Day one of the MLB draft is in the books. As part of SoD’s crackdown on worthless posts (who I am kidding?), I have chosen to forgo the annual pilgrimage to the banks of the river of shit that is the draft day grading breakdown. Mostly because this timeless art of speculative ranking is like signing Eric Byrnes to a multi-million dollar long-term deal — it sounds like a good idea at first but in hindsight you just end up looking foolish. Rather than speculating on things about which I have no idea (like out-of-state high school baseball players), I have chosen a more scientific method. This also allows me to debut what I believe to be a mandatory category of evaluation for any draft board: Name Value.
The Name Value Theory: This theory uses a player’s name to evaluate their potential for success. It is based upn the simple premise that no athlete can be a truly transcendent star unless he or she has a strong name. Michael Jordan. Muhammed Ali. Mickey Mantle. Joe Montana. Adam Banks. Such a name is a necessary prerequisite for superstardom. It’s why you’ve never heard of Thomas Mapother IV yet he makes 40 million per year acting in films. A great name has crisp, direct syllables and phonetically strong sounds. For example, MICK-EE MAN-TEL is four syllables that make 60 year old men faint of heart. MIKE-AL JOR-DAN is four syllables that are banned in the Ehlo household. You get my point.
Weak name value, on the other hand, will doom you to failure. And, while great name value is a good start, it won’t guarantee you success. The sports world is littered with the wrecked careers of great name value athletes. Ryan Leaf. Sam Bowie. Johnny Utah.
Which brings us to the D’backs’ first selection in the 2009 Draft: Bobby Borchering. Ouch. Bobby looks like a nice kid. And, from all reports he can swing it (he is being compared to Chipper Jones). God knows we could use that down at Chase Field these days. But, I must confess that I am not enthused by his name value. Not sure if it is pronouced BORE-SHERING or BOR-CHA-RING. Either way it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue or look good on the marquee.
But wait dear reader. Before you cancel your deposit on 2014 D’Backs season tickets, hear me out. Remember, in most circumstances there is an exception to a rule. For I’s and E’s, it is the “After C” rule. For Heather Graham is the “Keeping Her Clothes On” rule.
Thus, like most rules, the Name Value Theory has the “Roethlisberger Exception.” That’s right. Two Superbowl rings and counting for one of the weakest names for a recent highly touted draft pick. See there’s hope for Bobby yet.
Good luck kid. Oh, and by the way, if any of your buddies can get hitters out between innings 6-9 feel free to pass along their names to D’backs’ brass.