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Around the Water Cooler: If They Weren’t Baseball Players...

Who’s bringing home Olympic gold, and how?

Washington Capitals v Vegas Golden Knights Photo by David Becker/NHLI via Getty Images

Excluding Joel Embiid and James Harden’s Sixers, sports in Philadelphia right now are unenjoyable, to say the least. Football is out of season, the Flyers are miserable, and it’s looking more and more each day like the Major League Baseball season is going to start late or may not even happen at all. So, besides Ben Simmons’s upcoming return to the Wells Fargo Center next week (will he play or not?), what sports-related topics are left for the office water cooler?

With the help of TGP’s Henry and Leo, I pondered this question and came up with a few possibilities. Of course, we avoided saying that any of them would play Olympic baseball – that’s just cheating!

Bryce Harper – Ice Hockey

This choice seems a bit easy to predict, which is why I’m starting off with it. Harper is a huge fan of ice hockey, especially his hometown Vegas Golden Knights. His elite athleticism and clutch playmaking ability would lend themselves well to a power play unit, and his single-swing power could make for a deadly slapshot.

Didi Gregorius – Fencing

This choice also seems obvious, but how could I choose anything else for someone who is literally a Knight? More than that, though, fencing is both a sport and an art form and Didi Gregorius is both athletic and artistic.

Rhys Hoskins – Curling

I wish I could say this pairing was my own creation, but I have to give credit to Henry for this brilliant suggestion. As it was pointed out by twitter user @alexissantoraaa the US men’s curling team has Dad-vibes through the roof. And nothing screams “Classic American Dad” more than a terrible mustache. I’m all for Rhys bringing back the ‘stache and going for gold with Team USA in 2026.

Aaron Nola – Triathlon

Nola does a lot of hiking, both in and out of season, which means he has the stamina for a grueling endurance challenge. What sport fits that bill more than the triathlon? More importantly, this is a solo sport which means that he won’t be subjected to a Swiss cheese defense or an absentee offense.

Jose Alvarado – Javelin

This was Leo’s suggestion, and I have to say I think we could have an Olympic medalist on our hands here. It’s no secret that Alvarado can throw some heat, take a look at this Beyond the Box Score piece from last April about how great he is when he’s at his best. With a little bit of technique training, Alvarado could definitely make the switch to javelin. Paris, 2024?

J. T. Realmuto – You Decide

The only player on the entire roster who received suggestions from all three contributors to this discussion was Realmuto, and all three of us chose a different sport. One thing we had in common, though, was that we chose sports that require a well-rounded athletic ability. Strength, speed, agility, and precision are all necessary to succeed at the highest level of these sports, and J.T. has them all.

So, I’ll leave this up to you in the comments. Which sport would J.T. Realmuto compete in at the Olympics: Wrestling, Bobsled, Decathlon, or something else entirely?

What other Phillies players do you think would succeed at the Olympics, and which sport would they be best at? Discuss with your coworkers, family, or friends and share your best (or worst) ideas!