The NFL’s best football players participated in a game of “Epic Pro Bowl Dodgeball” on Thursday night as part of a revamped skills competition. The contest was an entertaining spectacle during a usually ho-hum weekend of halfhearted competition.
So what about the baseball players? Well, we couldn't help but wonder what an MLB contingent might look like at some sort of Pro Athlete Dodgeball Summit. No disrespect to the NFL squad, which included tactical but less fleet-footed linemen, but they would get waxed by baseball players (probably as badly as the NFL would beat pro leagues in a strongman competition). Just get a load of this MLB dodgeball team.
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Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets (SP)
The Mighty Thor averages a ridiculous 98.3 miles per hour on his four-seam fastball and 98 on his sinker. Granted a dodgeball is harder to launch, but good luck to any receiver trying to grab that kind of heat at their shoestrings.
Kevin Kiermaier, Tampa Bay Rays (OF)
This team cannot be imbalanced. We need some elite, acrobatic fielders to man the back line and force the football players to get a bit gun-shy. Then the top outfielders like Kiermaier can crow hop and fire away.
Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees (RP)
Pictured as a Cub, now a Yankee again but the flamethrower's arm remains the same. Ideally his dodgeball manager won't ask Chapman to throw too many pitches but that's a matter for a later date.
Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals (OF)
Harper is a great combination of fielding ability, a rocket arm, hair and passion.
Andrelton Simmons, Los Angeles Angels (SS)
If Simmons is anywhere near as deft with two hands as he is with a hand and glove, watch out. We'll take our chances on his hand-eye coordination and powerful arm.
Obviously we need the best or co-best pitcher in the game. During game action he may not always have enough time to deploy his deceptive wind up, but he'll figure out a way to make it work.
Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles (3B)
Just imagine the highlight reel where someone tries to peg Machado and the third baseman dives, paws it and pops back up and launches it at some unsuspecting opponent's ankle.
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Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies (3B)
Ditto on Machado.
Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals (C)
Perez is one of the best catchers in the game. His ability to track a fast moving target and quick release will come in handy.
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Hunter Pence, San Francisco (OF)
There are better fielders and throws but it feels like it would be a mistake to assemble any real or imagined team of baseball players and not include Pence for sheer entertainment value alone.
Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs (SP)
Great arm, nice twisting motion, elite scowl and competitiveness.
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Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians (SS)
The dynamic shortstop will add some youth, flair and, of course, another awesome arm.
Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals (SP)
Sure, we'll take the reigning NL Cy Young winner for his velocity and stamina and general dominance.
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Steven Wright, Boston Red Sox (SP)
Finally, here's the wild card, the ace in the hole. Wright is one of the game's few knuckleballers and we're not sure how easily it's possible to manipulate a laceless ball but will blindly trust Wright as the guy to figure out some sort of shenanigans.