For a while now, I've wanted to determine if each major league team had a single, obvious "Face of the Franchise." This is not necessarily the team's best player (though it often is), but rather the guy whose singular combination of talent, tenure, hope, leadership and/or media presence makes him the incontrovertible choice as the "Face" of his team. It's the guy whose Face probably pops into your head when his team is mentioned. Obviously there is some subjectivity to the exercise, but I'm curious whether there is a consensus. So without further ado, here are my picks:
Arizona: Used to be Upton, but now he's gone. No player really stands out anymore. I'd go with Kirk Gibson. I think a manager can be The Face. (Although this particular Face is an Ass.)
Baltimore: Wieters. For lack of anything better. Possibly Showalter.
Boston: A case could be made for Big Papi, but I believe Pedroia is the Face.
Chicago White Sox: Probably still Konerko, although I admit I don't have my finger on the pulse of this team. If they actually have a pulse.
Cincinnati: Lots of interesting personalities, but Votto is The Face.
Cleveland: They're a little faceless. I would lean toward Carlos Santana, for reasons of team tenure and future hopes. Other potential Faces (Bourne, Swisher) haven't been on the team long enough.
Colorado: Tulo. (Sorry, CarGo.)
Detroit: This is not easy: Cabrera or Verlander? Because he's less shy and more of a media presence, I'd go with Verlander.
Houston: Oh Lord, so sad. Altuve, I guess. The smallest Face on this list.
Kansas City: The Country Breakfast. (Frenchy if you think their Face should be a symbol of their haplessness.) Faces in Waiting: Moustakas and Perez.
LA Angels: So much star power, but the Face has got to be Trout.
LA Dodgers: Slime molds don't have Faces.
Minnesota: Mauer, still.
NY Mets: Wright.
Yankees: Jeter for as long as he's on the team.
Oakland: I think their Face is their general manager. Cespedes is an emerging star, but Beane symbolizes the team.
Philadelphia: Now this is a tough one. Lots of veteran Faces to choose from. Although he's aging, I think Utley is the Face of this team. Before last year I might have said Halladay.
Pittsburgh: 'Cutch in a landslide.
San Diego: No clue. Really, I have no clue. Suggestions? Headley?
San Francisco: Buster. Out of curiosity, who would you say was the face of the 2010 team? I would probably go with Wilson.
Seattle: King Felix.
St. Louis: Not easy. I'd probably go with Yadier, but a case could be made for Wainwright.
Tampa Bay: Price and Longoria are kind of Co-Faces. If I had to pick I'd go with Longoria, just because he's an everyday player.
Texas: They lost their Face (Hamilton) to free agency. Is Yu the new Face? Andrus?
Washington: So many good choices: Zimmerman for his tenure, Harper and Strasburg for their emerging stardom. I'd say Strasburg by a nose, but it's close.