The title is deliberately misleading, and I do apologize for that. I'm not going to talk about how Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham make up a great core for the Twins. I won't resort to talking about a time-machine Twins team that consists of Kirby Puckett, Johan Santana and Torii Hunter. And I absolutely will not resort to making up fake trades that land the Twins Mike Trout and Bryce Harper. No, this is much more serious and important.
Not long ago, I woke up in the middle of the night, laughing to myself about the thought of 9 sets of Twins playing each position on a baseball field. I'm not sure why this idea was in my head or why it woke me up, but I spent roughly the next hour lying awake trying to figure out if any team filled with the actual embodiment of their own team's nicknames would be able to defeat the Twins in a baseball game. I figured, I could go grab my laptop and start typing away. This would have certainly ended with me explaining to my pregnant wife what I was doing and the ensuing legal fees that come with a divorce. Instead, I decided to trust my brain to come up with this idea once more, only when awake, away from my wife and with time to write about it. This is that epic time! It is Friday night, my wife is asleep and my dog has been fed both of his dinners. Let's do this!
Before we investigate, I figure every good exercise requires rules. Essentially, rules are what separate humans from animals. I can't think of any other differences. Before you start, I am fully aware that humans are animals, Bill Nye. I have created rules that I am legally obligated to follow. Please read these rules in reverse order.
- Rule #1 - Take this very seriously.
- Rule #2 - Be as literal as possible. The Rockies will be mountains, the Red Sox will be socks, the Reds will be the color red, lying flat on the ground.
- Rule #3 - Abandon rule #2 for humor. Or, at the very least, attempted humor.
- Rule #4 - Don't address any social issues. This isn't Grantland.
- Rule #5 - Real life MLB Playoff style with 6 division winners, 4 wild-cards, 2 play-in games, and the World Series at the end.
- Rule #6 - Ignore all rules. Did you read these in the wrong order? If so, you wasted so much time reading fake rules. Just kidding, rule #6 is "have fun."
Time to start!
Controversy right off the bat. Are "Indians" good at baseball? Please refer to Rule #4 before commenting. In all walks of life and within all groups of people, there are people who are good at things and people who are bad at things. Within the population of Native Americans there would likely be some excellent players. If we go by all-star team rules, The Indians would have a great team.
Same goes for the Royals. One would assume that being wealthy Monarchs, these Royals could pay for the best hitting and pitching coaches, plus have ample time to train. However, there is an ever shrinking number of true Monarchs, so the player pool is not huge. All in all, I bet the Royals could field a pretty good team.
The Tigers would be intimidating, but show me a tiger that can hold a bat. All it would take is one brave player on the other team to go out, throw balls over the plate, and run for his life while recording enough outs to win. Plus, I think we overlook how sleepy and adorable your average tiger is. The other team could simply wait for all the Tigers to fall asleep in a heap and then just go out and pump fastballs.
The White Sox stand no chance. Pairs of socks would ultimately fair very poorly against Tigers. In addition, most of the people on other teams would be wearing socks, removing any possible advantage that socks have within baseball.
Ultimately, the Twins would be the heavy favorites. Think about it, if there were 9 sets of Twins on the field, the defense would be insane. Plus, there exists a great chance for pitching trickery. A set of twins with differing handedness would eliminate any platoon advantage that a right-handed Tiger, White Sock, Royal or Indian would have. I'm not sure how hitting would work, but I don't think it is reasonable to expect both Twins to hold the same bat or anything. If they could work out a way to turn into a giant wheel while running, as in cartoons, they could really break up some double plays.
Projected Division Finish:
*Wild Card winner
We've all seen Angels in the Outfield. We all know that Angels can turn a broken-down Tony Danza into Justin Verlander. But, can Angels play as well without human bodies to manipulate? A team composed of Angel-assisted players would be excellent, but I feel that an all Angel team might be paper champs. I feel like they would struggle with stronger teams and possibly have to forfeit games to take care of much more important things. However, if the Angels were former MLB players, things could get really interesting. A team filled with deceased former Angel baseball players would be impressive, but still might have the same issues as a team filled with Angels who were not Angels.
The Astros are new to this division. Astros seems to be short for Astronauts, so lots of science dorks here. If I have learned anything from the Twins' clubhouse it's that dorks need not apply. I still think they would struggle in this division filled with manly men and Angels. Though, some dorks are manly, which I think is probably the most important take away from this exercise. This would be a great opportunity for the smart folk to get back at the jocks. Speaking of jocks...
The Athletics would be a team filled with athletes. That sounds pretty promising. However, take time to think of those athlete prospects that never pan out because they don't have baseball skills. They just sprint around, jumping and hurdling, but they can't make good contact. I'm not falling for it. I say these athletes would struggle against big-league Angel or Twin pitching. They would lead the league in eye-popping plays though.
This division really comes down to whether you think fishermen or cowboys are better at baseball. The Mariners would have the advantage on the water, but Rangers are land mammals. Subscribing to my theory about samples of people, I am guessing both teams would be stacked. I give the slight edge to the Rangers, due to baseball being played on land.
Projected Division Finish:
*Wild Card winner
Quite possibly the weakest and most bird-laden division of them all. Blue Jays and Orioles are vastly different birds. Blue Jays are a type of bird (there are 4 subspecies) and Orioles are an entire family of birds. That means the Orioles have an much larger bird pool to pull from. If the two teams played each other, my money would be on the Orioles. Although, Blue Jays are much prettier.
The Rays would be terrible. A ray of sunlight is powerful. Powerful enough to power a building if working in tandem with its fellow rays. However, rays can't play baseball. Well, can't is the wrong word. There isn't a rule against it or any sort of discrimination, but they wouldn't be good at baseball. Occasionally the Rays would get in the eyes of the people and birds they are playing against, but I am guessing the Rays would have an equally difficult time holding a bat or glove. They might burn a hole through them too, which would just be a waste. I'd personally vote to contract the Rays.
For my analysis of the Red Sox please copy and paste my thoughts on the White Sox into Word. Hit ctrl+F, then click the Replace tab. From there, choose to replace the word White with Red and the word Tigers with any divisional bird of your choosing.
The Yankees would absolutely run away with this division. They are the only humans in the division, which would be a huge advantage in the areas of size, strength and brains. Sunglasses could be worn to combat the Rays, as there is no specific rule against it. Now it is true that the Yankees would only consist of Northerners, which would limit the pool of players, but not enough to lower their talent level to that of birds or socks. Plus, Randy Johnson has already proven that birds are no match for humans when it comes to baseball.
Projected Division Finish:
Pirates have scurvy. It seems important to point that out. Scurvy results from a vitamin C deficiency. It is easy to treat; just add vitamin C. However, Pirates are notoriously stubborn and constantly plundering. Adding all these factors together, I don't expect the Pirates to be very consistent. This will likely be a very tough adjustment for Pittsburgh fans, who have come to expect a very consistent baseball team.
Brewers make beer. I know it is shocking that the Wisconsin team would be beer-related, but my sources indicate this is true. Brewers worry me because they could consume their product and then try to play baseball impaired. However, anyone with good business sense knows that you do not embezzle, even beer. Therefore, I am not concerned with impairment. The Brewers would be scurvy-free human beings, which is huge in this division.
Cubs are bears, but smaller. In fact, they are child bears. Now, full-sized bears would be nearly unstoppable. I am nearly certain we could train them to hold bats (or tape bats to them) and bears are freaking strong so there would be mass dingers. Cubs are smaller and more docile. They are strong, but not as strong. Plus, they are still developing. I think a team of beer makers or treasure seekers could outwit young bears. This diagram might help (remember, the alligator eats the larger thing):
Bears > Humans > Baby Bears (Cubs)
Cardinals are birds. We covered birds earlier. Cardinals are a family of birds, much like Orioles. So, if we had just a three-team bird baseball league, I would say the Cardinals would be heavy favorites to make the playoffs, along with the Orioles. However, trying to determine which bird team would win in a game between the two is something science is simply not ready to address. Luckily, we don't have to worry about it. Remember Randy Johnson. Get it tattooed on your hand.
Now, Red is a color. Reds are a color? Under the guise of rule #3, I have decided that the Reds will be Communists. We all know that Fidel Castro was a noted baseball-playing communist. I haven't heard of others like him and most of the former Soviet countries are not known for baseball. Therefore, I think this would be a rather weak team. They are humans though, and thus would be better than birds and baby bears by this corollary: Bears > Humans > Baby Bears (Cubs).
Projected Division finish:
Giants are huge. By definition, this is a fact. Is simply being huge enough to win a baseball game? I'm not sure it is, but it certainly does not hurt. The reality is that while Giants are notoriously slow, their steps are notoriously large. Base-stealing will be nearly a cinch, as the Giants would simply take a step and be at the next base. One flaw for Giants: Giant strike-zones. Think of how easy it would be to get a fastball by them. A ruling would need to be made on whether or not their bats would be proportional to their size or if they would be forced to use comically small human-sized bats.
Dodgers would be good at base stealing. See, the Dodgers were named after the people of Brooklyn, who were referred to as Trolley Dodgers, due to the network of Trolleys in Brooklyn around late 1890s. Teams were poorly named in those days. Since they are good at dodging Trolleys, I guess they'd be fast. Or something. At least they would be humans. Humans seem to have a distinct advantage in this league, especially when facing birds or socks.
Diamondbacks are terrifying. They are rattlesnakes, for the non-snake peeps. Rattlesnakes are terrifying. They are poisonous too. However, if the other team had any of those long, thin, curved rods that can hold a snake head up, they would probably have a huge advantage. If the snakes could guard the bases, they might be able to deter other teams from running the bases. However, baseball players wear cleats and run fast. There would be many dead snakes and that is just not cool.
Rockies are mountains. Mountains don't move very fast. In addition, they are prone to erosion. While a mountain may be able to get on base, I don't think they would ever score. In fact, I bet they'd get picked off a lot. However, I bet they would have a lot of range! HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHA!
I would think the Padres would be very nice. The name comes from the Spanish friars that founded the city of San Diego. Anyone who takes the time to found a whole city is pretty cool. However, they passed away long ago. Now we're getting into whether ghosts should be allowed to play baseball. Personally, I don't discriminate. However, I'm not sure if ghosts can hold things, and holding stuff is important in baseball.
Projected Division finish:
*Wild card winner
The Braves. We addressed this earlier. According to Wikipedia, a Brave is a Native American Warrior. I think warriors would be great at baseball. They have to be fast, strong, brave and smart. This particular division is swimming with humans, so it will be harder to win. Warriors are impressive humans though. We may be on to something.
Nationals are peoples of a nation. Since this nation is the United States, that means that every baseball player in the United States would be eligible to play for the Nationals. This team would be loaded. It would be an all-star team. Some might think they would be unstoppable. We'll see, I suppose.
Mets are city-folk. They are metropolitan. They go to museums, theatre and then eat fancy foods. They walk places. They take public transportation. They rent bikes. All the metropolitan folk could make up a great baseball team. However, anyone who is a metropolitan in the U.S. would also be able to play for the Nationals. This could end up being the biggest decision they ever make!
Phillies are people from Philly, not horses. You are thinking of fillies. Horses would have no chance, but people from Philly might be ok. Mark Gubicza and Roy Campanella are from Philly and they were good. It stands to reason that the Phillies could field a decent team. However, Philly is also a Metro area. It is also in the U.S. This segmenting is just too much for my tastes. Until the Phillies branch out, they will struggle to compete in this division.
So, logically: People of the US > Native Americans in the US > People just in U.S. Metro Areas > People from Philly (the alligator simply eats the larger sample size, this is not a commentary on these people)
Marlins are fish. All types of people catch fish and then eat them. This does not bode well for the Marlins' chances. If they could somehow harness their sliminess, they might have something. I'm not sure it would be enough. They do have that giant, sharp horn thing and some are bigger than some humans. Their biggest weakness might be their complete lack of arms. Arms hold stuff, and if we can learn nothing else from this exercise, it would be that holding stuff wins baseball games.
Projected Division finish:
*Wild card winner
In the near future, we will play out these playoffs and determine a champion. Or, we won't. I don't think anyone will be losing sleep over it. Except me.