Are You Talkin' to Me ?
True tales of the similarly named
RYAN BRAUN / RYAN BRAUN
BREWERS THIRD BASEMAN / ROYALS RELIEVER
BOTH ARE a shade over six feet, 200-plus pounds and Caucasian, but, explains the Brewers Ryan Braun, "I'm much better looking." That didn't stop the printing of a baseball card with the Royals' Braun on the front and the Brewers' Braun on the back. K.C.'s Braun says fans will interweave their pasts. "[Someone will think] I went to Miami [Brewer Braun], transferred to UNLV [Royal Braun], was drafted in the first round [Brewer Braun], then became a pitcher in the minors [Royal Braun]," he says. "It's pretty cool -- bordering on science fiction." The Brewers' Rookie of the Year candidate Braun is hitting .350 with 18 homers, while his Royals' counterpart has a 7.88 ERA. Still, Milwaukee's Braun won't trash-talk about a potential on-field showdown with K.C.'s Braun. All he knows, he says, "is that Ryan Braun will win."
TONY PEÑA / TONY PEÑA JR.
DIAMONDBACKS RELIEVER / ROYALS SHORTSTOP
FORGIVE THE pitcher for being hesitant to discuss his name -- he's the guy who got in trouble for signing his 2002 D-Backs contract with his nephew's name. Then, he was Adriano Rosario, 17. Now, after returning to his native Dominican Republic to straighten things out, he's 25 with a 1.95 ERA. The 6' 1'', 220-pound righty is also "bigger than me," says the slimmer (6' 2'', 180 pounds) Peña Jr., son of the ex-big-league catcher and current Yankees coach. Yet the Royal who had just two homers in 400 career at bats, "hit a home run off [Peña] in winter ball. He throws 97, 98. I got lucky." The pair haven't met, but they've often been confused by fans, and Arizona's Peña recalls an autograph-seeker presenting him with a card of Kansas City's Peña. Did he again sign something under false pretenses? Says Peña: "No."
Hey, publicity wherever you can get it, I guess.
POSTSCRIPT: If you do a Google Image search for "Ryan Braun Brewers," you'll find a mug shot of him above the green-texted website sports.espn.go.com. Click on it and it'll lead you here. The Brewers Braun is still pictured at the top. Click on the picture again, however, and... voila! Royals Braun! It's magic.