They are peas in a pod.
Don't you think that it's odd.
- Part of the lyrics (that nobody knows) to the theme from TV's The Odd Couple
From 1970-75, U.S. broadcasting giant ABC-TV broadcast a wonderful little half-hour situation comedy called The Odd Couple, based on the popular stage play of the same name, written by Neil Simon.
The show starred the inimitable Tony Randall as neat freak Felix Unger and irascible Jack Klugman as sloppy, casual Oscar Madison, two divorced men who shared an apartment and a variety of personality and housekeeping conflicts.
So if current Seattle ace Felix Hernandez ever gets to stare down current Padre utilityman Oscar Salazar -- well, that might actually be a mismatch. But, then, was there ever more of a mismatched pair of roommates than Felix Unger and Oscar Madison? So maybe there's some serendipity to that.
Ah, whatever. Let's go to the rosters and see which squad comes out on top in the matchup between ... (sorry about this) ...
The Felix the Cats vs. The Oscar Mayer Weiners
A few production notes ... We will not consider the character surnames, in part because it poses an unfair depth advantage to the Oscars of the world, as 13 Madisons have played professional baseball (three of whom made it to The Show) while only seven Ungers have played organized ball, none of them at the highest level, and none since Yankees Gulf League utilityman Adam Unger in 2003, when he managed to hit .083 over 16 games.
And just for the record, there have been four MLB vets surnamed "Randall" and one "Klugmann" (though none spelled single-n "Klugman"), but here we are only considering the character names, Oscar and Felix.
To improve the candidate pool, however, we will consider any player named either Oscar or Felix as any part of their proper name -- given/first, given/middle or family/last. If the situation arises, we'll even accept anyone who had either Oscar or Felix as a nickname, as long as they actually went by that appellation.
So it's slobs versus neat freaks ... let's bring it on!
The Felix the Cats
MGR Felix Moses (12-30, 1884 Richmond)
The Oscar Mayer Weiners
MGR Ossie Vitt (262-198, 1938-40)
SO ... WHO WINS???
Odds & Ends ... See, this is the end part of the story, and it's about the Odd Couple, so ... oh, never mind ... Here's a Hall of Names alert/watch -- you remember Felix Jose? The Rangers right now are grooming a minor league prospect, currently catching for the Bakersfield Blaze, kid named Jose Felix. Have we ever had two major leaguers with exactly opposite names before? ... Junior Felix -- Jay fans might remember this guy for three hits and three RBI in three 1989 post-season games -- or, more likely, might fondly remember him as a centerpiece to the deal that brought Devon White to the Great White North ... The All-Felix rotation is a little thin behind Seattle's King, but the bullpen is actually quite nice-looking ...
Exactly 25 men named Felix have played in the major leagues, and somewhat miraculously, they can be exactly plugged in to fill a standard 25-man HoN roster ... More than twice as many Oscars have played in the bigs (58, at last count), including the only Hall of Famer in this exercise ... Well, that's not exactly accurate -- speedy HOF outfielder Oscar Charleston never had the opportunity to play in the Major League Circuits, as his dominance pre-dated Jackie Robinson and fell victim to the historical embarrassment that is the color line ...
In 1938, for the very first time, a man named Oscar managed a major league team -- and that season, there were two such men. No managerial Oscar awards have been handed out since 1940, however ...
Both Oscars who have managed also played long enough and well enough to make the club as active players ... Bill James unabashedly ranked Charleson as the fourth-greatest player of all time in his New Historical Baseball Abstract ... Grimes' father, Oscar Ray Grimes Sr., and his uncle, Austin Roy Grimes, were both also big league ballplayers ... Oscar Sr. remains eligible for this club because of his birth certification of "Oscar" but he actually went by "Ray" ... The elder Grimes had an unbelieveable 1922, batting .354/14/99 for the Cubs, but he didn't receive a single MVP vote -- then again, nobody did, as the NL apparently didn't give out an MVP in either 1922 or 1923 ...
Let's just give the award right now for Greatest Afro in Baseball History to Oscar Gamble. Any objections? ... Villareal's career might be one of the most uneven in hig league annals. As a 2003 ARI rookie, he was 10-7/2.57 in 86 games; three years later in his first season with ATL, he was 9-1 with a 3.61 ERA. In his other four seasons to date, he's a combined 5-7 with ERAs ranging up to 7.00 ...
Dickshot (no vulgar comments, please!) had far and away his best season in 1945, hitting a career-high .302, with 10 of his 17 career triples and 18 of his 23 career steals. Then the war ended, and Johnny never saw a big-league dugout again ... "Happy" Felsch, primarily a CF, was part of the 1919 Black Sox World Series team, hitting just .192 in that eight-game farce ... Hartenstein made seven largely ineffective appearances for the '77 expansion Jays in his first (and last) trip back to MLB since 1970 ... 1B Oscar Roettger, who hit .212 in parts of 1923-32, also served time as a RHRP, but even that kind of versatility doesn't earn him a roster spot here ...
Oscar Jones was 19-14 as a 1903 rookie, then won 17 more (with a league-leading 25 losses) the next year; after an 8-15 1905 at the age of 25, he was done with major league ball ... Doc Miller led the National League in hits in 1911, but that was pretty much the singular highlight to his five-year career ... Tuero led the NL in saves in 1919 -- with four, the same number of complete game starts he had that season! ... In the Oscar rotation, Horstmann and Johnson both made more career appearances in relief, but will fill starting roles here ...
The bottom line? The Mayer Weiners have a little more star power. but the pitching matchups favor the Cats. It's be close -- sorry, Mr. Unger, this might be a real non-neat mess! -- but we'll call it for Felix, 83-79.