Monday, February 17, 2014

By Glen McKee, Columnist & Satirist

It’s a fact that your leadoff hitter will get more at-bats than anybody else in the lineup, over a period of time.  You’d think that means your best hitter – MIKE TROUT! – should fill that spot, and indeed that makes a certain amount of sense.  However, I think that this year, as with last year, we’re gonna need some entertainment beyond the box score, if you catch my drift.  We’ll need somebody who can entertain us, and I want the most entertaining player getting the most at-bats, and ladies and gentlemen, that player is Erick Aybar, by far.  Mike Trout is the best player on the team, no doubt, but Aybar is the most entertaining.

First, look at that mug.  Just look at it!

 photo erick-aybar-09022009-731395.jpg

It’s like Bruno Mars’ evil twin, gone to seed.  There’s a reason he’s been called “Ghostface Killah.”  I wouldn’t want to see him in a dark alley, or in the clubhouse swinging his…bat after the game.  We’ve all heard the rumors.  However, I do want to see that mug getting as many at-bats as possible.  It gives me hope. 

You can throw out all the stats you want against him hitting leadoff – that lifetime .317 OBP sure isn’t what you want to see in a leadoff hitter (hello, MIKE TROUT! and his .404 OBP) but I’ll give you something that doesn’t show in the stats – manliness.  You might not think of Aybar as being manly but just look at his first name – Erick.  He’s so manly his mom didn’t just stick with an individual C or  K at the end of his name, she used both of them.  He’s twice as manly as any Eric or Erik out there, even EriK Estrada.  (I can’t believe I’m saying that!  Bro-hug, Ponch.)  Once again, that’s the dude I want getting the most at-bats on this team.  Maybe if Mike Trout was named Mike Shark I’d want him hitting leadoff.  Heck, just imagine if Mike Trout was named Richard Shark.  That’d trump Erick Aybar any day, but I digress.

So far I’ve only mentioned intangibles, but there’s more to Aybar than a demon’s mug and a studly name.  There’s the grit factor.

Check this out:

It takes some stones, to break up a perfect game like that.  I admire that.  Screw the other team – I don’t want them to get a perfect game against us.  Aybar did what was necessary to keep that from happening.  I want that guy batting leadoff.

There’s also this:  

Not many people can get a HBP and a foul ball on the same pitch – Aybar can.  Plus, it helps Scioscia get a bit of exercise trotting out of the dugout, and that can’t hurt.  The more times that happens, the better for his health.

Finally, there’s this:

I know, it has nothing to do with hitting but I just love to watch it.  It’s hypnotic. 
You can present all the statistical arguments you want to argue against Aybar batting leadoff.  I say they are all invalid.  Nothing could be better than giving Aybar more at-bats. 

Absolutely Not!
By Nathan Trop, Columnist & Satirist

Glen, you ignorant slut!

I agree that everyone needs some Aybar in their lives, but with the signing of Yorvit Torrealba, Aybar doesn’t even have the best tantrum in the Angels organization anymore.  Torrealba threw the best tantrum I ever saw when he thought he tagged Trout out at home last season with the Rangers. 

I don’t think that Trout should leadoff but I definitely don’t want Aybar anywhere near the top of the order.  His career OBP is lower than Trout’s career batting average.

According to Scioscia, the Trout/Pujols/Hamilton combination will remain at the middle of the order.  Can you imagine how giddy it would make opposing pitchers to see that Aybar comes before those three?  They can just aim their fastball at his gentlemen’s region and watch with hilarity as he strikes out over and over.

Imagine if you are Mike Trout, a probable Greek god, and you had to stand there watching Aybar fake bunt plate appearance after plate appearance.  After Aybar strikes out or grounds out on a weak ground ball, Trout will come up there with nobody on base.  Next thing you know Trout will have lost the desire to play.  With Trout not his normal self, Pujols and Hamilton will feel the need to take the team on their backs and they will try too hard.  With Pujols and Hamilton pressing, Weaver will start pressing and CJ Wilson, already with one foot out the door, will completely give up on conditioning and focus on his auto racing career.  Finally, all of these struggles will cause Scioscia to eat, and eat, and eat, and eat until he won’t even fit in the dugout anymore.  I can’t cite the specific rule but I am pretty sure if your manager can’t fit in the dugout then you forfeit the season.

After forfeiting the season, Arte will be desperate to sell the team, without any buyers interested in his asking price he will sell the team to back Disney at a great loss.  With the stadium deal falling apart, Disney will move the team to Disneyland and to recoup some of the money they spent they’ll force Mike Trout to work” It’s a Small World” before night games.  Finally fed up, Trout will request a trade to the Yankees and the Angels will have lost all hope.  Aybar batting leadoff would be a disaster of Biblical proportions!

To save the Angels from this inevitable Armageddon, I think that Kole Calhoun should leadoff.  He has solid OBP and good speed.  As long as Trout can look past the fact that Calhoun is a ginger, they should be able to work well together and wreak havoc on opposing pitchers.  Pujols and Hamilton (also somewhat ginger-ish) will have plenty of runners on base to drive in and the pressure will be off.  The team will score lots of runs and hopefully still win a lot of games despite the questionable pitching.
Love to hear what you think!

Listen to "A Fish Like This" Tribute song to Mike Trout's Greatness

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