Doctor, Doctor ... Mr. M.D.

Saturday, May 14 2005 @ 12:01 AM EDT

Contributed by: Mick Doherty

So Roy "Doc" Halladay is set to go for the Jays tomorrow against the Indians.

A great nickname like Doc's can spur an entire Hall of Names feature all on its own, but when you add in the fact that it's also been my nickname on and off for 20 years (given my initials, M.D. and the fact that my last name is pronounced "Dockerty in some places), and toss in the additional nugget that I changed jobs this week and now am full-time in the healthcare industry, well, this seems like a natural.

There' have been plenty of major league players nicknamed "Doc." And plenty more with the initials "M.D." But when those two groups go shinguard-to-stethescope, who comes out ahead? Let's find out.

Well, the M.D. team looks to be in need of serious medical attention; it's true that with some shuffling, we can fill out a lineup, but forget about about depth.

Only four MLB players ever with those initials were primarily starting pitchers, and you have to stretch to include one of those; the only lefty of consequence on the pitching staff is the closer, so that could be bad.

And only two M.D. men have been All-Stars while just one, the great Martin Dihigo of Negro League fame and recently of our All-May team, is in the Hall of Fame.

So here's the M.D. Squad, which looks like it may have to cry "uncle, uncle" to the forthcoming "Doctor, Doctor" team below. It does have an absolutely terrific defensive outfield, but with that pitching staff, it had better! Dihigo doesn't start, but only because manager Dorgan will need him to play somewhere different every day. The short bench allows us to carry 12 pitchers, but we're going to have to stretch to get there. Starting shortstop Mickey Doolan went by "Doc" but those guys will just have to find another man to fill the six-hole.

Now, see if you can figure out the team nickname and meet the ...


Player/Manager: Mike Dorgan (67-70 in parts of three years, 1879-81)

C Mike Difelice (.239 over nine years for six teams through 2004)
1B Mike Diaz (.247, 31 homers over 683 AB, 1983-88)
2B Mariano Duncan (.267 over 12 years with five teams)
SS Mickey Doolan (.230 hitter played 1728 games, 1905-18)
3B Mark DeRosa (.266 career through 2004)
RF Mike Devereaux (105 homers over 12 years, 1987-98)
CF Miguel Dilone (267 career SB)
LF Mike Davis (20-homer guy for mid-'80s OAK)

RHSP/UTIL Martin Dihigo**
C Mark Dalesandro (.240 in 79 games for 1994-2001 CAL, TOR, CHW)
OF/1B Mike Donlin (.333 over 12 years, 1899-1914)
IF Mario Diaz (.256 over nine years, 1987-95)
UTIL Mike de la Hoz (.251 from 1960-69, did everything but pitch, catch)
MGR/UTIL Mike Dorgan (.270 over 10 years, 1877-90, played all nine positions)

RHSP Murry Dickson* (172-181, but 110 career ERA+)
RHSP Monk Dubiel (45-53 career; 23-22 for 1944-45 NYY)
RHSP Mike Dunne (13-6 for 1987 PIT, 25-30 career)
RHSP Mike Darr (only game was '77 start for TOR - 1.1 IP, 0-1, 33.75)

CL/LHRP Mark W. Davis* (1989 NL Cy Young Award)
RHRP Mike Dyer (14-18 career, 1989, '94-'96)
RHRP Moe Drabowsky (88-105, 55 saves, over 17 years)
RHRP Mike DeJean (46 saves over 2002-03)
RHRP Mark Dewey (12-7, 7 saves, 1990-96)
LHRP Mike Duvall (4.76 ERA in 53 games, 1998-2001 TBD, MIN)
RHRP Miguel del Toro (4.61 ERA in 23 games for 1999-2000 SFG)

Now, as for those other guys, here's the Doc squad, with a healthy, hearty starting rotation, to be sure, but not what anyone would call a star-studded starting lineup or deep bench.

Like the team above, the manager is also a utility infielder, while that PH who's at the end of the bench gets the roster spot mostly for his tasteful last name. Interesting to note the situations where Docs seemed to appear high on each others' "Most Similar" lists. Is it bad news when a team's closer might also be its best utility infielder?

Thanks to the rotation, this team is probably better than the Terrapins above, but random projections put it at a fairly narrow 84-78 over a full season, with Dihigo, the best player on either team by a wide margin, almost singlehandedly responsible for keeping his team within six games of the Doctors.


Player/Manager: Arthur "Doc" Irwin (416-427 in parts of eight years, 1889-99)

C Albert "Doc" Bushong(.214 from 1875-90; most similar player is Doc Power)
1B Dick "Doc" Hoblitzel (.278, 173 SB, 1908-18)
2B Walter "Doc" Gautreau (.257, 1925-28)
SS John "Doc" Lavan (.245, 1913-24; second most similar is Doc Irwin)
3B Bobby "Doc" Brown (.279 NYY 3B between Snuffy Stirnweiss, Gil McDougald)
RF Homer "Doc" Smoot (.290 for 1902-06 STL, 81 SB in four-year period)
CF Roger "Doc" Cramer* (2705 hits; top 5 most similars are Hall of Famers)
LF Roy "Doc" Miller (hit .333 as BSN LF in 1911 -- only season with 500+ AB)

C Mike "Doc" Power (.216, 1898-1909; second most similar player is Doc Bushong)
OF/1B Harry "Doc" Gessler (.280, 1903-11)
OF/3B Joe "Doc" Evans (.259, 1915-25)
OF Luther "Doc" Cook (.274, 1913-16 NYY)
PH Harold "Doc" Daugherty (0-for-1 as PH for 1951 DET, never played field)
MGR/UTIL Arthur "Doc" Irwin (.241, 1880-94; second most similar is Doc Lavan)

RHSP Dwight "Doc" Gooden* (194-112 career)
RHSP Roy "Doc" Halladay (67-39 through 2004; 2003 AL Cy Young Award)
RHSP George "Doc" Medich (124-105 career)
LHSP Guy "Doc" White (189-156 career; led 1907 AL in wins at 27-13)
RHSP Dock Ellis* (138-117 career)

CL/RHRP James "Doc" Crandall (102-62, 25 saves, 1908-18; .285 hitter as 2B)
LHRP George "Lefty" Dockins (8-6 for 1945 STL)
RHRP Harold "Doc" Martin (1-2 for 1908-12 PHA)
LHRP Charles "Doc" Watson (21-21 in 1914-15 Federal League)
RHRP Yancy "Doc" Ayers (65-79, 15 saves, 1913-21)
RHRP Ed "Doc" Lafitte (37-35, 5 saves, 1909-15 DET, Federal League)
LONG James "Doc" McJames (79-80, 1895-1901; 27 wins in 1898)

I'll be honest here ... I thought both of these teams would be, well, healthier. Or at least better. What's missing?