Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Bob Lobel: The Origin of "Why Can't We Get Players Like That?"

By Bob Lobel  @boblobel

One of the things that has endured is a flippant little phrase I threw out on television to be a wise guy and get a laugh. 

It goes back to the late Lou Gorman trading Jeff Bagwell, a Red Sox minor league prospect, for Larry Andersen, a relief pitcher of some renown, to help the Sox win a then-elusive World Series title. The Andersen part didn’t really work out, but the Bagwell side blossomed into a home run machine for Houston. 

So, every time Bagwell hit a home run, I would simply say, sarcastically, “why can't we get players like that?” People kinda liked the phrase. I certainly did, and so it went. Hardly a day passes when I don’t get a tweet or email or text with that phrase referring to something a former Boston player did that was noteworthy. 

Marco Scutaro was a star for the Giants in the World Series after he left, and was a perfect example of “why can't we get players like that?” It works for all sports at any time. Well, in an effort to do a blog/column (never can figure out which it is or should be) that is timely and wont lose its significance in one night of playoff games when teams are eliminated, I came up with this. 

While watching the Rays hold off another elimination game, I easily found a lineup of former Red Sox players still on the post season field.  The line up of the “why cant we get players like that” All Star team was born. 

Guess what? Given the proper pitching, this could be a pretty potent team.  Lets go by position:

Catcher, Victor Martinez (because Scott Hatteberg isn’t available), first base, James Loney, second base, Nick Punto, third base, Hanley Rameriz, shortstop, Jose Iglesias, left field, Carl Crawford, center field, Coco Crisp, right field, Josh Reddick, designated hitter, Adrian Gonzalez, bench depth, Jed Lowrie and Brandon Moss, and pitching, Anibal Sanchez. 

I'm sure you can add more, but it appears that the Red Sox are not prone to giving up pitchers that are world class. It happens not as often as other position players. As I said, I would take that lineup of those guys playing still and go to battle, pitching being the exception. Who did I miss? Probably some obvious choices, but as of Monday night these were the guys that were at that moment capable of eliciting the “why can't we get players like that?” response. 

This is not going away. The fun part is that it will always be applicable and will continue to grow. Some one will qualify tonight. Count on it...

For me, it's probably tombstone epitaph material.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Bartolo Colon, Mark Melancon.