In a way, baseball is like the game of thrones: you win or you die – in baseball’s case, the media skewers you with verbal & written attacks, so in a way, it’s more like a character assassination. Not to say that GoT doesn’t have actual character assassinations. So, with the new season of Game of Thrones over half a year away and the Red Sox season essentially over, I’ve decided to have some fun here. A general who’s who of the land of Bosteros, with each player getting their own GoT character. I’ll try to keep this spoiler-free, but if you haven’t seen the full series, there might be a character or two you don’t recognize. Also, Tyrion Lannister is sacred ’round these parts – there really isn’t anyone like him.
Mookie Betts – Arya Stark
Young but swiftly coming into their own. Arya loves killing; Mookie loves killing ’em. While Arya’s journeying to distant lands, we’ve yet to see if Mookie will be traded somewhere far away. Just put a bat in his hand and watch him do some damage. Give Arya a short sword and, well…buh-bye to whoever’s on her list. So, yeah, she does damage too.
Xander Bogaerts – Stannis Baratheon
Good, could be great, but just needs the chance. Bogaerts & Stannis showed up on the scene with considerable reputations. Neither of them have lived up to them so far. Bogaerts was pretty awful for three months, both in the field and at the plate; Stannis’ reputation for being a just leader sometimes goes too far or, in worse cases, he listens to Melisandre, in which everything gets burned alive at the end. They’ve both gotten much better as of late, but it’s still to be seen whether they can live up to our & their own expectations.
Clay Buchholz – Jon Snow
He really knows nothin’, huh? Buchholz, like Snow, has greatness in him, but it’s taking a while for him to figure it out. We’ve seen Buchholz when he’s good, with complete games and no walks and general fan surprise. But there’s starts where he goes off the rails and is god-awful, possibly due to neglect of his awesome change-up & curveball. With him as the de facto ace for now, he’s been trying to protect the Sox realms, albeit with mixed results.
Rusney Castillo – Daenerys Targaryen
A stranger from a far-off land. Castillo’s supposedly good, if we look at the $72.5 million price tag it took to get him. But he’s unproven in the US, just as Daenerys isn’t really a great leader in Westeros, much less Essos. Sure, they’ve had their troubles – Castillo got suspended in 2013 for trying to defect, Daenerys doesn’t really know how to deal with slavers – but they have their considerable reputations and a solid track record.
Rubby de la Rosa – Tommen Baratheon
A lil’ tyke sitting on the Iron Throne, Tommen is worlds better than his older brother, and has potential to actually do good. Rubby is a heck of a lot better than some local comparisons (say, Allen Webster?), but with his Pedro-brand change-up, he could be awesome. The only problem is using it for his own good, not unlike Tommen being unable to use his power due to manipulation by his own family.
Brock Holt – Oberyn Martell
The hot new thing on the block that everyone loves. While Oberyn uses a spear, Holt uses a bat to inflict damage, even if it isn’t always a fatal blow. He’s gained tons of love from the fanbase for his considerable skills. The only reason either of them weren’t involved earlier is because no one expected them to show up or even play the game this well. Holt’s sorta traveled around the world, I guess. Texas, Pittsburgh and Boston is the world, right? That’s all there is?
Jon Lester – Eddard Stark
The honorable, great man that had to take the fall for being good in a bad time. We had great times with you, Lester. You were the strength of the rotation. But now you’ve gone away, and there’s a huge hole in our hearts that can’t be filled with what this current rotation calls “pitching”. We miss you so much. Please come back (even if it looks impossible).
Will Middlebrooks – Bran Stark
We just don’t want to see him anymore. Ever. At all. Bran’s storyline has gotten really bland, and “bland” really describes Middlebrooks’ offense. It’s been announced that we won’t see Bran in the next season, and I can only hope we don’t see Middlebrooks next season either. Seriously, the animosity towards these two are very similar. In Bran’s defense, Middlebrooks can’t really run either.
David Ortiz – Tywin Lannister
Powerful old men. Ortiz has been ruling over the Red Sox family for the last few years, like Tywin and the Lannisters. While some dislike Tywin’s calculating mindset to get what he wants, Ortiz capitalized on the Jeter fatigue this year and said he won’t do a farewell tour/traveling circus. So he’s not totally awful. Papi also incurs fan hatred from bat flipping and showing off his power. I mean, it’s not like Tywin ever threw his money around to make the family look good like, ever. Also, “Big Papi” would work for either of them. Just sayin’.
Dustin Pedroia – Jaime Lannister
Hand issues. No really, that’s it. Hand problems are the worst. They sap your power and keep you from swinging as well as you can. At least for Pedroia, it’s only his left hand that needs surgery. For Jaime, well, surgery won’t do anything better.
Koji Uehara – Jorah Mormont
Good-natured & loyal but could be losing it. You love Koji, I love Koji, everybody else loves Koji, but he’s kinda lost it lately. The dude is ridiculously devoted to the fans and the team, but after throwing 70 innings in 2013 despite being injury-prone, he was kind of out of his element. Koji could be a solid advisor to a queen somewhere, if said queen wanted to learn about throwing a godly splitter. In that regard, who doesn’t?
Bobby Valentine – Joffrey Baratheon
JUST. DIE. ALREADY.
Christian Vazquez – Margaery Tyrell
Manipulative. Have you seen Vazquez framing pitches day-in and day-out? That Margaery in King’s Landing type of stuff. Vazquez is to off-target fastballs like Margaery is to kings she wants to marry. They’re just getting others to like them and all that jazz. Now she’s trying to be all sweet to Tommen – wait.
Rubby is Tommen. Well, they are battery mates. There’s probably a fanfiction story about them out there already. Who knows. These fanbases are rabid like that.