It seems like only yesterday when we were asking “Where Have You Gone, Sandy Koufax?,” but what can I say?–time flies when you’re baking Jew cookies. Yep, things have changed and you can pine for the good old days all you want, but the fact of the matter is there’s a Jewish renaissance going on in Major League Baseball. Below is a glance at my fantasy Hebrew Nation roster and a nation-by-nation comparison to the rest of the competition:

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COMMENT: Sure, the Hebrew Nation has some holes in the lineup (minor leaguers Ike Davis and Jason Kipnis, not to mention journeymen Gabe Kapler and Brad Ausmus), but who’s to say how these guys might play on an international stage? After all, only 5 of the 9 players on the Japanese international team play in the major leagues (and 3 of them are kind of scrubs). Plus, with Braun, Kinsler and Youklis, the Hebrew Nation boasts a murderers row that is comparable to any in the international field. If Feldman gets into trouble, the team would be able to turn to Jason Marquis, Craig Breslow, John Grabow and Aaron Poreda out of the bullpen. I’d love to see how this team faired in international play–though I wouldn’t want to negotiate contracts with these guys or hear them complain about the temperature in the locker room.

VENEZUELA

P: Felix Hernandez

C: Ramon Hernandez

1B: Miguel Cabrera

2B: Jose Lopez

SS: Marco Scutaro

3B: Melvin Mora

OF: Magglio Ordonez

OF: Bobby Abreu

OF: Gerardo Parra

COMMENT: A flat out ace and a bunch of middle-of-the-road players seemingly past their primes. Even if they were inspired by the anti-Semitic ire of Hugo Chavez, this team would be no match for the Hebrew Nation.

EDGE: HEBREW NATION

PUERTO RICO

P: Javier Vasquez

C: Jorge Posada

1B: Carlos Delgado

2B: Felipe Lopez

SS: Mike Avilles

3B: Ramon Vasquez

OF: Carlos Beltran

OF: Alex Rios

OF: Jesus Feliciano

COMMENT: Alex Rios and the oft-injured Jorge Posada and Carlos Beltran in the middle of your lineup? Puerto Rico would be a Caribbean vacation for the Hebrew Nation.

EDGE: HEBREW NATION

Dominican Republic

P: Ubaldo Jimenez

C: Miguel Olivo

1B: Albert Pujols

2B: Robinson Cano

SS: Hanley Ramirez

3B: Willy Aybar

OF: Manny Ramirez

OF: Nelson Cruz

OF: Jose Guillen

COMMENT: No lineup from 1-9 can compete with DR. In fact, this team could probably compete with the Yankees and Phillies. Despite what happened in 1938, it’d be hard to imagine the Dominican Republic offering the Hebrew Nation any refuge.

EDGE: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

TEAM USA

P: Tim Lincecum

C: Joe Mauer

1B: Prince Fielder

2B: Chase Utley

SS: Derek Jeter

3B: Evan Longoria

OF: Carl Crawford

OF: Matt Kemp

OF: Jason Bay

COMMENT: Three of the members of the Hebrew Nation would start for Team USA, which means that 6 members of Team USA would start for the Hebrew Nation. This would be a tough series to win, even if the Hebrew Nation found a Hank Greenberg golem and started shooting it up with anabolic substances.

EDGE: TEAM USA

JAPAN

P: Daisuke Matsuzaka

C: Kenji Johjima

1B: Michihiro Ogasawara

2B: Akinori Iwamura

SS: Munenori Kawasaki

3B: Shuichi Murata

OF: Hideki Matsui

OF: Kosjuke Fukudome

OF: Ichiro Suzuki

COMMENT: On paper, Japan seems beatable. But, the Japanese thrive in international play. The Hebrew Nation would have about as much chance to savor this matchup as it would to savor kosher sushi.

EDGE: JAPAN

KOREA

P: Min Han Son

C: Min-Ho Kang

1B: Jeong Choi

2B: Keun-Woo Jeong

SS: Ki Hyuk Park

3B: Dae-Ho Lee

OF: Yong-Kyu Lee

OF: Hyun-Soo Kim

OF: Shin-Soo Choo

COMMENT: The Koreans made it to the finals of the World Baseball Classic earlier this year, plus, growing up, the Korean kids on my block always studied just as hard as the Jews, so let’s call it a draw.

EDGE: EVEN

Of course, the Hebrew Nation, a loose and informal confederacy of individuals who share only a heritage and a loose feeling of nationhood will never get to compete as a team in international play (unless they move to Israel, I guess). But it’s sort of fun to think about, because if they did, they could certainly compete with the all-star team of any other nation on the planet.

UPDATE:

Some of you have emailed me to ask about the Cubans. In short, I think the World Baseball Classic suggested that the game may have passed them by, but here you go:

P: Aroldis Chapman
C: Yosvany Peraza
1B: Kendry Morales
2B: Alexei Ramirez
SS: Yunel Escobar
3B: Michel Enriquez
OF: Frederich Cepeda


OF: Yoennis Cespedes
OF: Alfredo Despaigne

COMMENT: Imagine Meyer Lansky, who build the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Havana, learning that in less than a half-a-century Cuba would have no gambling and be surpassed on the baseball field by his Jewish descendants? He wouldn’t bet on it, that’s for sure.
EDGE: HEBREW NATION