Time for more bobblehead madness. In case you missed part one on the AL West, check it out here. Again, each bobblehead will be rated 1-5 stars based on quality of subject, originality, number available, and overall awesomeness. Teams will be ranked by total stars, so the more giveaways (especially quality ones) the better. Which bobbleheads in the AL Central will be crowned the king? Let’s find out!
Cleveland Indians (amount of giveaway varies)
Saturday, May 3rd, Orel Hershiser: Interesting choice for a throwback bobblehead as Hershiser had a 4.21 ERA in his three seasons with the Tribe. He is a big name though. This giveaway is for 10,000 fans. ** 1/2
Saturday, May 31st, BrOhio: I have no idea where this is going, but it has potential to be the most creative bobblehead in Cleveland’s crop. They also up the giveaway to 12,500 for this one. *** 1/2
Tuesday, June 3rd, Michael Bourn: Pretty standard stuff here. Back down to 10,000 fans on this giveaway **
Tuesday, July 8th, Jason Kipnis: See, Michael Bourn. But a slightly better player and 12,500 fans get this one. ** 1/2
Monday, September 1st, Michael Brantley: Another average to slightly above average player getting his bobble on. Still 12,500 fans for this one, but still a low number compared to other teams. A lot of quantity, but not much quality from the Indians in 2014. **
Total: 12 1/2 stars
Minnesota Twins (10,000 fans)
Friday, June 20th, Harmon Killebrew 1965 All-Star Game: I had a feeling the Twins would go the route the Mets did in 2013 and honor players that appeared in All-Star Games with the team. The Twins are hosting the 2014 All-Star Game. This would be a huge boost if the Twins also featured the three Minneapolis stadiums to host the All-Star Game as well. Killebrew is one of my favorite players of all-time. ****
Friday, July 4th, Lou Gehrig: This giveaway is with the Yankees in town and corresponds with the 75th anniversary of Gehrig’s farewell speech. Great tip of the cap to history by the Twins. ****
Saturday, July 5th, Tom Brunansky 1985 All-Star Game: Brunansky picked a great year to be the only Twins All-Star and make his only appearance in the Midsummer Classic. The career .245 hitter does have a sweet mustache, but it’s not enough to probably be the worst bobblehead of 2014. *
Saturday, September 6th, TBD 2014 All-Star Game: Fake Vegas odds on who this bobblehead will be. Joe Mauer -2000, Glen Perkins +500, anyone else +1500. If it’s Mauer…….. ***
Total: 12 stars
Kansas City Royals (10,000 fans)
Saturday, June 28th, James Shields: This is going to be tough to dole out stars with a measly 10,000 fans getting each bobblehead. Shields is a solid pitcher, but not a big star. **
Saturday, July 12th, Salvador Perez: Perez isn’t even on Shields’ level, yuck. * 1/2
Sunday, August 10th, Alex Gordon: Gordon is the “star” of the team. We’ll see if they make it with a Gold Glove variation, that’d be a nice addition. ** 1/2
Saturday, August 30th, Mr. Royal: This one could actually be fun! This throwback mascot will get a bobblehead on retro night. I’m in. *** 1/2
Total: 9 1/2 stars
Detroit Tigers (amount of giveaway varies)
Thursday, June 5th, Max Scherzer 2013 Cy Young Award: No picture yet of the the bobblehead, but I’d suspect it’ll be him holding the Cy Young award. Maybe they’ll throw in the WWE Title belt that Scherzer was given for winning Cy Young. This giveaway is for 15,000 fans. ***
Thursday, August 14th, Justin Verlander Mini-Bobblehead: Mini-bobblehead? Can’t give him a normal sized one? I’ll only accept this if there’s a mini-Kate Upton on it too. This giveaway is for just 10,000 fans. Dislike. * 1/2
Friday, August 15th, Miguel Cabrera 2-Time MVP: Apparently to get a normal-size bobblehead you have to win an award the previous season. I want Cabrera to be wearing his Triple Crown crown while holding two MVP’s in his arms. I’d bet it won’t look like that. This giveaway is also for 10,000 fans. ****
Total: 8.5 stars
Chicago White Sox (20,000 fans)
Saturday, May 24th, Chris Sale: Sale is the current and future ace of the White Sox. The extra 5,000 fans that get to take this home compared to the Yu Darvish bobblehead in part one, gives this an extra 1/2 star. ***
Saturday, August 30th, Tony LaRussa: Many people forget that LaRussa started his managing career on the Southside. In his Hall of Fame induction year, I like that they’re giving him a bobblehead. I hope it’s in this classic throwback uniform. *** 1/2
Total: 6.5 stars
That’ll do it for the AL Central. I’m quite disappointed that there were no pictures of any 2014 bobbleheads in this division. The Indians win on quantity, but the Twins win on quality. Unless, it’s Tom Brunansky of course.
-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)
The AL Central is composed of the Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, and Minnesota Twins. If I was going to build a line-up consisting of AL Central players ONLY, here is my starting 9, DH, set-up man, and closer. Consider this the AL Central fantasy draft. I take in consideration the ability to play this year and only this year and I am not trying to build for the future.
Leading off and playing Center Field: Austin Jackson (Detroit)– He batted .294 with 34 doubles his rookie season and is off to a scorching start this year.
Batting 2nd and playing Right Field: Brennan Boesch (Detroit)– His power is up there with Miguel and Prince and batting in front of those two, he will see his fair share of fastballs.
Playing 3B and batting 3rd: Miguel Cabrera (Detroit)– This year shapes up for him to win the AL MVP giving the fact Prince is protecting him (in real life, not just this lineup). Strong arguments support he IS the best hitter in baseball.
Batting clean-up and playing 1B: Prince Fielder (Detroit)– Couple options at 1B but Prince needs to be the everyday guy. Butler and Morneau are possibilities, but Prince will out-homer them. Grand Slams? Yes please.
The DH and batting 5th: Billy Butler (Kansas City)– Tough to choose between Billy and Morneau but taking in consideration age and current health (Justin’s injury last year), Billy is the guy I want hitting everyday.
Batting 6th and catching: Joe Mauer (Minnesota)– Joe’s track record is better than recent AL All-Star, Alex Avila. I have to take the experience here and also not be such a homer.
Playing Shortstop and batting 7th: Asdrubal Cabrera (Cleveland)– He rakes and makes at least one ridiculous play a week. I would take him purely because of his glove, he also happens to be a stellar hitter.
Batting 8th and playing Left Field: Alex Gordon (Kansas City)– Alex shows pop in the bat, speed on the bases, and a strong arm from the outfield.
Playing 2B and batting 9th: Gordon Beckham (Chicago)– Good young player that shows life on his bat from time to time and a consistent glove. Also not much to choose from at this position so he wins by default.
Starting Pitcher: Justin Verlander (Detroit)– AL MVP. CY Young. Need I say more?
RP: Vinnie Pestano (Cleveland)– Bullpen mafia O.G.. Lights out and is a trusty arm in the 8th inning.
Closer: Jose Valverde (Detroit)– Papa Grande didn’t blow a save all year in 2011, but blew his first chance in 2012. Due to injury to Soria, he is the only real candidate. At least he’s consistent.
Honorable mention: Ricky Vaughn (Cleveland) and Jack Parkman (Chicago)
How did I do? What are your thoughts? Who would you plug in where?
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