Tonight, at some eastern primetime slot padded out by an overlong red carpet special, the Academy Awards will take place. I don't usually work the sort of crossover from baseball to movies, because the last time I wrote a post that involved something other than baseball, I got several cries of "STOP!!" So at least I know what I'm up against here when I write a comparison post about how similar some of the major figures in baseball right now are to some of the fellows sitting in Hollywood, waiting for their award.
I did this with the Grammys a few years ago, and it was fun. Movies are fun to write about, and comparison posts are cool, so here we go.
Chris Rock (Host of the Oscars) is like Rob Manfred (MLB Commissioner)
The ringleader of the freak-show that is this year's festivities. Both are replacing highly-disappointing choices for the role (NPH and Bud Selig, and I refer to the last half of Selig's tenure as the disappointing part). Both have a lot against them right now, but have, so far, done pretty well given the circumstances.
Cate Blanchett (up for her third award tonight for Carol) is like Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers pitcher)
Both seem to have a superior knack for being amazing and winning awards every so often. Both have shown their versatility, and both have had a substantial period of time between some awards. Both are considered the best in their field. Both are plausible options for Rooney Mara to date.
Jacob Tremblay (the kid from Room) is like Corey Seager (rookie shortstop for the Dodgers)
Both have literally just arrived on the scene. Both are too young to make a full impression on. Both are adorable.
Sylvester Stallone (up for Best Supporting Actor for playing Rocky Balboa again) is like Albert Pujols (1st baseman for the Angels)
Last year nobody could take either of them seriously. Sure, they were amazing back in the day, belting out hit after hit for an entire decade. But it only took a couple of crappy years to bring them down. However, 2015 was a HUGE improvement for both of them, with Albert returning to his hard-hitting roots, and Sly teaching a new breed of boxer in Creed. Only sad part is that both of them are highly unlikely to make another huge impact after this year, but they're both definite standouts in their respective fields.
Mark Ruffalo (up for Best Supporting actor for Spotlight) is like Noah Syndergaard (long-haired flamethrower for the Mets)
Both are part of a versatile and powerful ensemble that has taken home many accolades already. Also, both Ruffalo and Syndergaard moonlight as members of the Avengers.
Alejandro G. Inarritu (director of The Revenant and last year's Birdman) is like Nelson Cruz (outfielder for the Mariners)
Have been around for longer than people could imagine. Only now have decided to become relevant, even if they both started making huge seasons 10 years ago. Have had two spectacular years in a row, though may come short of a big title this year. Probably have a ton of huge years ahead of them, but only if their tactic of doing the same thing every year doesn't tire the crap out of people.
Meryl Streep (not nominated this year but has 3 Oscars) is like Miguel Cabrera (first baseman for the Tigers
Both win at least something every year since they came up, however, both surprisingly had a very quiet 2015, as they're not really up for any of the big awards. One must think they're both warming up for a huge 2016.
Wes Anderson (not nominated this year, but directed The Grand Budapest Hotel) is like Adam Wainwright (pitcher for the Cardinals)
Both are quirky and divisive enough to have supreme followers, and supreme haters. Both took 2015 off. Both will probably make another madcap attempt at the big award sometime soon.
Eddie Redmayne (nominated for The Danish Girl after winning for The Theory of Everything last year) is like Mike Trout (2014's MVP and Angels outfielder)
Both have popped up in the last few years as absolutely insane talents in their respective fields, especially at their very young ages. Both have been consistently stellar since coming up. Both had an equally stellar performance in 2015, however both performances might be overlooked in favor of someone who deserves it a bit more.
Martin Scorsese (director of all of your dad's favorite movies, not nominated this year but his next, Silence, is out in 2016) is like Ichiro Suzuki (outfielder for the Marlins)
Both are revered by many, and both have started immense movements in their fields that have led to a ton of support, praise, and approximately one big award (that they deserved). Both are coming down to their last few big moments, yet both are headed for definite enshrinement and will live forever in the hearts of hardcore fans.
Jennifer Lawrence (nominated for Joy) is like Bryce Harper (NL MVP and Nationals outfielder)
Both have won a prestigious award once, yet have been up for it many more times. Both are young enough, and talented enough, to make several subsequent runs at the big award. However, both are way too flashy for their own good, and need to do some serious public image work before they lose everybody too soon.
George Miller (director of Mad Max: Fury Road) is like Buck Showalter (manager of the Orioles)
Both have been around forever, and both are underratedly amazing at what they do, yet both haven't really gotten a chance to snatch the gold until now. Both probably have one more solid effort left in them, and this writer waits with glee for both of them.
Quentin Tarantino (nominated for directing The Hateful Eight) is like Aroldis Chapman (closer for the Yankees)
Both are supremely talented, and have been for years. Both pissed off a ton of people in 2015, yet this controversy was overshadowed by a supreme effort on both parts. Both are going to play to win this year, and hopefully this will get them somewhere other than jail.
Leonardo DiCaprio (nominated for the Revenant, and everyone's favorite heartthrob) is like Joe Maddon (manager of the Cubs)
Will do, and have done, anything possible for the big award. Haven't won one quite yet, though have been very close numerous times. Will likely get it this year, however there's always room for an upset.
That's enough for one night, but I think my point is clear- there are two completely separate entities that have a lot of similarities if you squint a little bit.
Enjoy the Oscars. Go Leo!