The other day I was perusing the baseball corner of the internet, as one does when one is an editor at a baseball website, and I saw the phrase “Fantasy Baseball.” What the phrase meant was, you know, the activity of fantasy baseball, of accruing fake points with real players in fake games for real money.
What I thought, though, was: fantasy. Magic. Literal fantasy baseball.
Look, we’ve had two offseasons for the price of one, give my brain a break. I know half of you skipped this intro to get to the good stuff. So, here are some Royals players as Lord of the Rings characters.
Lord of the World Series Rings
Aragorn - Whit Merrifield
Reliable and dependable, these two always produce when they’re needed to. No, they may not be the flashiest, but they are well-rounded and good at many things. Arguably, they are the most valuable asset to their team. They are also both deceptively old.
Gandalf - Danny Duffy
They’ve been around the block, since well before event the current age. Gandalf is the longest-tenured resident of Middle Earth within the Fellowship, and Duffy is the longest-tenured Royal. Both are tasked with leadership in ushering the new young ones to power.
Legolas - Nick Heath
Fast. Suave. Quick on their feet. Extremely attractive. While I’m not sure that Nick can accurately shoot with a bow and arrow and I’m pretty sure Legolas hasn’t made a diving catch in center field, I’m pretty sure that they could do it if given the chance.
Gimli - Greg Holland
Both are short, but match that relative shortness with a fiery energy and overall gumption that more than makes up for it. Whether they’re closing out games with zero margin for error or defending Helm’s Deep through the night, they’ll give you everything. They also speak in a distinct, immediately recognizable accent.
Pippin - Brad Keller
Somehow overlooked, both are nevertheless important cogs in their respective worlds. And, let’s be honest: Brad Keller’s low-strikeout, high-contact pitching style is the very epitome of “the closer we are to danger, the farther we are from harm.”
Merry - Brady Singer
Who do you think would be most likely to yell obscenities due to an unexpected rainstorm that screwed up their plans? Yeah, I rest my case.
Frodo - Alex Gordon
In an ensemble cast, they are, arguably, the main characters, even though others may have provided greater value. Without the ring-bearer, the Fellowship would have been beaten before it started, and Gordon so much represents the Royals Way that he is still held as its prime example. Both have faded into the West after a life/career well lived.
Smeagol/Gollum - Adalberto Mondesi
With both, you never quite know what you’re getting. Are you getting the best version of themselves, the one that makes a positive impact on the world? Or are you getting the Stinker, the version that isn’t worth having around? Who knows!
Sam - Salvador Perez
They’re a comforting presence, those you always want nearby and those who are instantly missed when they’re gone. They might not be the best at their jobs, but they are dependable and good at them. Everyone loves them, for good reason.
Théoden - Jorge Soler
They’re not on the field as often as they’d like due to injury (magical or otherwise). But when they are on the field, they are game-changers that can turn the tides of battle. Both hail from a country that values and utilizes horses.
Éomer - Hunter Dozier
They are blonde. They are bearded. They are athletic marvels. And they roam the land without a true defensive position, bouncing from area to area as needed. Sometimes overlooked, they can nevertheless turn the tide at their best.