For the next week and a half, we’re going to hear a lot of names thrown around as the July 31 trade deadline approaches. It’s going to get tedious after a while — the same old names, the same old teams, mentioned over and over again until a trade actually happens.
But what if there were new names thrown into the mix? What if teams could queue up the best baseball movies on Netflix, reach into the screen, and pull out a player that could help put them over the top? What if the best players in movie baseball history could join the major leagues today?
Well, they can’t. Sorry. But it’s still fun to think about. Let’s take a look at the best movie baseball player fits for a few of this year’s real baseball contenders:
Red Sox: Roger Dorn, 3B, ‘Major League’
A solid, high-priced veteran who could solve Boston’s third base problem, Dorn’s right-handed pop would play well at Fenway and probably put more than a few dents in the Green Monster. He may be nearing the end of his career but he’s still valuable, as evidenced by the 86 RBI he was said to have for the Tribe in “Major League.” Plus, Dorn could stand to upgrade his portfolio by investing in Beacon Hill real estate. A win all around.
Yankees: Lou Collins, 1B, ‘Little Big League’
With the Yankees in desperate need of a first base solution, they could find themselves turning to one of the most under-appreciated players in movie baseball history. Collins can hit the ball to all fields, and his lefty power would likely result in a ton of homers at Yankee Stadium. Plus, he’s proven he can hit the nastiest of left handed pitchers by almost taking Randy Johnson deep, only to be robbed by an amazing catch from Ken Griffey Jr. He might be the piece that puts an already dangerous Yankees lineup over the top. Clu Haywood from “Major League” would be another good choice, but he seems to struggle against hard-throwing right handers.
Indians: Jim Bowers, RP, ‘Little Big League’
They already have an airtight back of the bullpen, but the Tribe could stand to add another piece there, especially with the recent injury to Boone Logan. Bowers may not be a big-name addition, but he’s affordable and reliable — two things the Indians should covet. Plus, he’s a math genius who could keep the clubhouse loose with his antics, from solving complex equations to calculating the best spot from which to drop a water balloon while calculating wind resistance. Solid add.
Astros: Billy Chapel, SP, ‘For Love of the Game’
The front-running Astros could use an addition to their rotation. They’re also a young team, and an experienced vet could be what they need to propel them to the World Series. Enter Chapel, a pitcher in the twilight of his career who still has something left. He may be strongly leaning toward retirement, but the promise of one last playoff run might be enough to convince him to accept a trade to a contender.
Nationals: Ricky Vaughn, CP, ‘Major League’
Yes, the Nats just added Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle. But if they truly want an elite arm at the end of the game, there’s no one better in baseball movie history than the “Wild Thing.” Vaughn would be the final piece of the puzzle for Washington’s beleaguered bullpen and give Dusty Baker plenty of options for the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings. Plus, the sleeveless leather vest that he wore walking from the bullpen in “Major League 2” would look pretty good with the Nationals’ uniforms.
Dodgers: Steve Nebraska, SP, ‘The Scout’
His fastball touches 112 mph. He can hit home runs like he’s Aaron Judge. He threw a perfect game by striking out 27 batters on 81 pitches. Can you imagine having to face him after Kershaw? Forget it. Just give the Dodgers the World Series trophy right now. As long as he doesn’t get cold feet and climb up to the roof of Dodger Stadium.
Brewers: Bobby Rayburn, OF, ‘The Fan’
Self-absorbed? Yes. But He could definitely help out Milwaukee in center field, while adding another dangerous bat to the middle of their lineup. The only problem: Hitting coach Darnell Coles currently wears Rayburn’s preferred number 11 for the Brewers, and, well, bad things tend to happen to players that wear Rayburn’s number. Just ask Juan Primo.
Rockies: Mel Clark, SP, ‘Angels in the Outfield’
He’s literally close to death because of smoking, and maybe the thin air of Denver wouldn’t be the best thing for his severely damaged lungs. But Clark has proven he can pitch well in big games, and he could help a Rockies team trying to get to the playoffs for the first time in a long time. He can throw close to 160 pitches before getting tired, and for some reason always seems to come through when it counts. Maybe it’s divine intervention