It is very debatable topic on who is the “face of the franchise” for all the professional sports teams in the Bay Area.
Who is the one player on each team that is the building block of the organization, the player that the fans love to root for, the player that sells their memorabilia, the player that a fan associates with that team?
Surely, the player dubbed as the face of the team has to be a major contributor in the statistics part of the game. But what else has to go into being classified as the display player of a franchise? Should he be a vocal leader? Have to play a certain position? To be inclined as the cornerstone of an organization, should he be a young and promising player, or the veteran who has played for a long period of time?
Heck, in this day in age, should the player be active on social media?
For some teams in the bay, it is easy to pick out the certain player who has that “it” factor. For many though, it was extremely difficult.
I’m definitely not asking all of you to agree with the players that I have chosen. Here is my best shot.
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS: BUSTER POSEY
The only “no-doubter” decision that I have to make. In a little over three seasons, Posey has caught the final strike for two World Series championships, won the NL Rookie of the Year in 2010, and won comeback player of the year and NL MVP in 2012.
Posey is locked up for the next nine seasons to be the face of the organization, so this is an easy choice. If Tim Lincecum had remained a Top 5 pitcher in baseball during 2012 and 2013, then it gets a little interesting
OAKLAND ATHLETICS: YOENIS CESPEDES
The Athletics may have been the hardest choice. The problem is that there is no clear cut Posey or face of the franchise.
Yet they are still sitting tied for first in the AL West – that’s what makes them so special, they define the term “playing as a team” as well as any franchise in sports. I have to take somebody though, and Cespedes is my choice.
He is having a below-par season – but when he comes to the plate, fans want to watch. If he can improve his pitch selection, his potential is high.
Bartolo Colon is too old and Josh Donaldson doesn’t have a full season under his belt. Plus, with the A’s never receiving the amount of media attention they deserve, Cespedes’ HR Derby outburst got his name known.
OAKLAND RAIDERS: DARREN MCFADDEN
It is hard to pick the face of a franchise that has performed very poorly for many seasons. McFadden seems to get off to a strong start every season until an injury sidelines him for a big portion of the season. If he can stay healthy an entire season, he is the best player in the Oakland Raiders organization
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: COLIN KAEPERNICK
You could go back and forth on whether Colin Kaepernick, a QB with only 10 starts under his belt, or Patrick Willis, the best LB in the NFL should be the face of the franchise.
It seems absurd to give the title to Kaepernick, who has yet to prove himself over a full season versus Willis, who has been an All Pro and Pro Bowler every single season of his 6 year NFL career.
But Kaepernick has shown the dual ability to blow by everybody on the field with his legs along with his absolute cannon of a throwing arm. His potential is as great as any player in the NFL. The 49ers would not have one of the best defenses in the league without Willis, but no matter how lights out he plays, without a solid QB, the Niners aren’t going anywhere.
Advantage (slightly): Kaepernick
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: STEPHEN CURRY
Along with Posey, this should be pretty easy to decide. Sure, David Lee was selected to the Western Conference All Star team. But even he has said that the Warriors wouldn’t be where they are if it wasn’t for Stephen Curry.
In a season in which his ankles allowed him to play 80 of 82 games, Curry went from a good to great player, and it won’t be long until he is one of the NBA’s elite. He is the heart of a very young and promising core for Golden State. He can shoot better than any player in the game and he will be the player that leads Golden State to great places.
SAN JOSE SHARKS: JOE THORNTON (not for long)
This was the hardest decision to make. There is Thornton, who has been a fan favorite ever since his trade from Boston in 2006. There is Patrick Marleau, who has played with San Jose for 15 seasons and counting. There is Joe Pavelski, who has played seven seasons with the Sharks, but has still got youth on his side.
And then there is Logan Couture, who may have the most potential out of everybody, but hasn’t proven it for many years. I’ll give the edge to the captain, but it could go anyway. Who will take over the playoffs and lead San Jose to the ever so elusive Stanley Cup?
Posey and Curry seem to be pretty safe bets.
All the other teams? That’s up for you to decide.
Topics: Buster Posey, Colin Kaepernick, Darren McFadden, Golden State Warriors, Joe Thornton, Oakland Athletics, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, San Francisco Giants, San Jose Sharks, Stephen Curry, Yoenis Cespedes