But that's not to say that the Rays didn't get something awesome out of Kazmir. Namely a comically-bad, but sickeningly entertaining cartoon series titled "Defenders of the Game". Used as in-stadium entertainment during the 2007 season, it featured Kazmir, Rocco Baldelli and Carl Crawford as a trio of superheroes with Joe Maddon and Don Zimmer as their Yoda-like mentors.
Feast your eyes on Part Three of their incredible origin story...
Wow. Looks like the LeBron James cartoon has a lot to live up to.
The "Defenders" fight such evil foes as The Umperor, a maniacal Enrico Palazzo and Dr. Stats, an over-officious SABRmetrician. But considering the Rays finished 30 games below .500 that year, they would have been better served to concentrate their powers on the Yankees and Red Sox.
The next season, Baldelli was evicted from the Clubhouse of Justice because of an extended stay on the disabled list. In his place, the Defenders added Carlos Pena, James Shields and B.J. Upton, which wasn't good for the fans since Upton never seemed gung-ho about chasing down anything evil hit into the gaps.