Recently, Major League Baseball announced that for the 2014 MLB Draft, each team would be represented by a "Franchise Hero." For some teams, there are obvious choices, like Ferguson Jenkins for the Chicago Cubs or Tommy Lasorda for the Los Angeles Dodgers. But other teams, like the Seattle Mariners, are bringing the likes of journeyman catcher and Princeton baseball coach Scott Bradley to the festivities, along with scout Mike Moriarty.
The whole lot of them are fine gentlemen and likely upstanding citizens, but "franchise heroes"? Maybe not. Have no fear, however, as we've taken the time to find suitable names for each team. And, because we can, we've decided to include people who simply have a connection to the team, either as a fan or cultural icon associated with the organization.
Current Franchise Heroes: Luis Gonzalez, Roland Hemond
SB Nation's Recommendation: Chief baseball officer Tony LaRussa's friend Bill Belichick, as long as he doesn't have the ability to trade down for less valuable picks, of course.
Current Franchise Hero: Ralph Garr
SB Nation's Recommendation: Garr is the 1974 NL Batting champion, and a well respected member of the Braves family. But does he own more land than almost anyone in America? Didn't think so. Was he expelled from Brown? Definitely not. Bring back Ted Turner, Atlanta.
Current Franchise Hero: Tripp Norton
SB Nation's Recommendation: For the second consecutive year, director of baseball operations Tripp Norton will represent the O's at the draft. But with -- SPOILER ALERT -- Will Gardner killed off "The Good Wife," Josh Charles should be free to stop by and say hello.
Current Franchise Heroes: Derek Lowe, Jim Woodward
SB Nation's Recommendation: For as much as they love Derek Lowe, every Red Sox fan loves the movie "Fever Pitch" way more. So who better to represent the team this year than Jimmy Fallon?
Current Franchise Heroes: Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins, Matt Sherman
SB Nation's Recommendation: CM Punk, which would boost the ratings for the Draft by drawing millions of WWE fans to watch the show to get their fix of the Straight Edge Superstar.
Current Franchise Heroes: Carlos May, Kevin Coe
SB Nation's Recommendation: Really, White Sox? You couldn't get Frank Thomas to show up?
Current Franchise Heroes: Eric Davis, Lee Seras
SB Nation's Recommendation: Obviously, this has to be Pete Rose. Who else is going to teach these kids how to hustle (or give them the name of a reliable bookie)?
Current Franchise Hero: Charles Nagy
SB Nation's Recommendation: Either Johnny Manziel or whomever the Cavaliers keep bringing to the NBA Draft Lottery.
Current Franchise Heroes: Brad Hawpe, Walker Monfort
SB Nation's Recommendation: If Mike Hampton's kids are still in school, they may want to give him a call. He owes them one. (Give or take 121 million.)
Current Franchise Heroes: Chet Lemon, Murray Cook
SB Nation's Recommendation: Maybe if they ask Kid Rock, he'll put on a concert for everyone at the draft! Or promise to never do that. Ever, anywhere.
Current Franchise Heroes: Adam Everett, Paul Ricciarini
SB Nation's Recommendation: Listen, Andrew Fastow paid his debt to society. And, given his experience as the CFO of Enron, he may finally be able to make the Astros look like they've actually accomplished something with this never-ending rebuild.
Current Franchise Heroes: Willy Wilson, Art Stewart
SB Nation's Recommendation: We'd like to see if George Brett can break his "explicit Kansas City mentions" record of 27 per conversation during his tour de force performance as Kansas City's official ambassador when they hosted the All-Star Game in 2012.
Current Franchise Hero: Bryan Harvey
SB Nation's Recommendation: Despite playing in a city filled with stars, the Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim) aren't exactly the "cool" team in LA. So let's go with Topher Grace, who is just cool enough to be Ashton Kutcher's third-in-command behind Wilmer Valderrama.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Current Franchise Heroes: Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda, Charlie Hough
SB Nation's Recommendation: If he were up to it, obviously we'd choose Vin Scully. But given his preference for staying on the West Coast, we'd send the second-most beloved man in America, Magic Johnson, to represent his own team.
Current Franchise Heroes: Hall of Famers Andre Dawson and Tony Perez
SB Nation's Recommendation: Because the baseball gods have a sense of humor, the Marlins would be the only team with two Hall of Famers representing them. While we applaud these selections, we should probably prepare for a scenario where the team trades them for pennies on the dollar. So, we suggest Alex Rodriguez, who may have the most untradeable contract in the history of sports. And he's even from Miami!
Current Franchise Heroes: Greg Vaughn, Scott Martens
SB Nation's Recommendation: Give us Matt Stairs or give us death! Or Paul Molitor. We would also accept Paul Molitor over death.
Current Franchise Heroes: Corey Koskie, John Wilson
SB Nation's Recommendation: If this is simply a way for the Twins to reminisce about the glory days of the early aughts, Brad Radke might be a better choice.
Current Franchise Heroes: Frank Viola, Jim Reeves
SB Nation's Recommendation: Jerry Seinfeld has a show called Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, so maybe the Mets can talk Jerry into driving with Jon Stewart to the draft in a bullpen cart.
SB Nation's Recommendation: A surprisingly solid choice with the fiery middle reliever. Looks like we might have to pull an "old Jeff Nelson" and pick former Yankees LOOGY Graeme Lloyd for the honor.
Current Franchise Heroes: Ray Fosse
SB Nation's Recommendation: Brad Pitt, so he and Billy Beane can compare notes.
Current Franchise Heroes: Gary Matthews, Chris Wheeler
SB Nation's Recommendation: It's Lenny Dykstra. Like there was even a question
Current Franchise Heroes: Jack Wilson
SB Nation's Recommendation: If he can be bothered to make the effort, Barry Bonds.
Current Franchise Heroes: Randy Jones, Jimmy Nelson
SB Nation's Recommendation: Assuming he's been forgiven by the city by now, Ron Burgundy.
Current Franchise Heroes: Jeffrey Leonard, Tony Siegle
SB Nation's Recommendation: Either Jack Black dressed up as Kung Fu Panda or the hero that San Francisco deserves, Batkid.
Current Franchise Heroes: Scott Bradley, Mike Moriarty
SB Nation's Recommendation: While the leader in the SB Nation clubhouse was "hologram Mario," the logistics involved seemed a bit too much. So, we humbly suggest Ken Griffey, Jr., if they think he can make it through the entire show with having to take a nap.
SB Nation's Recommendation: The easiest choice on this list is also the most handsome. Noted St. Louis superfan Jon Hamm is a national treasure.
Current Franchise Heroes: Dan Wheeler
SB Nation's Recommendation: If they promise to keep him off NCAA telecasts, the MLB Network can keep the Rays' most prominent fan, Dick Vitale, for as long as they want after this draft.
Current Franchise Heroes: Ivan Rodriguez, Jim Sundberg
SB Nation's Recommendation: Although he is now a world-renowned finger painter, former president and Rangers owner George W. Bush would be a perfect representative for the team. And maybe someone can finally talk him into taking that commissioner's job.
Current Franchise Heroes: Paul Quantrill, Jay Stenhouse
SB Nation's Recommendation: Sentimentally speaking, Joe Carter would be the clear choice. But, if they want to showcase the person most responsible for their current success, they should try and get Jeffrey Loria.
Current Franchise Heroes: Bob Boone, Livan Hernandez
SB Nation's Recommendation: If we are considering the Nationals to be the descendants of the Expos, published Montreal superfan Jonah Keri would be an excellent choice. But, if we are pretending like the Expos never happened, Frank Robinson could show up and have players ask if he ever played.