Carmelo Anthony is in Puerto Rico right now for his annual visit, making all sorts of splendid things happen through his foundation. A regular feature of the visit is a celebrity softball game, which last year included Raymond Felton, Amar'e Stoudemire, and Marcus Camby, plus J.J. Barea and some other non-NBA famous people. This year, it seems Melo couldn't bring any Knick players out to the island, so he went straight to the top. From the Primera Hora article, via Twitter friend Juan Arroyo:
A pedido de Anthony, el encuentro fue jugado a siete entradas, debido al alto número de jugadores. El delantero reforzó su conjunto con el otrora guardabosque de los Yanquis de Nueva York, el boricua Bernie Williams; el ex campeón de boxeo Félix "Tito" Trinidad; el ex canastero de Nueva York, Allan Houston; y el dueño de los Knicks, James Dolan. Su actual dirigente, Mike Woodson fungió como el coach de tercera base.
My rough translation:
At the request of Anthony, the game was played to seven innings because of the high number of players. The forward filled out his team with Puerto Rican former New York Yankees outfielder* Bernie Williams; former boxing champion Felix "Tito" Trinidad; former New York scorer** Allan Houston; and the owner of the Knicks, James Dolan. His current coach, Mike Woodson, served as the third-base coach.
You want video, yes? There is video:
I can't find Woodson or Houston in this video, but there's Jimmy at second base! We even get to watch him at bat! He has a ghastly swing, but then again, so does Melo!
As much as I wish Glen Grunwald pitched, or that I could have seen or heard some of Woody's third-base coaching, this is wonderful. It got me thinking about how the Knicks would shake out as a baseball team. I like Melo at first base, though I think I might move him to third and let our new lefty friend Beno Udrih play first. Raymond Felton plays second on my team because he has several things in common with Ray Durham. I wanted to put Pablo Prigioni at shortstop, but I'd rather create a new position where the guy lies prone along the first base line, grabbing opponents' ankles as they run by. We'll put the leapers in the outfield-- J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and...C.J. Leslie? Tim Hardaway Jr.? One of them. All the tall guys are pitchers, though if offense and defense translate perfectly from sport to sport, then perhaps either Andrea Bargnani or Amar'e Stoudemire would make a great DH. Jeremy Tyler is a middle reliever, and I feel like Kenyon Martin has the demeanor of a closer. I guess we have no lefties because Beno's playing the infield, but so be it. Bring Anthony Randolph back, I guess? Oh, and Jim Todd is obviously my manager. Sorry, Woody.
That's my team. Gimme yours. And, back to the original topic: cool softball game, Melo!
*I learned today that the Spanish word guardabosque, which literally means "forest ranger", gets used to describe particularly skilled outfielders in baseball, which I love.
**Another one I love: This article uses the word canastero-- literally "basket maker" (hence the bird's name)-- to describe Allan Houston.