Ok, so I’ll admit, I’m still trying to make sense out of the Roy Halladay trade, and it’s been a while since I’ve had a tortured extended metaphor. So I think it’s time to do something insane. Specifically, let’s honor the Phillies’ newest ace’s Mormon heritage by the following take on “fantasy draft”: if putting together 5 starting pitchers was like putting together 5 wives, what would it be like? I have therefore compared each Phillies starter (plus a couple other important trade chips) to a corresponding woman in this set of wives.
All images rated PG at most. I’m not that much of a misogynistic douche.
Roy Halladay: Kate Beckinsale, 2009
The great granddaddy of all hot women. This was originally going to be 1987 Holly Hunter, because that combination of girl-next-door charisma, the eyes, the sassiness, the twang of a Southern accent, and the fact that I love Broadcast News has persuaded me to make her my feminine ideal. However, I’ve decided to go with the Sexiest Woman Alive. For once, one of those ridiculous magazine lists got it right.
She’s like Halladay in that she’s been around forever (anyone remember her performance as Hero opposite Robert Sean Leonard’s Claudio in the 1993 film version of Much Ado About Nothing?) but still has her fastball and, if anything, has aged particularly gracefully. Like Halladay, she tends to stay out of trouble and can make even an otherwise unwatchable script and supporting cast seem OK. In short, she’s the perfect starlet to build your set of wives around for the next 3-4 years.
Cole Hamels: Michelle Rodriguez, 2008
Ok, I know this one seems like it came out of nowhere, but hear me out. First, I just saw Avatar at midnight last night, which means that I’m on 3 hours of sleep and 1) am loopy enough to think that posting this is a good idea and 2) witnessed Michelle Rodriguez not only kicking ass, but wearing a rather fetching white tank top for the last 45 minutes of the movie.
At any rate. Rodriguez and Hamels both seem a little sexually ambiguous (she’s a little too tomboyish to be hot, he’s too effeminate to be truly intimidating). Both have famously gotten drunk and beaten the living daylights out of other people. Both showed tremendous promise at the start of their careers, but have hit speed bumps. Both are a little bit unscrewed. 2008 Rodriguez went to jail. 2009 Hamels went soft. Both are looking for 2010 to be a big bounceback year. Also, you should see Michelle Rodriguez’s changeup.
J.A. Happ: Jewel Staite, 2004
So when I got into Firefly I found that, not only was the show funny, compelling, and well-written, but there was something about the young Canadian actress who played the ship’s chief engineer/ingenue that I couldn’t really put a finger on. There was a token “hot chick” on the show, but I found myself more preoccupied with the character who spent the majority of her time a vest and cargo pants, covered in grease. I couldn’t really figure out why, but I still thought she was really really good times.
That’s sort of how I feel about J.A. Happ. I realize that his peripherals suggest that he will, next year, regress to the mean. But that doesn’t mean that he still pitched extremely well last year. Like Jewel Staite, Happ came out of nowhere and dominated despite not having one single tangible asset that you could point to as the cause. It’s truly mystifying.
Joe Blanton: Katee Sackhoff, 2005
Ok, so I just realized that my top 4 starting wives starred in sci-fi and fantasy TV shows or movies. I’m such an huge nerd. Anyhoo, this one was one of the easier choices I had to make. A little too butch to fit the classical mold, but still tons of fun to watch, and both get the job done, and then some.
Blanton and Sackoff are both big in the hips (I swear, I will reference Average Joe’s “child-bearing hips” at least once during the season). Blanton and Sackhoff both occasionally surprise you during their performances with a sudden outburst of unexpected humor, or lulling you into a false sense of security, then suddenly morphing into overpowering monsters without any warning. I wouldn’t want either to be the anchor of either a rotation of pitchers or wives, but if I need someone I can trot out there every fifth day and rely on to give a quality performance, I know exactly whom I can count on.
Jamie Moyer: Anne Bancroft, 1967
You had better believe that Mr. Moyer is trying to seduce you. Bruce Campbell and Old Spice would have you believe that experience is everything, but that’s not strictly true when you don’t have your Kate Beckinsale fastball anymore.
Both Anne Bancroft’s Cougar-to-end-all-Cougars, Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate, and Jamie Moyer rely on cunning, guile, and guts to befuddle younger men, and it absolutely works. The only concern is, how long can you get by on guts and control when you don’t have your stuff anymore? Not everyone’s as overeager a hitter as Dan Uggla (the Dustin Hoffman to Moyer’s Bancroft), for instance, and we may have seen in 2009 the end of Jamie Moyer as an effective pitcher, just as about 1967 may have been the end of Anne Bancroft as an attractive woman.
Kyle Kendrick: Amber Tamblyn, 2009
Jamie Moyer’s main competition for the fifth starter’s spot, as we currently have it constructed, is someone who we once had great hopes for, but have since given up on. Tell me honestly that you didn’t think that Amber Tamblyn didn’t have a future after Joan of Arcadia and the first Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movie. I know I thought she was going somewhere. Maybe to Japan for a hot dog eater.
But like Kendrick, what looked like a promising start evaporated as the Blake Livelys and Elisha Cuthberts of the world started showing up. Or, in Kendrick’s case, J.A. Happ, Antonio Bastardo, and every other Philly pitching prospect since 2007. Now, what’s left is the memory of a good season and a half and a sinker that doesn’t sink. Or a relatively plain-looking girl who was eventually surpassed by more beautiful or more talented co-stars. A shame. Do you know what Amber Tamblyn’s doing now? Because I don’t, and I suspect that we’ll say the same about Kendrick in three years’ time.
Phillippe Aumont: Elisha Cuthbert, 2003
Things that I never knew about the Internet before tonight: exactly how difficult it is to find pictures of Elisha Cuthbert on the internet where she’s not either 1) in her underwear or 2) striking some overtly sexual pose. Not that I mind these things, but this is a family blog, goddammit! I saw her boobs twice before I found this photo, and I didn’t go looking for them on purpose.
Elisha Cuthbert was the first remotely famous person I ever had a crush on. When I was about 11, she and Jay Baruchel co-hosted an education TV program called Popular Mechanics for Kids. She couldn’t have been more than 15 at the time, but I remember thinking, “Damn, son, I’d hit that with the fist of an angry god.” It was also a really good show.
Anyhoo, around 2003, she started gaining international notoriety (much like Aumont in last spring’s World Baseball Classic), and we had no idea how she’d turn out. All we knew is that she was Canadian (like Aumont) and brought the heat (ditto) and had as good a power slurve as any in the game (ditto). I think that’s an appropriate comparison.
Now for the pitchers we gave up.
Cliff Lee: Charlize Theron, 2007
A hot prospect to be sure, Theron, like Cliff Lee, was a little slow to develop and bounced around a little bit before finally gaining star traction. Then, just when things looked like they were going to be alright, things got ugly. For Lee, it was his now-famous 2007 season, when he was relegated to the minors. For Theron, it was her Oscar-winning portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wournos (caution: Nightmare Fuel) in Monster.
However, both bounced back with returns to form and major awards, Lee the Cy Young and Theron with the Academy Award for Best Actress. Did you know that Charlize Theron is the only African to win an Oscar for acting?
But neither’s stock has ever been higher, and while it’s a legitimate discussion whether Lee is better than Halladay, or Theron is more attractive than Beckinsale, both only have one correct answer.
Kyle Drabek: Lindsay Lohan, 2003
The hot young up-and-comer, ultimately at risk to be beset by travails. Kyle Drabek, a 5-foot-10 righthanded pitcher who’s already had Tommy John surgery at 22, could be great one day, and become part of the first father-and-son Cy Young-winning duo. But on the other hand, as Lindsay Lohan told us, nothing is certain, and there is a multitude of things that could go wrong before we get to that point, if we get there at all.
It’s also worth noting that no one except the Phillies and Jays think Drabek’s any better than a No. 3 starter anyway. Just saying.
So for two youngsters who had all the potential in the world, here’s hoping Drabek turns out better than Li-Lo.
Aaaaaaand that’s it. Tune in soon for the final edition of Scrap Heap Digest, as we get all of my misogyny out of the way at once.