1) Shane Walsh
3) Rick Grimes
4) Daryl Dixon
6) Maggie Greene-Rhee
7) Glen Rhee
8) Tara Chambler
9) Carl Grimes
TWD Cast: Shane Walsh
Before Rick Grimes (we'll get to him in a little bit) found his estranged wife, bratty son and the rest of the band on the run, Shane Walsh was the leader of the group. The rest of the group loved him, and as fans of the show, it was hard to imagine things being better than the way they were with Shane. Of course, once Rick arrived, Shane was no longer the star player. He remains a vital part of the group, but he didn't quite live up to the potential that early TWD fans dreamed of. A jacked, tan guy with some facial scruff? Yeah, that sounds like Markakis.
TWD Cast: Hershel Greene
Buck Showalter is too old to field a position, so he uses his wisdom and experience to guide those that are still capable of playing. Hershel Greene, the bible-quoting, farmer is The Walking Dead counterpart. Grey hair? Check. Walks with a slight limp? Check. Has the respect and admiration of everyone in the group? Check. One would hope that if a real-life zombie breaks out, they are in the same camp as the O's Skipper.
O's Player: Ryan Flaherty
TWD Cast: Carl Grimes
Carl is the most frustrating character ever. He's definitely not a veteran, but he's not a rookie, either. Stuck in this awkward phase of his career, Carl spends most of him time teasing the audience with flashes of promise. The jury is out whether he will ever grow into his role as a prominent group member, but for now, he's kind of just along for the ride. Here's to hoping 2014 is their year!
O's Player: Matt Wieters
TWD Cast: Glen Rhee
Oh, you were expecting Wei-Yin Chen? Like Wieters, we've been able to watch Glen mature from a young kid, to a seasoned veteran. Without Glen, Rick Grimes would have died that first day in Atlanta. Without Georgia native, Matt Wieters, the Orioles would be way worse off. Maybe they don't put up the gaudy offensive statistics that some of their teammates do, but without their intelligence and leadership, the group wouldn't have made it this far. Their intangibles have made them as valuable as they are lovable.
O's Player: Manny Machado
TWD Cast: Michone "Only The Weak Need Last Names"
Machado burst onto the scene in late 2012, and by May 2013, he was the deadliest member of the lineup. Michone is Manny's TWD equivalent. Ever since joining the group, she has been the most consistent offensive weapon. Every time she swings that sword, you're just thankful that she's one of the "good guys". Is there any way to give them each a 10-year extension? Sure, it's risky, but I don't want to live in a world where the two of them are playing for another team.
TWD Cast: Daryl Dixon
Despite being the toughest and most powerful members of their respective teams, these men also share the honor of "Heart Throb". Bitches love Daryl's backwoodsy-trailer charm, and Baltimore ladies can't get enough of Crush Davis. They're both rock stars, and their enemies are learning to avoid them at all costs. Luckily for Davis, he gets to go home to Mrs. Davis, instead of the perpetually whining Beth...
Quick tangent: The actress that plays Beth is 28, so it's ok to look, guys. However, in the show, she's 16 at the beginning of Season 2. By that math, she is 18 when she is with Daryl in the woods, so Ricky Bobby's prayer, "Please be 18", has been answered. I think the writers should probably work in that information, so the interactions between the two are less awkward and uncomfortable. Also, for those of you that are curious, the "age of consent" in the state of Georgia is 16. Don't ask how I know that, just accept that it is the law.
Back to Davis/Daryl, two more lovable characters do not exist.
O's Player: Nelson Cruz
TWD Cast: Tyreese "The Hammer"
Adhering to Michone's rule of being too badass to have a last name, Tyreese has "dropped the hammer" on dozens of zombies. While most people require endless rounds of ammunition, Tyreese drives the back of his standard issue hammer into the skull of walkers. He seems to struggle with his temper. Uh, can someone say "'roid rage"? Like Tyreese, Nelly Cruz is new to the team, so it will be interesting to see if his brute strength can save the group, or if his uncontrollable emotion will ruin chemistry.
Quick Tangent: Chad Coleman (Tyreese) is one of the best character actors on TV. If you haven't watched "The Wire", please make that your next binge watching project. "Cutty" Wise, played by Coleman, was my favorite character on a show full of wonderful actors.
O's Player: Jim Johnson
TWD Cast: Lori Grimes
O's Player: Tommy Hunter
TWD Cast: Carol Peletier
After a slow start, Carol has blossomed into a savage, cut-throat survivalist. She didn't last long in her starting role, but her presence has been a relief to the other cast members. If "Big Game" Hunter can come up with as many saves as Carol, he'll be a hero. Also, Daryl and Carol are extremely close on the television show, and Tommy Hunter and Chris Davis were both traded to the Orioles from the Rangers.
O's Player: Adam Jones
TWD Cast: Rick Grimes
What more can you ask for? These guys are both the face of their franchise, their group's leader and have been their team's MVP for much of their tenure. The expectations are sky high for Rick and Jones, and people demand perfection from the two of them. Heavy is the head that wears the crown, so both are targets of misplaced criticism. When you step back and look at the big picture, neither TWD or the Orioles would be in the position they're in without their leaders. Rick can be a little bit emotional, sure. Jones will miss a cut-off man or ten, sure. But if you take Rick away from the equation, and Jones out of center field, you're looking at an abysmal result.
TWD Cast: Maggie Greene-Rhee
Sometimes a player can be so reliable, that they become overlooked. Maggie and Hardy have both been solid since joining their groups. Their assets transcend on-field performance; they are extraordinarily popular in the clubhouse. Sometimes being well liked by teammates is even more important than an inability to hit behind runners or get on base, while simultaneously blocking the greatest shortstop of the twenty-teens to take his rightful spot on the diamond... On second thought, let's trade Maggie for anything we can get. #MichoneForShortstop
O's Player: David Lough
TWD Cast: Tara Chambler
Chambler is new to the squad. Things haven't worked out for her so far, and she couldn't emerge as a cornerstone for her last team. With most of her twenties behind her, 2014 will be a make or break year for this girl. McLouth was a fan-favorite, but like Tara, David Lough should be able to give the team a much needed spark.
If you know of any parallels, make sure to tweet them to @OBPpodcast with #OsTWD.
Sal Rinaudo is a wannabe GM, and Towson University Intramural Hall of Famer, that spends way too much time watching the NBA. Follow him @SalTeamSix.