|Dustin Brown – captain or catcher?|
Over the last few seasons, the Kings and Dodgers have developed a more-than-friendly relationship.
In fact, when cross promoting each other, the home team had a perfect 6-0 record until just a few months ago.
Later this afternoon the boys in blue will take the field at Dodger Stadium against the hated San Francisco Giants to begin their new season.
After writing many times over the last few years about the parallels of these two teams – i.e. GMs from division rivals, tons of young talent, just one key player away from a possible run at a championship, etc. – I thought I’d go a different route in honor of Opening Day.
Which Kings players would step in for the Dodgers if they took over the starting line-up? Here’s a quick look…
Second Baseman, Juan Uribe is… Justin Williams – somebody who put up good numbers with a different club, but you never truly appreciate how good he is until he’s on your team.
Third baseman, Casey Blake is… Jarret Stoll – the good looking, hard working player acquired from another team. Both put up decent numbers, yet fans always think they are under producing, given their talent.
Left fielder, (just pretend he’s still here) Manny Ramirez is… Dustin Penner – the guy who electrified the fan base when he arrived in town. Now, only if Penner can go on a tear like Man Ram did that first season at DodgerTown.
Center fielder, Matt Kemp is… Jack Johnson – both players have the skill to be all-world (and they’re so, so close). No matter how good they are at times, every once and a while you go ‘what just happened?’ Perhaps separated at birth, if they ever put it all together, watch out. Oh yeah, the GM and the player also had public words about a year ago..
Right fielder, Andre Ethier is… Anze Kopitar – both recent all-stars, both offensive studs and both guys are slowly turning into the face of the franchise. And…and…they’re each one monster year away from being considered one of the best players in the game.
Catcher, Rob Barajas is… Alexei Ponikarovsky – each guy came from Toronto and is serviceable at what they do. Neither is a star, but both have had those one or two seasons where people think they’ve finally figured it out…only to later realize they are who we thought they were.
Back-up catcher, A.J. Ellis is… Trevor Lewis – the homegrown draft pick who is just aces defensively. Has had a cup of coffee in the big leagues the last few seasons. Everybody is waiting for that big, breakthrough offensively.
Starting pitcher, Chad Billingsley is… Jonathan Bernier – the guy everybody thought was going to be ‘the man’ even though he’s yet to really win anything. Can he put it all together and dominate? It still remains to be seen.
Closer, Jonathan Broxton is… Michal Handzus – just a horse and regardless of stats, THE guy you’d love to see out there when it matters most because you know the expression ‘man up’ is something you’ll never have to say to him. He brings it every night.
Either way, I like this team’s chances.
Kings Ruin Dodgers Perfect Record – January 2011
Interview with Thomas Hickey – parallels between Dodgers/Kings