Pimp My Baller’s Ride

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Of course, Puig is a client.

Spring training is not just about a ball player showing up in the Best Shape of His Life. It’s also about him showing up with his car in the Best Shape of Its Life.

To many of us, a car is functional. It gets us from Point A to Point B. We buy it based on its gas mileage, price range, and specifications. It is a necessity in our modern lifestyle, not unlike a vacuum cleaner or a computer. To others, it is an extension of our personality. If you drive a beige Toyota Camry (redundant, all Camrys are beige regardless of their actual color), I’m going to guess that you are practical, perhaps a tad conservative, and you don’t care about trends. If you drive a red Corvette, I’m truly sorry about your penis. Try Viagra.

For ball players, a regular car that you can drive off the lot like a mere mortal is no longer sufficient. When you make more money in one game than most people make in a year, custom, baby, is the only way to go. Your car says you are a god who can throw a baseball 100 mph or hit it 460 feet.

This recent article in the New York Times, Where the Stars Get Their Ride, written by Tim Rohan, about ball players and their auto shop of choice, Auto Firm, was an interesting read. Auto Firm is a shop in Miami that specializes in custom vehicles for the very affluent. Alex Vega, proprietor, counts over 300 (?!) baseball players as clients, from the richest major leaguers to the unknown minor leaguers. Way to blow that signing bonus, Meat.

“Spring training is when business gets the craziest because everybody wants to show up with something new,” Vega said. “I’m already getting calls. I’m already preparing cars.”

Clients include Pablo Sandoval, who went in to trad in his Porsche Panamera (mileage on it: 15,563–I don’t know what he was waiting for, I replace mine after 10,000 miles), order new rims for his two Range Rovers, and discuss “the next car he would buy — a 2016 Rolls-Royce Ghost.” According to Car Connection, the MSRP for the Ghost 4 door Sedan EWB is only $329,325. It’s 13 mpg City/21 mpg Hwy and you know they’re lying, but for some reason I don’t think Panda cares about gas mileage. You’d think a Panda would care.

One of Vega’s best sellers is a custom Mercedes limousine van, owned by Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada, Juan Uribe, Yoenis Cespedes, Hanley Ramirez, Ivan Nova, and Starlin Castro. Mi gente. Why you so tacky? Then again, I suppose: “If you grew up with holes in your zapatos, you’d celebrate the minute you was havin’ dough.”

Rohan writes:

The back of the limousine features a bar on one side, two reclining chairs, a wraparound leather couch, two big-screen televisions and a home theater system. It seats seven people comfortably, costs about $175,000 and is meant to host a party on the go. “It’s like you’re in a hotel room,” Vega said, giving a version of his sales pitch. “They can smoke tobacco, the cigars. They can drink, they can party with their friends, and nobody knows they’re in there.”

Add a small kitchen and a bathroom, and I might just live there.

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My new home (Credit: NYT)

Vega himself is a self-made man, the son of Cuban immigrants who worked his way up from changing tires at a Firestone to owning a shop that sells luxury cars to people who don’t know what to spend their money on anymore. I have to admit, some of his vehicles are pretty impressive. My id says, “Wow, some of those cars are so cool.” My superego says, “What a waste of money.” And my ego says, “Stop talking to yourself. You are crazy.”

So if you grew up with holes in your zapatos, what would you drive when you got to the majors or that signing bonus? A custom Mercedes limo, Daniel Norris’ van, or Kevin Keirmaier’s 1999 Dodge Caravan in dark green? How about Bryce Harper’s tricked out ’69 Camaro?

I confess–I love fast cars, low blow to Corvette aficionados aside (I actually like the Stingrays and C3s myself) but could never justify purchasing an exotic like a McLaren or Lamborghini if I were a wealthy baseball player, in the same way I dislike ostentatious homes. I’ll rent one to know what it’s like to drive one because AWESOME! but a reasonable and cute Nissan 370z*–it just has to look fast–would suit me fine for my everyday commute to my gig as a mercurial closer. (Fastball, man. I bring the heat. You know it’s coming, but you can’t hit it and if you make fun of my car…) I would also splurge on an old car. A 1964 Thunderbird in powder blue. And I’d have fun, fun, fun…

(*I could own a 370z now but I am told it is against the “law” to put car seats and children in the hatch.)

Let’s hear your pimped out ride.

49 thoughts on “Pimp My Baller’s Ride

        • I’ve been the commish for a league with much bigger asspains than anyone here.

          My only thing is that I can’t/won’t play for real money. I’ve got a bit of a gambling issue and I don’t want to open that door even a crack. I’d end up balls deep in that DFS shit if I gave myself even the slightest excuse…

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        • I can set up a league. I’m a commissioner in a league I’ve been running for about 11 years now. Find us 10 or more participants and agree on a scoring system (head to head points or Roto) and I’ll make the rest happen.

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        • No money is fine by me, mainly because no money is what I have to spare, what with one kid starting university in the fall and another only 3 years behind.

          We can play for bragging rights and the chance to trash-talk each other. 🙂

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        • H2H is ass.

          Auction would be nice, but only if it’s going to be a keeper. What’s the point of getting a good deal on a guy if you can’t rub it in people’s faces for a few years before the escalators kick in and make it no longer a good deal?

          Also…I’d rather not have the league on yahoo.

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        • I just said dynasty. Keeper. I want to rub it in I got somebody for a dollar. Penalties for keeping someone long term. Head to head is fun. Trash talking.

          I hate snake draft regardless. I like everybody in play at all times. The psychology behind it is fun.

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        • I’m down with no money, but weekly lineup changes, please. I got out of fantasy baseball because the day-to-day was too much to keep up with.

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        • There’s a woman who knows what she wants. I’d say 5×5 roto with quality starts instead of wins and saves+holds. 12 teams preferably and auction. Dynasty/keeper is fine but it’s very difficult to have managers return year to year. I’m sure we can come up with a low cost/no cost apropos trophy.

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        • I used to play in a league that used these stats…5×5, but with some tweaks from the standard cats.

          Pitchers – Quality Starts, Net Saves+Holds (saves+holds minus blown saves), K/BB, ERA, WHIP

          Hitters – OBP, SLG, Net SB (SB minus caught stealing), Runs, RBI

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        • Oooh, I’d love a travelling trophy. I can go on my desk right next to my fantasy football trophy. Also, boo SV/HLD. Does anybody let us use WPA?

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        • It’s an option. It’s a bitch to go through and check matchups every day, so you pick your best setup for the week and go with it. Sucks with injuries, obviously.

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  1. Firstly, Who is interested in some Fan Interference fantasy baseball?
    Secondly, Rotisserie or head to head?
    Thirdly, categories?
    Fourthly, what kind of draft auction, snake, slow snake?
    Finally, redraft or keeper/dynasty?

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  2. Pingback: Let Us Be Your Fantasy | Fan Interference

  3. AHEM. PIMPING A RIDE.

    If I were a professional baseball player, the kind that made bank and could afford it, I’d get me an Aston Martin Vanquish carbon black coupe edition.

    That’s right. All black everything, son.

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  4. If I’m 24 year old Mike Trout with tons of money to spend (and a deathwish):

    Koenigsegg One:1
    ’87 Porsche RUF CTR Yellowbird
    ’65 Shelby Cobra

    But with a family and kids:

    Those Range Rovers are nice. Btw, I really want to know who ordered the matte black Smrt Car…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I never really got the expensive car thing. I mean I’d probably rent one for a week just to pal around, but other than that it just seems like a gigantic waste of money. Give me a nice BMW or something for daily driving and I’m good to go.

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    • I’m with you, scouts. I can’t justify it. I’d rent a superduper expensive car because I do love driving really fast, but for every day driving, I’d just get myself in trouble.

      I had a roommate when I was younger who owned a C4. He developed severe sciatica and couldn’t get into his car. I had a boring old Toyota Corolla, what I thought I could afford at the time. he could get into my car without tears–he was in that much pain. Being a loving and thoughtful roommate, I traded cars with him while his back healed. Here I am in my 20s, driving a little red Corvette. Yes, cue Prince. I was so careful with her. He took such good care of his car, and he loved her. It was his car, but I grew to love her too. I would talk to her. Slow down, baby. You’re much too fast. One tap of the accelerator, and she’d want to fly. One late Tuesday night, I asked Jim, “Can I take her out on the bridge?” He knew what I wanted to do. The Howard Frankland would have no traffic. I wanted to drive her as fast as she could go. He nodded and said, “Be careful.” I drove her over at legal speed to the Tampa side. No cops, no traffic, empty. I got off, turned around and drove back to St. Petersburg. I got up to 137 mph before I got scared. She was shaking. It was one of the most thrilling experiences of my life.

      He would eventually have to sell her for financial reasons. It broke my heart.

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