L is for Lemon, Lyons and Lowe

Tuesday, September 13 2005 @ 08:00 AM EDT

Contributed by: Mick Doherty

Two different players with each of the three surnames in the headline combine to make up nearly a quarter of our 25-man roster of players whose last/family names start with the letter "L."

Let's get right to it, then, and meet ...


** indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star

GM: Kenesaw Mountain Landis**
MGR: Al Lopez** (1410-1004, two pennants)
Bench Coach: Tommy Lasorda** (1599-1439, five pennants, two titles)
1B Coach: Davey Lopes (144-195)
3B Coach: Jim Leyland (1069-1131, one pennant, one title)
Hitting Coach: Charlie Lau
Pitching Coach: Rene (or Marcel) Lachemann

C Ernie Lombardi** (.306, 190 homers)
1B Sam Leslie (.304, 1929-38)
2B Napoleon "Larry" Lajoie** (.338, 3242 hits)
SS Pop Lloyd** (Negro League star)
3B Freddy Lindstrom** (.311, 103 homers)
LF Greg Luzinski* (307 HR is "L"eader by 1 over Lynn)
CF Kenny Lofton* (.297, 545 SB)
RF Jim Lemon* (.262, 164 homers)
DH Denny Lyons (mostly a 3B, hit .310, 1885-97)

C Javy Lopez* (.290, 237 homers through 2004)
IF Tony Lazzeri** (.292, 178 homers)
IF Barry Larkin* (.296, 198 homers)
OF Fred Lynn* (.283, 306 homers)
OF Freddy Leach (.302, 1923-32)
2B/OF/UTIL Bobby Lowe (.273, 302 SB in 18 seasons)

RHSP Ted Lyons** (260-230)
LHSP Mickey Lolich* (217-191)
RHSP Bob Lemon** (207-128)
LHSP Eddie Lopat* (166-112)
RHSP Emil "Dutch" Leonard* (191-181)

CL-RH Sparky Lyle* (238 saves)
RH-SET Derek Lowe* (one of few with 20-win and 40-save seasons)
LH-SET Gary Lavelle* (136 saves)
RH-LONG Aurelio Lopez (93 saves)
LH-LONG Dave LaRoche* (126 saves)

Left Behind ... Okay, 1B is surprisingly weak, but what's our alternative to Sam Leslie? Mike Lamb is OK, Mike Lum played 15 pretty mediocre years, and Henry Larkin and Fred Luderus ammassed "Hall of Pretty Good" numbers in the late 19th and early 20th century, respectively ... When Tony Lazzeri and Barry Larkin are your backup middle infielders, you can understand why there's no room for Lopes (as a player), ex-Jay Manny Lee, former All-Star Jerry Lumpe, and defense-first guys like Johnnie LeMaster, Johnny Logan (also an All-Star), Mark Lemke and Herman Long, who played for 16 years mostly before the turn of the 20th century ...

Over at the hot corner, Carney Lansford was an All-Star and won a batting title, while Buddy Lewis, who also played the OF, hit .297 from 1935-49 and Hans Lobert, also a shortstop, hit .274 over 14 seasons himself ... Lazzeri played enough third to back up the Hall of Famer Lindstrom, though ... In the outfield, Chet Lemon and Matt Lawton both made All-Star teams, as did the little-remembered Denny Litwhiler, but none make this team ... Johnny Lindell hit .273 for more than a decade and came back for a second career as a RHRP in his thirties, but that 4.22 ERA was nothing special in the 1950s, and we won't need the emergency reliever with all those great arms on the roster already ... OF Duffy Lewis hit .287 from 1910-21, but took 1918 off (presumably he was in the armed services) while his Red Sox teammates won the World Series.

Among super-utility options, Bobby Lowe grabs that 25th roster spot ahead of candidates like OF/2B/3B/PH Lee Lacy who hit .286 in 16 seasons, OF/IF Tommy Leach who hit .269 from 1898-1918, John Lowenstein, who did everything but catch and pitch while hitting .253 over 16 seasons, and Vance Law, who did everything but catch -- but like daddy RHSP Vern Law* (162-147), did pitch a little -- while hitting .256 over 11 seasons.

Other position player named that may Leap to mind are catcher Jim Leyritz, OF Sixto Lezcano, super speed merchant Nook Logan, IF Mark Loretta and C/1B Paul LoDuca ... None of them are close to making this team.

On the mound, we could go with a righty/lefty All-Bill Lee combo, but neither RHSP Bill C. Lee at 169-157 or LHSP Bill F. "Spaceman" Lee at 119-90, make this team ... For that matter, neither does LHSP Cliff Lee, enjoying a breakout season in 2005 ... It shouldn't really surprise anyone that an All-L team would have an overabundance of lefty options on the mound; in addition to the five already on the roster, we are omitting, among others, Al Leiter* (155-120 through 2004); Charlie Leibrandt (140-119); Mark Langston* (179-158); Dennis Leonard (144-106); Hubert "Dutch" Leonard (139-112) and not to be confused with RHSP Emil "Dutch" Leonard who made the team -- hey, with Dennis on board, you could form a pretty decent front of the rotation just with Leonards; and, here the nickname should give it away, Lefty Leifield (124-97) ...

The Blue Jays have had their fair share of prominent L's of recent vintage, but none of Ted Lilly, Kerry Ligtenberg, Cory Lidle, Esteban Loiaza (at 100-89 through 2004) or even Dennis Lamp will make the squad ...

Among the RH L's not making the cut, the best is probably either Dolf Luque (194-179) or Sam Leever (194-100); other starters include Jon Lieber* (100-91 through 2004), Jose Lima* (84-82 through 2004), Frank "The Yankee Killer" Lary* (128-116), Jack Lynch (110-105 in seven 19th century seasons) and of course, perfect one World Series day, Don Larsen (81-91) ... Jim Lonborg* (157-137), we'll never know what might have been absent the injury that cost you your best stuff ... Clem Labine* was an early "closer" of sorts for the Brooklyns of the 1950s ... Red Lucas (157-135), Bob Locker (57-39, 95 saves), Max Lanier* (108-82), Craig Lefferts* (101 saves) and Frank Linzy (111 saves) are others Left outside Looking in ...

So Bauxites, what about it? How the "L" can this team be better?