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THE GREATEST HERO IN AMERICAN HISTORY

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Sometimes he's compared to Brooks Robinson. Sometimes he's compared to Mike Schmidt. Sometimes he's compared to Brooks Robinson, Mike Schmidt, and Scott Rolen. And now he's compared to Albert Pujols:

Do you think Zimmerman has benefited from the instruction provided by Mitchell Page? Is there any chance that Mitchell will turn him into another Pujols?
-- Katie A., Fairfax Station, Va.

It's funny you should ask that question. All season, Page has compared Zimmerman's work ethic to Pujols' work ethic. Page has also called Zimmerman a smart hitter who makes adjustments. To answer your question, yes, I believe Zimmerman will turn out to be another Pujols with the bat in the future.

Is there any Ryan Zimmerman comparison that's not apt?

No, of course not. It's just a matter of finding the ultimate Ryan Zimmerman comparison. As for me, I recommend Robert Jarvik:


You're a handsome devil;
what's your name? [Thanks, MIT]

Daggone it, this comparison is apt. Apt!

Jarvik, like Zimmerman, was a young prodigy guy with like prodigious skill and stuff. By the time Jarvik was about thirty---which Zimmerman will sometime be, if all goes to plan---he had designed and developed the air-driven Jarvik-7 total artificial heart, the first to successfully sustain a dying patient with the goal of lifelong support. By the time Zimmerman is about thirty, he'll have lots of Gold Gloves and Silver Sluggers and maybe some MVP awards---and heck, perhaps someone will have designed and developed a special award in his name by then. The RyZim-7, perhaps.

The comparisons run deeper. Jarvik has degrees from Syracuse, Bologna, NYU, and Utah, which in the aggregate have to equal a degree from Virginia, right? Zimmerman went to Virginia! And Jarvik is married to saucy Parade brainiac correspondent Marilyn vos Savant, so we can only imagine what the future holds for our boy Zimm.

Speaking of the future, once Zimmerman fulfills his future by living up to the comparison to Jarvik, he can look forward to a future akin to the future Jarvik, who is presently the richest and coolest windbreaker-wearing, recreating-at-the-lake, mega-cardiologist Pfizer pitch-man around:


"Yo, where's Fred Smoot?"
[Thanks, Brandweek]

Comparisons are a tricky business. A comparison to the greatest defensive third baseman of all time? Sure. A comparison to the greatest plain-old third baseman of all time? Alright. A comparison to today's top-dog hitter, who used to be a third baseman? Awesome. But you've got to be careful with these comparisons, lest you compare an almost-twenty-two year-old Rookie of the Year candidate third baseman to a mere six-time all-star third baseman who was a Rookie of the Year at the age of twenty-two.

I mean, Scott Rolen is okay, but as comparisons go, let's not lower our standards, please. Compared to Robert Jarvik, he really, really sucks.

Update [2006-9-19 21:30:39 by Basil]: Bonus points to anyone who can beat an Ian Desmond-Derek Jeter comparison.