Superman vs. Batman. Godzilla vs. King Kong. Kirk vs. Picard.
Questions such as these have raged since the beginning of time. All types of media have tried to answer questions such as this. Heck, recently Nintendo released the first trailers for the latest incarnation of Super Smash Brothers, a series based entirely on the question of whether Mario could beat the snot out of Pikachu (amongst others) and similar questions.
But to the best of my memory, nobody has ever answered the question of who would win in a fight between all of the team-names of Major League Baseball. From the Atlanta Braves to the Washington Nationals, what would win?
Truly, this had to be a massive undertaking, taking into account history, science, tradition and countless other areas of knowledge. Nothing less than the most complete look at each of the warriors could do justice. Well, sort of.
You see, I am automatically going to disqualify teams that are inanimate objects. Therefore, the Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals (which is technically named after the American Royal Livestock Show, and not the idea of being kings), Oakland Athletics (which is just derived from being an Athletic club), Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds (given that they are not actually communists), Washington Nationals (derived from being in the National League) and Colorado Rockies are all tied for last place. Now, let us go below the jump to take a look at our combatants:
Atlanta Braves: Despite the name, the Atlanta Brave was not meant to be a Native American. Rather, it goes back to James Gaffney, who owned the Braves at the turn of the 20th century when they were in Boston. He named them the Braves as a homage to the insignia of Tammany Hall, the politically corrupt group that Gaffney belonged to. Turn of the century corrupt politicians aren’t quite as menacing as Native American warriors, but, hey, I’m trying to be accurate here.
Arizona Diamondbacks: The Arizona Diamondbacks are based on the western diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox), a nearly 4-foot long native of Mexico and the southwest that releases a toxin that, while less toxic than many other species of rattlesnakes, would still mess up your day and potentially kill you if left untreated. Also, this is the team name that most strikes fear in Indiana Jones, which has to count for something.
Baltimore Orioles: The Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula) is a small bird belonging to the Icterid family measuring between 6.7 and 8.7 inches in length, 9-13 inches in wingspan and a average of 1.19 ounces in weight. The Oriole’s diet includes berries, insects and nectar, and it’s main predators are birds of prey, but in it’s nest it is vulnerable to cats and other birds, such as… Blue Jays (this is foreshadowing).
Chicago Cubs: The first question we must answer is what type of bear the Chicago Cub is. Given the rounded teddy-bear ears that the Chicago Cub is usually portrayed with, along with the fact that the Cubs first received that name in 1903, when Theodore Roosevelt was president, it seems likely that the Chicago Cub is meant to be a American Black Bear (Ursus Americanus), the species that Teddy Roosevelt famously spared a cub of, leading to the creation of the “Teddy Bear”. Now, cubs of Ursus Americanus may only be little kids, but they are still bears, which, as Dr. Stephen T. Colbert D.F.A. has often warned us, are godless, soulless killing machines and the number one threat to America. In addition, according to Wikipedia (which the aforementioned Dr. Colbert once said allows us to change reality to what we all agree on) even a bear cub has been seen to be able to flip rocks weighing up to 325 lbs using a single foreleg.
In short: even a bear cub is a badass you would not want to mess with.
Cleveland Indians: The Indians nickname, according to legend, is meant as a way to pay tribute to Louis Sockalexis, a star for Cleveland in the 1890s who’s career was severely shortened by alcoholism. Well, some think it was possibly a way to ride the coattails of the Braves after their 1914 “Miracle” season, but why the heck would I want two turn-of-the-century corrupt politicians fighting in this?
Detroit Tigers: Nobody is quite sure how the Tigers got their name, but it’s usually said to either be because they had orange-striped socks, were labeled that by a journalist who went to Princeton, or were paying homage to a Detroit-area military unit that had used the name Tigers as their mascot by doing the same. Whatever it is, it’s logo is a Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris). A full-grown Bengal can weigh 488 pounds and 10 feet long. They take bison and boar as prey with ease, and have been said to in rare occasions go against larger prey and even other predators like bears and leopards.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Angels are found in many types of mythologies and religions, but the Anaheim ones are from Judeo-Christian tradition. Problem is… that’s a rather large tradition and they aren’t exactly all the same, there are many kinds, ranging from beings that are basically just humans that are closer to God all the way up to characters that basically are just a few steps away from God himself. And few if any of them are like the cute, fluffy-winged-and-haloed ones people think of- they are usually described as being like balls of fire, or six-winged, three headed monsters, or something else beyond human comprehension.
There is some great difficulty with the LA Angel, however, because the powers of angels are vague. But after some research, I can conclude that Angels are not things you’d want to get into fights with. They can cause fire to come out of rock, cure disease and guilt, bring messages, wrestle, and do general smiting. Smiting is very important here, as it allows the Los Angeles Angel to basically kill anybody it wants to if it is made sufficiently pissed off. Thus he/she/it should be considered an early favorite in the big fight.
Los Angeles Dodgers: A Brooklynite adept at getting out of the way of trolleys. Nothing special. Still makes more sense than a Los Angeles Laker.
Miami Marlins: The Marlin has a major problem to begin with: it’s in water, and everybody else (save for the Ray) will be on land. However, the Marlins has one good weapon- it’s bill. Those things must hurt like the dickens if they go through you.
Milwaukee Brewers: He’s a Brewer. From Milwaukee. Presumably working for Miller, given the sponsorship of the park. I’d like to think that, like Bernie Brewer, he has an epic mustache.
Minnesota Twins: Minnesota’s Twins presumably are named Minnie (like Minoso) and Paul, given what they are named after. The Twins have a unique advantage in this fight due to the fact there are two of them.
New York Mets (Metropolitans): “Metropolitan”, according to Merriam-Webster, is one who lives in a Metropolis. And, sorry Mets fans, I’m not using that as an excuse to let Superman fight for you. Instead, this basically means you have an average individual from New York City. Now, the average New Yorker, according to the US Census, would likely be female (52.5% of NYC residents are women), white (Caucasian is the largest ethnic group there), married, working in healthcare, of Italian descent, and Catholic. Oh, and, ironically, I’d guess they’d most likely be a Yankee fan. Ouch.
New York Yankees: The Yankees gained their name mainly because they play in the American League (as opposed to the Giants). “Yankee”, technically, means descendant of the old elite of the Northeastern United States, especially New England. Hang on… New England?
Anyway, given the rise of the Yankee nickname in the 1910s, I’m going to just assume the New York Yankee is meant to be a WWI Doughboy. Now, the average doughboy would have a steel helmet, a gas mask, an M1903 Springfield rifle, a pistol, and a bayonet. Maybe some grenades. As a member of the 26th Infantry Division (the Yankee Division, of course), he would have faced the “Hun” near the Marne, at Saint-Mihiel, in the Argonne Forest, and in Lorraine. And, amazingly, he would have somehow avoided the disabled list.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Ahoy, matey. A stereotypical old-time pirate coming from the Allegheny* would have a cutlass, a blunderbuss, a flintlock and a parrot named something like “Roberto”, “Honus” or “McCutchen”. Arrrrr. Swab the poop deck! Hoist the colors! Yo-ho-yo-ho-if-I-say-anything-more-Disney-will-sue-me!
*Note: There are no pirates on the Allegheny. This is creative license.
St. Louis Cardinals: The Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis Cardinalis) is a 8.3 inch-long bird that eats seeds, insects and fruit. Weighing one and a half pounds, it’s predators are similar to the Baltimore Oriole’s… including Blue Jays (foreshadowing).
San Diego Padres: The Mission of San Diego was founded by Franciscan Monks in 1769. One of these friars would be the representative of the Padres in the great team-name fight. Franciscan Monks don’t exactly have the finest warrior tradition, but, hey, maybe he can form an alliance with the Los Angeles Angel.
San Francisco Giants: Throughout history and across cultures, there have been tales of men who tower above all others. In Genesis, there is a tale of “sons of god” (implied to be Angels) that slept around the primordial Levant, leading the women to give birth to giants (for some reason, I never heard of this in Sunday School). The Greeks believed that ancient giants had fought and lost a war with the Olympian gods. The Norsemen had several species of giants, all of which would later become cannon fodder against Thor in 20th and 21st century comics and movies. And, of course, there is Jack and the Beanstalk.
For purposes of this fight, however, the San Francisco Giant will be represented by a 160-foot-tall Pablo Sandoval. Because I said so.
Seattle Mariners: A mariner is a sailor. He has a boat. Kind of self-explanatory.
Tampa Bay Rays: This monster killed the Crocodile Hunter. Seriously, the guy captured crocodiles for a living and he got killed by a ray. He went through rivers filled with angry hippos, but he got killed by a ray. Not cool, Ray, not cool.
Texas Rangers: The Texas Rangers the give the baseball team their name are the oldest statewide law enforcement body in the United States, existing even before Texas joined the Union. An old legend says that at one point a single Ranger was deployed during a riot, since there was only one riot to be dealt with. Although the name brings to mind cowboys, modern Texas Rangers have police cars and pistols, and presumably do not shout “Hi-Yo Silver!” while being joined by their sidekick Tonto as they ride to get revenge for being left for dead.
Toronto Blue Jays: Blue Jays (Cyanocitta Cristata) are bad mofos. They are noisy, aggressive and have been known to beat up on and kill any other birds that get in their territory. And they are smart creatures- they have been known to imitate the cries of hawks to scare off foes and sometimes even human speech. Oh, and did I mention that some in captivity have been seen to use tools? Well, they totally have.
Oh, and let’s not forget that Blue Jays are total jerks. Let’s say you are a mama Cardinal and have left your nest. Want to know what the Blue Jay might do? Go over and screw it up and probably kill your babies! Same thing for mama Orioles. Mean S-O-Bs. Seriously, in some old southern folklore, they are considered servants of the Devil himself!
So, basically: Don’t screw with a Blue Jay!
To determine the winner of this battle, I sought out the most advanced simulation technology known to man. Sadly, it was all either really expensive and/or really complicated, so you’ll have to settle for my twisted imagination. So here goes:
The battle begins with 16 of the 21 contestants entering the jam-packed seaside arena somewhere on the East Coast of the United States, with only the Giant, Marlin, Mariner, Pirate and Ray missing. With each new entrance, the crowd grows louder and louder, until, finally, Wally the Green Monster and the Phillie Phanatic (acting as neutral referees) declare the fight on!
However, little do they know that the action has already begun at sea, off the coast. There, beneath the waves, the Tampa Bay Ray and the Miami Marlin have met in combat. The Marlin tries attack the Ray with it’s sword-like beak, but the strong and elastic hide of the Ray holds firm, giving just enough time for it to sting the Marlin. Within seconds, the Miami representative is bleeding and thrashing as the Ray’s whip-like stinger enters it, it’s barbs shredding what it finds and injecting a poison into the Marlin. Muscles contract, cells die, and the Marlin slowly tries to swim away… to a slow and painful grave. It is but the first of the casualties. Jeffrey Loria later trades the Marlin’s corpse to Toronto for prospects.
Back in the arena, the battle escalates quickly: the Los Angeles Angel smites the Atlanta Brave after the Brave tries to bribe the Phillie Phanatic into declaring him the winner, the Minnesota Twins double-team the Brewer and soon the three of them are tumbling and fighting on the ground. The three birds take to the sky and fly away from the main fray and from view, and the Los Angeles Dodger is run over by the Texas Ranger’s police car. It is only seconds into the battle, and already three contestants are dead or dying and another is on the ropes. Within another second, the Metropolitan has been mauled by the Tiger. Now there are four dead.
Meanwhile, out at sea, the Mariner prepares to get in on the action against the Tampa Ray, preparing a net to scoop up the Ray, making it an easy kill. Then, he figures, he can go back to land and join the main fray, perhaps with some of the more dangerous contestants having died. Heck, he figures, maybe he could wait until everyone is already gone. He sends the net down and waits…
While, miles away, the Pittsburgh Pirate watches him through a spyglass from his small one-man vessel. He grin, then prepares to hoist the sail.
Back at the arena, the Yankee and the Texas Ranger have begun a shootout (the Yankee having dug a foxhole while the Ranger takes cover behind his car), while the Indian tries to tame the Diamondback, entering a dangerous dance with it as he tries to kill the lizard. The Chicago Cub, meanwhile, has begun to threaten the Padre, and the Twins, having now knocked out the Brewer unconscious, have begun wrestling with the Angel. The Tiger continues to eat the New York Met. The horror… the horror.
The Mariner reels up and then clobbers the Ray, killing the hapless (literal) fish-out-of-water. It is a short victory, however, as a broadside hits his small vessel. As the boat sinks to it’s doom, the Mariner turns and sees the Pirate laugh as he is sent to Davey Jones’ Locker. Seven fighters are now dead or incapacitated. The Pirate sets sail towards the shore to join the rest of the battles, although he seems a bit unnerved by his parrot, who begins to shout out a dark warning:
“SQUAWK! From his house near McCovey Cove, the Dread Panda has awoken! SQUAWK!”
Anyway, back in the arena, the Angel has smited (smote?) the Twins (Eight combatants/teams are eliminated), and just in time, as the the Chicago Cub has attacked the Padre, who’s prayers for help are answered by the Angel, who swoops over, grabs the Cub, and uses it’s semi-godly power to change the Cub into a harmless Billy Goat. Oh, the bitter irony! A brief dispute arises as the Phillie Phanatic and Wally the Green Monster discuss whether or not this counts as an elimination, but ultimately they decide not to anger the Angel… although they do anger the Goat.
Meanwhile, the Indian has killed the Diamondback but, with it’s dying breath, the D-Back bites the Indian. A great pain shoots through the Indian’s body, and it distracts him long enough not to notice the Detroit Tiger sneaking up behind him. He never knows what hits him. Eleven combatants are now gone. The Yankee and Ranger continue to have a shootout, the Pirate continues to head towards shore, the three birds remain out of eyesight, the Tiger now has begun looking around for more prey, the Giant is missing, the Angel is floating around looking for his next target, and the Padre… well.. the Padre is praying.
Praying for a savior. Praying for help in this grand battle.
And his prayers are answered. The Trashmen begin to play over the arena’s loudspeakers, and, emerging from the stands is a great hero. The vanquisher of the purple dinosaur and a combatant in the finale of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes… the one and only San Diego Chicken!
And he sayeth to the Padre:
“Fear not, oh Friar, for I bring you a great weapon for the battle. It is a baseball bat, and with it, you shall become the Swinging Friar of Legend.”
And so, the Padre takes up the bat and prepares for battle, while the Chicken leaves the field, before, stopping, turning, and then saying to the Padre:
“Oh, but I don’t know how much that will help you. You know this is probably headed to a deus ex machina, right? Toodles.”
Meanwhile, at sea, the Pirate nears the shore. He has his weapons ready. He pours out some rum into a nearby glass as he prepares to disembark. He does not even notice that a strange ripple seems to be emanating in it. The Parrot also is still squawking things: “You have your fears, which may exist, and the Panda, which does exist!” and so on and so forth.
In the arena, the Yankee throws a grenade at the Texas Ranger and his police car. The Ranger recognizes it, but it is too late. The grenade goes off, blowing the Ranger to bits. It’s not in time for the Yankee to see the Padre sneak up on him with his mighty bat. The Friar unleashes his swing, and knocks the Yankee down into his trench. But, alas, the Padre is unable to finish it, as his conscious gets the better of him. He walks up to the Phillie Phanatic and Wally and says simply that he cannot do it while staying true to his religion. As he says this to the mascot refs, the Angel smites the Tiger in the background. This is what is known as “irony”.
And so, now, in the arena, all that remain is the Yankee (recovering in the Trench) and the Angel. The two begin to round each other, sizing up the opponent. The Angel could win it easily, but, alas, some bad feeling creeps into it. A sense of dread. The Yankee fires a shot, but it merely passe through the Angel, who continues to feel that sense of dread.
And then music again begins to play, heralding the arrival of the Pittsburgh Pirate!
And the Pirate begins to talk:
“Arrrr, mateys! You’re forgetting the finest of them all! I have roamed the Seven Seas in search of adventure, booty, and a season above the .500 mark! I have seen things you could never imagine, lads! Now, mateys, prepare to die!”
And then his parrot speaks up:
“SQUAWK! We’re going to die!”
The Pirate is speechless and tries to correct his avian friend: “No, we aren’t going to die. THEY are going to die!”
The parrot, however, remains determined: “We’re going to die! Two already have!”
“What do yer mean, matey?” says the Pirate
And then, suddenly, a different piece of music plays, and the skies turn dark as a shadow falls upon the arena. A shadow belonging to… the San Francisco Giant!
(Any artists out there who can draw an image of a 160-foot-tall Pablo Sandoval looking down on an arena that has a WWI-era Yankee Division soldier, a stereotypical pirate and an Angel, along with Wally the Green Monster and the Phanatic refereeing, please send it in.)
The Pirate can only get off an “Arrrrr” before the Giant squishes him under foot. Twenty-one contestants started it, but now only three remain (what happened to those damn birds, anyway?). The Yankee tries shooting the Giant, but it only makes the Giant angry. You wouldn’t like the Giant when he’s angry, as the Yankee soon learns when he is struck down by one of the Giant’s feet. After this, the Giant smacks something against his ear out of annoyance, before finally aiming it’s gaze towards the Angel, ready to fight.
And so, it is the Angel versus the Giant. How very biblical.
The battle is epic, with explosions worthy of Michael Bay. And yet, eventually, it ends with a shocking twist. For, as the battle goes on, the Giant becomes increasingly disoriented. And then, finally, after hours of battle, the Giant keels over, knocked out…
and falling onto the Angel, who is also killed by the falling Giant.
So, it seems, the winner of the battle is nobody. That is, until the two referees go up close to the Giant to check on it. Examining it’s head, they suddenly hear a squawk. And, then, they see the impossible: crawling out of the Giant’s nostril, covered in brain fluid and boogers, is….
THE TORONTO ‘BLEEPING BLUE JAY!
Confused, the Phanatic and Wally go to the tape. And there, they find something interesting: shortly before the the arrival of the Giant, the cameras caught two small specs falling. Using CSI technology to ENHANCE the image, they find that those two specs were the defeated bodies of the Oriole and Cardinals (presumably, this is what the Pirate’s parrot meant when he said “two already have”). Then, later, just after the GIant had stomped the Pirate and Yankee, another spec could be seen, flying towards the Giant’s ears. The Giant tried to swat it, but obviously missed. ENHANCING reveals that the spec was the Blue Jay.
It then becomes obvious: The Blue Jay had defeated it’s bird brethren, and then, using it’s high intelligence, had flown into the Giant’s ear and proceeded to cause havoc in the Giant’s head, eventually hitting enough important things to knock it out.
And so, the two referees declare the Blue Jay the winner!
And so, there you have it. Definitive proof that the Toronto Blue Jay would win in a battle of MLB namesakes. Yes, nobody would expect it, overlooking it’s small size and lack of hands. But that’s just what it would want you to think.
Seriously, Blue Jays are mean suckers. Avoid them.
And keep an eye open in the future for the battle of MLB Mascots. It’ll happen… eventually.
…Oh, and if your curious, the correct answers to the questions at the top are: Superman unless if Batman has kryptonite (which he usually does), Godzilla (although the movie involving the two ended with both falling off a cliff but King Kong emerging, Godzilla is amphibious so the fact he didn’t come back up means nothing) and Kirk in hand-to-hand but Picard in ship-to-ship.