Baseball blogs don’t have to be about baseball all the time…………sometimes they should about the nonsense chatter that occurs while you enjoy a baseball game (especially at the park)…………this inspired me to think……………. “What if I made an entire lineup out of fictional mobsters, what would that look like?” and voila……..
SS – Batting Leadoff – Tony Montana (Scarface)
The local mercurial radio personality that is Dan McNeil once dubbed Ozzie Guillen “Ozzie Montana” in reference to his fast talking and cut throat nature…….got me thinking that none other than Tony Montana himself should lead off for this group. Tony Montana was smart, tough and talented…..willing to take risks to go to the top, that’s what we need in our defensive leader and lead off hitter. I am guessing the downside of his career will be a coke-laden disaster, but we won’t worry about that right now. Favorite scene – Killing Frank Lopez and Mel Bernstein….bone chilling scene, but offering Ernie a job at the end always cracks me up.
LF – Batting Second – Mr. French (The Departed)
Reliable…..that’s Mr. French. That’s what we need in our left fielder. He’s the best #2 in fictional gangster folklore, which is why he hits here. He’ll go down with the ship. Your prototypical #2 hitter. Favorite scene – He and Frank Costello talking about how reliable he is, smash cut to him strangling his wife to death. Loyal….to a point.
CF – Batting Third – Russell “Stringer” Bell (The Wire)
The #2 (really #1b) of the Barksdale Organization, Stringer Bell was the brains behind the Organization, bringing modern business techniques to match up with the ruthless violence that is needed to run an inner city cartel. Stringer is one of the most skilled of this entire group, which is why he plays CF and hits 3rd….he can do basically everything (although is fatally flawed like the rest of the group). He taught the young gangsters how to think like businessmen and it would’ve worked out alright if his vigilante partner, Avon Barksdale didn’t want to go to the mattresses over “his corners”. Favorite scene – There are so many, but the exchange between he and Barksdale revealing D’Angelo’s death is probably the greatest….it’s the beginning of the end for them, but dramatic and thrilling.
1B – Batting Fourth – Tony Soprano (Sopranos)
For my money, there isn’t a more interesting, a more complex character in television series history…..there isn’t one more alpha either. Tony Soprano drinks, eats and fucks whatever, whenever and whoever he wants. He is also a brilliant business man who constantly learns and evolves. He’s a monster and an everyman. He’s also the clean up hitter on this squad, he’s a force…..although a fat force, so 1st base it is…….if he lived a little longer, he’d probably migrate to DH just like Big Frank did. Favorite scene – The whole exchange leading up to and through killing Ralph Cifaretto. Pure madness.
Anybody who can call Winston Wolf at a moments notice and make problems go away has to be on the list. Nobody really knows if he threw Tony RockyHorror off John Danks‘ condo……err………the roof into the greenhouse, but I like to believe he did. A ruthless, but reasonable boss (as he did make peace with Butch), he has to be on this list and prominently featured. If you are around my age, Pulp Fiction is the first GREAT movie of our generation. Favorite scene – “Telling Jules Winfield that the Wolf is coming directly.” A true gangster that has it under control never needs to raise his voice to get the job done.
DH – Batting Sixth – Teddy KGB (Rounders)
Russian mobsters fit just fine on this list……….so do guys that run gambling rooms (the kind of place you would find someone from the 108). Teddy KGB can be more comical at times due to his ticks and mannerisms, but for this list he slots in nicely as a guy who gets the money. He’s our DH, older, wiser, but still productive. Favorite scene – Opening scene of Rounders when he traps Mike McD with aces full. A crafty old gangster knows how to get the money with an inexperienced business counterpart.
C – Batting Seventh – Peter Clemenza (Godfather)
Inspiration for the title of this article. Clemenza is your workman like gangster, perfect to be our catcher (plus he’s a big fat fuck). He teaches Michael Corleone many valuable lessons on his way to becoming the don, how to commit a murder in a crowded restaurant, how to cook for 10 guys, and he’s incredibly loyal……….of course it was Tessio who arranged the meeting………….when I think of Clemenza, I think of an old hand catcher like Carlton Fisk, someone who is good and reliable back there. Favorite scene – The aforementioned scene where they kill Paulie. Not necessarily a great scene, but iconic.
RF – Batting Eighth – Omar Little (The Wire)
Your RF ought to have a gun…..and nobody has a bigger gun that Omar Little…………think prime Bo Jackson level gun. The Wire is a series that gets in your head and stays there and of the characters in the Wire, Omar Little is often cited as people’s favorite. Robbing drug dealers is an odd vocation, that takes both high intelligence and guts and thats what we want in our RF. Favorite scene – There are some many, but his alley meeting with Brother Mouzone is great, two cold blooded sonuvabishes, talking out a business arrangement at gunpoint.
2B – Batting Ninth – Fly Guy (I’m Gonna Git You Sucka)
A seminal movie that most people probably haven’t seen, but this comedic take on blaxploitation blasted open the door for Keenan Ivory Wayans and a generations of comics. Fly Guy tied it all together and while hilarious, he was also of great importance. He’s your gritty keystone who gets the job done, providing the key information and then saving the day. Favorite scene – “Pimp of the Year Speech” is about the silliest shit I can remember.
SP’s – Frank Lucas (American Gangster)
An unlikely gangster and one of my favorites on this list. A true business man who had to do some of the darker things that gangsters do. He didn’t like to be flashy, he just liked to get the job done. He’s your #1, with a big fastball and 2 other plus pitches. Favorite scene – Frank kills Tango. Might be the best scene on this entire list.
Frank Costello (The Departed)
From trolling the priests about sexual assualts on altar boys to dressing down the Chinese mafia about their use of automatic weapons, Frank Costello is an original and our #2 starter….crafty, but with still enough stuff to get the job done. Favorite scene – Breakfast with Billy Costigan and Mr. French at his apartment
Nino Brown (New Jack City)
Basically Frank Lucas light…..but 1980’s version. Favorite scene – When an eyeliner clad Ice T exclaims “I want to shoot you so bad my dick is hard”
Paul Cicero (Goodfellas)
Masterminded the police force for wise guys. Who knew that in real life he was messing around with Karen. He never talked to more than 6 people, too bad one of them was Henry Hill…gg. Favorite scene – $3,200 for a lifetime…..the third stanza of Goodfellas is great and sad all at once.
Enoch Malachi “Nucky” Thompson (Boardwalk Empire)
Leading the bootlegging charged through an icon gambling city, a bright and ruthless enterpriser. Favorite scene – Nucky killing Jimmy
CL – Anton Chigurh (No Country For Old Men)
I can’t think of a more terrifying or ruthless killer in recent memory. Nobody else uses a Captive Bolt Pistol to kill their victims and nobody so mercilessly and effortlessly gets the job done. That’s why he’s our closer. Favorite scene – The gas station scene, where he flips a coin for the owners entire life.
Manager – Vito Corleone (Godfather)
Our skipper has to be the don of modern gangsters. There can be no other. Favorite scene – As much as I love the original Godfather much more than Godfather II, the scene in Godfather II where he kills Don Fanucci. The basis for the empire.