Cardinals and Brewers 1982 and 2011 Roster Mashups

by on October 12, 2011 · 4 comments

Professional baseball player Ozzie Smith is sh...

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Back in January of last year, we made a “mashup” of the Cardinal teams of 2000 and 2010 – choosing the best player seasons of each year and combining them to form one lineup/roster.

In anticipation of NLCS Game Three, here is a similar exercise for the 1982 World Series and 2011 National League Championship Series Cardinal and Brewer teams.  Some liberties have been taken in order to fill out a bench, and players with partial seasons were perhaps unfairly punished, but the premise to keep in mind is that you’re choosing the specific season from a player, and not his career.

Here’s what I came up with (and please understand this is just for fun, especially since I was just a wee lad in ’82):

1982/2011 Cardinals 1982/2011 Brewers
Catcher Yadier Molina Ted Simmons
First Base Albert Pujols Cecil Cooper
Second Base Tom Herr Rickie Weeks
Third Base Ken Oberkfell Paul Molitor
Shortstop Ozzie Smith Robin Yount
Left Field Lonnie Smith Ryan Braun
Center Field Jon Jay Gorman Thomas
Right Field Lance Berkman Corey Hart
Catcher Darrell Porter Jonathan Lucroy
Infield Keith Hernandez Prince Fielder
Infield Nick Punto Jim Gantner
Infield David Freese Jerry Hairston, Jr.
Outfield Matt Holliday Ben Oglivie
Outfield Allen Craig Nyjer Morgan
Hitter Gene Tenace Don Money

So who wins this matchup?

Catcher – Homer vote.  Molina wins on defense and probably the best offensive season of his career.  Cards

First Base – Call this a push?  Cooper’s ’82 was really, really good.  Pujols’ every year is really, really good.  Again, this is a case where comparing the individual seasons makes the decision not as academic as one might expect.  Even

Second Base – This is one place where I’ll allow a shortened season to influence my decision.  Weeks, and that bat.  Brewers

Third Base – Sorry, Kenny – the Hall of Famer’s got you here.  Brewers

Shortstop – This isn’t even a contest, Yount running away.  Brewers

Left Field – Ryan Braun, and that’s saying something.  Lonnie Smith was silly good in 1982.  Braun is having the second most valuable season of any of these players, behind only Yount’s ’82.  Brewers

Center Field – Jon Jay has been stabilizing for the Cardinals in center since Colby Rasmus was traded.  Thomas’ 1982 season trumps it by a long shot.  Brewers

Right Field – Hey, finally – something we can give to the Cardinals!  Berkman is enjoying a renaissance season in 2011.  Corey Hart‘s beard and mullet give Lance’s a run for the money, but Berkman’s bat is doing the talking here.  Cards

2.5 positions to the Cards, 5.5 to the Brew Crew.  Yipes.

Let’s dig into that bench.

Second Catcher – Porter wins running away, and Tenace could fill in in a pinch.  Cards

Infield – My goodness, these teams would have some incredible designated hitters in the American League park, eh?  Hernandez, Fielder, and Holliday later.  Sheesh.  The ’82/’11 Brewers’ infield bench is superior, if not as flexible as the Cards’.  Advantage Milwaukee.  Brewers

Outfield – Holliday and Craig hands down.  Pains me to even include Plush on this list, but the ’82 Brewers seemingly didn’t offer much in the outfield depth department.  Cardinals

Hitter – Included this category so that Gene Tenace and Don Money could find spots on their respective mashup teams.  Both will be valuable pinch hitters.  Even

So the Cards “win” the bench 2.5 to 1.5.

Notable omissions: Willie McGee (IMO, Jay just barely edged him out, but certainly argument could be made for either); George Hendrick (lots of good outfielders, Craig had to be included for his ’11 bat); Rafael Furcal (not enough time with team to reasonably include him, IMO); Daniel Descalso; David Green; Carlos Gomez; George Kottaras.

All told, the ’82/’11 Brewers look stronger in the daily lineup, but the ’82/’11 Cards are a bit deeper to fill in for injuries or otherwise – but goodness, those ’82 Brewers were pretty good.

Good thing they play the games on the field and not in my world of make-believe?

What say you Cardinals and Brewers fans?  Agree or disagree with my list (and please keep in mind, this is all in good fun)?  Post your thoughts in the comments below!

Writing about the Cardinals and other loosely associated topics since 2008, I've grown tired of the April run-out only to disappoint Cardinal fans everywhere by mid-May. I do not believe in surrendering free outs.
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Kevin Gray October 13, 2011

Hey, I was at Busch Stadium for Game 3. Carpenter, once again, was workmanlike, and how about that bullpen. I talked to Marc Rzepczynski after the game. The video:

PH8 October 13, 2011

Thanks for sharing, Kevin.

Joe Sixtop October 13, 2011

The most I ever saw Robin Yount was in 1982 since he played his entire career in the DH league, but there’s NO WAY he’s better than Ozzie. And to leave series MVP Willie McGee off the list in favor of Jon Jay is crazy. But everybody is entitled to their own opionions, right? Anyway, I enjoy the lists and this internet column. Go Cards!

PH8 October 13, 2011

Joe, as I mentioned, the thing to keep in mind with these is that it’s looking at that one specific season – not a career.

Yount’s 1982 is one of the top fifty or sixty single seasons by a position player/hitter of all time, measured by WAR. Yount’s 1982 was good for 10.5 fWAR. For comparison, Ozzie’s best year was 6.9 in 1989 – his 1982 total was 4.1.

Same deal with Jay versus Willie – looking at the season-long body of work, I give a slight nod to Jay.

Thanks for reading (and I’m not crazy!).

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