Holiday movie characters are quirky, unique, and undeniably themselves: an eclectic group of individuals that represent the over-the-top nature of the genre. The varying personalities of these characters together sound a lot like a sports team. With that as a launching point, I felt a comparison between iconic holiday movie characters and current New York Yankees was necessary. Buckle up, we have some holiday cheer to spread.
Clark Griswold (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation)
Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) is an unapologetic family man trying to provide his family with the best Christmas. Despite his best(-ish) efforts, chaos continues to surround Clark and his holiday. Even with bickering in-laws, unexpected visitors, and an unfortunate Christmas lights situation, Griswold remains undeterred and overtly positive about his situation. Does this remind you of someone? Like Clark, Boone continued to remain positive despite everything falling apart last season, likely to his detriment. Everyone has their breaking point though, and Clark goes on an epic holiday rant when he does not receive his Christmas bonus, emblematic of the many tirades and ejections that Boone was involved in on the diamond this year.
Boone and Griswold both have bosses who are stingy about money these days. Time will tell if Boone gets his Christmas bonus in the form of a new contract after next season.
Harry and Marv (Home Alone 2: Lost in New York)
Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner
The villains of the 1992 Christmas comedy film based in New York City—Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern) are partners in crime. Like Harry and Marv, the duo of Brian and Hal have been at it for some time, assembling a set of skills necessary to make money and outlast the competition. Harry and Marv’s knowledge of the craft allowed them early success in their careers. That success was their calling card and appeared to be never-ending, which created an inflated ego tied to how good they were at their job. That was until the duo ran into a foe many years their younger in the form of Kevin McCallister: a clever, witty kid who challenged their stubborn personalities. Even after Harry and Marv were defeated in the first film—they found themselves in a familiar situation in the second—thinking that they could outsmart the competition once again.
What the “Sticky Bandits” (formerly the “Wet Bandits”) soon found out was that if you keep repeating the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome then you will end up running around New York City searching for answers that will never come.
The Grinch (How the Grinch Stole Christmas)
Let’s be honest, DJ never looks happy. His face tells the story of a man who wishes he were any place but hanging out with his teammates. His stern and unwavering appearance speaks to a man who enjoys his alone time away from the fanfare. Maybe it’s a stretch to say he would isolate himself to a snowcapped mountain like the Grinch, but I think we can all picture DJ gazing at the likes of Gleyber Torres and Nestor Cortes goofing around, pondering how individuals could have so much joy.
The real reason DJ is the Grinch is because a small smile or expression of emotion on the field is all it takes to realize that his heart and passion are hiding somewhere on the inside, even though he appears emotionally unavailable on the outside. I hope DJ enjoys the holiday with the people that he likes—which is probably about four people. At least no one’s ever accused him of being “a mean one” or someone they wouldn’t want to touch “with a 39-and-a-half foot pole.”
Santa Claus (The Santa Clause)
Was there any doubt? The man who delivers gifts year after year for the Yankees. Judge runs the show and everyone else is trying to do their part around him. But Judge and Scott Calvin (Tim Allen), were thrust into roles they were likely not ready for early in their careers. Now Judge didn’t startle his predecessor into an unfortunate and early demise to take over his position—but we can think of the release of Alex Rodriguez in 2016 as filling that plot hole in this comparison (not everything is perfect when comparing magical movie characters and baseball players).
It took a year of unexpected changes and reflection for both to settle into their new positions, but they quickly became leaders. Unlike Judge, Scott Calvin had a few run-ins with the law that next year with his Santa antics (are we sure this was a kid’s movie?) but rebounded nicely. Will 2024 be the year that Judge delivers the ultimate gift to Yankee fans? I think he may need some more help from his elves.
One big difference though—Santa would not abide by the Yankee’s facial hair policy.
Editor’s note: Just because Casey inspired me, here’s some rapid-fire additions off the top of my head to pair with his more detailed picks above! - Andrew
Gerrit Cole: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
The pitching staff would be doomed without Cole guiding them through the darkness.
Anthony Rizzo: Buddy the Elf
Rizzo just seems like the gregarious kind of guy who would get along famously with Buddy. This might actually fit someone like the Mets’ Brandon Nimmo even better, but that’s OK.
Nestor Cortes: Frosty the Snowman
Both holly, jolly souls.
Jasson Domínguez: Baby New Year
A gimmie. (Also check out Rudolph’s Shiny New Year if you ever want to be, uh, confused.)
Austin Wells: Polar Express conductor
It’s all about the ‘stache. Just throw some old man glasses on Austin and you have it, all without the occasionally-kinda-creepy Robert Zemeckis animation!