The real MLB 'Franchise Heroes' for the 2014 Draft

Mike Stobe

While most of the MLB's Franchise Heroes appearing at the 2014 draft are fine choices and even better people, we definitely think there's room for an upgrade (or 30).

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.

Arizona Diamonbacks

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.

Atlanta Braves

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.

Baltimore Orioles

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.

Boston Red Sox

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?

Chicago Cubs

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.

Chicago White Sox

Current Franchise Heroes: Carlos May, Kevin Coe

SB Nation's Recommendation: Really, White Sox? You couldn't get Frank Thomas to show up?

Cincinnati Reds

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)?

Cleveland Indians

Current Franchise Hero: Charles Nagy

SB Nation's Recommendation: Either Johnny Manziel or whomever the Cavaliers keep bringing to the NBA Draft Lottery.

Colorado Rockies

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.)

Detroit Tigers

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.

Houston Astros

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.

Kansas City Royals

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.

Los Angeles Angels

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.

Miami Marlins

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!

Milwaukee Brewers

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.

Minnesota Twins

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.

New York Mets

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.

New York Yankees

Current Franchise Heroes: Jeff Nelson, Andy Cannizaro

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.

Oakland Athletics

Current Franchise Heroes: Ray Fosse

SB Nation's Recommendation: Brad Pitt, so he and Billy Beane can compare notes.

Philadelphia Phillies

Current Franchise Heroes: Gary Matthews, Chris Wheeler

SB Nation's Recommendation: It's Lenny Dykstra. Like there was even a question

Pittsburgh Pirates

Current Franchise Heroes: Jack Wilson

SB Nation's Recommendation: If he can be bothered to make the effort, Barry Bonds.

San Diego Padres

Current Franchise Heroes: Randy Jones, Jimmy Nelson

SB Nation's Recommendation: Assuming he's been forgiven by the city by now, Ron Burgundy.

San Francisco Giants

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.

Seattle Mariners

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.

St. Louis Cardinals

Current Franchise Heroes: Chris Carpenter, Ryan Franklin

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.

Tampa Bay Rays

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.

Texas Rangers

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.

Toronto Blue Jays

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.

Washington Nationals

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.

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