Christian Colon finally got the opportunity to start another game last night, marking another rare opportunity to see a punctuation mark take the field. Christian isn’t alone in the majors in being a punctuation mark- Bartolo Colon, arguably the most famous baseball-playing punctuation mark, has been around for decades.
Christian Colon’s relatively solid game last night prompted me to think- what if other Royals players were also punctuation marks? Today’s game is about to start, so I don’t have time to come up with one for everyone, but here are ten examples. Let me know what I missed in the comments.
1. Obviously, Christian Colon represents the colon. Besides having it as his last name, it fits perfectly with the utility infielder role that Colon has with this club.
Example: Here are some positions Christian Colon can play: second baseman, third baseman, and shortstop. Here are some positions Christian Colon usually plays: benchwarmer.
2. The period (or full-stop, for some) for the Royals is clearly Greg Holland. Holland has converted 35 out of 37 save opportunities, meaning that he has only allowed other teams to complete a run-on sentence twice all year. Compare this to the Detroit bullpen, which enjoys run-on sentences almost as much as the founding fathers, and it’s clear how valuable a solid period is to end sentences with finality.
Example: Greg Holland struck out the side in the ninth inning, earning another save.
3. If Greg Holland is the period, then Wade Davis must be the comma. Wade Davis doesn’t end sentences, but he does force the opposing hitters to pause and take a breath before leading them into the next clause, where Holland will finish them.
Example: As Miguel Cabrera threw his bat down in disgust, Wade Davis walked off the field and the eighth inning ended.
4. Who else on the team has the youthful exuberance that Salvador Perez has? It seems that in most interviews Perez speaks exclusively in exclamatory phrases, and his play backs it up. I’d guess the majority of the exclamation points used in game threads this year have come after Perez has made another fantastic play.
Example: Salvador Perez just picked a runner off third base, an inning after hitting that grand slam!
5. The slash symbol is a perfect microcosm of Norichika Aoki. It summarizes his hitting approach and also visually represents the average angle at which he stands up (the impressive amounts of time he spends on the ground have changed the angle from a normal | to an unusual /)
Example: Nori Aoki has played most of the game as an average right fielder/performance artist.
6. When you first figure out how to use a semicolon, you really think it can improve your writing and you want to get it into play as much as possible. Eventually, you realize that you can’t quite find the playing time for the semicolon that you wanted and you send it back down to the minors until you figure out how exactly it works. That day will never come. If the colon is represented by a current major league infielder, then the semicolon must be represented by a minor league infielder: Johnny Giavotella.
Example: Johnny Giavotella seems like he could provide some value to the Royals; unfortunately, he is stuck in a purgatory somewhere between Omaha and Kansas City.
7. There was a punctuation mark here (it was supposed to be a "dash"), but Jarrod Dyson stole it. A space counts as punctuation too, at least according to Wikipedia, so we’ll leave it as is.
Example: Jarrod Dyson just hit a bunt single- he’s essentially already in scoring position.
8. The representation of the "greater than" sign for the Royals is Alex Gordon. He leads the team in WAR and a bunch of other things on both offense and defense. In fact, only Mike Trout has a higher WAR than Gordon right now, according to FanGraphs. But Alex Gordon is probably better than Mike Trout at a lot of other things.
Example: Alex Gordon > You
9. The interrobang is rarely used and is 52 years old. The interrobang is Raul Ibanez.
Examples: Raul Ibanez is still playing baseball‽ Ned Yost is starting Raul Ibanez‽
10. I’ve tried to think of a player that is an adequate representation of a question mark, but the only person on the team that is so consistently inconsistent and perplexing is Ned Yost. Most of his statements leave us with question marks in the end, and no one else can cause as much confusion and head-scratching as Ned can. Ned Yost is unquestionably the question mark of the Kansas City Royals.
Example: Ned Yost’s leadoff hitter tonight is Salvador Perez?