On Sunday, February 10th, AMC's acclaimed show The Walking Dead returns for the second half of season three after taking the last two months off. The show averaged over ten million viewers during the first half of this season, and is unquestionably a smash hit, regardless of plotholes, inaccuracies compared to the comic book, and other flaws.
With the show coming back this weekend, we decided it might be fun to compare some of the characters on the show to MLB teams for the upcoming season. I could only come up with 20 characters, so apologies to fans of teams that aren't mentioned…it's nothing against your team, it's just that there's only been so many characters in a show that's 26 episodes deep.
Beware: there are spoilers from the first two and a half seasons of The Walking Dead from here on out, so don't say I didn't warn you. I'm going to try to keep the pictures of characters from the show as non-gory as possible, but some blood might slip in.
Merle Dixon is…the Arizona Diamondbacks
Merle was once a key member of the group of survivors, then he got surly and was handcuffed to a pipe on a roof…only to cut his arm off and escape for a season and a half. When Merle resurfaced as a member of Woodbury, his severed arm was replaced with a bayonet, and his attitude had dramatically changed for the worse. That reminds me a bit of the Diamondbacks, who were a solid looking team with a nice young core after the 2011 season. Then 2012 happened and the team struggled, leading to GM Kevin Towers chopping off his arm (in the form of trading both Justin Upton and Trevor Bauer) and replacing it with a bayonet (Cody Ross). While the bayonet might be cool looking and deadly at short range, wouldn't everyone just want to have both arms in working order?
Michonne is…the Atlanta Braves
Expectations were high for the Braves in 2012, and higher going into 2013, much like the expectations were high for Michonne during her debut in the season two finale. Thusfar, she's been a disappointment (like the 2012 Braves season ended in disappointing fashion), but expectations remain high for the second half of season three. Expectations for the Braves have also spiked as the team has added both BJ and Justin Upton this winter to bolster their outfield. Braves fans are expecting plenty of homers from their outfield this summer, and Michonne fans are expecting plenty of dead zombies at the hands of Michonne and her katana.
Glenn Rhee is…the Baltimore Orioles
Glenn has matured as a character from the first season, much like the Orioles have matured as a team. He's a lovable underdog with lots of strengths (just like the Orioles), and took on a bigger role in the first half of season three (much like the 2012 Orioles were a surprise contender). However, you just get the feeling that things could be over in an instant for him…just like the Orioles might not be contenders in 2013.
Shane Walsh is…the Boston Red Sox
Shane was essentially the number two guy in the group behind Rick, much like the Red Sox have always played second fiddle to the Yankees. Then, things went haywire, the Red Sox lost 93 games and finished in last place, and Shane tried to kill Rick and ended up getting killed himself. All of that effort towards getting to the peak of the mountain went to waste, and what's left is a decaying shell of their former self, for both Shane and the Red Sox.
Axel is…the Cincinnati Reds
Just like the Reds are new to the upper tier of teams in the National League, Axel is new to the group of survivors, running into them at the prison alongside Oscar and the rest of the inmates. Axel is a valued contributor to the group, and the Reds are similar in the fact that they kind of fly under the radar and don't call a lot of attention to themselves. Axel isn't loud and in your face like Shane or T-Dog, and the Reds don't talk a big game either.
Milton Mamet is…the Colorado Rockies
Milton is a scientist at Woodbury who studies walkers, and just doesn't seem to get it, nearly getting killed during one study before being saved by Andrea. He reminds me a lot of the Rockies, in that they just don't get how to build a proper pitching staff at Coors Field. In this case, the role of Andrea will be played by Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, who will save the Rockies horrendous pitching staff with their tremendous offensive contributions.
Oscar is…the Detroit Tigers
Oscar was a big, powerful inmate that the survivors ran into at the prison. He ended up becoming a productive member of the group before being killed during the Woodbury invasion. The Tigers were a powerful, productive team in 2012, and after they lost the World Series to a dominant Giants team, we were left to wonder, "how in the hell did that happen?", much like we did when Oscar randomly took a bullet in the back trying to escape Woodbury.
The Governor is…the Los Angeles Dodgers
You can make the case for several teams being the Governor. Evil? Ingenious? Two-faced? The Governor possesses all of those traits, and quite frankly, I don't think any other team in the league matches them quite like the Dodgers. Since the Dodgers' new ownership has taken over, they've spent money on players by the truckload, signed a potential bubble bursting $7 billion TV deal, and taken baseball to a whole new level of excess. Hell, that sounds pretty similar to the Governor creating a fenced-in paradise in the middle of a zombie-ravaged country, and continually upping his level of greed and depravity by killing National Guardsmen, having tanks of disembodied zombie heads, and staging fights between people and chained up zombies. Sure, the Dodgers aren't doing anything that sick…but their spending is comparable on the same scale of being over the top.
Dale Horvath is…the Miami Marlins
No one liked Dale. He was holier than thou, boring, and took up screentime that could have gone towards better characters. He reminded me a lot of the 2012 Marlins, a franchise that has no fans and a terrible owner, and was overhyped for the 2012 season. Things went terribly, and everything got blown up for 2013…much like Dale got his guts ripped out by a zombie near the end of season two.
Lori Grimes is…the New York Yankees
Nobody liked Lori. She cheated on Rick with Shane when she thought Rick was dead, was generally an awful person towards Rick, got pregnant, then mercifully died during childbirth. Like with Lori, there's also a high level of disdain towards the Yankees (especially Alex Rodriguez), and people just want them to go away and fall out of the spotlight.
Daryl Dixon is…the Oakland Athletics
Daryl wasn't even in the comics. He came out of nowhere, and is now one of the most beloved characters on the show. The 2012 Oakland Athletics also came out of nowhere to contend in the AL West, and proved to be a very likable and capable team, winning the division and the hearts of fans across the country. If only they had a crossbow…
Hershel Greene is…the Philadelphia Phillies
In season two, Hershel was a key member of the group, as Rick and his band of survivors stayed at Hershel's farm with his family. Just like Hershel, the Phillies used to be a key member of the NL East, winning five straight division titles. But after the siege on his farm, Hershel looked old and eventually got his leg chopped off. In 2012, the Phillies looked old, and Ryan Howard probably would have played better if his leg were cut off after he tore his Achilles at the end of the 2011 season. Things could go south quickly for the old and hobbled Hershel, just like it can go south quickly for the old and hobbled Phillies.
T-Dog is…the Pittsburgh Pirates
Everyone loved T-Dog. His lines were limited as the group's enforcer, but man could he take out a zombie like no other. The Pirates remind me of T-Dog in that they're nearly universally liked (and everyone just wants them to finish .500 to end their run of futility), and at the end of the day, they're not major factors in the division race (like T-Dog wasn't a critical part of the cast until his death). T-Dog went out with a blaze of glory in season three, like the Pirates went out with a blaze of glory after the 2012 season with Andrew McCutchen winning the fan vote to be on the cover of MLB '13 The Show.
Beth Greene is…the San Diego Padres
Can anyone think of anything memorable Beth has done on the show since debuting in season two? There was the time Andrea convinced her to kill herself…and that's about it, right? By the same token, can you think of anything memorable about the 2012 Padres? There's Chase Headley…and that's about it, right? The most bland, long-term character on the show seems like a good comparison to one of the most bland teams in the league.
Rick Grimes is…the San Francisco Giants
Rick is the leader of the band of survivors on The Walking Dead, and the leader by default. By the same token, the Giants are the de facto faces of baseball after winning two out of the last three World Championships. However, both have their faults: Rick is hard-headed and irrational at times, and the Giants have a fetish for veteran relievers. But hey, things seem to be working out pretty well for both of them so far…aside from Lori dying, of course.
Andrea is…the St Louis Cardinals
During her time on the show, Andrea has had a number of significant events happen to her, including seeing her sister Amy killed by a walker and having to fight through the forest for hours after the siege on Hershel's farm. The Cardinals have also taken numerous significant hits over the last couple of seasons, including Adam Wainwright's Tommy John surgery, Chris Carpenter's numerous shoulder problems, Albert Pujols signing with the Angels, and most recently, the death of baseball legend Stan Musial. But Andrea has persevered on despite all of her hardships, and despite living in Woodbury, she has the ability to fend for herself and hold her own…much like the Cardinals continually contend in the National League no matter what is thrown their way.
Carol Peletier is…the Seattle Mariners
All Carol seems to do is weigh the group down, cause problems, and add nothing of value to their cause. The Mariners have been the same way in the AL West for years as the worst team in the division, trudging along at their own mediocre pace. The presence of Felix Hernandez in the rotation reminds me of when Carol decided to learn how to perform surgery to help out with Hershel missing a leg: the lone bright spot that prevents the character/team from being unwatchable.
Maggie Greene is…the Tampa Bay Rays
Maggie blended in at Hershel's farm with her other sisters, but began to come out of her shell late in the second season as she began a relationship with Glenn. She's become a pretty solid character thusfar in season three, and can always be counted on for a solid performance. The Rays are very similar. They were just another part of the crowd of terrible teams in the league until new ownership took over heading into the 2006 season, and since 2008, the team has always delivered solid performances in the AL East. It's tough to hate Maggie, and it's just as tough (if not tougher) to hate the Rays.
Tyreese is…the Toronto Blue Jays
Tyreese is a new character to the TV show, popping up in the final episode before the show went on break in December. However, fans of the comic book know Tyreese, and are excited for what he'll do on the show. The Blue Jays aren't exactly a new team on the block in the league, but expectations are high for them this season with the additions they've made this winter. Will Tyreese's tenure on The Walking Dead be a success? Will the new-look Blue Jays run rampant on the American League? Only time will tell.
Carl Grimes is…the Washington Nationals
Early on in the series, Carl was useless as a character (as you'd expect a young child to be when fighting zombies). But between seasons two and three, Carl blossomed into a sharpshooter and a capable member of the group, child or not. Just like Carl, the Nationals were a pretty useless franchise before the 2012 season…and then holy crap, they blossomed into one of the best teams in baseball. Now, Carl is expected to continue contributing to the group, and the Nationals are expected to continue to contend in the National League.