Four score and many moons ago we began the "King of the..." series here at G:TB (if by "series" you mean two posts loosely held together by a contrived concept), but I've gotta tell you, today's installment - inspired by several emails from G:TB stalwart Dennis- has got to be my favorite. That's right los lectores fieles, you can close the baseballreference.com window and put away your dog-eared Spanish-English dictionary...we've got you covered. ¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba! (¿demasiado?)**
Joe Table (Jose Mesa) - The man, the myth, the legend - the reason this post even exists. That's right, it's the man who had a kid at the ripe old age of 13 and who cost the city of Cleveland the World Series title in 1997 (and has one of the more enjoyable ongoing feuds with former teammate Omar Vizquel). Joe Table, your candle burned out long before your legend ever did...wait, what? He's still employed? Yessiree, Jose Mesa is currently a Philadelphia Philly (his 2nd ball club this year and 8th in 19 major league seasons), and sporting a superb 5.65 ERA to boot. Well done sir. Brett Myers will most likely be punch you in the face any day now.
Chuck Newhouse (Carlos y Charlie Villanueva) - A true double-threat, Mr. Villanueva is both an up-and-coming pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers and a promising alien-PF hybrid (in the Species mold) for the Milwaukee Bucks. There hasn't been a male duo this formidable to hit the streets of "Mill-e-wah-que" since Lenny and Squiggy. This little tidbit made me chuckle, mainly because I think very little of the NBA version - Chuck the Buck sometimes goes by the nickname "Skillanueva".
Roberto Clemente (Rob Merciful) - Its not often my style, but if I can be serious for a moment, even within a post this nonsensical. Given what we know of the player and the man, and how Clemente was taken from this Earth way too soon, this one seems almost fitting. Thank you for your patience, we will now carry on with the foolishness.
George July (Jorge Julio) - His discovery in the Orioles pen 6 years ago led to one of the most entertaining, and I must say ethnically-insensitive, email exchanges ever. Patty McShitface, Mohammed Bombsalot and Akbar Al-Hijackya are all pulling for Jorge in this one ("Yes, Hi, I called earlier - Inside Joke, Party of 4"). Jorge can also be blamed for inspiring 2,728,069 "Jorge Julio, Spanish for blown save" jokes. Amazingly, he was traded straight up this year for the Korean translation of blown save, Byung-Hyun Kim. Everybody hurts...sometimes.
Frank Frank (Frank Francisco) - The Spanish equivalent to the English version of torturing your son for life, William Williams. Or, like the poor kid at my high school, Richard Dick. Thank god I went to school way before Columbine, or little Richard Dick might have gotten the urge to spray paint the walls of the Shaker High Gym with the brains of my entire 3rd period gym class. Ironically (I think it's irony...much like that dum-dum Alanis I often misuse irony), when Frank Squared decided to go all WWF and throw a chair into the crowd 2 years ago he hit a woman named Jennifer Bueno in the face. Even Ice Cube would have to concede it wasn't a "good" day for Ms. Bueno.
Jesus Flowers (Jesus Flores) - This list could never be complete without a rep from the hometown Washington Nationals. However, I have virtually nothing to say about him, except that his major league debut was on my birthday this year. Jesus and I took several shots of Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia to celebrate his big day.
Vinny GreenHead (Vincent Testaverde) - Oh boy, now we're really reaching. Vinny is our only football representative on this list, mainly because I'm running out of steam. Some controversy here as well, since Dennis contends he should be called Vinny GreenBalls, rather than GreenHead, but I'm sticking with this solid interweb translation site. All I'm wondering is how did Fireman Ed never capitalize on this obvious connection during Vinny's successful Jets tenure?
And your winner: Jose Mesa, King of the Joe Tables. Was there ever any doubt?
**This post written while jamming out to ABBA's "Fernando"...en repetición