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…