Washington Nationals: Players Compared To Anime Characters
By Max Rayman
Max Scherzer: Monkey D. Luffy
Monkey D. Luffy is the main protagonist in the pirate anime One Piece and captain of his crew, the Straw Hats. Along with his crew, he sails the toughest sea, the Grand Line, looking for the greatest treasure– the One Piece. Luffy also strives to become the King of the Pirates, while avoiding the Navy (the World’s military charged with hunting down pirates). Along his travels, Luffy and his friends have batted many powerful adversaries. Luffy will always take on the strongest person amongst the opponent’s group.
A main trademark of Luffy is his insane appetite, usually eating everything in front of him in one sitting. Luffy is headstrong and hates to be sidelined, and will put his body on the line to protect his crew. This has been seen throughout the series whenever he activates his ability, Gear Second. When he activated this ability against Rob Lucci, the later comments that Luffy is slowly reducing his lifespan by his constant use of the move. Despite the immense risk, Luffy will always put his crew above everything else.
Max Scherzer is the ace of the Nationals starting rotation and arguably the best pitcher in the league. Where Luffy will always take on the toughest foe, more than not Scherzer will get the ball with the game on the line.
Back in October, Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post wrote a piece where he interviewed Max Scherzer’s past catchers dating back to his college days. The catchers detailed what it’s like catching the future Hall of Famer. Brad Flander’s caught the 25-year-old back at Missouri in 2005 and went into depth about the pitcher not backing down and his appetite. Dougherty wrote,
"“Flanders was a senior when the hard-thrower arrived at Missouri, itching to pitch. One day, the veterans challenged Scherzer to take down three Chipotle burritos in one sitting. “Just because everyone said he couldn’t do it,” Flanders remembered before adding: “And he didn’t skimp on any of the toppings.”"
Scherzer isn’t one to shy away from pitching while injured. On June 18, 2019, Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice, which broke his nose. The next day, Mad Max was on the mound and threw a gem. He threw seven scoreless innings, giving up four hits, walked two, and struck out 10. If this wasn’t enough for you, Scherzer was scheduled to pitch Game Five of the World Series. Instead, his start was scratched due to neck spasms. When he woke up, he couldn’t even move his arm over his head or turn his neck. One cortisone shot later, Scherzer was the teams starting pitcher for the decisive Game Seven. Scherzer gutted out five innings, as he gave up two runs and struck out three. Scherzer wasn’t his usual dominant self, but he was able to contain the Astros enough for his offense to take care of the rest.
Luffy is the captain of the Straw Hats, where Scherzer anchors the team’s pitching staff. Both go above and beyond for their respective organizations and put up explementary performances. The two are towards the top in their respective professions and hate being sidelined.