In the run up to camps opening in 2 weeks, I thought I would assemble my top defensive team, meaning the players I have seen play the game, so that spans 4 decades, so if you have not heard of these players, look them up.
Behind the plate - Some would take Irod, because he through out runners, I did not select Ivan Rodriguez, but instead have taken Johnny Bench, of the Reds, because he blocked the plate so well, his arm was unparalleled in his era, and his ability to get to foul balls was exceptional. Johnny Bench (C)
At first base, it was a tough choice, I think there are so many choices, Mark Grace, George Scott, Don Mattingly and Norm Cash, but for me it's Bill Buckner, no just kidding, it's Adrian Gonzalez of the SD Padres ( now the property of the Red Sox ). I watched more Padres games once I had the MLB package, and he makes so many plays it's ridiculous, his range exceeds Mattingly, and his ability to make accurate throws seems effortless, so it's Adrian Gonzalez (1B).
At second base, most would expect me to take Alomar, as I saw him win many gold gloves, with the Jays, and Indians, and Orioles, but there are other candidates, Bill Mazerowski of the Pirates, Lou Whittaker of the Tigers, Rod Carew on the Twins, Bobby Richardson of the Yankees, Julian Javier of the Cardinals and Chase Utley of the Phils. Even the O-Dog gets marks, but it is Robby all the way, because he plays no one else made, not Sandberg, not Maz, or Carew, he made the acrobatic type that you conceded were hits, and he nullified them. Roberto Alomar (2B).
Brooks Robinson of the Orioles, that is it, shut up about Mike Schmidt, Eddie Matthews, or Nettles of New York, 17 Gold Gloves, so everyone just forget it. It's Brooksie. Brooks Robinson (3B).
At shortstop, we have Ozzie, Smith , we have Jose Reyes, Luis Aparicio, Bert Campaneris and Mark Belanger plus Derek Jeter, nah again just kidding, he makes some great plays, but his range and arm does not equal the others. Others of note, Walt Weiss, of the A's and Nomar Garciaparra, but I will take the Wizard of Oz, Ozzie Smith (SS).
In left field, hell, we are just going to take the best outfielders regardless of where they played, as they are all good enough to play centre, right or left. Willie Mays, Ichiro Suzuki, and Garry Maddox, honourable mention to Jim Edmonds, Torji Hunter , Frank Robinson, Tommy Agee, Curt Flood and Steve Finley. This trio got the nod for their range, their arm, and their ability to play shallow and get back to the ball against the fence.
On the mound we have Tommy Glavine, Don Drysdale, Bob Gisbson, and Frank Tanana, Maddux as well, plus Jim Palmer, but I will take Tommy Glavine (P) .
With this defensive alignment the double plays and diving stabs will be routine.
Enjoy, feel free to comment.