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The Deal World

 

By Adam Hoff

 

This column originally ran at www.GuerillaSports.com.

 

"This is the true story of seven estranged-ers, picked by their Major League teams to sit on the chopping block, and find out what happens when franchises stop being polite and start making deals."

 

You all know The Real World. It's the self-proclaimed king of reality TV. The empire that spawned such primetime gems as "For Love or Money" and "Are you Hot?" The show that started out portraying seven strangers legitimately trying to make it in the "real world" has become a parody of itself; the producers now coax every act of debauchery from the cast as quickly as possible. Honestly, I'm not sure which version is more Real.

One thing I am sure about: the true king of reality TV would be a full season of Real World, Portland Trailblazers 2001. But that's just me. For you, I've got a far more relevant Real World/pro sports blend in this Sunday’s Major League Baseball trade deadline. I call it The Deal World. Think about it: the players are putting together their audition tapes (A.J. Burnett mowing down the Giants one week before deadline). They are packing their bags (and Whizzinators). And they are doing everything in their power to turn 15 minutes of fame into a nice, fat paycheck. So as teams make their last trades before the season "starts getting real," I'd like to highlight the seven Deal World characters most likely to be picked to live in a new house:

1. Adam Dunn, Cincinnati Reds
The Small Town Boy Who Has Never Met a Gay Person

[see: M.J., RW Philadelphia]
Please keep in mind that I'm not actually saying that Adam Dunn has never met a homosexual male. He just fits the part of the strapping, slow-talking country boy that gets all the ladies and "finally experiences the world" during his time in the house. In this case, Dunn is getting all the suitors thanks to his incredible power ("chicks dig the long ball"), and he might get the chance to experience the "playoff world" if he finds himself manning first base for the surging Houston Astros.

2. Ken Griffey Jr., Cincinnati Reds
The Crazy Girl Who Screams A Lot and Thinks People Are Talking About Her

[see: Leah, RW Paris]
Two Reds outfielders on the same list! Griffey used to be a lovable star that wore his hat backwards, flashed a world class grin, and crushed mammoth homeruns. Now he's an injury-prone prima donna that everyone is scared to discuss in trade talks, for fear that he'll be so moody about it that he'll stop hitting. On second thought, he might be more like Tonya from RW Chicago. You remember: "Kidney stones! Not on trip! Kidney stones! Not on trip!"

3. A.J. Burnett, Florida Marlins
The Desirable Girl Who Every Dude is After

[see: Elka, RW Boston]
This guy is the toast of the Deal World. He's young, durable and armed with both a no-hitter to his credit and fastball speed that regularly approaches three digits. The Orioles want him so badly they were almost willing to take on Mike Lowell (see: Danny, RW Austin) and Mike Lowell's contract (see: Puck, RW San Francisco). Now it looks like it will be one of the Sox (Black or Red) that land him, or that the Marlins will just keep him. Maybe they should all just go to the nearest night club and see who gets wasted and makes out with Burnett first. Settle this thing Real World style.

4. Randy Winn, Seattle Mariners
The Responsible Guy Who Works Hard and Gets Along With Everyone

[see: Jamie, RW San Diego]
Nobody is talking about Winn, but he could be a valuable addition to a contender for the stretch run. He's a decent outfielder (better in left than center though), runs well, has always hit better after the All-Star break (37 points higher over the past two seasons), AND he even has reality television experience thanks to his harrowing turn on ESPN's "Teammates" with Joel Pineiro. Hey Stuart Scott, that gameshow's mad hot, yo. Nice career move dawg.

5. Mark Redman, Pittsburgh Pirates
The Boring Downer

[see: Jon, RW Los Angeles]
Nothing against Redman personally, but talk about desperation setting in. Since when is a mediocre lefty worth multiple top prospects? This guy makes past deadline reaches like Esteban Loaiza and Mark Langston look like Cy Young winners. If the Marlins think they can deal Burnett and just replace him with Redman, they are in for a rude awakening.

6. Phil Nevin, San Diego Padres
The Guy Who Really, Really Wants to Stay After the Show is Over

[see: Steven, RW Vegas]
Note to Phil: the Padres don't want you anymore. Just let them trade you and go get yourself a fresh start. You are starting to look a little sad and pathetic.

7. Alfonso Soriano, Texas Rangers
The Complete and Total X-Factor

[see: C.T., RW Paris]
C.T. was the ultimate Real World X-Factor. He took unpredictability to a new level, whether it was punching French dudes, taking credit for flowers he didn't buy, or just being a blindly competitive jackass. For better or worse, he commanded the spotlight on RW Paris and all other MTV reality shows he glommed onto. And he usually put his show over the top. As for his sports equivalent, the word is that Texas isn't really going to trade Soriano, but the fact that he's dangling around out there is a scary thing. You can imagine him back in Yankee pinstripes, patrolling centerfield in place of Bernie Williams' ghost. You can see him kicking the much ballyhooed Bellhorn/Graffanino platoon to the curb in Boston. Or even putting the Mets on his back and taking them to the playoffs. If he ends up in the trade spotlight, he'll give any new team about six extra regular season wins this season and at least two additional playoff victories.

So there you have it ... the real deal from my Guerilla Confessional. Until next time on The Deal World ...

Adam Hoff is a columnist for the Webby-winning WhatifSports.com and can be reached at wis.insider@gmail.com.

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