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Five MLB players who should be on 'Dancing With the Stars'

Nick Swisher returns to the dugout after hitting

Nick Swisher returns to the dugout after hitting a solo home run. (May 6, 2012) Credit: AP

There has never been a baseball player on "Dancing With the Stars." Here are five picks for the producers if they decide to finally pick an MLBer next season:

Paul O'Neill
At first glance, the combustible O'Neill and “Dancing With the Stars” seem as made for each other as the Hatfields and the McCoys. But think about it: O'Neill was a very passionate guy. Just ask any water cooler that had the displeasure to sit in the Yankees' dugout during his playing days. If he could channel that passion to pull off a dramatic salsa, or perhaps get down to “Boom Boom Pow,” he might not just be a contestant, but a winner. There's another point—O'Neill is a winner. Five World Series rings will give you that reputation. O'Neill is also a drummer, having jammed out with Bernie Williams in the bowels of Yankee Stadium according to a few reports. That bodes well for him having decent rhythm.

Mike Cameron
Cameron has the perfect biography for this show: (1) He's well liked, (2) He's pretty well known, but not a superstar and (3) the man likes his music. I have a vivid memory of him cranking Michael Jackson in the Red Sox clubhouse before a game against the Yankees in 2010 (someone eventually asked him to turn it down). Cameron is currently an analyst for MLB Network Radio, so he's comfortable being the center of attention even when he doesn't have a bat in his hands.

Pedro Martinez
Pedro is the ultimate performer. He used a devastating fastball/change-up combination to make beautiful music during his playing days. The stylish, outspoken, easy-going, big-game Martinez would be a natural. The bonus: If he wins, he might make another live crack at Karim Garcia. And Karim Garcia could probably use the press.

Nyjer Morgan
The man has an alter ego named “Tony Plush.” Need we say more? Fine, here's some more: (1) He stole 42 bases in 2009 and 34 in 2010, so he obviously has some quick legs; (2) The majority of his starts have come in centerfield, so he's agile. Morgan also often tweets pictures of himself in various costumes (i.e. cowboy), so he's not shy of looking a little foolish, a prerequisite for a DWTS performer.

Nick Swisher
The wacky Swisher might be the easiest player to convince to do DWTS. He's no stranger to television having played bit roles (as himself) on “Better With You” and “How I Met Your Mother.” He's a favorite target of baseball scribes due to his accessibility and usually cheerful demeanor. And if you've ever seen him play right field, you know he has no problem leaping (usually against the wall in vain to try to catch a home run). Don't believe Swisher when he says he doesn't dance.

Honorable mentions:

The Philly Phanatic:

These college baseball players:

And if any of the above need some practice, I'm sure the Tampa Bay Rays' DJ Kitty would be happy to oblige:


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