Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How Would We Switch Players' Teams?

I can't be sure if our readers enjoyed yesterday's post about baseball in pop culture, but I do know that it coerced a retweet out of Sam Miller:
Today, let's revisit another of my baseball questions, this one from Episode 602 of the Effectively Wild podcast:

Hi guys,

Now that Ben Zobrist has fulfilled his destiny and become an Athletic, what player would you move to a new team and why? Here are my three examples:

Selfish: As a Yankees fan, I'd make Mike Trout the club's latest famed centerfielder.
Funny: I'd stick Joey Votto on the Royals to watch people freak out as the team tried to get him to cut down on his walks and homers in the name of turning him into a singles-hitting, run-producer.
Purist: I'd put D.J. LeMahieu on the Braves to see him make sweet baseball music with Andrelton Simmons.

I'm sure you guys can come up with some better ones.

Thanks and keep up the good work,
Bronx, NY

You'll notice that after my first mention on Effectively Wild, I started writing my city after my name. "Francis from the Bronx" isn't as recognizable as "Mike in Montclair", but it still has a nice ring to it.

On the podcast, Grantland's Ben Lindbergh shot down my first two suggestions. He pointed out that the selfish example was, well, too selfish. He also said that people already freak out about Votto in Cincinnati. (And, yes, there has been another freak-out recently.) Both valid points.

In my defense, Lindbergh did appreciate the imaginary double-play combination of LeMahieu and Simmons. He then responded that he would trade Giancarlo Stanton to the Rockies. More precisely, he would trade Giancarlo Stanton to Coors Field. Miller and Lindbergh both already wrote about that possibility after Stanton committed this horsehide-icide in Denver in 2012. Sweet lord, I'm not even sure if the Coors Field Rockpile could withstand a full season of Stanton's barrages.

Via losthatsportsblog.com
After Lindbergh and Miller discussed Stanton for a bit, Miller responded next, saying that he would send Alex Rodriguez back to Seattle. After all, his first major league home was the only city where A-Rod was well-liked. The guys pointed out that A-Rod might thrive in Seattle like Barry Bonds did in San Francisco. Lindbergh offered one last possibility for a nice player-team pairing, saying that Billy Hamilton would fit in well on the speedy, run-happy Royals. I agree that Hamilton would slide into Kansas City's lineup about as well as anybody except for The Road Runner.

I already offered some answers to my own question, but here are a few others:

Selfish: I'll put Andrew McCutchen on the Yankees, thank-you-very-much. Since Lindbergh said I can't have Trout, I'll take the second-best position player in the game.
Family-Oriented: Let's get those fun-loving Molina brothers on the same team. Screw it, let's even bring Bengie out of retirement.
Anarchist: In order to achieve maximum chaos, I'd put A.J. Pierzynski back on the Giants. The forgiving crowd that defended Bonds hates the catcher with a burning passion. Even three World Series titles in five years wouldn't buy Brian Sabean enough goodwill to justify a Pierzynski acquisition.
Time Traveler: I'd go back and see how that infamous DiMaggio-for-Williams trade would have worked out.

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Follow FranT on Twitter at @frantweet and follow Brian Kavanaugh at @btkav

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