As easy as it Bret(t)s ...

Sunday, September 13 2009 @ 05:20 PM EDT

Contributed by: Mick Doherty

I thought this would be an easier team to build, but no such luck. Did you know that only 22 men named Bret or Brett have even played big league ball? So there will be no full roster, for sure. And three of those 22 had the last/family name Brett, including our only Hall of Famer and one of just five All-Stars. Actually, only one man with the first/given name "Brett" has even made an All-Star team (yes, yes ... the Butler did it!) -- the rest were all of the single-t "Bret" variety.

Well, the GM/owner of this team is another former All-Star -- of the NHL variety, anyway -- as Mr. Hull takes up residence in the front office overseeing the development of ...

The Golden Bretts
** indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star

MGR: No qualifiers

C Brett Hemphill (3-for-21 with 1999 ANA)
1B Brett Hayes (2-for-8 with a solo homer so far in 2009 FLA debut)
2B Bret Boone* (five teams, 1992-2005; 252 homers, four Gold Gloves)
SS Bret Barberie (mostly 2B; .271, 1991-96, four teams)
3B George Brett** (KCR, 1973-93; .305, 3154 hits, 317 homers)
LF Brett Gardner (.254, 33 SB since '08 NYY debut)
CF Brett Butler* (1981-97, five teams; .290, 2375 hits, 558 SB)
RF Brett Carroll (.220 since '07 for FLA)


RHSP Bret Saberhagen* (1984-2001; 167-117, 1985 and 1989 AL Cy Youngs)
LHSP Ken Brett* (83-85, 10 teams, 1967-81)
RHSP Brett Tomko (99-102 for eight teams since 1997)
LHSP Brett Cecil (7-4 so far in 2009 TOR debut)
LHSP Brett Anderson (9-10 so far in 2009 OAK debut)

CL-RH Brett Myers (73-63 for PHI since 2002; 21 saves in 2007)
RHRP Bret Prinz (5-4, nine saves wince 2001, five teams)
RHRP Brett Gideon (1-5, three saves, 1987 PIT; cuppajoes, 1989-90 MON)
RHRP Brett Laxton (0-2, 1999 OAK, 2000 KCR)
RHRP Herb "Duke" Brett (1-1, 3.97 1925-26 CHC)

Other bullpen options ...
RHRP Brett Campbell (0-0, 10.38 in four appearances with 2006 WAS)
RHRP Brett Hinchliffe (0-5, 10.22, three teams, 1999-2001)
RHRP Brett Jodie (0-2, 6.39, 2001 NYY, SDP)
RHRP Brett Merriman (1-2, 8.39, 1993-94 MIN)

BRETTER UP! ... Nobody with the given first or middle OR last/family name Bret OR Brett has ever managed in the big leagues ... Okay, we don't have enough position player options to "designate" anybody as the designated hitter, but miraculously if we stretch just the tiniest bit and start Barberie at shortstop -- he made just 15 of 287 career starts (and 21 of 319 overall appearances) there, mostly playing on the other side of the 2B bag -- we can actually fill out a legitimate (DH-free) starting lineup ...

Twelve of the first-named Bret(t)s have debuted in the past 10 years -- since 1999 -- and nobody with that first name appeared in the big leagues before Butler in 1981 ... Lefty "starter" Ken Brett -- more than half of his career appearances were out of one bullpen or another -- racked up 11 career saves and more notably, hit 10 homers, all while pitching mostly in the American League and primarily in the DH era ... Did you know that Cecil's given middle name is "Aarion"? That's the only occurrence of that name in professional baseball history and the first time I've ever heard it, anyway ...

Gideon was traded by the Expos to the Pirates even-up for Neal Heaton; the Pirates eventually traded Heaton to the Royals even-up for Kirk Gibson, so by the associative principle, Gideon was once traded even-up for a former NL MVP ... Brett Laxton is a legacy major leaguer (second generation) as daddy Bill Laxton was a lefty reliever for five teams in the 1970's ... Daddy Lax pitched in more games (121-9) and won infinitely more games (he was 3-10 to his boy's 0-2) ...

Myers had 21 saves for the 2007 Phillies, which makes him this team's closer, but now is primarily back in the rotation and already has five seasons in his career with double-digit win totals ... Prinz was part of the return NYY got for sending Raul Mondesi to Arizona -- that move worked out pretty evenly for both teams, hey? ...Tomko is now strictly a bullpen guy but has to this point still made more than two-thirds of his career appearances as a starting pitcher ...

So one final question (wait for it) ... how can this team be Brett-er?