Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The MLB Equivalent Game

Brethren: So while I do love my Major League Baseball, Nacho only really follows from afar. That, coupled with our Charlotte, NC, upbringing that didn't lend us a team we could both root for, pretty much remains the reason our blog rarely touches on MLB.

But it's not that we don't appreciate the good sport. In fact, we enjoy discussing it from time to time and now that the season's over, we feel it's an appropriate time for the Sports Brethren to weigh in. However, we are the first to admit that there are certainly people out there who know more than we do. So while we can easily knock out a draft using only Bobcats and Hornets players, knowing enough pro baseball players to make a game out of knowledge probably wouldn't cut it.

Luckily for us, I have friends who know baseball. So we invited my buddies, Duece and Gideon, to put their MLB knowledge to the test in a little game we're calling the "MLB Equivalent Game." Basically, we gave them a list of famous people, friends of the blog, and public figures, and asked them to give us those people's equivalent professional baseball player. Then, since Nacho needs to get involved here and loves to judge...well, really, anything, we're gonna let him decide who he thinks made the better pick after each selection.

Duece, stage right, versus Gideon, stage left

True to their personalities, Duece, in his argumentative and loquacious ways, provides paragraphs of material on every nuance of his decisions (I've edited some of it), and Gid, in his one-liner ways, gives the reader a short dash of reasoning. One final note: neither of the dudes knew about the other one's picks when choosing.

Tell us in the comments section who YOU think has the better MLB knowledge -- and any other connections you can think of.

The MLB Equivalent game, thru

Brethren (cont'd): Let the games begin.

First up, me, Brethren

Duece: There were many ways to start off here. Omar Vizquel was an option as an one of the best shortstops of all time who constantly annoys both with his play since he hits less then Mendoza as in the "Mendoza Line" and his unwanted opinion in many cases. David Eckstein seems to fit; scrappy, 5'9", the whole ugly-as-all-hell-in-execution-yet-gets-the-job-done-everytime mentality fits. However, he's quiet and humble. Clearly out of the question. I went with Craig Counsell here for a couple of reasons. He has quite possibly the most awkward yet "I can't look away" batting stance/posture next to only Fernando Tatis. He has the physique of a 14 year old anorexic turbo slut. But get this stat, he was on base for two gaming winning bottom of the ninth game 7 World Series victories. Not quite sure how that fits but you get the idea.

Gideon: David Eckstein - small, scrappy, scrawny...2ez (Gid: Duece, is Craig Counsell that outspoken? Doesn't make sense...)

Nacho: I'm going with Duece for two solid reasons: A) I'm a fan of alliteration, and 2) when I went to search for David Eckstein's picture of him guzzling tequila, I typed in Dennis Eckstein and got this. So +10 for Duece and -200 for Gideon. Not off to a good a start, Gid.

2nd up: Nacho

Duece: Kevin Millar - Wasn't really sure how to address this one. The size is about right. But what I focused on here was Millaaaaa's knack to talk....and never stop. What is he talking about? We never really know. Does it have relevance? Absolutely not.

Gideon: I have no idea what Smokey looks like, who he is, or where his random nicknames (Smokey, Nacho Friendly) come from. Travis Hafner's random nickname Pronk seems fitting to me (though based on the Cloud genes, can't imagine the physical features of the two are very similar).

Nacho: This one was much closer. I'll award +20 to Duece for his astute observations on my writing, and award Gideon +75 for reminding me to buy Kronk's New Groove. Man, I love me some Kronk.

Squeakity...squeakity squeak?

Duece: +30 Gideon: -125

3rd up: Mark Hamill

Duece: Kerry Wood - A franchise trilogy to start off a career. No not Star Wars. 4th Overall selection in the 1995 Draft. 20 K's, 0 walks, 1 hit, complete game shutout. 1998 Rookie of the Year (despite missing a full month). After that we got absolutely nothing from him but hope, and "wait until next year", and potential. Consider this: imdb.com lists Mark Hamill as having 190 acting appearances. EXCUSE ME? Interesting Parallel: Kerry Wood has compiled 72 career victories and is in the top 200 all-time in K's. How/when did this actually happen. In addition, Hamill and Wood have now become pop-culture figures who try to reinvent themselves but in the end really just spoof themselves over and over again. Hamill on Family Guy as himself a recent part of this and Wood thinking he can be a closer because other people did it but just hurting himself...again. Insanely parallel careers right here.

Gideon: Tom Glavine. I see the Schilling thing, but also see a Tom Glavine resemblance.

Nacho: Well done both of you. Duece makes a damn fine point, but I'm a sucker for photo comparisons. +50 both of you.

Duece: +80 Gideon: -75

4th up: Stephen Hawking

Duece: J.D. Drew - To me this is pretty easy. While different in their execution, they are essentially the same person. Stephen Hawking is the world's smartest man...who can't walk, talk, or breath. J.D. Drew is the most physically gifted baseball player of all-time (next to Bo Jackson)...who can't run, catch, or hit. You tell me that this doesn't make sense.

Gideon: Jim Abbott - physically impaired - still a beast in his on the mound/with the mind.

Nacho: 1990s references will get you everywhere with me, boys. Since we're in America, I have to reward more points to the cripple so we can all feel better about ourselves. +25 Duece, +75 Gideon.

Duece: +105 Gideon: 0

5th up: Barack Obama

Duece: Obama had so much promise, pizazz, charisma, clout, seeming athleticism. 5 tools right there. Sounds like Curtis Granderson. First man to hit for 20 doubles, homers, triples, and steals in a season joining Frank Wildfire Schulte and Willie Mays as the only men to accomplish this feat (Jimmy Rollins joined the group days later). Buuuuuuut, really a more accurate career parallel might be to a shockingly honest and talented and exuberant young player who showed his emotions like a 14 year old anorexic turbo slut. Someone who burst onto the scene too early and was hurt by an overbearing workload that eventually broke him down. Who you may ask? None other than Jaret Wright.

Gideon: A-Rod. Clearly a young phenom, but has no chance of taking the next step. A-Rod can't do it in the playoffs, Obama cant do it in the presidential election. Plus, controversy over whether A-Rod was Dominican enough for the world baseball classic, whether he was American enough to play for the US...

Nacho: Facts and figures are nice, but words get boring without a peppering of expletives, so while Duece's may be right, there were too many words and he had to use the phrase "turbo slut" twice within five examples. +5 Duece, +20 Gideon.

Duece: +110 Gideon: +20

6th up: Trey Garza

Duece: This was a tough one, but I'm going with the ever apathetic, always prone for a meltdown, yet somehow miraculously gets the job done...every time: Joe Borowski. I think that sums it up in one sentence.

Gideon: Carlos Zambrano - husky bodies; sorta look alike - guaranteed to flip out once every few days.

Nacho: I only know who Carlos Zambrano is, but I just the feeling like I wanna get drunk with someone named Joe Borowski. +25 Duece, +10 Gideon.

Duece +150 Gideon: +30

7th up: Mike Myers

Duece: I could have gone with emotion-sink robotic sentinels Randy Johnson, Josh Beckett, or Mariano Rivera. But I'm going to go with Julio Franco here. Timeless. Ageless. Comeback after comeback after comeback. Seriously you can't kill this guy. He's 47. And that's what he says. So he's really 60? Come on.

Gideon: Todd Helton - uncanny resemblance.

Ed note: Suppose we should have been clearer in which "Mike Myers" we were referring to. Whoops. I liked each answer enough to keep it in here.

Nacho: I'm with the Editor, I like the confusion. Both are accurate comparisons for their respective folks, and I'll always a Julio Franco fan. +10 Duece, +50 Gideon.

Duece: +160 Gideon: +80

8th up: Jack Bauer

Duece: This is another place where I had a tough choice. I hate Jack Bauer. I hate 24. It is probably by far the most over-hyped, over-budgeted, overly-dramatic, overly-incomprehensible television show of all-time. Of all-time. I wanted to go with Armando Benitez, but he just isn't popular enough for this one. Even though I do hate him. I also thought of Borowski as well but he's underpaid and nobody outside of baseball has any idea who he is. So I'm going with somebody I really hate. Somebody who was an absolute mess of an "athlete". Somebody who always was in the public eye. Somebody who transcended baseball (at least in New York). Jack Bauer meet John Franco. A player who was loved by a city, was the #1 fan of the FDNY, was second on the all-time saves list (before Hoffman and Rivera blew past him), was over-paid, over-valued, over-rated, and just flat out old.

Gideon: Barry Zito - Very well known, huge following, but I am not sure how good either are? Is it really that hard to shoot a few terrorists and run around a whole lot? Is it really that hard to have a 4.53 ERA in the cavernous AT&T Park? At his salary? Neither really impress me.

Nacho: I'm really glad to hear both you dislike this show. The first season of 24 is damn near flawless, but there hasn't been a decent, hell, a mediocre plot, episode or character since George Mason went down with the nuke in Season 2. However, I like the Zito reference because the following of his disgrace is an all-baseball thing, not just a New York thig. +5 Duece, +50 Gideon

Duece: +165 Gideon: +130

9th up: Morgan Freeman

Duece: Another timeless and ageless figure. Except here we have one that is loved and revered by all. Can never do any wrong. Is more often than not the same character. Is slow and deliberate but is incredibly consistent. One of the greatest actors of our generation. Look no further than Tony Gwynn.

Gideon: Kenny Lofton. Long, distinguished career. Always making strong movies/playing for playoffs teams. Plus, if you turn back Morgan Freeman's clock about 30 years, they sorta look alike.

Nacho: I'm sorry, i can't in good conscious reward someone who think Lofton and Freeman look alike. Have you seen Gwynn and Morgan's bodies? Those look alike. +35 Duece, +10 Gideon.

Duece: +200 Gideon: +140

10th on the list: Lindsay Lohan

Duece: Started off as a child sensation. Soon got herself into the fast-paced world of fame and nose-candy. How could we be talking about anybody but Darryl Strawberry. Multiple trips to rehab. Multiple "clean" comebacks. Multiple downfalls. Does Strawberry's eventual house arrest and fall into nothingness foreshadow Lindsey's same descent? I'd like to think so. Stay tuned.

Gideon: Gary Sheffield (of the last few years) - always in the news; not really producing anything of any value. High controversy to production ratio - never good.

Nacho: Both strong entries, but Duece hits the nail on the head a little harder. +30 Duece, +20 Gideon.

Duece: +230 Gideon: +160

11th on the list: Bill Simmons

Duece: Outspoken; always has something to say; overly confident; thinks everything revolves around him and anything he is involved with. I initially went with the Red Sox angle and chose Curt Schilling. Irritating know-it-alls who actually know a lot and have personality and humor, even though you want to hate them both for being carpet baggers and just down right annoying. But Schilling was always good and started off as a top prospect. Simmons was an upstart blogger/superfan. So here's where I ended up: Kurt Warner. (Ed. Note: Rule breaker!) Yeah I know he's in the NFL. But think about it. He came out of absolutely nowhere (ok Arena Football) to lead the best offense in the history of football to a Super Bowl title and much success until getting pushed out. While he is a little more humble and seemingly likable than Simmons here are the issues: he has an undying religious faith that everything happened as God's will, his wife looks like the chick from Bravo's Work Out (i.e. not a chick), he has no reason to really be good at what he does, he now feels entitled to everything he has (including when he thought he should be starting for an awful Giants team over the future: Eli Manning). Seems pretty remarkably similar.

Gideon: Before I get into my response - have you ever heard his voice? The Most annoying, squeaky high-pitched voice of all time. I would have loved him to do some radio, but no one would be able to listen for more than 30 seconds....
Willie Mays - no joke. Willie revolutionized baseball with his combo of speed and power and finesse. Bill revolutionized sports writing with his completely biased, comedic writing that merges sports, life, and pop culture that has generated an unbelievable following and huge number of mimickers (read: Sports Brethren).

Nacho: I'm going with Gideon on this one, big time. His comparison to Willie is both legal, and better. You can't compare Simmons to Warner because Simmons hasn't (much like, say, A-Rod) won the big game, and probably never will. A-Rod's going to begin the downslope of his career; his best shot at winning a title was in New York, and since he couldn't get it done, he's going to spend the next decade plowing through every muscular surfer chude (chick-dude) from San Diego to Santa Barbara. Simmons definitely helped re-define the sports media landscape but joining ESPN was his Yankees tenure. During A-Rod's time at the Yankees teams like the White Sox and the Red Sox won championships; while Simmons was taking photos of thighs, Deadspin and Juiced Sports have exceeded his quality. Boom: -15 Duece, +75 Gideon.

Duece: +215 Gideon: +235

12th on the list: Pearl Jam

Duece: This is an interesting one. I was looking for a smash-mouth, likable, everyman with a long career. I immediately thought of centerfielders who slam into walls and hit homers. None of these people have had long careers or are too young to compare so far. Guys like Grady Sizemore and Torrii Hunter came to mind. Jimmy Edmonds is a possibility, but his offensive viability has fallen off faster than Peter Webb's dick after fucking No Regrets. So I'm going with Kirby Puckett. I hope this doesn't mean that there will be a catastrophic end to an incredibly influential Hall of Fame type career. Seriously it's hard to not like Pearl Jam. Interesting parallel: to really appreciate their greatness, you need to see both in person. Both are welded into my subconscious.

Gideon: Kenny Rogers - Never fully appreciated by the populas - never A-list superstars, but great body of work over a long career, grungy/grimey at times.

Nacho: Well put, Duece, well put. You get it man. Gideon, enjoy your Third Eye Blind records. +50 Duece, +10 Gideon.

Duece: +265 Gideon: +245

13th on the list: Oprah Winfrey

Duece: Simple. Great success in building an empire. Constant weight battles threatened that greatness. Primed for a huge downfall, despite the fact that she will continue to earn billions of dollars while literally not doing a thing. Mo Vaughn. Apologies to Cecil Fielder and Mike Sweetney.

Gideon: Barry Bonds - self-loving annoyances; not sure anyone likes either of them; both have ballooned in size as their careers went on, always in the news.

Nacho: I would have accepted Cecil Fielder just as well, but Vaughn's a great comparison. Bonds is equally as good a comparison, but he's got a voice higher than Simmons's. +30 Duece, +15 Gideon.

Duece: +290 Gideon: +260

14th on the list: Eyal Einik (stage left)

Duece: Zany, wacky, beat-to-my-own-drummer, walk-at-a-different-speed, unexplainable, foreign guy. Manny Ramirez. Obviously.

Gideon: Kevin Millar - A real clubhouse guy - not super talented, can't be relied on, but kept around for the jokes.

Nacho: I gotta give this one to Gideon because everybody knows Manny can't round the bases without taking off his helmet. This is clearly not a problem with Eyal. 0 to Duece, +20 for Gids.

Duece: 295 Gideon: +280

15th on the list: Katie Couric

Duece: This one stings a little. Somebody you love to hate and hate to love at the same time. She built herself with a different style into the host of NBC's Today show. Sought to be taken more seriously and gain political viability only to fail miserably. I can only choose a specific Yankee on this one: Johnny Damon. I hated his guts as a Red Sock but somehow I found myself liking him. He just had that thing. Then he got signed to a ridiculously asinine contract that even the Red Sox shied away from in order to cut his hair and be apart of a bigger social scene....only to fail miserably and pretty much become a bad DH.

Gideon: Johnny Damon - Not exactly sure why, but came to mind - also provides great chance to work in my favorite Johnny Damon joke: Johnny Damon - Looks like jesus, acts like judas, throws like mary - love it.

Ed. note: They both chose the same guy -- I think that makes it official. Katie Couric, you're the Johnny Damon of news television!

Nacho: Full disclosure: I in no, way, shape or form meant for this to happen but.....

Considering both gave the same answer, I had to go with SoA numbers (Strength of Answer): Duece +25.......Gideon.....+40 (fantastic joke, buddy.)

Final Score: Duece: +320 Gideon: +320


Duece: Stanley Kubrick and Wilt Chamberlain. Both completely dominated their field. But did so in a way that was way over everyone's head and incredibly ahead of their time. Both also died in 1999.

Gideon: Jon Basedow and Bronson Arroyo -

"He's John Basedow.
He's gonna show you how
To reach your potential
And turn your whole life around
Fitness made simple!"

I knew something bothered me bout Arroyo in his Red Sox days, and now I finally get to the bottom of it!

Nacho: Oh Duece, dear sweet Duece. You had it all, the world was your oyster. You knock it out of the park with a stellar movies/sports comparison but you neglected to recall this is for the MLB. So, while I admire the apt simile, tie goes to the runner: Gideon You are the winner of the First Annual MLB Equivalent Game. Congratulations, thank you all for being here, and enjoy your evening!.

Ed. Note: Jeebus that was long. Whew. I enjoyed every second of it though. Now go back to work.

1 comment:

Gideon Taub said...

Fellas, that was fun Nacho, strong responses. I rode the pictures all the way to the title. I can proudly say that most of my stronger analogies came while thinking in the water closet. I look forward to my more knowledgeable NBA, NFL and NHL (oh wait wouldn't be much fun to answer Sid the Kid and Jagr for every one) friends, and their competitions. A couple that came to mind for the next round...Professor Sabato, E. Ross Baird, Lauren "LC" Conrad, and Fidel Castro.