First of all, you people are crazy. When I put out the baseball challenge here asking people to try and beat my all-world lineup (a lineup of current players all from different countries) and my all-world roster (25 players in history from 25 different countries), I didn’t really expect many to do it. It’s so nerdy. I figured that I would get 10 or 20 responses from people with the same obsessive tendencies that I have.
Instead: Hundreds and hundreds of people sent in lineups.
I didn’t see that coming at all — there was something about this idea (thought up by my editor Matt Meyers) that seemed to appeal to intense baseball fans. We’re proud that baseball really is a world game. True, it’s not especially popular in Europe (something that Italian Baseball Superstar Mark Teahen will change) but in Latin America, in Asia, in North America, young baseball players dream of playing in the big leagues, and that’s a very cool part of the sport.
I’ve written all about the all-world lineup construction — I know the original plan was to talk about anyone who beat my team, but in truth the many lineups were so similar (for the most part) that it’s hard to differentiate. What I found interesting was your chosen lineup showed whether you thought catcher or shortstop was more important (do you choose Puerto Rico’s Yadi Molina or Carlos Correa), whether you valued the game’s greatest superstar or the best pitcher on the planet (Mike Trout vs. Clayton Kershaw) and so on.
Several people sent in my exact team with the exception of pitcher — they chose Colombian Jose Quintana and I took Japan’s Masahiro Tanaka. That’s a close one.
Anyway, here’s the lineup piece. The 25-man roster piece is coming soon.