- Steve Etheridge, ESPN Playbook
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Since 391 million votes somehow weren’t enough to select an MLB All-Star Game roster, we now have until Thursday to cast a final vote determining the last player for each team. I know, I know, it’s really tough to care. But this is America, and we fought a lot of wars with a lot of tiny countries to preserve our democratic privileges. So you gotta vote.
With only one-third of the teams represented on the ballot, chances are loyalty won’t play too much into your decision. Might I suggest a different method for choosing the final All-Star?
The players whose names can be rearranged in the most entertaining and/or inspirational fashion are the ones, I believe, who should be rewarded/punished with a free trip to Kansas City.
So first up, the American League.
Ernesto Frieri: Noisier Ferret, Inferior Trees, Reefer in Riots
Jake Peavy: NO POSSIBLE ANAGRAMS
Jason Hammel: Manhole Jams, El Mama John’s (if Papa John’s wife opened a Mexican joint)
Yu Darvish: Rushy Diva
Jonathan Broxton: Banjo Ant Thorn Ox (things an Amish kid might find in his toy box), No, Not Anthrax Job!
Interesting. We have some strong showings from Broxton, Hammel and Frieri. Peavy, though, with all those vowels, has nothing to offer. And since Rushy Diva doesn’t arouse any particular emotions, good or bad, I’m pretty underwhelmed with Darvish. So I think those two will have to go enjoy a nice, well-deserved break with family and friends. Losers! As for Broxton, as much as I enjoyed the images his anagrams provoked, they’re just a little too silly to have any substance. And though Manhole Jams made me think of the Ninja Turtles rockin’ out in a sewer, I just don’t think Hammel’s anagrams pack the emotional calories required for a roster spot. Frieri, however, is golden. All his anagrams speak to me. Such lovely letter distribution, such compelling imagery. He’s a lock.
2012 MLB ALL-STAR GAME FINAL ROSTER SPOT WINNER FOR THE AMERICAN LEAGUE: Ernesto Frieri.
Now for the National League.
Chipper Jones: Epic Reps, John!, Crisp Pee, John! (words of encouragement for a friend who urinates crackers), Jeep Sin Porch
Aaron Hill: Hallo, Iran!, Iron Halal
Bryce Harper: Preach, Berry!, Re: Hyper Crab, Rye Herb Crap
Michael Bourn: Incurable Ohm, Albumen Choir, Lube Harmonic, A Nimbler Ouch, A Humbler Coin, A Chino Rumble, A Chlorine Bum, Him Rule Bacon, No Crab Helium, Bronchial Emu, Binocular Hem, Blame Our Chin, Oh Nice Lumbar, Um Robin Leach, China Mob Rule, Lone Bum Chair
David Freese: Serve If Dead (basic morgue etiquette), Avid Feeders (people in Wisconsin), Dad Eyes Fire
There’s just no room for debate here. It’s pointless. Bourn’s first three anagrams are PERFECT names for an indie band. He could’ve won on the strength of those alone. But then to come through with so many vivid, arresting anagrams, several of which literally tell stories, I just couldn’t be more impressed. Send that man to Kansas City. He’s earned it.
2012 MLB ALL-STAR GAME FINAL ROSTER SPOT WINNER FOR THE NATIONAL LEAGUE: Michael Bourn.