After my more serious article, I decided to take a more lighthearted approach for this article.
I’ve always been enthralled by things that combine my interests. Fantasy books centered around baseball. Video games with music-based powers.
It probably helps that my interests intersect so infrequently.
One of my favorite video games series is Mario. So, in another attempt to combine things that, at first glance, fit together like chocolate and butter, I combined Mario enemies with baseball teams.
The result was surprisingly more like chocolate and peanut butter. You’d never think it would work, but they matched up fairly well.
So, I bring you MLB teams and their equivalent Mario enemies.
The Pirates’ long streak of futility seems a perfect fit for Goombas—marching back and forth in the same rut, waiting to be stomped into the dirt by other, stronger teams.
Both the Cubs and Boos are intimidating at first and virtually indestructible. But when the spotlight shines on them, they shy away and freeze up, leaving Mario/other teams to run on ahead to greater things.
Like Cheep Cheeps, the Padres are formidable in their environment built to their needs. They won’t stand up to tougher assaults, but they can deal damage to their weakened foes.
However, also like Cheep Cheeps, the Padres are occasionally dropped outside of their environment, where they flop around uncomfortably*, waiting to be pummeled.
*The Padres have a .352 difference between their home and road winning percentages.
Like the Mets, Whomps are large, imposing forces. They charge out of the gate, waiting to crush their opponents. Then they fall flat on their face, exposing their weak spot for all to hit.
Pokeys and the Rays both appeared to be imposing forces, blocking the path of unwary travelers. However, as injuries leave both...shorthanded, they look less of a threat.
But eventually (for the Pokeys, whenever you leave the screen and return), they will be back to full strength.
Wigglers walk aimlessly back and forth, minding their own business, much as the meandering Rockies did earlier this year. But for the love of Stan Musial, don’t aggravate them, or they'll charge around on the rampage (recall the Rockies' recent firing of Clint Hurdle followed by their 11-game win streak—or the whole "Rocktober" run).
Like their cousins, the Buzzy Beetles, Spike Tops have an impenetrable shell with a giant spike on their back to cause extra damage (Which, in retrospect, seems rather self-explanatory).
Like Spike Tops, the Dodgers seem to be incapable of causing trouble, with a weak offense missing its star and a rotation hit with injuries. Yet they’ve become...a thorn in everyone’s side.
Both the Astros and Bob-ombs seem to wander around for long periods of time, wallowing in mediocrity. Then, without warning, they deliver a shocking explosion that startles everyone before fading out quietly.
For some reason, both the Bob-omb and the Astros’ front office think this is the ideal way to do business.
You may be surprised to learn that the Red Sox, while 21-8 at Fenway, are merely 17-17 away from home.
Like the Red Sox, the Piranha Plant exposes itself from its pipe to throw a fireball or bite Mario, risking a retaliating fireball. It then returns to the relative safety of its home.
For further similarities, check out their homes. The Piranha’s Pipe is a small, green, round, and well-defended fortress. Fenway Park is...a small, green, roundish, apparently well-defended fortress.
Every year, the Cardinals use a decaying pitching staff and weak offense (with one good attack in Albert Pujols), which should, in theory, take them out of contention.
But every year their...ahem...bare bones roster causes mayhem for other competitors. Dry Bones (at least in Super Mario World) had one good attack, that being a bone club they tossed.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, just when it seems like they should be down and out, they keep coming back (usually with...err...revived pitchers). They are both masters of...pulling it all together.
I’m all out of puns on this subject.
You may not recognize Chargin' Chucks if you haven’t played Super Mario World. They look large, strong, and intimidating. They either run at you or throw things, and look like a challenge to take down (they need three hits!).
Unfortunately (for them, not for Mario), they usually only became threatening on terrain that was already dangerous (see: Tubular, Level from Hell).
If they ran at you on level ground, they were no problem (as it turned out, once you got one hit on them, you could bounce off their head until they died). They could also be outrun fairly easily.
So, why the Nationals?
Their expected win-loss (is not overwhelming) at least indicates they should be a minor threat. They scored quite a few runs (especially for being a pathetic team). And yet...they're mind-blowingly easy to overcome (they are eight games back from their expected record).
The biggest of the enemies. The ones with the most resources, the most troops. They are most intimidating. Bowser is the king; the Yankees have The Boss.
So, yes, there are a few similarities.