White Hat Sports Headlines

Thursday, February 19, 2009

If the Red Sox were the movies.

It's that time of year once again, yes, it's OSCARS TIME. In honor of the Oscars and of the first full squad work out yesterday, I am going to name a Red Sox player and their cinematic twin. These combinations are completely superficial, it is based off looks, style of play public response. Today I will work through the line up and comeback tomorrow for the pitching combo's.

Catcher- Jason Varitek is to the Red Sox, what Crash Davis is to the Durham Bulls in Bull Durham.
The easy choice here would be Jake Taylor from Major League I & II and there are similarities like both were all-stars for Boston and both are gutting it out behind the plate. Though I could never see Tek pretending to hit a home run, just like I could never see him play for another team, which Jake played for a bunch of teams and one in Mexico. Tek has to be compared to Crash for being the leader of the team and for being the guy that the whole team looks towards. The most value for Tek as we heard a thousand times this off season is how he handles the pitching staff and how unmeasurable his value is. (Did I just start channeling Scott Boras into this column?) Look at how Crash handled Nuke and how Tek handles all of the young pitchers in the system. This comparison works even better now that Tek is divorced and could go after an Annie if he wanted to, or steal her from his young protege as he prefers to.

First base- Kevin Youkilis is to the Red Sox, what Lou Collins is to the Minnesota Twins in Little Big League.
This one was easy, the professional tough first baseman who wouldn't have a problem dating the owners Mom. (Though I really doubt Youk would dump Enza for the mom of John Henry, Larry Luchino or Tom Werner, but it shows his guile.) Both were leaders, look at what the Twins did when Lou got benched by Billy down the stretch run only to come back and hitting a home run in his first game back. The greatest comparison is that facing Randy Johnson, in a one game playoff, you know Youk would at least take him to the wall, and probably out.

Second base- Dustin Pedroia is to the Red Sox, what Michael "Squints" Palledorous is to The Sandlot
This comparison was really the reason that I decided to go all the way with this column. This is the one that inspired it. I didn't want to cop out the MVP and compare him to Tanner of the Bad News Bears or something trivially like that. Squints because of the time frame could honestly by Pedroia's father. Watch the scene when they play the little league team and they "kick the crap" out of those guys and Squints is going warning track and off the wall and you can just tell he's the guy that you couldn't keep off the base paths. Now his position is really unknown because of camera angles, it seems like he's sort of a rover or the short fielder. And here is what sealed it for me, you know, you KNOW, Pedroia would put the moves on the life guard and steal a kiss from Wendy Peffercorn.

Third base- Mike Lowell is to the Red Sox, what Stan Okie is to the Chicago Cubs in Rookie of the Year.
I know what you're thinking, and yes, Stan Okie was the first baseman for the Cubs in that movie. It was hard to think of a comparison to Mike Lowell. Lowell is like no other guy, his sense of humor is dry and he's no nonsense so you think. The comparison stems from the hidden ball trick, both have pulled it off successfully and both could keep a straight face while doing it.

Shortstop- Jed Lowrie is to the Red Sox, what Scott Smalls is to The Sandlot
Both guys are just too smart to be that good at baseball. Lowrie went to Stanford and has the hair cut to prove it. Smalls was the nerd of the team who became cool from playing with the cool kids, (except Bertram, there's no way he was cool, hence why "He got really into the 60's and nobody ever heard from him again.") now even though Lowrie doesn't seem like a complete nerd, you have to remember he has been in the minors for a while, prior to that I can completely see him walking out of a Star Trek convention, can't you? Smalls had the long billed fishing hat, a collared shirt tucked into cargo shorts and tall socks on when he first went to the Sandlot and thought Babe Ruth was a she.
Writer's note, I didn't mean to make this sound negative towards Jed Lowrie, I like the kid and I can see him having a good career as an Alex Cora type. I used him because I didn't want to compare Julio Lugo to Yeah-Yeah from the Sandlot.

Outfield- Jason Bay is to the Red Sox, what Barry Pepper was to Roger Maris was in 61*
Now before you go crazy, I'm comparing Red Sox players to movie characters, I am in no way comparing Jason Bay right now to Roger Maris, but on second thought, why not? These guys are sort of similar, Bay doesn't seem to have Maris's paranoia and general disdain for the media, but he is a very quiet reserved guy from a place that's no understood here. (Maris North Dakota, Jason Bay Canada). Comparing their numbers, is very interesting right now. Bay has 149 home runs and Maris hit 275. Bay is a career .282 hitter and Maris hit .260 for his career and Bay's OPS is 30 points higher. So, yes, I am now comparing Jason Bay to Roger Maris, not just Barry Pepper's portrayal of him in 61*.

Outfield- Jacoby Ellsbury is to the Red Sox, what Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez was to The Sandlot.
Rugged good looks, you know he is getting the best looking women and all the women he could handle if he wants them but wouldn't be the the Ricky Vaughn of the team. Both have legendary speed, Benny out ran "The Beast", Ellsbury has run down a deer in his back yard. Put each of them in the other's situation and it would probably play out exactly the same. The only difference between these two guys is that Benny was a right handed hitter (by the way 10 years ago and there is no way I'm not comparing Benny to Nomar) and Jacoby hits from the left side.

Outfield- JD Drew is to the Red Sox, what Kelly Leak was to the Bad News Bears.
Before I proceed, I want to state that this was by far the toughest comparison, there just wasn't enough to work with. Drew could be compared to Kelly Leak though at the beginning or the non beginning of his career. Leak wasn't on a team, he was a rebel, but had all the tools. Drew was drafted by the Phillies and they couldn't sign him, he was a little bit of a rebel and then went and took of 5 of his tools and played for the St. Paul Saints. Though Drew has been anything but controversial since the inauspicious beginning of his career, he is the strong silent type and these days they don't make the strong silent type anymore.

Designated Hitter- David Ortiz is to the Red Sox, what Pedro Cerrano is to the Cleveland Indians in Major League I & II
This was by far the easiest pick. They were the big bopper in the middle of their line up, always came up with the big hit, I mean watch the Major League movies and they both kind of have the same things happening. Each big final game, Cerrano blasts a 3 run shot to tie or go ahead in the game after the 7th inning. Ortiz's clutch resume' speaks for itself. The only thing I don't see between these two guys is voodoo, I'm not sure how Big Papi would get along with Joboo.

The Bench
Josh Bard played by Rube Baker, Major League II
Julio Lugo played by Yeah-Yeah, The Sandlot
Mark Kotsay played by Tucker Kain, Little Big League
Rocco Baldelli played by Isuro "Kamakaze" Tanaka Major League II

Sterling Pingree

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