2012 MLB – Who Will Be YOUR Team’s Joe Shlabotnik This Season?

Forget those two games Bud Selig scheduled over in Japan last week…the true Opening Day for the 2012 Major League Baseball Season is almost upon us.

Which brings us to a very, very important question…who will be YOUR team’s Joe Shlabotnik this season?

For those uninitiated with the name…Joe is a fictional baseball player featured in Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip.

Joe was Charlie Brown’s all-time favorite baseball player.

Charlie Brown worked endlessly to hunt down any and all memorabilia associated with Joe Shlabotnik.  He once bought 500 one-card, one-cent packs of baseball cards just to get one of Joe’s.  While he wasn’t successful, his “pal” Lucy van Pelt bought but one pack and…whatya know…she owned a Joe Shlabotnik baseball card.  Unfortunately, Lucy refused to trade, even though she had little knowledge of the Grand Old Game.  Once Charlie Brown exhausted himself trying to entice her to give up Joe’s card…she eventually decided he wasn’t “as cute” as she thought and threw the card in a dumpster.

Charlie Brown once was under the impression he had a Joe Shlabotnik autographed baseball…it turned out to be a forgery.

But it isn’t Charlie Brown’s futility trying to get a Joe Shlabotnik “original” that makes him relevant to this post.  It is the legend, the essence of Joe Shlabotnik.  More importantly as you read about his career, think upon which player on YOUR favorite team this year is most likely to match the “achievements” of Joe Shlabotnik…

1. He was demoted to the minor leagues after hitting .004 over an entire season.  The one hit was a bloop single…with his team comfortably ahead.

2. He once promised to hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth.  He popped out…but circled the bases anyway.

3. He had a knack for making routine fly balls into spectacular catches…as well as throwing out runners who had fallen between first and second.

4. After his demotion to the Green Grass League, Joe retired as an active player and took a job managing the Waffletown Syrups.  He was fired after one game.  He called for a squeeze play…with no one on.

Charlie Brown never even got to meet his hero Joe Shlabotnik.

He bought tickets to sit at a sports banquet where fans could dine with their favorite athletes…but Joe was the only one who didn’t show up.  He had marked the wrong event, city AND date on his calendar.

Joe was also invited to attend a testimonial dinner for Charlie Brown.  He got lost en route.

It seems each year at least one player on each team manages to embarrass himself and/or the game on or off the field.  Please feel free to submit your predicted candidates now…or note their resemblance once the season gets underway.  You can be sure in the meantime I’ll be highlighting the “best” baseball has to offer.

Play Ball!

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Doesn't matter who ya cheer for...connect and communicate...you can also find me at http://www.lifeattitudes.com. bruceaburns@comcast.net
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25 Responses to 2012 MLB – Who Will Be YOUR Team’s Joe Shlabotnik This Season?

  1. Joe Munley says:

    Awesome post… It will certainly give me something extra to thing about while watching the games.

    Cannot wait to single out some Joe Shlabotniks this season.

  2. Steven Jeffries says:

    Very well done! My cousin was in the big leagues about 6 years ago, mostly with the Angels. But after the 2002 season, he began a journey through the minor leagues and I’m sure he played against “Waffletown!”…(they have some awfully strange team names in the minors).

    • Steven, thanks for stopping by! Indeed, you can spend all day reading up on some of these minor league baseball team names and their origins. “Waffletown” sounds tame in comparison!

  3. Steven Jeffries says:

    Reblogged this on stevenjeffries and commented:
    Thought this was great!

  4. Thanks for the RT, Joe. Much appreciated! Yes, the goal here was indeed to get people thinking about who their team’s “Joe” is. I hope others are on the lookout for “Joe Moments” to report in…if I don’t get to ‘em first.

  5. jrthetalker says:

    Reblogged this on jrthetalker and commented:
    Love it!

  6. Steven Jeffries says:

    You’ve created a small “firestorm” with this article! What can you do with “Casey at the Bat?”

  7. Great post Bruce. Perfect way to start off the season.

  8. Jup says:

    Is it fair to pick Bobby Jenks, considering he’s already started embarassing us?

    Happy Opening Day!

  9. Blog Surface says:

    Hey there Bruce. Long time no see. Haven’t heard from you in a while. Anyway, hope you are doing ok. I would probably say the Mets Jason Bay. He has been nothing but embarrassing for the New York faithful and something tells me that won’t stop this year.

    • Christian, I’m still here. Maybe your post feed took a breather and I missed a couple. I’ll have to check on that. Haven’t been posting as much as I’d like but still trying to comment as often as usual. One of the NY tabloids cracked me up when the Mets won their Opener. “Mets Undefeated – 161 Games To Go.” We’ll consider Bay a worthy nominee in any case!

  10. Longworth72 says:

    A brilliant post that brings back memories of reading Dad’s Peanuts collection. I’ve given the Red Sox Joe Shlabotnik question some due consideration:

    Originally I was thinking John Lackey with his Shlabotnik-sized ERA but then it occurred to me that it needed to be someone that Charlie Brown could have liked in spite of the faults. This rules out Bobby Jenks too.

    So my next tack was to assume that most of us have a bit of Charlie Brown about us and therefore to pick someone I’d like to do well but who has been largely disappointing till now.

    Step forward (carefully now) Carl Crawford. He seems like a nice guy and there is that air of promise but you just know that at the key moment he’ll go down with something obscure like elephantitis. Probably in mid-play.

    An honourable mention for Pedro Ciriaco – The King of Spring. He’s hit .300 plus for the past 2 Springs but hasn’t made the grade. Yet.

    • Thanks for your comments, Longworth. I think you have a couple of very well-thought-out nominees there. I fear Mr. Crawford’s contract may ultimately go down in history…for all the wrong reasons!

  11. As a White Sox fan, I think our Joe Shlabotnik may just be Adam Dunn. He sure was last year.

  12. Wow, man. You stumped me on that one. Nice pull.

    But if I had to pick one player that fits that description, it’d probably be BJ Upton.

  13. chappy81 says:

    Joe sounds like the opposite of a saber metrics guy!

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