MLB Network is asking baseball fans to answer that very question. The Face of MLB is a contest in which fans vote on Twitter for who is face-ier in certain matchups (for bracket, click here). Now, I’m not exactly sure what being the “face” of MLB means. Does it mean that Player X has the best facial bone structure? Is the honor supposed to go to the most recognizable player? Are we supposed to vote for the player that could make the easiest transition to acting? Or is it simply the best player?
Since the criteria is pretty vague I’m choosing to vote how I want, which may or may not be based in reality — you know, kind of like the 2012 AL MVP voting.* Anyway, when I think of the best “face,” I tend to think of a combination of generational talent and marketability. For example, Michael Jordan was the face of the NBA in the 90s (and still might be in the top 5 today) and Michael Bay is currently the face of explosions.
* I will stop making fun of this when I’m good and ready so don’t bother complaining about it.
Using that criteria, Mike Trout seems like a pretty good selection to win this honor, though I would be surprised if Derek Jeter didn’t win because he is Derek Jeter and will ascend to Heaven the day he retires.
The tournament began with all 30 teams having one representative; Buster Posey and Justin Verlander received first round byes because hey why not. We are now down to the Elite 8 and Trout is still alive. In the first round he vanquished David Wright and in the second round he took out another NL East foe, Ryan Zimmerman. In the quarterfinals he will face Matt Kemp in a crosstown matchup between arguably the two best players in the game. The winner has to be considered the favorite to kneel at the Throne of Jeter in the championship and kiss his five rings.
I’ll post updates if Trout continues to advance. But for now, some stray observations on the tournament as a whole:
- In probably the most lopsided first round match, Jose Altuve lost to Jeter. It’s no surprise then, that Altuve’s stay in the tournament was so short.
- Posey and Verlander, despite receiving byes to the second round, were quickly dispatched. Verlander lost to Andrew McCutchen, one of my favorite players so no quarrel there. But Posey lost to Miguel Montero. What the hell? Giants fans must still be bummed out about the 49ers loss and forgot to vote.
- Adam Jones defeated Giancarlo Stanton in the first round. To which I counter: this.
Seriously, that’s homer porn right there.
- Billy Butler is Kansas City’s representative. Kind of surprised they didn’t go with
Wil Myers James Shields.
- Along with Montero, Indians second basemen Jason Kipnis is the other “Cinderella” remaining in the tournament. For any college basketball fans, Kipnis is probably Butler. Jeter is obviously Duke. Starlin Castro is Memphis, young, raw and talented but ultimately undone by the more polished Kemp (Michigan State). Paul Konerko is Georgetown, kind of boring but consistently good but never great enough to get the recognition he probably deserves. Altuve is UNC-Asheville. Trout is UCLA in the Lew Alcindor years, because it’s my metaphor and I make the rules.
This concludes the college basketball portion of the post.
- Zimmerman is, like, the fourth guy I would have chosen from the Nationals. Ahead of him, I would have taken Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, and Teddy Roosevelt.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrewkarcher.