I have a very strange mind…I have no problem confessing to that fact.

My mind is a muddled labyrinth of trivial (useless?) information.  Sports facts and pop culture material make up the vast majority of data that inhabits my brain.  This helps immensely when embarking on a creative project (writing a book) but is useless with more practical tasks. (Like putting ANYTHING together)

For this reason, I encounter constant triggers; a particular situation reminds me of a film, I use movie lines constantly throughout the day, and a sports thought will enter every few seconds.  While perusing and consuming sports information this week, I encountered an old trigger; pitcher Jair Jurrjens.

Jair Jurrjens was signed this week to a minor league deal by the Cincinnati Reds. Jurrjens, who is still only 28, had three very good years for the Atlanta Braves, and was an All-Star as recently as 2011.  Yet, Jair Jurrjen’s pitching ability has never intrigued me.  What attracted me to Jair Jurrjens …was his name.

The very first time I read the name “Jair Jurrjens” an immediate connection entered my mind…Star Wars! The name Jair Jurrjens appeared like it could have been lifted directly from any of the six Star Wars films…either from the original trilogy (golden and glorious!) or the prequels (a very rusty bronze). I imagined Jair Jurrjens as a blaster wielding space mercenary, a wise-old Jedi, or even (yuck!) a Gungan.

Jair Jurrjens inspired me to examine other MLB names and to blog about my first ever All-Galaxy team, consisting of Major Leaguers whose monikers would fit nicely in George Lucas’ expansive Star Wars Universe.   Upon seeing Mr. Jurrjens name this week, I decided to update my team with current MLB players.  Thus I present my updated version of the MLB All-Galaxy team:

…a long time ago,

in a league far, far away…


PLAYER                     POS/TEAM                          COMMENTS                                               

Yordano Ventura   P/KCR                        “Y” names are common in Lucas-world

Ivan Nova                 P/NYY                        probably a Jedi, possible bounty-hunter

JA Happ                     P/TOR            swashbuckler “Solo” type space pirate

Ian Krol                     P/WAS           doesn’t “the Krol Galaxy” sound right?

Yu Darvish                P/TEX             first and last names work in Star Wars Universe

Joba Chamberlain  P/DET                        Jo-Ba…combined with Richard, Wilt and Neville

Jhoulys Chacin        P/COL                        Do you know how to pronounce that first name?

Michael Wacha       P/STL             What is a Wacha? Just sounds like it’s something

Koji Uehera              P/BOS                        Yes, Asian names works well…blame Lucas

Kyle Kendrick          P/PHI             lots of alliteration in Star Wars, like Kyle Kataran

Jair Jurrjens             P/CIN             will always be on the team in some capacity

Yan Gomes               C/CLE             short “Y” name…could be an alien

Yasmani Grandal    C/SDP                        Gosh…does he sound like a wise old Jedi!

Edwin Encarncion  1B/TOR         probably works at Bespin Cloud City with Lando

Dan Uggla                 2B/ATL          possible member of Trade Federation

Troy Tulowitzki       SS/COL          space hero… last name sounds like a gun

Yangervis Solarte   3B/NYY          just admire it…no comments necessary

Torii Hunter             OF/DET         take note of the unnecessary extra “i”

Yasiel Puig                OF/LAD         the “Puigs” sound like a race, like the “Hutts

Shin-Soo Choo        OF/TEX          once again, blame Lucas

Dayan Viciedo         OF/CHW       Dayan is a Jedi name, with Dark Side potential

Jedd Gyorko                        IF/SD              two “d’s” and last name sounds like a space lizard

Erick Aybar              IF/LAA           close to Ackbar, and weird “k” at end of Eric

Josmil Pinto              DH/MIN        many possibilities, but I will go with a young Jedi

Lucas Duda              1B/NYM        lives in Tatooine desert, likes power-converters

That makes up a functional 25 man roster…and it would truly be a pretty good team! Just for fun, here are some names that just missed the cut:

CC Sabathia, Wei Yin Chen, Vidal Nuno, Brock Holt, Yunel Escobar, Rajai Davis, Nori Aoki, Chris Colabello, John Jaso, Coco Crisp, CJ Cron, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Mat(1 “t”) Gamel, JP Arencibia, Tanner Roark, Chase Utley, Hunter Pence, Cole Hamels, Reid Brignac and DiDi Gregorius.

Yes, my level of Star Wars Geekdom is very high, but please don’t judge me as I am just as adept in my knowledge of manly tough-guy sports.  I wish not to offend anyone who may share these names with said players…if you do, I am envious! I would love a cool name like Skywalker, Han Solo or Dayan. As far as any cultural offense taken…blame Lucas.

Now…what would the team be called? The Tatooine Tusken Raiders? The Hoth Wampas? Kamino Cloners?

Okay…too much of my Star Wars nerd-side is showing again. How about the Cubs beating Tanaka? Boy, Hammel and EJax are really pitching well! Rizzo and Castro look great! Wait a minute…Starlin! How could I miss that?

Next team maybe…

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Chris Neitzel is the author of the critically acclaimed book, "Beyond Bartman, Curses and Goats: 108 Reasons Why It’s Been 108 Years.", which was recently released for Amazon. You can follow Chris on Twitter @BBCG108Reasons or e-mail him.