Hey baseball fans!
Matt Nadel here of Baseball with Matt with another dose of ML“what would”B. Today, I want to talk about a little more modern alternate baseball universe that I hope you will all enjoy. So, without further ado, let’s get right to it.
In 2009, CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Mark Teixeira, and Nick Swisher were all free agents that went to the Yankees, helping the Bronx Bombers win their 27th World Series. However, did you know that Tex was almost dealt to the Red Sox? Thank god he wasn’t, but what if he was? Well, the Red Sox and Boston would have been perfectly fine with the addition of Mark in the offseason, but one person would have been a little mad: David Ortiz! Remember when Big Papi played first base? That was a loooong time ago. Anyhow, Otiz gets mad that he only would get to play DH, so he demands a trade to (where else) the Twins! Theo Epstein buys into the request and sends the bat of David to St. Paul and Minneapolis, in exchange for Joe Nathan, the all-time Twins saves leader. Now, back to the Bronx. With no Mark or Jason Giambi, the Yanks need a first baseman. Because the combination of the words “farm” and “system” are frowned upon in the Yanks front office, the Yanks go ahead and trade for Adrian Gonzalez from San Diego, but who do they give up? I say, they give up Alex Rodriguez.
So, that’s how the ’09 offseason ends: Tex is part of Red Sox nation, Big Papi is in the Big Twin Cities, Nathan’s also in Boston, A-Gon is a Yank, and A-Rod is a Padre.
During April, Tex and the Sox struggle, while the Yankees and O’s battle it out for first. The Twins are sitting in third place in the AL Central, with Big Papi playing like his normal All Star self. The calendar turns to May and A-Rod returns from the DL and proceeds to hit 15 homers in the month! His performance lifts the Pads into contention for the Wild Card spot with the Rockies. Back in the AL, Tex picks up his game and hits ten homers in May, increasing his season mark to 17. A-Gon only hits five dingers in the month, but the Yanks pull ahead in the AL East and before the All Star break, the Yanks have a seven game lead over Boston. The Twins are leading the Central, two games ahead of Chicago, while in the NL West, the Padres are tied with the Dodgers for first. Also by the All Star break, Tex has 24 homers, Big Papi has 18, A-Gon has 22, and A-Rod has the same.
By the home stretch, the Sox hold a one game lead in the AL East over New York, the Twins are sitting in first for the Wild Card, and the Padres are one game back of Colorado in the NL Wild Card. However, because of a late season push by Gonzalez and the Yankees, New York emerges the winners of the AL East with 99 wins, two wins ahead of Boston. In the AL Central, the Twins win the Wild Card in a close race with Boston and Texas, while winning 98 games. The Tigers and Angels each win 100 games to win their divisions. In the NL West, the Dodgers and Padres battle it out for the first place spot and are tied at the end of the season, each with 90 wins. The tiebreaker is played in San Diego and the game is tied after the ninth. In the tenth, Trevor Hoffman shuts down Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and Casey Blake all on strikeouts to set up a division-winning walk-off homer by Alex Rodriguez in the bottom of the tenth, sending the Padres to the NLDS to face the Cardinals, while the Reds face the Phillies in the other NLDS series. In the ALDS, the Yanks face LA, while the Tigers face the Twins.
The Yanks come out victorious, sweeping the Angels, but it goes into extras in Game Five at Detroit, tied 3-3. The top of the tenth starts with a homer by David Ortiz, while the Tigers go out quietly in the bottom of the inning. In the NLDS, the Padres and Phillies come out winners, setting up an NLCS that would be won by the Padres. In the ALCS, the Twins emerge victorious against the Yanks, beating them in six.
So, the rivalry of Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz is reborn in the Fall Classic. The Series extends to six games, with Ortiz answering with a homer every time A-Rod hits one out. In the sixth game, it’s the same thing. Entering the bottom of the ninth inning at the Metrodome, the score is 7-6 Padres. Ortiz and Alex each hit two homers, raising their Series totals to five apiece. Trevor Hoffman comes on to the mound to close the game and send the series to Game Seven. One problem: with runners on first and second, the most underrated player in the majors, Joe Mauer, with 29 homers and a .298 BA during the regular season, comes up and proceeds to hit a three-run homer to win the World Series for Minnesota!!!!! The catcher establishes himself in the record books as the third player in MLB history to hit a walk-off, World Series-winning homer. All of Minnesota goes nuts because they just won only their third Fall Classic. The Padres are still 0-3 in the big series and A-Rod doesn’t have a ring. Well, at least in the next season, 2010, the Padres are predicted to win it all.
However, will the Padres win the 2010 World Series? Will an underdog team step in their path? Check back in about a week to see if the Padres can make all of San Diego proud in 2010, here in the ML“what would”B.