Chicago Cubs: Building my personal all-time best starting lineup

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 13: Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, left, stands with Hall of Famer Billy Williams as Banks is recognized before the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds for receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom on August 13, 2013 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 13: Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, left, stands with Hall of Famer Billy Williams as Banks is recognized before the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds for receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom on August 13, 2013 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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Greg Maddux, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Greg Maddux, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Here’s my take on a one game, winner-take-all ultimate Cubs starting lineup.

This is an exercise in futility along the lines of those All-Time NBA charts where you have a fictional $15 to spend on a starting five and the players are legends ranging from $1 up to $5. There is no right answer and while it’s an exercise in futility, it’s also an exercise in fun. And boy, don’t we need a little bit of light-heartedness right about now?

Given that I saw former Chicago Cubs hurler and current Marquee man Ryan Dempster’s recent starting lineup and took umbrage with selections, I decided I would make my own. Unlike Dempster, I never actually played with any of these guys, so I don’t have the need to include those I played with or won with – I’m just using his hypothetical sentiment that I need a lineup to win one game and one game only.

For ground rules for this little exercise, I’ll use the same ones Dempster used – an NL lineup complete with no DH, one reliever and one player off the bench. I think that’s fair and keeps things both interesting and appropriate for a Cubs squad.

Now, the one caveat I’ll throw out there is that I have no idea where this fantasy game will be played and I have no idea who is pitching for the other team. Not that it would matter for many of my picks, but depending on the handedness of the batters in the lineup or pitcher throwing against the Cubs in this dream matchup, it could alter or change my thinking.

Given that I don’t have that information at hand, I’m just gonna go with my gut in the same way that Dempster did and pick the guys I’d want going out for me if I got to play the role of David Ross and filled out the Cubs lineup card.

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