Hope springs eternal. It’s finally here, folks; it’s baseball season. Summer is around the corner, and we’ll all soon be sitting in the sun at our favorite ballparks inhaling hot dogs and ice cold beer.
Everyone is doing prediction content, we know that. But our official 2022 prognostications will be coming via the reminiscing route.
Who doesn’t love a good baseball name from from the 90’s or early aughts? So that’s how we’re giving our picks, via our favorite throwback name from each team.
Toronto Blue Jays – Gregg Zaun, C
Boston Red Sox – Trot Nixon, RF
Tampa Bay Rays – Miguel Cairo, 2B
New York Yankees – Scott Brosius, 3B
Baltimore Orioles – Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B
Chicago White Sox – José Valentín, 3B
Minnesota Twins – Matt Lawton, CF
Cleveland Guardians – Carlos Baerga, 2B
Detroit Tigers – José Macías, 3B
Kansas City Royals – Mark Grudzielanek, 2B
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – Scott Spiezio, 1B
Houston Astros – Julio Lugo, SS
Seattle Mariners – Mike Cameron, CF
Texas Rangers – Royce Clayton, SS
Oakland A’s – Matt Stairs, DH
Philadelphia Phillies – Mickey Morandini, 2B
Atlanta Braves – Ryan Klesko, RF
New York Mets – Benny Agbayani, LF
Miami Marlins – Hee-Seop Choi, 1B
Washington Nationals – José Vidro, 2B
St. Louis Cardinals – Fernando Vina, 2B
Milwaukee Brewers – Jeromy Burnitz, RF
Chicago Cubs – Ron Coomer, 3B
Cincinnati Reds – Pokey Reese, 2B
Pittsburgh Pirates – Tony Womack, SS
Colorado Rockies – Dante Bichette, RF
San Francisco Giants – Benito Santiago, C
Los Angeles Dodgers – César Izturis, SS
San Diego Padres – Mark Kotsay, CF
Arizona Diamondbacks – Lyle Overbay, 1B
God, that was amazing…I think I need a cigarette. So many great names, so much boring baseball to have on in the background until October. Let’s go.
We’ve arrived at an incredibly important edition of “Who Wore It Best.” In our latest, we’re digging into the roaring 20’s. Let’s find out together who made the cut in this extremely paramount, career-defining list.
29 – Eric Dickerson
His athletic excellence barely surpassed that of the rec specs. Dickerson put together the greatest single season rushing the football in 1984, going for an NFL record 2,105 yards. He wasn’t just a one season wonder, however. Before being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999, Dickerson was a five time first team All-Pro, four time rushing leader, has his number 29 retired by the LA Rams, and is in the Indianapolis Colts Ring of Honor.
Honorable Mentions: Adrian Beltre, Ken Dryden, Marc-André Fleury
28 – Marshall Faulk
Back to back running backs who played for the Rams and Colts. Much like Dickerson, Faulk both has his number retired by the Rams as well as being a member of the Colts Ring of Honor. Unlike Dickerson, Faulk has a Super Bowl ring. He also tacked on a MVP, three offensive player of the year awards, as well as three first team All-Pro selections.
Honorable Mentions: Bert Blyleven, Curtis Martin, Darrell Green
27 – Vladimir Guerrero Sr.
Vlad the Impaler was a 2018 Hall of Fame inductee. He earned his spot in Cooperstown after winning the 2004 MVP, hitting 449 career home runs while maintaining a .318 career batting average, and winning an incredible eight Silver Slugger awards.
Honorable Mentions: Eddie George, Scott Rolen
26 – Rod Woodson
Rod Woodson was one of the best ball hawks to ever do it; picking off 71 balls in his 17 NFL seasons. He was also a vital member of one of the greatest defenses of all time, the Super Bowl XXXV champion Baltimore Ravens. All of this (and more) cumulated in an induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.
Honorable Mention: Wade Boggs
25 – Barry Bonds
Even before he went to the Giants and things…changed; Barry Bonds was one of the greatest players in baseball. In his seven seasons in Pittsburgh before moving to San Francisco, Bonds was a three time NL MVP, won five Gold Gloves, and five Silver Slugger awards.
Honorable Mention: Fred Biletnikoff
24 – Willie Mays
Absolute stacked number here, but Mays takes the cake. The stats are gawdy; 660 home runs, 1,903 RBI, and 338 stolen bases. Along the way Mays made 24 All-Star games, won twelve Gold Gloves, two NL MVPs, and a World Series in 1954.
Honorable Mentions: Ken Griffey Jr., Rickey Henderson, Miguel Cabrera, Manny Ramirez, Rick Barry, Champ Bailey, Chris Chelios
Emmitt Smith did it all in his 15 NFL seasons. The league’s all time leading rusher (18,355 yards) won three Super Bowls, the 1993 NFL MVP, was a four time first team All-Pro, and lead the NFL in touchdowns three separate seasons.
Honorable Mentions: Clayton Kershaw, Elgin Baylor, Roger Clemens
21 – Deion Sanders
The swagiest swag that ever swagged. Deion was, and still is, one of the most raw athletes we’ve ever seen. He wasn’t too bad on the field either. Prime’s got two Super Bowl rings, six first team All-Pro selections, and is a member of both the 90’s All-Decade and NFL 100th Anniversary Teams. Oh, and he also played in the MLB for nine seasons. He was a .263 career hitter, with 39 home runs, 168 RBI, and 186 stolen bases. Absolute baller.
Honorable Mentions: Roberto Clemente, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, LaDainian Tomlinson, Stan Mikita, Peter Forsberg
20 – Barry Sanders
The twitchiest running back we’ve ever seen, just absolutely stupid stuff. A combo Heisman winner and NFL MVP, the four time first team All-Pro ran for over 15,000 yards and almost 100 touchdowns. Pretty good for a guy who retired early.
Honorable Mentions: Frank Robinson, Mike Schmidt, Gary Payton, Ed Reed, Brian Dawkins
The numbers get lower, and the lists get better. How about 24 and 21 just absolutely cleaning house? All four major sports represented on each. This was a great edition of “Who Wore It Best,” and we can only assume the names will get hotter the next time around.
On Friday, the face of Cleveland Baseball changed forever. In a move that was announced back in December, baseball fans in the Buckeye State now have a new mascot to root for:
So, there you have it…the Cleveland Guardians. Predictably, the internet remained undefeated, and roasted the changed the appropriate amount, as can be seen here, here, and here.
I’m not here to argue the merits of changing the name or not, because whatever stance you have at this point is not going to change. What I am here to discuss is the above-linked video the team put out on their socials announcing the name.
Total mess of a production. I supposed a good starting point is the fact that their social media handles on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all still include the very word this entire name change is about. If we’re making the change, the handles have to be updated before the announcement is made. Posting what’s meant to be a powerful statement changing your team’s former identity while the politically charged word is still your handle is just a brutal look. It’d be like, hypothetically telling a trusting group of followers to “be happy with what you have” while sitting in a 17,000 foot mansion, driving a Ferrari, flying in your personal jet, hoarding a $4.4 million PPP Loan, and having a net worth of $100 million. Again, just a hypothetical, but could you imagine being so dense?
Secondly, we all love Tom Hanks; he’s America’s dad for a reason. But, I’m having some trouble finding the connection between TH and the city of Cleveland. The Black Keys provided the music, which makes sense; they hail from Akron. But Tom Hanks?
Well, according to cleveland.com, a seemingly reliant source on the matter, Hanks’ “ties to Cleveland go back to 1977 when he landed his first professional job as an intern at the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival…[t]he actor became a huge Indians fan during that time.” OK, fair enough. I just think that a proud, Midwestern city like Cleveland could’ve better used one of its own instead of one of the most popular movie stars on the planet who, by the way, hails from Concord, California.
The state of Ohio boasts a pretty impressive list of celebrities and entertainers who could have nailed the voice over assignment here. Again taking from cleveland.com; how does Halle Berry, Drew Carey, or Terrence Howard sound, Cleveland? If that doesn’t do it for you, how about Arsenio Hall, Trent Reznor, or Wes Craven? No go there? Does Steve Harvey, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, or Ed O’Neill tickle your fancy? If none of those work, you have to believe Kid Cudi, Tracy Chapman, or Kathryn Hahn would have done the trick.
What’s done is done. The name, logo, and video are all out for Cleveland baseball fans to enjoy. Maybe the next time a team with an insensitive name changes, their social media team doesn’t drop the ball like the Guardians did. Until then, let the useless Twitter arguments and dumpster fire comment sections on politics in sports continue to rage until we’re all blue in the face and we’ve solved nothing.