Trout, Carp, Bass and the All Gone Fishin' Team

The lure of the game was exceptionally strong Sunday, when a Trout (Mike, of the Angels) smashed a home run off of a Bass (Anthony, of the Padres) while a Carp (Mike, of the Mariners) was homering in Denver.

If that didn't reel you in, maybe the bait still isn't quite strong enough. Or, maybe you just have a crappie attitude.

Cue up the theme to the Andy Griffith Show and pull up a chair. Here's the All Gone Fishin' team:

Catcher: Muddy Ruel. A solid 19-year career between 1915 and 1934 with the St. Louis Browns, Yankees, Red Sox, Senators, Tigers and White Sox, Ruel hit .275 with four home runs and 534 RBIs. He ran like he was stuck in the mud, stealing 61 bases while getting caught 60 times. But his backstop skills were nearly impeccable: He led AL catchers in assists three times and in fewest errors committed by a catcher once.

First base: Sid Bream. Who knew a bream was an actual type of fish?  Not me, until alert colleague (and apparent resident fishing expert) C. Trent Rosecrans tipped me off. Twelve-year major league best known for his slide home with the deciding run in the 1992 NLCS that lifted the Braves to a second consecutive World Series berth and sent the Pirates skidding toward oblivion (or maybe it was Barry Bonds' defection from Pittsburgh via free agency following the '92 season that did that).

Second base: Cod Meyers and Nate Spears. Fishing, like baseball, is timeless? Excellent, because we're going with a platoon here that spans more than a century. Meyers played for the Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals and other clubs in the late 1800s. Spears is a spunky and versatile infielder/outfielder who has plugged a few holes for the Red Sox last year and this. Larry Schlafly, who played with the Senators and Cubs in the early 1900s, didn't quite make the cut.

Shortstop: Benji Gil. Former Rangers and Angels shortstop who played on the Angels' 2002 World Series team.

Third base: Bobby Scales. Played in 161 games for the Chicago Cubs during the 2009 and 2010 seasons.

Left field: Mike Trout. If not for Bryce Harper, the fleet Angels' center fielder would be getting the love as baseball's top prospect.

Center field: Mickey Rivers. If you're going with an All Gone Fishin' team, a Rivers must run through it. And Mick the Quick was an All-Star in 1976.

Right field: Tim Salmon. Here's the thing about Trout: Great as he's supposed to be, he still a long way from even being the best fish in Angels' history. Salmon is the Angels' career leader with 299 home runs and ranks second in club history with 1,016 RBI and 2,958 total bases. Talk about swimming upstream. ...

Designated hitter: Mike Carp. Belted his fourth homer in 15 games Sunday which, for the Mariners, is Ruthian. Has 17 career homers in 129 big-league games since '90.

SP: James "Catfish" Hunter. Hall of Famer and eight-time All-Star with the Athletics and Yankees.

SP: Dizzy Trout. Two-time Tigers All-Star who led the AL in wins (20) in 1943 and ERA (2.12) in 1944.

SP: Steve "Rainbow" Trout. Son of Dizzy who won 88 games for the White Sox, Cubs, Yankees and Mariners between 1978 and 1989 and sported a terrific nickname while doing so.

SP: Hooks Dauss. A 223-game winner for the Tigers between 1912 and 1926, earned his nickname via a filthy curveball.

SP: Mudcat Grant. Pitched for seven different teams between 1958 and 1971, winning 145 games while graciously, it seems, bequeathing the "Mudcat" nickname to every other pitcher named Grant who followed. The original Mudcat was tagged with the nickname, according to the back of his 1958 Topps baseball card, by a teammate who mistakenly thought he was a native of Mississippi, the "Mudcat State." He's from LaCoochie, Fla.

Reliever: Brandon Puffer. Never closed, but he worked out of the Astros, Padres and Giants bullpens from 2002-2005.

Manager: Lip Pike. Piloted the Reds back in 1877, the second season of their existence. One of the greatest manager names ever.

Owner: Bob Lurie. Gotta be, right? He owned the Giants from 1976-1993.

Notes: Apologies to Anthony Bass, who surrendered Trout's home run on Sunday, but as you can see, we're already stocked up on starting pitchers. Also would have liked to have included Harry "Slippery" Eels, who pitched for the Indians in 1906; Fred Lake, who a player/manager for the Red Sox in 1908 and 1909; Ray Shore, who pitched for the St. Louis Browns in the 1940s; and Kevin Bass, the big outfielder-first baseman who played for the Astros, Giants, Mets and Orioles in the 1980s and 1990s.

Likes: Summer's warmth and longer days. ... Pretty much anything Rob Sheffield writes on pop culture (and especially music ) in Rolling Stone and any other magazine. The guy is really good. ... Michael Rosenberg's farewell column in the Detroit Free Press last week, one of the finest I've ever read. Sports Illustrated's gain, Detroit's loss.

Dislikes: Fishing. I've fished once in my life, with my late Uncle Carl back when I was about 9. Haven't been back since.

Rock 'n' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Well I love her
"But I love to fish
"I spend all day out on this lake
"And hell is all I catch
"Today she met me at the door
"Said I would have to choose
"If I hit that fishin' hole today
"She'd be packin' all her things
"And she'd be gone by noon
"Well I'm gonna miss her
"When I get home
"But right now I'm on this lake shore
"And I'm sittin' in the sun
"I'm sure it'll hit me
"When I walk through that door tonight
"That I'm gonna miss her
"Oh, lookie there, I've got a bite"

-- Brad Paisley, I'm Gonna Miss Her

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