THE STARTING LINEUPS

alexander-pope.jpg

Alexander Pope: Philadelphia Poe ace and 19 game winner.

Before we discuss lineups, we have to talk about the starting pitchers: for the Philadelphia Poe, Alexander Pope; for the Rapallo Pound, the Marquis de Sade.

Sade distracts the hitter in a number of ways: facial tics, bursts of sudden laughter, screams, taunts, even as he’s going into his wind-up.   The Rapallo hurler scratches himself before almost every pitch.  When (and it’s often) the Marquis disagrees with the home plate umpire, he will glare ferociously, and sometimes Pound, his manager, will come out of the dugout and join Sade in this staring contest.  What’s odd, though, is that during these confrontations, Sade and his manager never speak.  They only stare.  The whole act is extremely unsettling.  During this staring act, as the home team fans howl and heckle with blood-thirsty fury, umpires become very uneasy; and  subsequently the home-plate official is known to call nearly everything Sade throws a strike.

Sade is not overpowering; in fact his famous ‘knuckle curve’ has been clocked at less than fifty miles per hour.  It almost hangs in mid-air between the batter and the pitcher, and then dives below the hitter’s knees at the last moment.  To watch Sade torment a line-up with unhittable junk, as he sneers, spits, and rubs himself in all sorts of odd places, is agonizing for all but Pound fans—who seem completely mad themselves.

The Philadelphia Poe pitcher, Alexander Pope, is fiercely competive, throws hard, and brawls with the best of them.   Pope”ll bust you inside, then freeze you with a big curve on the outside corner.  He finishes games.  Give Pope the ball and watch him go to work.  He doesn’t want to come out of a game, and rarely does, and his strikeout percentage increases as the game goes on.   He led the NL with 20 complete games.  Poe and Pope are very close.  “I wouldn’t play for any other manager,” Pope gushed, after he pitched the clincher.

The Philadelphia Poe’s projected starting lineup:

Gilmore Simms, RF.   Hurt for most of the year (Samuel F.B. Morse filled in admirably).  Simms can run.

Charles Brockden Brown, SS.    A slap hitter who advances runners.  George Lippard, another native Philadelphian, is the reserve infielder.

Charles Baudelaire, 2B.   Gap hitter, makes contact.

George Byron, 1B.    When Byron couldn’t play, Alfred Hitchock took over.  Byron slugged 29 homers.

Thomas Moore, C.    Excellent on-base percentage.

Fydor Dostoevsky, 3B.    Hit over .400 with 2 outs and runners in scoring position.   Team-leading 47 doubles.

Virginia Poe, CF.   Swift as a deer in center.   Surprising power: 17 homers.

Fanny Osgood, LF.     League-leading 14 assists.  Very hard to strike out.

Alexander Pope, P.     Great sacrifice bunter.

And, for the Rapallo Pound:

Aleister Crowley, CF.   Took over for Wyndham Lewis.  Crowley hit three triples in the Pound’s pennant-clinching victory.

Hilda Doolittle, 2B.   Great D from H.D.  She’s been nursing a sore ankle.  Flaubert may start instead.

William Butler Yeats, SS.  The best glove anyone has ever seen.  A disappointment at the plate, but does get on base.  Francis Villon, his replacement, can hit.

Ford Madox Ford, 1B.   41 homers, 134 RBIs.

James Joyce, LF.   .311 batting average.  Back from a late-season injury.  Basil Bunting was his replacement.

James Laughlin, 3B.  The New Directions kid wasn’t expected to hit.  He slugged 39 homers and batted .340.   MVP numbers from a mere editor.

Ernest Fenollosa, C.  Steady, handles pitchers well.  Missed the month of August.  Margaret Anderson of the Little Review is the back-up.

Benito Mussolini, RF.  Great clubhouse presence.  A gun for an arm in right.  Few go from first to third on him.

Marquis de Sade, P.   Chats with the opposing catcher the whole time he’s up.

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5 Comments

  1. October 13, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    I think this might be a tough series for Byron, particularly in the first game. A dominant power hitter like him is going to feel like he should just be able to simply over-power a gimmicky junk baller like de Sade and that’s going to translate into some very bad swings. Overall, though, I like the Poe’s chances in the opener. The rest of the batter in the heart of the order–Baudelaire, Moore and Dostoevsky are simply going to be too disciplined at the plate. They will work counts and force de Sade to throw it in the strike zone, and he can’t get anybody out if they make him do that. Ford and Laughlin put up those gaudy numbers against some pretty mediocre American League pitching. Against a master like Pope, they will be over-matched. Joyce is the only bat in that line up I see having any answer for him at all. I think Pound has to give the start to Flaubert in game one, too.

    • Noochness said,

      October 13, 2010 at 3:58 pm

      If I narrow mine eyes
      So that all hath aureola,
      I feel that I’m listening
      To Joe Garagiola.

    • thomasbrady said,

      October 13, 2010 at 4:55 pm

      Briggs,

      Because this is the first Scarriet World Series, the NL team, because they are the ‘senior circuit,’ will be the home team for this series, and thus the first two games will take place in Philly.

      The Rapallo fans are just insane, so the Poe will feel much safer in their home park, and Sade should be less intimidating away from home. But, as you say, if Philadelphia over-swings, and is not patient, they’ll be in trouble.

      Rapallo is confident right now to the point of arrogance; they have a .712 winning percentage since bringing in Sade and Blavatsky and rehauling their starting pitching. They’re a very loose bunch, and reportedly all on drugs. Think Doc Ellis and John Candelaria of the Pittsburgh Pirates, times ten.

      The Poe probably won’t be freaked out by that kind of thing, though. They’ll be sneering at Rapallo.

      Tom

  2. October 13, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    I wonder whether or not Poe will opt for a three or a four man rotation. Obviously if the Rapallo can steal just one of the first two in Phili, that will be a huge momentum swing in their favor. And the Lord Bacon v. Wells match up is, to my mind, potentially their best bet. If the Poe face a crucial game three in Rapallo, I actually think the von Humboldt v Blavatsky match up is to their favor. I admit Blavatsky is as crafty as any hurler since Gaylord Perry with his vaseline ball, but the depth of von Humboldt’s stuff should be too much–he’s got three solid out pitches. And I think a pitcher with his experience as a legitimate wilderness explorer is unlikely to be easily flummoxed by a rowdy stadium of crazed fans.

    Like I said, the really interesting thing to me will be, who gets the ball for game four? Does Poe hand it to the very solid Cooleridge, or does he try to squeeze three starts out of his ace?

  3. thomasbrady said,

    October 13, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Briggs,

    Pope, Humboldt, and Bacon are all business. They go right after hitters; they don’t waste pitches, and that keeps the defense on their toes. Coleridge and Shelley are magnificent pitchers who can throw a beautiful pitch, but they’re excitable; they want to fan every batter, and so they throw too many pitches. In a pressure situation against a team like Rapallo, Poe may very well want to go with his first three starters; so you could very well be right; but Poe isn’t saying, right now.

    And yes, Blavatsky doctors the ball, and everybody knows it. She’ll be hell to face, at Rapallo, for Game 3. Wells throws hard, and after facing Sade, his pitches will seem even faster.

    Tom


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