Most young baseball fans grow up idolizing a player who they would give anything to meet, if only for a minute. For me, it was Cal Ripken Jr...
Our priorities tend to change as we grow from adolescents to adults. I would utterly humiliate myself by showing my true colors, chasing down every famous baseball player I see within range of my 10X binoculars.
It's gone from "I would give anything to meet him and get his autograph!!!," to a much less intense, "Yeah, it'd be cool to grab a beer with that guy."
In light of my inner-child, I put a list together comprised of players who seem like they'd be good drinking buddies. Of course, a good drinking buddy to one guy may be an obnoxious, loud-mouthed drunk to the next guy, so I did my best to include some of each manner.
Here are "The 21 Coolest Drinking Buddies in Baseball."
I had to debate long and hard in deciding whether to include Alex Rodriguez on this list.
On one hand, A-Rod surrounds himself with some of the sexiest honeys around, and Derek Jeter proved it's very easy to steal a girl from him.
On the other hand, however, A-Rod kind of reminds me of that girl in high school who loses it after a single beer. You know, the girl who immediately starts crying while slobbering out words like "I don't even know why I'm crying!"
Ozzie Guillen has always worn his emotion on his sleeve, leading to some of the funniest managerial news conferences in baseball history.
Can you imagine how vulgar his conversations would be while intoxicated?
I'll bet Guillen could have a 10-minute conversation using nothing but curse words when he's befuddled, and I would definitely enjoy tuning in.
Miguel Cabrera has had a few run-ins with the law due to his drinking habits, but everyone has their issues, and I'm sure Miggy is still a pretty good guy.
Not many ballplayers have accomplished as much as Cabrera has in so little time. He's still only 28 years old.
I'd like to sit down and have a beer with Miggy so he could tell me what it was like being a World Series hero as a 20-year-old.
While this haunting picture reminds me of my middle-school lunch lady, it has most certainly earned Logan Morrison a drink on my bill. Anyone with the cojones to sport this outfit in public is either ready to pick up a bottle or already wasted.
LoMo has made quite the impression on MLB during his rookie season, both on the field and through his uber-popular Twitter account.
"Breaking news: sprained ligament in my foot out 2 to 4 weeks," he tweeted. "Told u fantasy people not to pick me up."
Nick Swisher has got it made. He's playing with the Yankees through the prime of his career, already having one World Series ring to show for it.
More impressive than anything, however, is the bombshell standing next to him. He and Joanna Garcia are going to spend their honeymoon visiting troops in Afghanistan.
I think I'll be buying him the drink, this time.
Evan Longoria is living the life many of us dreamed of while growing up.
He has spent past offseasons chillin' in SoCal, planning parties with his ladies and playing video games for hours.
For that lifestyle, I'd happily be "the guy on the couch."
Many people either love or hate Nyjer Morgan and his alter-ego known as "T-Plush," while some may find him to be rather annoying.
Having a drink with T-Plush would give each of us an opportunity to finally expose our own alter-egos to the world—ones that we've hidden deep down for most of our lives.
I know I'd appreciate the moment where I finally become "Johnny Swagg."
Ryan Dempster is one of the funniest player's in baseball, even doing stand-up comedy on a number of occasions.
I can imagine he gets even more hilarious while inebriated, although by the looks of this picture, the bartender should have cut him off an hour or two ago.
For all the bashing I've thrown Barry Zito's way over the last few years, I recently formed a newfound respect for him after seeing this video for the first time.
After a situation that appears to have included dozens of cocktails, five hot women and one Barry Zito, it should be indoctrinated into man-law that we shall no longer hate the man.
Is it me or does Zito appear to be incoherently annihilated?
Aside from maybe Yankees' fans, who wouldn't want to grab a drink with Big Papi?
Ortiz always seems to be having a good time, and he's no stranger to some hard partying. He'd be the kind of guy where you think you're just going to grab a beer, but somehow two hours later, you're rockin' it onstage at a Jay-Z concert.
La de da de da, Ryan Howard with the D O double-G, SNOOP DOGG!
I'd kick it with anyone who has Snoop Dogg in their bromosphere. Add to it the fact that his girlfriend, Krystle Campbell, is a cheerleader for the Philadelphia Eagles—I'm there.
There's got to be at least another dozen to go around, right?
For years, Johnny Damon was very open about his active social life and hard-partying lifestyle.
Once while on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Damon told a national television audience that the pain of a tough loss earlier that evening could be cured by "our friend, Jack Daniels."
He most certainly has a point—there's nothing like a little Jack (or Crown, for me) to take the pain away.
Matt Kemp is the new "it" man in Hollywood. He's the King of L.A..
Not only was he dating the smokin' hot Rihanna, but Kemp is one of the leading candidates for the NL MVP Award this season and will soon be cashing in on a $100-plus million deal.
Kemp has vaulted himself into superstar status faster than that annoying vampire guy from the Twilight saga.
This Jimmy Rollins clip is by far the funniest baseball commercial ever made.
I'll bet it's made many of you dream of getting wasted then having balls smack your chest (no pun intended).
Either way, Rollins has an attitude that would make him awesome to party with.
Young, popular and full of swagger, Ryan Braun has established himself as one of the best players in the game today.
The guy owns a couple of restaurants and has his own clothing line. He even turned down an offer to be on The Bachelor.
As would be expected, women flock to Brauny in masses. Wouldn't you like to be there to reap what he sows?
Kevin Youkilis is an angry dude even when he's sober, so one can only imagine how aggressive he gets after throwing a few back.
That being said, I'd love to down a sixer of PBR with Youk.
Best case scenario—we laugh as he makes cowardly men wet themselves. Worst case scenario—we turn the bar into The Octagon. Seems like a win-win either way.
Brian Wilson may just be the wackiest player baseball has ever known, especially considering he seems to make all of his decisions consciously.
That means he's crazy enough to be the life of every party but not crazy to the point where you have to worry about your rigor mortising body being thrown off the Golden Gate Bridge.
I can live with that.
Sipping on some whiskey isn't exactly the priority I had in mind when including Tim Lincecum on this list. With him, it's more about the after-party.
If you pair booze, women and Lincecum with the Eastbound and Down DVD collection and some Chronic Supernova, my guess is that you'll have a damn good time.
Dustin Pedroia is arguably the funniest guy in baseball. By the looks of it, he has a great time whenever he's got a bottle in-hand, too.
He'd be the guy who makes a complete ass of himself without a care in the world, and I think it'd be downright comical to see it live and in person. I'd probably get him wasted just to watch the show.
Not many athletes are as gifted off the field as Derek Jeter. His dating resume looks more like the Maxim Hot 100.
With Jeter on the prowl—looking to add another notch on the old belt—I would more than happily volunteer my services as his wing-man.
Hey DJ, I would pay for my own drinks and even jump on the grenade!
Jeffrey Beckmann is a MLB Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow Jeffrey on his new Twitter account for all of his latest work. You can also hear him each Friday at 1 p.m. EST on B/R Baseball Roundtable.