"Dustin [Penner] is at the crossroads of his career," Lombardi wrote in an email to Sporting News. "He can choose to use his athletic ability to either become a dominant power forward in the National Hockey League or be a dominant number four hitter for the El Cid Lounge in a men’s softball league — the choice is his."
This raises a very important question: what would the LA Kings softball team look like?
1. Wayne Simmonds, CF
You're supposed to have your speediest player leading off and Simmonds fits the bill. I can see him laying a lot of weak grounders down the third base line and beating out the throw to 1st. And on the bases... well, you can't steal in softball but he'll go from 1st to 3rd a lot.
2. Justin Williams, 2B
Williams will be that guy who is really good but has to wear a knee brace because of an old football injury. He'll grit out a bunch of doubles and then miss the playoff game because he threw his shoulder out playing with his kids.
3. Anze Kopitar, LF
Kopitar has probably never played baseball but I imagine him picking up a bat and immediately hitting a ton of home runs. Some people just have a certain hand-eye coordination, a certain ability, that translates across all fields. Fuck those guys except for Anze.
4. Dustin Penner, P
Penner's the pitcher/slugger on the team, the guy who is a god at softball and a complete fuck-up at everything else. Like, he'll hit 3 home runs and then get busted for a DUI on the way home. Good call, Dean!
5. Jarret Stoll, 3B
Stoll is the guy who played baseball in high school so you think he'll be really good but then he only tries to hit home runs and overthrows the 1st baseman by 15 feet and you wonder how shitty his high school team must have been.
6. Matt Greene, 1B
Normally you put a left hander at 1st... but you also put the big, slow guy there too. Greene will be 1st baseman/drink supplier. Who wants jello shots?!?
7. Dustin Brown, C
"Dustin, fucking tag him! Fuck! The guy's taking second, throw it to seco- GODDAMMIT, DUSTIN!!! Have you ever fucking played before???"
Doughty will start the game in right field and then get replaced by Jack when everyone realizes he's too drunk to play. Johnson will think he's really good at softball without realizing that there's a reason he's playing right field.
9. Jonathan Quick, SS
You might think Quick would be the catcher but that would make you a racist. Quick's the most agile guy on the team and his reflexes will keep the team in it on defense. On offense he'll be terrible. Like, striking out in softball terrible. The ball's right there, just hit it!