The ultimate 'Which shirsey should I buy?' guide 2015: AL East Edition
Ultimate Shirsey Guide 2015: AL East Edition
The four most important decisions you'll ever make are:
1. Do I want to spend the rest of my life with this person?
2. Should I become a parent?
3. Which player's shirsey should I buy for the upcoming season?
4. Is now really the best time to refinance and buy a boat?
Because a shirsey isn't just a way of telling people, "I like this team and/or player." It's a statement of your identity as a fan and a human being. Besides, you never know when you'll run into your chosen player while wearing their name.
Do you love watching endless highlights of a singular star? Is your bedroom wallpaper with that player's photo?
Or are you a dreamer, living on the hopes of what-could-be while showing people grainy camera phone footage of the newest 18-year-old phenom in the Gulf Coast League?
Or are you the type of person that wants to be worshipped while in line for a hot dog five years from now when groups of fans gather around you and your shirsey, exalting you for your love of the utility infielders and clubhouse pranksters that dot the fringes of the 25-man roster?
These are all difficult decisions. Today, we help make those decisions a little easier.
We start with the American League East:
Face of the Franchise: Adam Jones
With Nick Markakis traveling south to Atlanta, there is no other option than the pie-throwing, Ravens-loving Adam Jones. When not making Twitter bets, Jones has been remarkably consistent. Over the last four years, Jones has hit between 25 and 33 home runs with a batting average between .280 and .287 while averaging 158 games per year.
If you want someone who you know is going to be in the lineup whenever you turn the TV on, presumably with pie in hand, it's Jones that you want.
The Future: Dylan Bundy
Orioles fans have been dreaming of Bundy seemingly longer than the people who never wake up in Inception. Since being drafted fourth overall in the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft and making his big league debut with two appearances in 2012, Bundy has been listed on four consecutive top 100 prospect lists.
Coming off Tommy John surgery in 2013 and a shoulder strain in '14, this is a shirt that says, "I believe in science. And I believe in beauty. Like a Dylan Bundy 12-to-6 dropping at the knees."
Fan Favorite: Ryan Webb
For listeners of the Effectively Wild podcast, this is an easy one. After all, Ryan Webb is the current holder of this most interesting of records: Most games finished (87) in a career without a save. It's an interesting record to hold -- clearly being good enough to rack up appearances and finish ballgames, but never being brought in at just the right time.
Show off your appreciation of the arcane with this one.
Boston Red Sox
The Face: Dustin Pedroia
This one is easy. Not only has Dustin Pedroia long been a Red Sox player, but he embodies everything a fan would want: good glove, good bat, the willingness to roll around on the ground and he's the same height as people who do not play sports professionally.
This is also the tee for Bigfoot supporters.
Of course, if you don't believe in Bigfoot, but do believe in the transformative powers of a hug, David Ortiz is your man.
The Future: Blake Swihart
1. What a name. Swihart. Just think, in a few short years, you'll be calling your significant other your "Swihart" instead of "sweetheart."
2. He's a catcher who threw out 47% of base stealers in AA. Just think of all the people you can tell about that.
3. While he has the potential to be an above-average hitter, he's already an adept defensive backstop.
1. Did you really just read the pros and not order it already?
Fan Favorite: Brock Holt
Are you someone who loves sharing viral videos? Who is constantly on the lookout for Fails and pranks and guys flying out of nowhere to do great things?
Because in 2014, Holt was the last latter, constantly doing things like this:
This is a shirt that says, "Yeah, I love guys leaping from the middle of nowhere to make a catch."
New York Yankees
Face of the Franchise: Derek Jeter
Are you a lover of the '90s, complete with snap bracelets, Friends and endless World Series titles?
A Y2K-er, obsessed with whether their computers will explode and Jeter's flip to home plate?
A member of the social media renaissance who ends eveyr tweet with #Re2pect?
Until Jon Bon Jovi Jr. becomes shortstop of the Yanks, this is the tee for you.
The Future: Luis Severino
Unknown just a few short years ago, Severino now tops the Yankees prospects thanks to a 2.46 ERA and 10.2 K/9 between Class-A Advanced and Double-A at the tender age of 20.
Purchasing this shirt shows that you're a person of refined taste. Who also digs Ks:
Fan Favorite: Brendan Ryan
If you love defensive gems like nobody's business, then Ryan is the man for you. Despite a .610 career OPS, teams keep Ryan on their side because he can make plays like these:
And he doesn't just pass the eye test. For his career, he is worth over a win per season simply from his defense with an 11.2 UZR/150.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Face: Evan Longoria
You may be surprised to hear that Evan Longoria will only be 29 next season. After all, it seems like he's been the face of the Rays for roughly four generations. I guess that's the problem when you come up and bash 27 home runs and win a Rookie of the Year Award at the tender age of 22.
If you're looking to make an investment in your clothing, this is the one for you. With Longoria under contract with the Rays through 2022, you can also be pretty certain that he'll still be on the team until your shirt is so ratty that it wouldn't look out of place on Cosette in Les Miserables.
The Future: Boog Powell
Sure, there are prospects with more hype behind them (like shortstops Daniel Robertson or Willy Adames), but you certainly can't get a better name prospect than Boog. Recently acquired from the Athletics, let people know that you not only value the youth movement, but you value excellence in nicknames too.
Fan Favorite: Kevin Keirmaier
If you're anything like me, you spent your winter watching the Australian Baseball League. Really lean into that fandom and support a player who made his name by playing in the ABL. Keirmaier spent the winter of 2011-12 with the Canberra Calvary, finding his swing along the way in the land Down Under.
Toronto Blue Jays
The Face: Jose Bautista
Do you like home runs? Tired of having to pay attention to the whole field? Then Bautista is your man.
With five consecutive All-Star appearances, 37 home runs per year in that time span, and spray chart that looks like center and right field almost don't exist, you can just zero in on the left-field wall whenever the Blue Jays outfielder is at the plate.
It's practically its own meme:
The Future: Daniel Norris
It doesn't hurt that the Blue Jays' top prospect blew threw three levels in 2014 with a 12-2 record, 2.53 ERA and 11.8 K/9.
He also has an amazing beard ... that he trims with an axe! A straight-up axe!
������ pic.twitter.com/ehE5DSJXiv- Daniel Norris (@DanielNorris18) January 19, 2015
Fan Favorite: Munenori Kawasaki
Probably the easiest one on this list: the singing, dancing, joie-de-vivre-machine that is Munenori Kawasaki. Despite receiving less than 700 plate appearances over parts of three seasons, Kawasaki has made himself an invaluable member of the team with big hits:
And has even taken home a piece of Cut4 silverware for his efforts.
If you love life, sucking the marrow from the bone of every day, then this is the shirt for you.
Get your shirseys at the MLB.com shop and remember, no matter what your choice is, as long as you can explain it in a series of GIFs, we'll accept it.