A brief look back in team form at the last 25 player cards in the 1980 set (#247 through #273) as if constructing a fantasy league team.
Manager - Joe Torre
1B - Bill Robinson
2B - Rafael Landestoy
SS - Robin Yount
3B - Mike Schmidt
OF - Dusty Baker
OF - Al Oliver
OF - Larry Herndon
C - Jamie Quirk
DH - Ralph Garr
Hard to knock a lineup that has two of most dominant players of the 1980s, both Hall of Famers. Add Oliver and Baker and that is a lethal middle of the order. The remainder of the lineup has guys with extensive major league experience and were solid players.
Bench: Bernie Carbo, Benny Ayala, Dave Chalk, Paul Dade, Ted Cox
Carbo and Ayala both made their careers by coming off the bench and provide potent bats. Cox can give a little punch and play multiple positions. Chalk provides defense for late inning situations and Dade gives some speed. Would be nice to have a backup catcher for Quirk, the only significant omission on the bench.
I guess here is where you pay the price for having such a solid lineup. Clancy is the best of the bunch, due to his long career. Same can be said for Schatzeder, who was a starting pitcher at this point. Erickson and Moskau had potential but it never panned out. Kaat was nearly done by this stage of his career and is in the rotation by default, although other guys (Rodriguez, Drago) can fit this role too. I see a lot of 9-8 games with this squad.
Bullpen: Eduardo Rodriguez, Dick Drago, Dave Tobik, Kip Young, Dave LaRoche, John Montague
Better than the rotation. Drago was an exceptional closer and LaRoche was an All-Star in that role. Rodriguez showed some ability in relief as well and can be used as a swingman. The remainder of the bullpen is versatile but questionably effective.
OVERALL: I wonder what Joe Torre would do with this squad? Very little pitching but this team can really hit. I would put this lineup against any team we have seen so far, but the lack of a workhorse in the rotation is glaring. That usually is the difference between the contenders and also-rans over the course of a long season.
GREAT AIRBRUSH OR OLD PHOTO: 1978 DICK DRAGO
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