With baseball season fully underway, myself along with Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing sat down to create quite possibly the most intricate comparison of MLB teams and who their equivalent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle character would be.
That’s right. The classic 80’s and 90’s franchise that entertained so many children contains enough characters for every single MLB team with many of the matchups seeming to fit in perfect unison.
We are starting this off right with the original theme song to TMNT followed by the MLB teams and their respective character comparison…
Yankees – Shredder
Ah, Shredder. One of the most underrated villains of all-time. Shredder has everything you want in a villain – a sinister streak, loads of force, and a vicious attitude that abandons the mere concept of having mercy on anyone. As the central villain of the series, Shredder fights Splinter and the turtles in an epic struggle of good vs evil. Now, if only there were an MLB team that could symbolize the power of evil. Hmmm…
Red Sox – Splinter
If the evil empire personifies Shredder, it only makes sense that the Sawx should personify his arch nemesis – Splinter. Like the Red Sox, Splinter is steeped in tradition and prestige. Splinter doesn’t get the credit that he deserves for being the man (or rat) behind the success of the TMNT, but his wisdom and experience is an integral part of the series. If only Ben Cherington was an elderly man, this would be a perfect fit! We’ll settle though for Splinter and Shredder squaring off in the sport’s most noted rivalry.
Rays – Rat King
Rat King is perhaps the most interesting supporting character in the entire TMNT series. He appeared quite often in the original TV series. But, looking back, was he a hero or a villain? A good guy or a bad guy? Rat King had a lot of power and influence (especially over rats), but he may be the one figure in the series with the most question marks. They’ve had one of the top teams on paper in recent years, but are they still playing the small market role, or ambitiously trying to stake their claim between the Sawx and Yanks? Can they still contend without their offseason losses, or will they go back to AL East afterthought? Always more questions than answers.
Blue Jays – Mondo Gecko
Mondo Gecko is one of those supporting characters that when looking back on the series, you realize that he’s a cool character, but totally unnecessary to the larger arc of the turtles. MG was befriended by Michelangelo after a life of crime and ended up living in the sewers next to the turtles. With the Blue Jays, there’s a small chance they may turn into a playoff contender, but more than likely they’ll be watching more popular and powerful teams take centerstage. Like Mondo, they’ll be on the sidelines.
Orioles – Vernon Fenwick
Vernon Fenwick is the obnoxious cameraman at Channel 6 that doubts the turtles and April’s reporting. Maybe it’s his jealousy, or his realization that he is nothing more than a mere cameraman. Vernon usually talks a big game, but runs at the first sign of trouble. That reminds us of a certain Orioles manager who’s called out the Yanks and BoSox in the past, but instantly realized he wrote a check with his mouth that his behind couldn’t cash.
Twins – Donatello
Donatello may be the most underrated of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as the intellectual one of the group. He doesn’t quite have the leadership of Leo, the spunk of Ralph, or the cool factor of Mikey. Nevertheless, he’s an integral part of the turtles, and the entire series would be lost without him, even though he may not have the appeal of the other three. Enter the Minnesota Twins. They aren’t the flashiest (who would pick a bow staff for a weapon, seriously) but they always seem to perform a bit above average, year after year.
White Sox – Dr. Baxter Stockman
Baxter Stockman is another one of those great, complex characters from the series. He begins as the traditional, psychotic evil genius. Then, Baxter is eventually employed by Shredder in his quest to defeat the turtles. However, after he is betrayed by Shredder, he morphs into a human fly through a transporter snafu (don’t you hate when that happens). Baxter then uses his evil genius to try to get back at Shredder and the Turtles. So, to typify an out of control and insane baseball figure, who can sometimes be a genius, and other times be as annoying as a fly… Ozzie Guillen has to be the only choice! When he departed for Miami, lots of White Sox fans were happy to see him go, but after a few seasons of sub-par baseball, it might be time to forgive and trust ol’ Baxter again.
Indians – Rocksteady
Rocksteady and Bebop are both dumb, lovable henchmen of Shredder. Even though they look and sound imposing, they usually always get defeated by the turtles time and time again. Similarly, the Cleveland Indians have had brief moments throughout their history, and even recently, that inspire hope that they can actually win a title before reality sets in. As seen in the Major League movies, the Indians are a great example of a lovable loser. As in most years episodes, this year promises to be another bumbling season for the Tribe.
Tigers – Bebop
Detroit is another one of those teams who look tough on paper and have great leadership in Jim Leyland, but when actually challenged, its “all show and no go”.
Royals – Pete
Pete is Michelangelo’s pet pigeon. That seems to be about the best fit to describe the Kansas City Royals – an anonymous pet bird. My guess is that their current season may end up looking something very close to another famous pet bird named Pete. In fact, OUR PETS HEADS ARE FALLIN OFF may be an upgrade for the Royals this season.
Rangers – Lord Dregg
Later on in the TMNT series, Lord Dregg becomes the central villain after Shredder and Krang are disposed of by the turtles for the last two seasons of the original cartoon. Dregg is obsessed with taking over the world, but is constantly thwarted by the TMNT. As the new kid on the block, Dregg is a perfect fit for the Rangers who have shown they are a force to be reckoned with. Even though Josh Hamilton isn’t there, the Rangers have to be a strong bet to get back to the postseason. Maybe they’ll settle for a WS title instead of world domination.
Athletics – Krang
Krang is the brains behind the villainry in the TMNT cartoon. Literally, he looks like a giant brain. I remember being freaked out as a kid by Krang like no other cartoon villain, that dude was messed up. But, with his brain-like appearance, Krang never really succeeded in very much. Oh, hi Billy Beane! Only the most optimistic A’s fan can visualize another season that doesn’t end up on the brink of success, but hey, at least they’ll still be the smartest organization in baseball again!
Angels – Hamato Yoshi
Yoshi is the old Japanese ninja warrior that either becomes Splinter, or is the owner of Splinter, depending on the series. Since Yoshi is usually always a proud, dignified character that appears in the past tense, we had to think of a respected team that was in decline. Sorry Los Angeles. Or Anaheim. Or Los Angeles of… whatever.
Mariners – Master Tatsu
Who in the world is Master Tatsu you may ask? Good question. Tatsu is the hot headed, angry, vicious second in command to Shredder in charge of the Foot Clan and features prominently in the movie renditions of TMNT.
Phillies- Casey Jones
The Phillies are at the top of their game. They stole the best free agent pitcher off the market from the Yankees vigilante style. And since anyone who can steal away a player from the Yankees with less money, it shows that the Phils are the MLB equivalent of the bat wielding hockey mask wearing Casey Jones of TMNT. Casey Jones is probably the most popular character from TMNT besides the guys in green so its only natural that the blue collar sports town of Philly get chosen.
Oh the Mets. I almost feel bad for comparing them to one of the dumbest villains in TMNT history. Tokka and his side kick Rahzar barely put up a good fight in Secret of the Ooze. Which is why the Mets must be Tokka. The Mets have made stupid decisions for years which makes it either perfect or plain coincidence that Shredder himself called Tokka “stupid” in the movie.
How good of a leader would Leonardo be without Master Splinter? That is the question many Braves fans will ask when they play their first year without manager Bobby Cox. There is no question the Braves have been good throughout the years but without guidance and spice of their “Splinter”, they will always be boring old Leo.
This comparison literally writes itself. Leatherhead was an alligator from the Everglades in South Florida that crawled into the wrong sewers where scientists from TCRI found him, and cross bred him making him a somewhat intelligent alligator. After the building of TCRI self-destructed, Leatherhead was forced back to the sewers where he was hunted by a big game hunter called none other than Mr. Marlin. It doesn’t have to make any more sense than that for why these two are paired.
The Nationals have done alot to up the ante on their poor excuse of a ball club throughout the years by adding Strasburg and 2010 first round pick Bryce Harper but with both of those star players not on the opening day roster. They are nothing more than a juiced up wolf-puppy aka Rahzar from Secret of the Ooze.
Danny Pennington is the son of April O’Neil’s boss in the first TMNT movie. You might remember him as the punk kid who joins the Foot Clan and ultimately snitches to Shredder on the secret hideout of the Turtles. And now you may ask, “well what does this have to do with the Cubs?” It’s simple, the Cubs think they are very deserving of accolades and should be handed a championship on a silver platter. Much like Danny, Cubs fans feel entitled to certain things and if things don’t go their way, they blame their problems on others (goats, Bartman etc..)
Its not just the red bandanna that Ralph was chosen to represent the Reds but rather the general attitude of the whole team of the Reds. They’ve got something to prove, they believe last year was no fluke and just like Ralph desires to be the leader of his brothers, the Reds desperately desire to be the leaders of the NL. Which they absolutely have the potential to be.
Astros- Foot Clan
Much like the Foot Clan, with the exception of a few players, no one knows who the damn Astros are. Could they storm out the gate and surprise everyone with a division win? Its possible, but like the Foot Clan, HIGHLY unlikely they will succeed in any fight.
Brewers- Ace Duck
Only a true TMNT fan will remember Ace Duck as the character Krang tried to brain wash him but he chose the good side by joining with the Turtles. While the Brewers are looking to do great things with their team, like Ace Duck, they will always play second fiddle to the long standing top dogs of the Central, the Cardinals.
Pirates – Pizza
To the few Pirate fans remaining, I am sorry but using Pizza as your TMNT equivalent is used simply because every team in the MLB feasts on your poor franchise.
Cardinals- April O’Neil
She’s a firery red head and the Cardinals have something to prove this year not winning the division. No matter how many times April gets attacked, she is always holding strong at the end. And with Pujols on your roster, you can never count out the Cardinals.
The Diamondbacks are young and inexperienced but they have been in the process of rebuilding for a couple years now and are close to taking off. Keno, the ambitious sidekick to the Turtles in Secret of the Ooze, shows these same characteristics when he wants to jump into secret missions with Ralph before he is ready and has had the proper training.
Rockies- Punk Frogs
The Rockies are that one young team that has been on the cusp for a few years now and seem to be on the verge of possibly giving the current WS Champion Giants, a run for their money. In similar fashion, the Punk Frogs are another group of reptiles mutated in the same fashion as the turtles and look to be on the verge of greatness but no one is for sure if they can really handle the job.
In a different twist on this comparison, Karai, a high ranking member of the Foot Clan, was chosen because of how bad the Dodgers owner, Frank McCourt, is taking a beating from his soon-to-be ex wife who seems to possess some ninja skills of her own.
Padres- Walker from TMNT 3
Do you actually remember that there was a TMNT 3? If so, bravo my friend. TMNT3 featured a villain by the name of Walker who uses his own mini-army to try and take over a village in hopes of finding the special sceptre that will allow him to travel through time. Sadly for the Padres, they cannot travel back time to last season when they came so very close to the postseason. And with the loss of power hitter Adrian Gonzalez to the Sox, it’s sad for Padres fans to not be able to refer to a TMNT 4 where perhaps a scepter exists to allow you to move right past this season and onto 2012.
This is a no-brainer. Mikey is the party animal/goofball of the Ninja Turtles and with Brian Wilson and Tim Lincecum on your team, that’s a party I’d like to be invited to any day of the week. I dare you to try and find a more perfect matchup than Michelangelo and the Giants.