Tonight, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Texas Rangers will face off in Game Three of the World Series of Baseball, and I could not be more excited about it. At the risk of alienating our Houston-based readers, I have grown so tired of the inevitability of postseason Astros dominance. The series is tied at one game apiece, with both likely and unlikely heroes coming up with big plays and clutch home runs. And while I love watching the boys play, I’m even more excited about the fact that as the years progress, the players bedazzle themselves ever increasingly with bigger and shinier natural diamond bling.
The complaint heard ‘round the world from reticent fans is that “baseball is boring.” For one, this is only true if the only element you find entertaining is when the ball explodes off the bat and zooms out of the park. The first point I’d like to make is that you get what you put in – if you invest your attention, you will learn about the intricacies and nuances of the game, and those moments where the outcome hangs in the balance become limb-tremblingly thrilling. I pitched on my high school team, but you don’t need to have stood on the mound with the game dangling from the end of your arm to appreciate the cat-and-mouse chess match that is every single at-bat.
In case you missed it – this is the first year that Major League Baseball has instituted rule changes that have made the games pass much more quickly. It reminds me of when I finally convinced my wife to watch the Lord of the Rings: having seen it so many times and loving it so deeply, I want the four-and-a-half-hour extended versions. I want to spend as much time in Middle Earth as possible. But when I watch with a first-timer, I do come to a newfound appreciation for the faster-moving theatrical cuts. And that is precisely what the pitch clock, limits on “disengagements” (i.e. throwing over to first base to hold a runner eager to steal a base), and restrictions on player substitutions have yielded: a faster-paced game with more action and a more consistent rhythm that make it easier for curious viewers to invest their attention.
If you’re an unconverted baseball enthusiast unsure about whether to tune into the World Series, just know that there are plenty of distractions in the form of undone jersey buttons showcasing myriad diamond chains and pendants that fling around in super slow-motion replays of players driving the ball back, back way back over the center field fence and making diving defensive stops then springing to their feet to whip the ball across the infield (which is diamond-shaped, by the way) at ninety-three miles per hour.
Players on both teams have ice in their veins. But between the Rangers and the Diamondbacks, who’s got the best ice around their necks?
Max Scherzer, the Kate Bosworth of Major League Baseball, will take the mound tonight for the Rangers. He doesn’t sport any flashy jewelry from the rubber because it’s important that the batters aren’t distracted from the hypnotic effect of his heterochromic eyes (perhaps this article is where you learn that Kate Bosworth share this rare trait with Mad Max). The wily veteran faces off against Arizona rookie Brandon Pfaadt, who has found his footing in the postseason after getting knocked around a fair bit in the regular season.
Gabriel Moreno calls the shots from behind home plate for the Arizona Diamondbacks. While he holds down the fort, his natural diamond encrusted 14 pendant (his jersey number) holds down the fat link chain under his catcher’s gear. Moreno is as tough as they come and is beloved by his teammates, emerging this season as a breakout star after delivering clutch hit after clutch hit. Look for him to enter his name in the history books this World Series and solidify himself as a franchise player – ensuring his diamond pendant is a savvy investment.
In an alarming emerging trend, Rangers catcher Jonah Heim keeps his neck unadorned! But he’s got a beautiful family and a big graceful swing. Maybe he’ll start his jewelry collection with a World Series ring but for now it’s 1-0 Diamondbacks.
First base is apparently a position for the criminally humble, for neither Arizona’s Christian Walker nor Texas’ Nathaniel Lowefeels the need to rock any sort of flashy jewelry from their corner of the diamond. And that’s okay. I guess. I just thought you guys wanted to be as magnetic a target as possible for all the balls hurled their way? But what do I know…
Dominican-born “El Niño de Nizao” Ketel Marte holds down second base for the Diamondbacks. Anyone who’s seen the movie Moneyball knows that complex statistical analysis has come to dominate strategic decisions when it comes to team management. When it comes to postseason baseball, the box upstairs does everything they can to tilt the odds in their favor but with both teams pulling out all the stops, the buzz of the game being played pitch by pitch on the field is palpable. Players don’t always perform as their regular season averages dictate and Marte has been red hot. NLCS MVP and hitting streak record holder Ketel Marte is pictured here on his own Instagram feed with his son Keyden wrapped around his waist and approximately thirty pounds of gold and natural diamond ice wrapped around his neck.
Rangers’ second baseman Marcus Semien may not be sporting dozens of carats, but his bling does hold special meaning. His grandmother imbued him with her love of baseball and Marcus credits her influence and their bond with his road to the Big Leagues. He wears a pendant every day (she passed in 2013) with his grandmother’s thumbprint. Again I say – how can you not be romantic about baseball?
You can pull for whichever team you want, but I always find it so inspiring to learn more about the guys wearing the uniforms. I’m calling this a tie – the Bling Series is now 2-1, still favoring Arizona.
Fellow fans of Desperate Housewives may have reacted the same way I did when, years ago, someone named Evan Longoria was playing third base: “Damn, this beautiful actress has got some range!” But now – Evan and Eva are different people. Evan keeps it pretty simple from the hot corner, sporting a ring and a dog tag hanging together on a platinum link chain.
With a strike zone this tiny, 11 inch tall Texas third baseman Josh Jung is basically guaranteed to get on base every time he steps up to the plate (where are my Simon Birch fans at?). Oh, wait – I think this photo might be manipulated. Josh also keeps his jewelry collection simple and understated with a not so flashy chain. The battle of the third basemen has resulted in a 0-0 tie, and the score remains 2-1.
How can you not love this guy instantly? At shortstop he is the most mobile player in the infield, and as the ninth hitter in the lineup his job is to keep the party going – a role he plays very well. He’s got the party going around his neck, completely unafraid to pile metal on metal with his diamond encrusted cross pendant, iced out chain, and a pair of hearts. My heart beats for you, Geraldo.
I will happily hand out some puppy points and some beautiful happy wife points to Mr. Seager – good on ya, mate! But those aren’t the points we’re counting right now. I like the icy chain but this battle is over. Diamondbacks are now up 3-1.
The Cuban born Gurriels are a baseball family. In a (successful) effort to differentiate himself from his Major League brother Yuli, Lourdes sports a diamond encrusted number nine pendant on a diamond studded link chain (even though his current jersey number is 12 – never forget your roots!). Speaking of forgetting your roots – if you will direct your attention to the above picture, you may notice he has purple hair that makes him look like a truffula tree. As The Lorax was my favorite book as a child, this endears him to me immensely. Never let the Once-ler turn you into a Thneed, Lourdes!
Evan Carterperforms the left field duties for the Rangers but uh, yeah, this round goes to Gurriel. The Diamondbacks now have a commanding 4-1 bling lead.
Alek Thomas patrols center field like a red-tail hawk patrolling Central Park. And look how happy he is after smashing in runs for Arizona! His dual diamond chains nicely parallel his Mexican heritage and midwestern US upbringing. Great glove, strong arm, and a quick bat – can’t wait to watch Alek let it rip.
Watch for Leody’s simple chain to flop up around his jawline as he robs home runs from the Diamondback hitters this series. He is a bobcat in the outfield and unselfish at the plate – and though I love to watch him play, his ice game just does not match up well against Alek Thomas’. 5-1 Arizona.
Young Arizona rookie Corbin Carroll, seen here imitating me doing the Cha Cha Slide at the middle school dance in 2006, is lightning on the base path. As he progresses through his career and his legs slow down a little bit, look for him to add some weighted diamonds to his neck to help maintain some momentum – for now he’s rocking nothing but the light Phiten necklace. Maybe in a week or two, he’ll have to wear that oven mitt not to protect his hand while sliding into second but to protect his iced-out World Series ring from blinding too many onlookers.
We’ll get to the jewelry. Just look at Adolis’ arms. How can he even tell if he’s holding a bat? Doesn’t it just feel like a toothpick to him?
Garcia was named ALCS MVP after driving in a record 15 runs. Turns out he does know how to swing that bat. After defecting from Cuba, Adolis had an uncertain beginning to his Major League career – after multiple trades and working his tail off in the minors, he has emerged as the Rangers’ premier slugger. Watch for Arizona’s pitching staff try to pitch around him this series. Good luck! He can carry the Rangers on his back almost as easily as he carries forty pounds of platinum links around his neck (I may be exaggerating but not by much). I am awarding Adolis an unprecedented three points for the combination of his cool tattoos, terrifying physique, and infectious joyful attitude to go along with his bling. This brings the final score to 5-4 Diamondbacks.
While this is a resounding initial victory in the Diamondbacks vs Rangers: jewelry edition, the real crown jewel has not yet found a home. Will Arizona add to their collection for the first time since 2001? Or will Texas earn their first World Series ring ever? I can’t wait to watch and find out. PLAY BALL!