Archive for the ‘Players as Celebrities’ Category

I’m Not Sure How to Put This, But… Evan Longoria is Kind of a Big Deal

April 7, 2010 1 comment

I’m sure he has many leather-bound books, and I bet his apartment smells of rich mahogany.

He graces the cover if this year’s MLB 2K video game, and he stars in New Era’s latest television commercial.

Don’t be surprised if he is on your next box of Wheaties.

Never has Tampa Bay had an athlete as dynamic and as marketable as Evan Longoria. He might arguably be the most marketable player in all of Major League Baseball.

And the best part? He’s not a Yankee. He’s not a Red Sox. He’s not a Philly, not a Cub, not even a Dodger. He’s a Ray.

Longoria is just one cool dude.

But let’s not forget, he’s a pretty good baseball player, too. His home run last night against Kevin Millwood traveled 473 feet–the third longest in Tropicana Field History. And his do-or-die defensive play in the top of the ninth shows that he excels all facets of the game of baseball. Many notable analysts from ESPN and MLB Network predicted he will win the American League MVP.

A case can be made that the ever-popular Longoria is also the best player the Rays have had in the organization’s short history. If things workout, he will be wearing a Rays uniform through the 2014 season.

But some are afraid the team will have trouble building around him, especially since they are expected to lose Carl Crawford and Carlos Peña after this season. Some also wonder if his fate will be the same once he hits free agency.

But Evan Longoria is that guy. He’s the franchise. He’s our Derek Jeter, he’s our Albert Pujols, he’s our Joe Mauer. He’s the guy that’s simply irreplaceable. The Rays have a very special player, and they need to keep him around.

Let’s look at a few stats, shall we?

In only his second season, Evan Longoria was only one of four players in the American League with at least 30 HRs, 100 RBIs and 100 runs scored. I could add in a few more stats and narrow the list even further, but I don’t want to go all Buster Olney on you guys.

At just 24, he’s been to a World Series and two all-star games. He has a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger award. Oh, yeah, and that Rookie of the Year thing, too.

Whatever the Rays need to do to keep Evan Longoria around, they’ve got to do it. This guy sells tickets by himself, and he makes the players around him better. The longer he’s a Ray, the longer they can win.