Friday, January 27, 2012
Alternate Universe MLB; Episode 1: Prince Heads North
Welcome to the Alternate Universe MLB, where things that didn't happen did, and things that did happen didn't. We begin our adventures with the legacy of one Prince Fielder, and what would have happened if he went to another of his father's teams, the Toronto Blue Jays.
Let us go back in our time machine of choice (mine is the TARDIS) to one week ago, when Prince Fielder was still deciding what Major League city he should make his home for the next 5-10 years. When visiting Toronto, they roll out the red carpet. They offer him big dollars, long years, incentives, a lifetime supply of Maple Syrup and the Key to Canada (which it turns out only opens bland beer factories and a safe full of Bryan Adams and Celine Dion records). He gets to bat after the great Jose Bautista in an already electric lineup (that just added big time slugger Jeff Mathis), and has joined a club with one of the best fanbases in the league.
April rolls around and the new-look (down to the Jerseys, which are damn fly, and I'll get to in an upcoming "In Which I Obsess About Uniforms" column in the near future) Blue Jays are off to a fast start. Fielder starts to shed a bit of weight to be able to last the entirety of his huge contract he signed with the Jays. After finding themselves in first place at the end of May, Toronto begins to put its eggs in the Felix Hernandez basket. They want an Ace who can help put the exclamation point on an already great club.
June 15th, 2012, and the Blue Jays just finished off a deal that sends half their farm to Seattle for King Felix. They also increase the food budget for travel days, which was already getting strained keeping Prince Fielder happy. Now with both the King and Prince, the Jays are poised for a postseason bid, their first since becoming back-to-back World Series Champions in 1993.
October 3nd, 2012, The Blue Jays wrap up the Division Title, finishing with an even 100 wins, a full 10 games ahead of the 2nd place Yankees. Felix and Prince both figure into the Cy Young and MVP discussions (respectively), and John Farrell is the clear favorite for Manager of the Year. Things are going to be tough in the postseason, as the Jays need to take down the two-time AL Pennant winning Texas Rangers, who won the Wild Card.
October 10th, 2012. In just 3 short games, the Blue Jays finish off the Rangers and look forward to Albert Pujols and the resurgent Angels (did you really expect anything less?). After many battles in the NL Central, Fielder and Pujols already have a long rivalry. The Series goes 7 games, with King Felix outdueling Dan Haren in a 2-1 Jays victory. Toronto is back in the World Series!
October 30th, 2012. In 6 games, three of which were won by King Felix (who won the World Series MVP and eventually the AL Cy Young), the Toronto Blue Jays defeat the Philadelphia Phillies to win the World Series!
This begins a long and storied chapter in the franchises history. After re-signing Bautista and King Felix to huge extensions, the Great White North becomes a free agent destination for the better part of the '10's. Prince retires in 2019 after 573 Home Runs and 4 World Series Titles. He enters the Hall of Fame on his first ballot in 2024. Like Joe Carter before him, Prince will transcend the game of baseball in Canada, becoming the most beloved ballplayer in Canada.
Obviously, none of this happened or will happen, but this is the kind of BS I have to write about when the Angels have done jack diddly since signing Pujols and Wilson. At least Pitchers and Catchers report in few weeks.