Comparing Every MLB Team to a Disney Film
Founded way back in 1869, Major League Baseball is the oldest of the four major sports in the United States. The first professional team is considered to be the Cincinnati Red Stockings.
Similarly, the Walt Disney Company has been a part of the film industry for longer than anyone, beginning with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs back in 1937.
Present day, both organizations have grown into billion-dollar empires who are, in many ways, the class of their respective fields.
Whether by plot line or title alone, I have made an attempt at comparing every Major League Baseball team to a Disney film.
Arizona Diamondbacks: "Aladdin" (1992)
The Arizona Diamondbacks entered the 2011 season picked—by most accounts—to finish dead last in the NL West.
We should have known better with the magic new manager Kirk Gibson brings to the table.
Gibson must have rubbed the bottle the right way, as the D-Backs went on to win their division before putting up a strong showing in the NLDS against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Atlanta Braves: "Honey I Blew Up the Kid" (1992)
The Atlanta Braves held a 10.5-game lead for the NL Wild Card on August 26th and an 8.5-game lead on September 6th. They had all but locked up a trip to the postseason.
Thanks to five straight losses to end the season, the Braves completed one of the most monumental collapses in Major League Baseball history. The blew the (bleep) up. Good luck recovering.
Baltimore Orioles: "Blank Check" (1994)
This flick opened the eyes of every 10-year-old when it was released back in 1994. I probably watched it a dozen times.
Baltimore Orioles fans can only dream of owner Peter Angelos writing a Blank Check to be used during free agency this winter. Realistically, it's the only way the team will ever be able to compete within the AL East.
Boston Red Sox: "Tangled" 2010
No word better describes the current situation within the Boston Red Sox organization than the word "tangled"—as in tangled up.
Between Theo Epstein heading to the North Side of Chicago, rumors of David Ortiz being interested in playing for the Yankees and the whole fiasco involving pitchers boozing in the clubhouse during games, the Red Sox are in disaster-mode right now.
Chicago Cubs: "Prince of Persia: Sands of Time" (2010)
Time has pretty much stopped for the Chicago Cubs since their last World Series title way back in 1908. It's hard to blame the Wrigley faithful, though it's easy to blame Steve Bartman.
The Sands of Time will continue to flow if the Cubbies can find a way to lock up Prince Fielder this winter. It'd be a very Merry Christmas and a sandy New Year.
Chicago White Sox: "Life Is Ruff" (2005)
There's not much else to say about the demeanor of the Chicago White Sox organization these days.
As the most talented team in the AL Central this season, the White Sox finished 79-83 and in third place in the division.
Adam Dunn and Alex Rios were dreadful, Ozzie Guillen has since been fired and the team looks to be making some big changes via trade this winter.
Cincinnati Reds: "Under Wraps" (1997)
The Cincinnati Reds turned some heads by winning the NL Central in 2010, only to come back and lay an egg in 2011.
Now the talk of the town is revolving around the potential availability of reigning NL MVP Joey Votto. While it is believed that the Reds are willing to listen to offers, GM Walt Jocketty has vehemently shot down the rumors surrounding his All-Star first baseman.
Either way, it's clear that Jocketty is keeping his plans Under Wraps.
Cleveland Indians: "Underdog" (2007)
I probably won't be the first to say this, but the city of Cleveland should be renamed Underdog. It's quite fitting, really.
Even when they were good, the Cleveland Indians always seemed to be filling that role. The 2011 season was no exception.
The Indians got off to a fast start this season before falling back to .500 by season's end. The front office proved, however, that they're willing to make moves to benefit the team instead of set them back, so they may not be underdogs for much longer.
Colorado Rockies: "The Rookie" (2002)
The Colorado Rockies have enough bats to put up runs against any team in baseball—it's their pitching that needs a makeover, especially since Ubaldo Jimenez was shipped off to Cleveland this summer.
The Rockies will now leave a large portion of their pitching duties in the hands of a few rookies, most notably Drew Pomeranz and Alex White. It bodes well for the Rox that most of their top prospects are pitchers, as the team will surely need them soon.
Detroit Tigers: "Cool Runnings" (1993)
Along with Justin Verlander's right arm, the Detroit Tigers' calm and collective attitude bolted them to the top of the AL Central this season.
When almost everyone counted them out against the New York Yankees in the ALDS, the Tigers kept their cool and took out the Evil Empire in five games.
Houston Astros: "A Bug's Life" (1998)
The Houston Astros are the worst team in baseball and, if I were a betting man, I'd put my money on them being the worst team in baseball for at least the next year or two.
Right now, the franchise is nothing more than a bug. Players will rip off their wings, put them under a magnifying glass in the sun or just plain squash them—like a bug.
Kansas City Royals: "Up" (2009)
After a wicked hot start to the 2011 season, the Kansas City Royals fell back to earth before ending the season with a 71-91 record.
Regardless, some of the prospects coming up in the Royals' famed farm system finally appear to be the real deal and they should soon be putting a respectable product on the field.
When you've been at the bottom for so long, there's nowhere to go but Up.
Los Angeles Angels: "Angels in the Outfield" (1994)
I will give you all the benefit of the doubt in being able to figure this connection out on your own.
Vernon Wells and Torii Hunter would have made an impressive corner-outfield duo about five years ago, but at this point the two will need Angels in the Outfield along with them.
Los Angeles Dodgers: "National Treasure" (2004)
The Los Angeles Dodgers are one of the most historic franchises in all of sports. They truly are a National Treasure.
Unfortunately, Frank McCourt won't let Nicolas Cage come to the rescue in this remake of a very underrated film. We can only hope (gulp) Bud Selig will come through for the first time since being commissioner of Major League Baseball.
Miami Marlins: "Robin Hood" (1973)
Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is by far the cheapest owner in Major League Baseball, yet his strategy helps him bank millions upon millions every season.
While the Marlins continually have one of the lowest payrolls in the league, Loria lets the big dogs outspend each other on top in order to cash in on the "Competitive Balance Tax" that is later distributed to the less profitable teams.
Milwaukee Brewers: "Monsters, Inc." (2001)
What Disney movie better describes a team who thrived when their gear shifted to "Beast Mode"?
The Milwaukee Brewers used this insane level of (fun?) play to reach their first League Championship Series since 1982, though they did irk a few teams along the way.
Seeing as Prince Fielder's young son is the one who created the now-infamous attitude, I wonder if the team will temper down a bit in his absence next season.
Minnesota Twins: "Invincible" (2006)
While it's changed slightly since Joe Mauer became the backbone of the franchise, for years, the Minnesota Twins always seemed to creep up on people before ultimately winning the division (then falling apart in the playoffs). They generally did it with a lack of superstars, too.
They were never the most talented squad in baseball, but they didn't seem to care and just went about their business until good things happened.
New York Mets: "Jumping Ship" (2001)
In another mess of a franchise, New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon finds himself caught up in the whole Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme.
Many of the team's former superstars have since been sent away and star shortstop Jose Reyes could soon follow.
Adding insult to injury, the Mets' attendance has seen a drastic decline over the last few years. It appears their fans are Jumping Ship as well.
New York Yankees: "Pinocchio" (1940)
This is directed more so at Alex Rodriguez.
"For the record, have you ever used steroids, human growth hormone or any other performance-enhancing substance?" Katie Couric asked.
"No," Rodriguez replied.
Asked if he had ever been tempted to use any of those things, Rodriguez told Couric, "No."
"You never felt like, 'This guy's doing it, maybe I should look into this, too? He's getting better numbers, playing better ball,'" Couric asked.
"I've never felt overmatched on the baseball field. I've always been a very strong, dominant position. And I felt that if I did my work as I've done since I was, you know, a rookie back in Seattle, I didn't have a problem competing at any level. So, no," he replied.
Good thing he can afford a nose job, eh?
You can read (or watch) his full interview with Katie Couric here.
Oakland Athletics: "Return to Never Land" (2002)
Back in 2001, when Oakland Athletics GM Billy Beane constructed his team via Moneyball, the team was consistently competitive and made a good run to the playoffs every season.
Fast-forward to present day, where the rest of baseball has since caught on to Beane's team-building strategy, and the A's have fallen back to obscurity. They have made a Return to Never Land.
Philadelphia Phillies: "Old Dogs" (2009)
The Philadelphia Phillies have taken over as the old fogies of Major League Baseball.
Hunter Pence was their lone starting position player this season who is yet to reach his 30s, while their top two pitchers in Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee are approaching their mid-30s as well.
Somehow, this team turned into a bunch of Old Dogs very fast.
Pittsburgh Pirates: "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" (2007)
I am going to assume common sense prevails so I don't need to explain the correlation between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Johnny Depp flick.
The real question is, why did I choose At World's End?
The Pirates hit rock bottom—hard—over the last few seasons, but they fought back in 2011 and were in first place in the NL Central as late as July. At long last, the franchise seems to be back on the right track.
San Diego Padres: "Holes" (2003)
I'm not sure if there is another team in baseball with as many holes to fill heading into next season.
The San Diego Padres appeared to be on the right track in 2010, when they finished 90-72 and just one game back of a playoff spot. The 2011 season was a different story, however, and things once again look bleak in the beach town.
San Francisco Giants: "Eight Below" (2006)
A year after conquering the world by bringing home a World Series Championship, the San Francisco Giants finished eight games below the division-winning Arizona Diamondbacks this past season.
You can bet the Giants will look to add the necessary bats to finish eight games up on the D-Backs in 2012.
Seattle Mariners: "Get a Clue" (2002)
Hey GM Jack Zaza-whatever-it-is...you need something called offense to compete in baseball, especially when you're up against the Texas Rangers in the AL West.
When are you going to Get a Clue?
St. Louis Cardinals: "Princess Protection Program" (2009)
Clearly, I hold grudges. It'll be a long time until I forgive the St. Louis Cardinals for stripping away my Brewers' only hope at a World Series title this century.
That being said, anyone who argues the fact that Cards manager Tony LaRussa is the biggest whiner baseball has ever known is either misinformed or in denial.
Tampa Bay Rays: "The Incredibles" (2004)
With their small payroll and the constant turnover within the organization, it's absolutely incredible that the Tampa Bay Rays put a competitive ballclub on the field every season, not to mention their amazing run to the postseason this year
Just imagine how good they could be if fans actually attended their games.
Texas Rangers: "Glory Road" (2006)
If the Texas Rangers aren't on a Glory Road, then I don't know what to call it.
After being out-slugged by the San Francisco Giants in the World Series last season, the Rangers find themselves back in the Fall Classic to take on the St. Louis Cardinals.
I, for one, am hoping to see them destroy and humiliate the Cardinals on their way to glory.
Toronto Blue Jays: "Valiant" (2005)
This one is headed directly at Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos. I agree that Valiant may be a bit of an extreme, but the guy is a wizard in the front office.
The day I can finally nickle-and-dime my way to owning a Major League Baseball team is the day I pry away Anthopoulos to be my right-hand man. The guy is a genius.
Washington Nationals: "Sleeping Beauty" (1959)
The Washington Nationals and former Montreal Expos have been sleeping since the movie came out in 1959 (yes, 10 years before the franchise originated), but something tells me the once-punch-line-of-a franchise will soon awaken.
The Nats have superb talent across the board coming up through the system. At this point, all they need is Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg to make (out?) an impact so the franchise's beauty can unfold.
Jeffrey Beckmann is an MLB Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow Jeffrey on his new Twitter account for all of his latest work.