Arrested Development Meets Major League Baseball
After a brief seven year hiatus, the fourth season of Arrested Development was released on Netflix this week. In an interview with A.V. Club, Mitchell Hurwitz, the creator of the show, discussed the difficulty in writing and filming the new episodes because of the schedules of all of the actors. Mr. Hurwitz explained that they “were constantly shooting out of sequence” and rewriting episodes based on the availability of the actors.
This interview got me thinking: if one of the actors needed to be replaced, who would fill the role? Then, I had another idea: what if, instead of finding a different actor for the role, Mitchell Hurwitz was forced to fill the role with someone from Major League Baseball?
And this post was born, which matches up characters from Arrested Development with their Major League Baseball doppelganger.
George Bluth, Sr. – Fred Wilpon, Owner, New York Mets
George Bluth, Sr. and Fred Wilpon were both highly-successful real estate developers who lost their fortunes due to investment scandals. (Bluth was embezzling money and building houses for Saddam Hussein whereas Wilpon was implicated in the Bernie Madoff investment scandal). After the scandals, the Bluth family and the Wilpon family were both in danger of having to sell their respective companies (The Bluth Company and the Mets) due to the lack of capital. Instead, both companies managed to persevere, albeit on shoe-string budgets and by providing inferior products to the public. Just like with The Bluth Company, in the wake of the scandal, the Met fan base has utterly lost faith in Wilpon’s ability to run a successful franchise. If only Wilpon could have informed Sandy Alderson that “there’s always money in the banana stand,” maybe the Mets would have been able to sign a major-league caliber outfielder last offseason.
Michael Bluth – David Wright, 3B, New York Mets
After a once prominent family loses its fortune, Michael Bluth is “the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together.” Aside from single-handedly trying to save the now crumbling Bluth Company, Michael is also forced to clean up after his siblings (GOB, Buster, and Lindsay) who constantly find themselves in ridiculous predicaments. Similarly, David Wright is the one Met who is attempting to keep the once-prominent franchise afloat. Wright is arguably the only position player on the Mets who has the talent to be an everyday regular and is, therefore, attempting to carry the offensive load without any support from his teammates and despite the ridiculous predicaments his teammates find themselves in (Ruben Tejada is batting .209, Ike Davis is batting .160, leadoff hitters have a .268 OBP, Marlon Byrd is the starting right fielder, etc.).
G.O.B. Bluth – A.J. Pierzynski, C, Texas Rangers
G.O.B. is the oldest of the Bluth brothers, but gets no respect from others and has no real friends, which is clearly seen when G.O.B. reaches out for a high-five that goes unanswered. Along the same lines, A.J. Pierzynski is the player who was once described by his manager in this way: “If you play against him, you hate him. If you play with him, you hate him a little less.” Despite outwardly wanting to be looked to for leadership, neither G.O.B. nor Pierzynzski ever take responsibility for their actions. For example, when PIerzynski was asked about his failure to throw out base stealers, he threw his pitcher Gavin Floyd under the bus. Notably, both G.O.B. and Pierzynski were involved in infamous home plate collisions: G.O.B. attempting to knock over the immovable Ann “The Wall” Veal and Pierzynski running over Michael Barrett. Whenever I hear about some new controversy caused by Pierzynki, I just feel like borrowing a line from G.O.B. and screaming, “Come on!” (There is, however, no evidence that Pierzynski has ever performed the chicken dance after recording a routine out.)
Byron “Buster” Bluth – Tim Lincecum, SP, San Francisco Giants
Weighing in at 170 pounds, Tim Lincecum is one of the smallest pitchers in the majors. Similarly, Buster Bluth is the baby of the Bluth family known for giving out shoulder rubs and acting immature. Buster also loves eating junk food, drinking juice boxes, and taking naps. As a well-known marijuana user, Lincecum likewise loves junk food and taking naps. Additionally, with his laid-back attitude, I can clearly picture Lincecum greeting his teammates by saying, “Heeey brother.”
George Michael Bluth – Phil Hughes, SP, New York Yankees
Phil Hughes and George Michael are both known for their mild-mannered natures and both appear to be pre-pubescent teens. They are also constantly trying to live up to the lofty standards set for them by others and incessantly seek approval from their elders. Much in the same way that George Michael could not handle the responsibility of running the banana stand, Hughes seems equally ill-equipped to serve as a number 4 starter in the Yankee rotation. Indeed, most of Hughes’s starts end in the same way George Michael’s first tenure as Mr. Manager ended: in a ball of flames. Of note, Hughes is set to be a free agent for the first time at the end of this season, to which George Michael would likely exclaim, “What a fun and sexy time for you!”
Tobias Fünke – Derek Holland, SP, Texas Rangers
Huzzah! Aside from their magnificent mustaches, both Tobias Fünke and Derek Holland are also eccentric goofballs who march to their own beat. Whereas Tobias deemed himself the first Analrapist and referred to himself as “Uncle T-bag,” Derek Holland dubbed himself the “Dutch Oven.” Also, both have a proclivity for wanting to be in front of the camera. Tobias seeks to become an actor while Holland has designs on becoming a weatherman.
Barry Zuckerkorn – Bud Selig, MLB Commissioner
Barry Zuckerkorn is the Bluth family’s attorney, who the Bluth family turned to after George Bluth, Sr. was arrested. Unfortunately, Mr. Zuckerkorn is wholly incompetent (not knowing the number of crimes George Bluth had been charged with), and his lack of knowledge regarding the applicable laws inevitably leads to providing the Bluths with incorrect advice (advising that a husband and a wife could not be convicted of the same crime). Despite being the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, Bud Selig was also caught unaware of the rampant steroid and PED use in baseball and was completely unprepared when the 2002 All-Star Game went into extra innings. Furthermore, both Zuckerkorn and Selig – who are required to be representatives for the Bluth family and baseball, respectively – do not exude or inspire confidence. Instead, both often appear to be disheveled and unapproachable.
Steve Holt – Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels
Steve Holt, a third-year high school senior, and Mike Trout, a second-year major leaguer, are both star athletes. Just like how all the high school females are infatuated with Steve Holt, Mike Trout must deal with the unnatural man-crushes everyone in the Sabermetric community has on him. Additionally, both Trout and Holt are multi-faceted individuals whose talents go beyond the realm of sports as they have both successfully flexed their acting muscles: Holt landing the lead in the school’s version of Much Ado About Nothing and Trout starring in the Subway avocado commercial (“It goes great with Trout!”). Whenever Mike Trout drives in a run or makes a great play in the field, one can almost hear him shout: “MIKE TROUT!”