August 16, 2013

On a scale from Yadi Molina to Brandon Phillips

Jason Romano with the Rangers in 2002

Ah, Jason Romano. His stats weren’t anything to write home about, but he was the finest-looking player out there. Maybe he’ll get into broadcasting… (Photo via The Diamondangle)

This week I got together for lunch with a high school friend, and when I asked the waitress to turn the game on, the conversation turned to baseball. My friend doesn’t follow the game like I do, but she did used to consider herself a Cubs fan (poor thing) back when we were in school.

She told me that she was recently out at a bar with friends where the Cubs were on, and she noticed for the first time in some 20 years the state of baseball players’ uniforms. In her recounting of the story, she became a little agitated:

“Why are his pants so baggy? They didn’t used to be that way!” she told her friends. Alas, none of them was a baseball fan. Two didn’t follow any sports at all and the other, Chris, a guy we also went to high school with, was strictly a football fan.

“Chris, you watch sports. Baseball pants didn’t used to be like that, did they?” she said, hoping for some vindication for her reaction. But Chris left her hanging. He used to do that to me sometimes, too, back in high school.

I assured her that baseball pants, indeed, have not always looked like a pair of sweatpants that some lazy lardo wears to Wal-Mart.

“And it’s a shame, too, because these guys are athletes, and most of them have something worth looking at,” I told her. “Most, but not all. You can pretty much count on a center fielder to rock a tight pair of pants, but it’s really hit-or-miss with, say, first basemen.”

At that point the lunchtime conversation turned to something other than baseball, but later I found myself thinking about the attractiveness level that you can expect from each position in the field. Not that the rules are hard-and-fast, but there are some general trends for sure.

You know how people rank each other’s appearance on a scale of 1-to-10, like, “she’s a total 10.” Maybe you could make a similar scale based on baseball player positions. Then, you might hear one of those women who go to bars to pick up visiting-team players say something like, “Yeah, when I was younger I could land a second baseman any day of the week, but these days I’m lucky to get a catcher.”

Man, why didn’t I ever become one of those women? Well, there’s the ethics, sure. And the fact that, even at my cutest, I probably couldn’t have scored much higher than a platoon third baseman. (You absolutely have to be blonde to go above that.) These days I’d have to set my sights on a middle reliever or below, and no one wants to see that.

Still, maybe I’ll find my second wind in my cougar years. I once had a Reds insider tell me that Marty Brennaman had “digits to every nursing home in town,” so I guess there’s always hope.

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