When I'm not obsessing about the Mets -- you're not going to believe this -- I'm a pretty big nerd about other stuff, too, particularly scifi and fantasy. In print, that means I've read pretty much everything J.R.R. Tolkein has ever written. On screen that means my favorite TV shows (notwithstanding Seinfeld and The Wire, of course) might be Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, and that I'm currently working my way through Battlestar Galactica, taking my nerd level to new and exciting places. But I love nothing more than Harry Potter, which I didn't even read until about four years ago, when I was bored and found a copy of the first book lying around. I devoured the series in short order, and have read each several times since. And now, with the final film installment in theaters (which I saw last night and would give a solid B+), I'm combining my two favorite pastimes, Harry Potter and the Mets, into one glorious fit of geekdom and answering the questions on everyone's mind: who would each member of the Mets current core be in the world of Harry Potter? I'm only including guys who figure to contribute to the Mets for at least another season. So without further ado...
Jose Reyes: Harry Potter
It all hinges on Jose, much like the fate of all the characters in Harry Potter hinge on Harry. Which makes sense being he's the title character and all. Jose isn't the title of this team (though I'd totally root for the New York Jose Reyes's), but if he leaves after the season, the Mets are screwed. If he signs a giant contract and sucks, the Mets are screwed. But, really, no pressure.
David Wright: Ron Weasley
They're both dependable, kind of boring and you know what they're going to do for the most part. There are no hidden powers here. No secret truths to unmask. Just reliable quality. Also, Wright, like Ron, seems like the kind of guy who often misses his Mom.
Johan Santana: Hermione Granger
Because he looks like a girl. OK, just kidding. Because someone needs to be Hermione and there are no brilliant, teenaged girls on this team as far as I know. But Johan's the guy who will need to step up and bail out the Mets with his brains (or in pitching parlance, crafty lefty-ness), because like it or not, the Mets will be depending on him for the next few years. And since Ron and Harry are basically retarded in Harry Potter, they need Hermione to bail them out time and time again.
R.A. Dickey: Hagrid
Larger than life. Beloved. Has a beard. Courageous. Went to the mountains at one point. Who am I describing, R.A. Dickey or Hagrid from Harry Potter? You don't know, do you? Exactly.
Ike Davis: Lupin
It's under appreciated in Harry Potter how bad-ass Lupin. He's actually just a general tough-guy. Likewise, you've already forgotten how awesome Ike Davis is. Allow me to remind you: He's awesome. Also, both these guys have grubby facial hair.
Jonathan Niese: Kinglsey Shacklebolt
Similarly Jon Niese's awesomeness kind of crept up on most people. In Harry Potter, Kingsley's just kind of there until the end of the series, when all of a sudden he's the most senior living member of the Order of the Phoenix and is made Minister of Magic. This is sort of what's happening with Niese, all of a sudden he's the best Mets pitcher and at the end of the season, we're going to look up and be like "Oh wow, Niese is one of the 20 best starters in the majors." By the way, it's a shame I couldn't compare the one important black guy in Harry Potter to a Met of the same race -- since custom dictates we only compare athletes to people of the same race (you know, every white SF is the next Larry Bird) -- but I wasn't dignifying Willie Harris or Scott Hairston with a comp.
Angel Pagan: Neville Longbottom
Neville Longbottom had the upside to be The Chosen One as a baby, but for random, seemingly inscrutable reasons, it didn't happen. Angel Pagan was a highly-touted prospect who never reached his potential. Neville Longbottom became a bumbling kid with a confidence problem who was always tripping on stuff. Angel Pagan kept getting hurt all the time. Neville Longbottom became a total bad-ass, led a rebellion within Hogwarts and chopped the head off a magical snake. Angel Pagan became really awesome at baseball, though to date, I have no proof he's chopped the head off of a magical snake. But I like to think he has.
Daniel Murphy: Tonks
Murph's unproven and we (I) all had our (my) doubts but he's pulling his weight, both at the plate and by not being totally terrible in the field (Murphy even appears to be good, one might say, at playing 3B). Tonks is the youngest, most unproven core member of the Order of the Phoenix, but she gets the job done.
Mike Pelfrey: Snape
This is a tough one, because Snape turns out to be one of the three or four most consequential characters in the entire series, and Mike Pelfrey is not particularly consequential. But on the other hand, he's a mystery. Good Mike Pelfrey? Bad Mike Pelfrey? Which Mike Pelfrey is showing up? You just don't know, game to game, season to season. While there's a very good reason for this, it still leaves him in an ambiguous territory, which is exactly where Snape lives.
Jason Bay: Mundungus Fletcher
Nobody wants him here, everything he does turns to shit, and he's basically stealing money. But they're stuck with him because the guy who used to be in charge liked him. This describes both Fletcher and Jason Bay exactly.
Bobby Parnell/Pedro Beato: Seamus Finnegan/Dean Thomas
They do their part and are pretty much interchangeable. I'm a pretty big nerd, and if not for the movies, I'd have no idea which of Seamus and Dean was a tall black kid, and which was a short, Irish kid. Similarly, one of these guys could be the next Met closer, but it could also be both, or neither. And it doesn't really matter.
Josh Thole, Lucas Duda, Justin Turner: The Hogwarts Professors
You might forget these guys because they lack the star power or upside of a David Wright or a Harry Potter, but they are, as Professor McGonnagal says in the final book "quite good at magic." Now Thole, Duda and Turner aren't really "quite" good at anything, but they are solid at some stuff and would all appear to be, at worst, decent halves of a platoon.
Dillon Gee: Hestia Jones
A dependable background contributor whom we know nothing about. Jones is fighting the good fight along with the rest of the good guys, but doesn't get the same credit. Likewise, Gee seems like he could be a good pitcher for the back-end of the Mets rotation long-term, but we're not looking at a star here. Still, you need live bodies whether putting together a contender in the National League or fighting an androgynous, seemingly immortal villain.
Ruben Tejada: Arabella Fig
She's a squib, meaning she has no magic, but still kicks it with the magical folks. Similarly Ruben Tejada, it seems, lacks the ability to hit baseballs, but still kicks it with people who do.
Not the Core, But Worth Noting
Carlos Beltran: Dumbledore
The shadow that hangs over everything. In the final Harry Potter it's all like "Hey, remember that time Dumbledore wasn't dead and Voldemort hadn't taken over the world, and we didn't appreciate that?" For the 2012 (and maybe part of 2011) Mets, it'll be like "Hey remember that time we had one of the best players in baseball and didn't appreciate it?"
Voldemort: Shane Victorino
Or Chase Utley. Both these guys are abhorrent and weird looking, just like Voldemort.
Cole Hamels: Bellatrix Lestrange
Also abhorrent and really feminine. Actually, Bellatrix Lestrange is kind of a bad-ass and far more manly than Cole Hamels.
Jimmy Rollins - Draco Malfoy
You hate him, but unlike the rest of the bad guys, he's not really outright evil per se. Allow me to finally admit that I think Jimmy Rollins is kind of cool. Incredibly overrated as a player, but seems like a fun guy to have on your team. And with that startling confession, consider this, The End.