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Here's an odd Hall-of-Names thought bubble ...
There are, of course, currently thirty major league baseball managers. Could we build a competitive full roster of players from that list of 30 names? (And who would manage the team?)

Well, quick answer -- no, we can't build a full roster as no less than EIGHT current MLB skippers never played in the show themselves -- quick, how many of those eight can you name without looking it up? (Answer appears below.) And a full seven of the remaining 22 roster candidates were primarily catchers, so that limits our options almost as much as the fact that there are only two pitchers available.

Anyway, let's see what we can come up with ...

** indicates Hall of Famer (none yet)
* indicates All-Star as player

C Mike Scioscia* (.259, 68 homers, 1980-92)
1B Don Mattingly* (.307/222/1099, 1982-95; 1985 AL MVP, six GG)
2B Ron Washington (played all over IF, .261, 1977, '81-89)
SS Ozzie Guillen* (.264, 169 SB, one GG, 1985-2000)
3B J. Brad Mills  (.256, 1980-83)
OF Dusty Baker* (.278/242/1013, 1968-86)
OF Kirk Gibson (.268/255/870; 1988 NL MVP)
OF Ron Roenicke (.238, 1981-88)
DH Terry Francona (1B/OF, .274/16/143, 1981-90)

RHSP John Farrell (36-46, 4.56, 1987-96)
LHSP Buddy Black  (121-116, 3.84, 1981-95)

If we shuffle things a little bit, we can even build a full version of ...
C Joe Girardi* (.267, 36 HR, 1989-2003)
1B Bruce Bochy (.239, 1978-80, '82-87) two games at 1B
2B Ron Gardenhire (All over IF, .232, 1981-85)
SS Tony LaRussa (Also 2B, .199, 1963, '68-'71, '73)
3B Edwin Rodriguez (lso 2B/SS, .227, 1982-93, '85)
OF Jim Tracy (.249, 1980-81)
OF Charlie Manuel (.198, 1969-72, '74-75)
OF Clint Hurdle (also C/1B, .259, 1977-87)
DH Ned Yost (C, .212, 16 HR, 1980-85)

C Bob Geren (.214, 1988-93)
C Eric Wedge (.233, 1991-94)

ThEY'RE MANAGING JUST FINE, THANK YOU ... Guillen, the 1985 AL Rookie of the Year, has as his BBRef "Most Similar" player none other than former Jay Alfredo Griffin ... Gardenhire was born in in Butzbach, W.Germany ... Geren was involved in one of the most start-studded trades of the 1980s, when he was the PTBNL in the 1980 deal in which the San Diego Padres sent a player to be named later (Geren!), Rollie Fingers, Bob Shirley and Gene Tenace to the St. Louis Cardinals for Terry Kennedy, John Littlefield, Al Olmsted, Mike Phillips, Kim Seaman, Steve Swisher and John Urrea. I think STL got the better of that one ... Black was briefly a Blue Jay (2-1 in 1990) but also was twice traded for playes who would be Blue Jay legends of a sort, in (separate deals) Pat Tabler and Mauro Gozzo ...

No Hall of Famers here yet (and none forthcoming as players, though LaRussa leads a short list of possible Hall candidates as managers), but two MVPs and a Rookie of the Year -- given the paucity of pitching options, it's no surprise there are no Cy Young winners on this roster ... Mills is listed with his first initial to differentiate him from current Jay lefty Brad A. Mills .. In his decade-plus of minor league ball, Collins appeared at every position except catcher ... Dusty's given name is Johnnie B Baker -- that's right, the "B" doesn't stand for anything. Given that appellation, shouldn't his last name really be "Goode"? ... Shifting of the guard? Of the 22 current managers who played big league ball, 19 of them spent at least part (if not all) of their years in the big legues in the decade of the 1980s. The only exceptions? LaRussa and Manuel (both the 1960s and 1970s) and Wedge (the 1990s) ...

The eight current big league managers who never played in the major leagues are (listed alphabetically) ... 3B/2B/1B Manny Acta, IF/OF Terry Collins, C Fredi Gonzalez, C Jim Leyland, Joe Maddon (who never played any level of pro ball), IF/OF Mike Quade, 3B/OF/2B Jim Riggleman and OF/1B/P Buck Showalter.

So of the eight big league managers who never reached MLB as a player, two -- Leyland and Gonzalez -- spent most of their minor league careers behind the plate, which means nine of the 30 current skippers (thirty percent!) were backstops in their playing days.

So give this team league-average pitching, and how does it do in the 2011 AL East? And who would manage this team, anyway?

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