Carlos Lee. Power singles hitter. Rancher. Calf-Roper. Carlos Lee’s business card seems to have everything he wants on there, and he obviously didn’t want to have to order new ones in Dodger blue. That has to be the reason he declined a trade from cellar to contender. He picked the 5th place Astros over the game-and-a-half-back Dodgers.
He chose PB&J over prime rib.
He says it was his ranch and family, although three months in LA seems worth it when you have a chance to contend for the first time in almost a decade.
In those three months he could taste his first career playoff victory, which seems like a strong possibility with Clayton Kershaw starting Game 1. He could have rejuvenated his career and earned himself another payday batting between Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp instead of being the lone threat in the worst lineup in the league.
Maybe he enjoys being on bad teams. That would explain why he vetoed the Dodgers but turned around and agrees to the Miami Marlins. Maybe those extra 45 minutes he gains flying to Miami instead of L.A. are a huge selling point. For instance, in 45 minutes Carlos could do one of the following:
Check on his cattle.
See half of Bio-Dome.
Run out a double.
Since Carlos is obviously a complex man of many talents, what other jobs can we find for him?
While an Astro, 53 of Lee’s 74 hits were singles. He owned a .287 average and his on-base percentage would rank in the bottom third of lead-off guys…he has yet to steal a base or even attempt one, but that’s because…OK moving on.
He has everything you look for in a power hitter, besides the numbers. His five homers were tied for sixth on the team along with Matt Downs’ 143 less at-bats and 5’5” Jose Altuve. This is going to be harder than I thought…
Star in a Remake of The Parent Trap
Carlos Lee could make a jump from former silver slugger to the silver screen, and this part would help ease the transition. Carlos and his brother, also named Carlos, could make a Step Brothers-esque version of The Parent Trap. They both played baseball for the Milwaukee Brewers, which could play perfectly into the plot of the story.
And he would have been on the West coast! Unfortunately, Carlos has never been a great interviewer, and it would be hard to watch an entire English movie and still need English subtitles…
The Third Horseman of the Apocalypse
Carlos was given the nickname El Caballo (which means horse) while he was in Milwaukee, and he would be a shoo-in (no pun intended) as the dark horse of the apocalypse. This horse represents famine, which we’ve seen in Lee’s Home Run numbers. There is also a reference to being paid 10 times the going rate for bread (in this sense singles), and with Lee’s $100 million contract, the similarities become uncanny…
The Third Horseman seems perfect, but Carlos is anything but famished. He is pleasantly plump and maybe can use that to his advantage. He’s maintained that the reason he doesn’t run hard on the base paths is because he wants opponents to think he’s slow, but when he needs to turn it on, he will.
He could use this same philosophy for competitive eating. Eat a few hot dogs in the first half of the contest and, when the competition is slowing down, blow by them.
Unfortunately, the Grandaddy of all the contests, Nathans hot dog eating contest, is held on the 4th of July, which is during the season. Carlos already has a clause that allows him to miss some spring training, so he can go to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. That was negotiated under former owner Drayton McLane, but I doubt Jim Crane will allow another clause so…
Minute Maid Train Driver
Once the Astros go to the AL West, Lee could conduct the train as the DH and drive it around to celebrate the home runs that come with AL baseball.
It’s not far from his old home in left field, and the beauty of it is that he’s not hitting any home runs, so they won’t need to replace him when he’s at bat. This seemed like a winner to me, but unfortunately, management is installing a billboard and getting rid of the train. Tough luck Carlos; luckily for the Astros, it wasn’t too late to get you on the last train out of there.