Counterpoint: O's need to sign Minka Kelly
Earlier this week, the Sun's executive sports editor, Ron Fritz, argued that the Orioles should attempt to sign Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter, reasoning that Jeter's leadership, his professionalism and his marketability would be beneficial to the Orioles. This post generated a record number of comments. Still, I can't say I agree with it.
Putting aside the fact that the only way the Jeter would come to Baltimore is if Omar Little was holding a sawed-off to his temple, I'm not sure how committing $20 million a year to a shortstop whose OPS is plummeting and who has only slightly more range that Ralph Friedgen on ground balls hit to his left is part of a rational rebuilding plan.
But since we've established that fantasies -- however unlikely -- are in play here at the Toy Department, please allow me to argue that the Orioles could benefit far more by instead signing Jeter's fiance, Minka Kelly.
Allow me to explain.
For starters, have you seen Minka Kelly? (Seriously, have you? If not, go here and see her Sexiest Woman Alive spread for Esquire, which, FYI, is probably NSFW. Don't worry, I'll wait for you to return.) She's so smoking, on Friday Night Lights, a guy betrayed his best friend to hook up with her, even though his best friend had just been paralyzed. And for the most part, the best friend forgave him! That's the Power of Minka. Plus, in a way, Peter Angelos is kind of a Buddy Garrity-esq character. He knows how to raise money for his friends, he has his fingers in every pie, and he's the most powerful unelected man in town. We know Minka won't feel too weird about hanging out in the warehouse since she's already hung with Buddy Garrity.
At the very least, guys will be willing to run out ground balls and break-up double plays for her. And she'd probably cost a fraction of what hubby-to-be would. She seems less vain anyway.
In 500 Days of Summer, (SPOILER ALERT!) Minka Kelly's character represents a new beginning for Joseph Gordon-Levitt at the end of an agonizing and frustrating relationship with Zooey Deschanel. Think about it for a second: Doesn't Orioles fans current relationship with the team mirror the one Gordon-Levitt had with Zooey Deschanel in the movie? Bliss in the beginning, then long periods of despair interwoven with brief snippets of denial and false hope? Hell, the song Oriole Magic might as well be sung by The Smiths at this point. It's that depressing. But in the film, Gordon-Levitt never would have bumped into Minka Kelly if he didn't wallow for months (or in the Orioles case, years) over Zooey Deschanel. Kelly could just hang around Buck Showalter's office to remind players the rough road traveled is often worth it at the end.
Sure, signing Kelly isn't a fool proof plan. It might not make as much practical sense as some things the Orioles could actually do to actually fix their franchise, like taking some money and investing it in their international scouting department. (How about building a baseball academy in Venezuela and improving your facilities in the Dominican Republic, then competing to sign the best prospects instead of giving $4 million to another past-his-prime joker like Garret Atkins?)
The lovely Ms. Kelly probably can't help Matt Wieters get around quicker on a big league fastball, or offer protection in the line-up for Nick Markakis, but then again, neither would Jeter. Anyone who believes a fading legend can get his teammates to play better based solely on his leadership and charisma might want to take a look at Ray Lewis and the Ravens defense this year.
At the very least, gazing at her might help fans get through another season of fourth-place baseball. And, worst comes to worst, let her pitch in blowouts.She might have more on her fastball that Mike Gonzalez at this point anyway.