Taking the Fifth on 5/25

Friday, May 25 2007 @ 12:01 AM EDT

Contributed by: Mick Doherty

Yesterday, we met a team composed of players born on May 24; perhaps the less said of that team, the better. Reader comments ranged from the (admittedly quite charitable) "This is like a collection of bench players" to "Hello, shutout." The most positive thing written, and this should tell you something -- was Mike Green's claim that the team "would be a load of laughs, especially when they lost." Of course, he projected the team would have lost 121 times in the '07 AL East, so that is a LOAD of laughs.

Could a team made up of the 53 players born today fare better than that? Hey, at least this team has a Hall of Famer on its roster, though ...

... frankly, he may be the one Hall of Famer many baseball fans know least about, Negro League great Martin Dihigo. Of active players, Miggy Tejada seems the best bet to someeday join Dihigo in Cooperstown, but he's a good six or seven solid seasons away from that.

(See, 5/25 = 1/5 or one-fifth!)
** indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star

MGR: Charlie Cushman (21-15 with 1891 Milwaukee Brewers)
Bench Coach: Jim Marshall (229-326, 1974-76 CHC, '79 OAK)

C Bill Haselman (.259, 47 homers in 13 years)
1B Joe Judge (.298, 1915-34 Senators)
2B Todd Walker (.289, 107 homers through 2006)
SS Miguel Tejada* (.287, 240 homers through 2006; '02 AL MVP)
3B Dave Hollins* (.260, 112 homers, 1990-2002)
LF Lip Pike (all but C, P; hit .321, mostly from 1871-78)
CF Tip O'Neill (.326, 1883-92)
RF Angel Echevarria (.280, 1996-2002)
DH/UTIL Martin Dihigo** (.298; played all nine positions, 22 years)

C Glenn Borgmann (.229, 1972-80)
1B/DH Randall Simon (.283, 49 homers through 2006)
2B/OF Scott Hairston (.240ish with ARI through 2006)
OF/2B/1B Al Reach (.247, 1871-75 PHA)
OF Heinie Heitmuller (.271, 1909-10 PHA)
OF Jason Kubel (.253 through 2006 with MIN)

RHSP Martin Dihigo** (102-52 over parts of 19 years)
RHSP John Montefusco* (90-83 in 13 years; 1975 NL ROY)
LHSP Bob Knepper* (146-155, 1976-90)
RHSP Chris Young (26-14 with TEX, SDP through 2006)
RHSP Johnny Beazley (21-6, 1942 STL; 31-12 career)

CL-RH Mike Corkins (19-28, 9 saves; 6 as 1972 SDP closer)
LHRP Joey Eischen (11-9, 3 saves, in 10 years through 2006)
RHRP Bill Dillman (7-12, 3 saves, 1967 BAL, '70 MON)
LHRP Don Liddle (28-18, 4 saves, 1953-56 MLN, NYG, STL)
LHRP Jim Archer (9-15, 5 saves with '61 KCA; out after '62)

Dihigo not only played all nine positions in his career (though he was best known as a 1B), he was also a HOF-quality right-handed pitcher and won more than 100 career games ... He fronts this team's rotation, but will be otherwise busy as well, leading off and DHing on days he doesn't take the mound ...

O'Neill is the only man to win a triple crown who is NOT in the Hall of Fame; he hit an incredible .435 (under slightly different rules) in 1887 and won 16 career games as a pitcher, mostly in 1884 ... O'Neill's amazing 1887 batting average dropped a full 100 points the next year, but his .335 still led the league in 1888. He hit .335 again in 1889 but finished second to Tommy Tucker's .371 ...

Cushman and Marshall are the only May 25-born men to ever manage in the big leagues ... Beazley's all-time "Most Similar" player, according to BaseballReference.com, is Mark "The Bird" Fidrych -- that happens to a guy who racks up 21 of his 31 total career wins in a single season at the age of 24 ... Reach was born in London and didn't debut with the A's until he was 31 ... How's that  outfield, Lip, Tip and Angel, going to do in inspiring Terry Cashman to a ballad? ...

So, let's conclude with the same question as yesterday ... put this team in the 2007 AL East and how many games could it win? Or alternatively, how many games in a 162-game set would it take from yesterday's crew?