save in that game was collected by Tim's brother, Todd Worrell. Gross got the win for Los Angeles, while Kip Gross pitched two excellent innings to get to Worrell. Kevin and Kip are not related.

and Dave Hollins give us eight solid hitters. Terry Kennedy is our catcher because he's the only backstop of the 18, and after a spirited spring training battle, Jim Gantner and Al Newman end up platooning in the middle infield].

In the sixth, we tack on another run when Evans singles, moves to second on a sacrifice by Newman (who with his wife has two daugthers, Kimberly and Taylor) and scores on Klesko's single. Up 5-3, we let Dayley start the seventh, but I want to use everybody on opening day to see what kind of team we have. The remaining relievers are Heathcliff Slocumb, who we'll save for the ninth (98 career saves), Eric Plunk, Greg Hibbard and Bill Gullickson.

Unfortunately, my Plunk and Gullickson memories are as Yankees and they aren't good memories (though to be fair, Plunk was good for New York in 1990). So as punishment, those two give up the lead in the seventh and eighth, are released before the game ends and Hibbard has to get the final outs to keep the game tied at 5-5.

The eighth inning rally starts with a Karros double and ends with us up 6-5 after Jaha's sacrifice fly.

I like what I saw from Hibbard in the eighth, so we leave him in to get the first out of the ninth, then manager Bobby Delwood (who along with Hibbard also attended Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior College) points a bony finger covered in teriyaki wing sauce towards the pen and we call on Slocumb to get the final two outs. The right-hander gets the job done and we hang on for the 6-5 victory, but more importantly, according to baseballreference, Slocumb's real name is Heath, but for some reason he went by Heathcliff. 

Seems like a good place to stop.

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