The 2015 Face of MLB competition is underway, and the first round of the bracket is nearly complete. On Thursday, Oakland Athletics representative Sean Doolittle defeated Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros in their opening matchup. The lefty moves on to the second round, where he will face either Yadier Molina of the Cardinals or Paul Goldschmidt of the Diamondbacks.
Altuve hit .358 against the A's in 19 games last year, so, payback!
Granted, Doolittle is not as fun of a selection as Eric Sogard was last year. Sogard's charm was his absurdity, exemplified by his glasses and the fact that most people outside of Oakland hadn't heard of him. Doolittle is an actual All-Star and a true face of the team, which almost makes him too legitimate to make a sufficient mockery of the contest, but he's also just a fun choice. His sense of humor has made him a fan favorite on social media, his big beard gives him enough quirk to be a true Oakland star, and his crazy backstory (first-baseman-turned-ace-reliever) makes him even more fascinating. One way or other, he's the A's pick this year so if you care even one iota about this promotion then I don't need to convince you to vote for him.
Good news! I also had the doc inject slider serum into my shoulder so I have another pitch now! * does one arm cartwheels past the haters*— Sean Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) January 25, 2015
This contest is super dumb but it's not quite February yet and it's literally the most fun thing going on right now in baseball. Remember how boring the winter used to be before the Internet? Man, it was awful.
As for the rest of the first round, there were a couple of other interesting observations. Without Derek Jeter around, Brett Gardner is the Face of the Yankees, which seems underwhelming. He lost in the first round to Giancarlo Stanton; just like in 2003, the mighty Yanks were knocked out by the Marlins. Felix and Mike Trout are the only other AL West players remaining, as Adrian Beltre was dumped by Trout. Buster Posey is back for the Giants after getting demolished by Sogard last year, so I guess everybody forgot about Madison Bumgarner already. There were also two big upsets: David Ortiz (by Baltimore's Adam Jones) and Andrew McCutchen (by Cincinnati's Todd Frazier).
The upcoming first-round battle between Yadier Molina and Paul Goldschmidt will determine Doolittle's next opponent. Last year, Molina was knocked out in the first round by Altuve, so by the transitive property he shouldn't be a threat -- Doo can beat Altuve, and Altuve can beat Molina, so therefore Doo can beat Molina. Goldschmidt gutted Trout in the first round last year but was then vanquished by Joey Votto of the Reds.
Here are some excellent Doo-related tweets from Thursday:
Seen any Face of MLB tweets that made you laugh? Share them in the comments!