A Crazy Idea: The Ponce Snow Snakes

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The idea of identifying a team of longer-time minor leaguers, who have been denied their earned big break in major league baseball, got a little traction a few days ago on CCO. What to do with such a team (called the Ponce Snow Snakes) that might be, at least, entertaining got crazier and crazier as I sought to put Aaron's, Matt's and my whimseys into a topic of general interest. I perceived that some of us could participate in the selection and "operation" of the team as a big league competitor. I perceived that those players seclected who did compete in the bigs could be awarded "wins" on a basis like 6 hits by a player equals a win--as does a pitcher's win, save and 2 holds. These "wins" would be compared to the real teams actual wins to see how the Snow Snakes performed.

In the selection process, it seemed practical to look for maligned players between the ages of 26 and 32 on April 1st and who had spent more than one half their prior year at AAA or AA. Putting Aaron's and my first thoughts in place and doing some research, I came to two conclusions. There are a lot of deserving players, and the inordinate amount of time I was surrending to the whole whimsical idea probably met at least one definition of insanity.

Before I leave this project to its fate, it may be interesting to identify some players with brighter futures than the baseball gods have permitted so far. By positions, with ages, some AAA stats and an organizational I.D. for non-Cubs, here is a 23 man roster of the deserving. I intended to come up with 25, but my very patient wife ran out of that--and brought in psychiatric professionals for an evaluation.

C J.R. House (30) R/R .308--18--60---453 AB's Houston
C K. Hill (30) Swi .275--17--64---364 "
1B M. Hoffpauir (29) L/L .362--25--100--290 "
2B J. Thurston (29) L/R .316--11--64----507 "---19 SB. Boston
3B T. Tiffee (30) Swi .378--09--69----392 " LAD
SS I. Ochoa (26) R/R .318--06--32----292 "---20 SB. SF
IF B. Scales (31) Swi .320--15--59----387 "
DH J. Fox (26) R/R .287--31--105--281 "
LF S. Smith (26) L/L .323--10--53----248 "---11 SB. CO
CF M. Carson (26) R/R .285--15--64----417 "---11 SB. NYY
RF N. Cruz (30) R/R .341--37--100--268 "---24 SB. Texas
OF S. Fuld (27) L/L .264--03--52----402 "---10 SB.
Of T. Linden (290 Swi .289--17--100--402 "

RSP K. Hart (26) 4-2----2.82-----61 IP, 22 W----66 S
RSP G. Mock (26) 7-6----3.76----146 IP, 48 W--142 S Wash.
RSP C. Zink (29) 14-6----2.84----174 IP, 49 W --106 S Boston
LSP E. Stults (29) 7-7----3.82----117 IP, 35 W---102 S LAD
LSP R. Hill (28) 4-7----5.85------48 IP, 44 W-----57 S Balt
RRP A. Guzman (27) 1-0----1.59------17 IP, 04 W----20 S
RRP B. Sadler (27) 1-0----1.09------33 IP, 21 W----41 S SF
LRP G. Espineli (26) 1-1----2.66------61 IP, 11 W-----48 S SF
LRP C. Rapada 0-1----2.31------31 IP, 14 W-----45 S Det.
RRP R. Wells 10-4----4.02-----118 IP, 34 W---102 S

There are a lot of contenders for playing time here and some pretty good balance for a decent team. There are others too who are dreaming big dreams. I'll be pulling for this list (and others)--which is about as American as the game itself.