Monday's Birthday Shout-Out: Scott Kazmir's Awesomely Bad Cartoon

Scott Kazmir's professional career hasn't quite gone the way a lot of people imagined. Sure he's been a two-time All-Star and was the American League's strikeout champion in 2007, surely nothing to sneeze at but not what the Tampa Bay Devil Rays were hoping for when they traded for him back in 2004.

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.

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