My All-Time Favorite Players

While Jim Hendry and the front office continue doing absolutely nothing, I try to come up with blog material. Here's one just for fun, a list of my all-time and current favorite players to watch. This has little to do with my generally numbers obsessed way of analyzing the game, rather just the guys I like to watch play. Now my all-time list was heavily influenced when I was a child and the players that had cool batting stances or pitching motions that we would then try and emulate during recess and after school and of course the Cubs. As I get older, I tend to have a finer appreciation for the more talented players that just make the game look easy.

All-Time

C - Tony Pena

1B - Will Clark

2B - Ryne Sandberg

SS - Tony Fernandez

3B - Ron Cey

LF - Rickey Henderson/Tim Raines

CF - Bob Dernier

RF - Sammy Sosa

Pitchers - Rick Sutcliffe, Nolan Ryan, Greg Maddux, Kent Tekulve

Honorable Mentions: Ken Griffey Jr., Shawon Dunston, Pete Rose, Jody Davis, Benito Santiago, Mark Grace

Current

C - Joe Mauer

1B - Lance Berkman

2B - Chase Utley

SS - Troy Tulowitzki

3B - Aramis Ramirez

LF - Grady Sizemore

CF - Carlos Beltran

RF - Vladimir Guerrero

Pitchers - Francisco Rodriguez, Carlos Zambrano, Chris Carpenter, Roy Halladay, Johan Santana

I cheated on the outfielders because I can't think of one left fielder in baseball that I enjoy watching play, maybe Carl Crawford, but I've maybe watched 5 Tampa games in my lifetime. Vlad is a bit of a cheat as well since he's a DH now, but his hacktastic, yet amazing ability to make contact are sure fun to watch. On principle I should hate all Cardinals - but Carpenter, much like Halladay -  just make pitching look too easy.

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How did Vlady manage to beat out Milton Bradley for current right fielder??

will clark over mark grace?

get the hell off my internet.

props for r.henderson...the game needs more of him.

I collected Rickey Henderson baseball cards as a kid, not sure why I picked him, but it went from there.

I added Grace as an honorable mention, a glaring oversight. But Will Clark had the sweetest swing and the cool batting stance.

yeah, they were both awesome. "i'm will and i'm just thrilled to be here!"

will clark's retirement went with barely a blip of notice given how walk-on-water popular he was in the late 80s/early 90s. it was odd. he definitely had some more life in his body and his bat.

Clark and Wally Joyner were both guys who had really good power, that suddenly went away for no apparent reason?

so you're hypothesis is that these 2 guys stopped taking 'roids right when everyone started taking them?

the ball was juiced or whatever they did in '87, otherwise both their HR totals are pretty consistent with an aging player.

No hypothesis, just an observation.

wally world was a jackass as his career progressed (and even more after retirement) while will clark had that whole tony gwynn/mark grace/etc. type fan love.

Where's Julio Franco? Not only do you get to see his batting stance, but there was also the fans yelling "Ole!" as another ball scooted beneath his glove on it's merry way to right field.

hahahah!

via suntimes...

santo reup's for 3yr in the booth.

"No!!!! (gibberish)"

*toupee joke*
*more gibberish*

It's like getting a hitting coach for free~!!

Neyer's top 100 of the decade:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?i...

wth? *feigns anger over someone*

Z is #44, Derrek Lee #58, Sosa #65, Maddux #73, Ramirez #76, Garciappara #82, Floyd, #83 among Cubs (hopefully I got them all).

Hard to believe no matter how bad Soriano's defense was, he doesn't make the top 100.

soriano is a very selfish player who's not fond of change...who happens to have a good public attitude while doing it. nomar garciappara approves.

Jim Edmonds is #12. I know he only had one year with the Cubs, but the picture Neyer used has Edmonds in a Cubs cap. I'm just saying...

oh yeah Edmonds, hard to ever consider him a Cub...

on "verge" of 1 year deal with Angels for $6.5M according to Olney/Stark.

Halladay in Philly taking a physical in anticipation of a trade. Cliff Lee supposedly being put on the trading block. Possible three team trade between Toronto-Philly-?.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/12/roy-hal...

sounds like they want an extension hammered out with Halladay first and if so, may trade Lee who doesn't want to take any type of discount.

I guess if they can get a good package for Lee, not a terrible idea. I'd probably ride out the Halladay, Lee, Hamels train though for 2010 and get the draft picks for Lee (assuming they get Halladay signed to an extension and only have money for one of them).

So let's see if I have this figured out:

Red Sox get John Lackey
Yankees trade for Curtis Granderson
Phillies about to trade for Roy Halladay

....and the Cubs are "interested" in Matt fucken Capps.

You tell me who the legitimate big market ball clubs are, and who the obvious pretender is. The Cubs will NEVER win the world series. Ever.

ooooookay.

they're also interested in Mike Cameron, Rick Ankiel and Marlon Byrd, so I don't know what your problem is...

/sarcasm

I don't know if I'd go that far, but it's no secret they're pretty cash-strapped. The budget is $140 mil and it ain't budging. Hendry's left himself little to no wiggle room with the contracts he's made over the last three years or so, and it doesn't sound like Ricketts has a lot of leftover cash after paying Mr. Zell through the nose.

I imagine the immediate future will be more like this than like 2006-2008. I guess it's a good thing our farm system is getting better.

100m is...

soriano/aram/dlee...3 legit power hitters in the middle of the lineup...that sucks, why not 8 top to bottom? boo!

Z/dumpster/lilly...no true OMFG ace, but none are trash and none are easy to play against

bradley/fuku...high paid support crew

there's some overpriced contracts in there, but those guys along with the lower-paid support crew are far from trash.

...and it seems the team is dead set about adding another pen arm...k.colero, m.capps, etc. independent of the bradley situation.

team isn't sunk even though there's some guys with overpriced contracts holding some 2010 things back.

I wasn't saying we're sunk, although I do find myself much less hopeful going into this season than I have for several years.

I was merely saying that while we've got a decently good roster, it's an overpaid one, and there doesn't seem to be a lot of money available to improve it.

I think we could have done more to improve it if either A) Hendry hadn't decided Bradley was the answer or B) Hendry hadn't decided by Sept. 1 he was going to dump Bradley fuck all.

Both of those situations, and currently the latter of the two, have kept us out of several potentially beneficial happenings.

sorry, i was just tagging along on the thread, not saying you're implying we're sunk or something.

my bad.

You're fuckin' right it's your...

J/k. No harm, no foul.

hahah

Cash strapped? That miserable Ricketty family just raised ticket prices $15 million and erected two goofy billboards in left field that should bring in more millions. The Cubs have money.

$15 million? That's $5 a ticket. That certainly doesn't fit under "small percentage". Any source for that info?

if that article is to be believed, they raised the prices mostly on premium tickets which are mostly resold by season ticket holders.

people keep buying them, they'll keep raising the prices.

on another note, I don't think if I was the Ricketts, I'd keep handing Hendry the company checkbook to get out of the messes he created.

Thanks. That's not $15 million, particuarly if you take out the 1% tax.

Subsequent to Sullivan's puff piece, this article by Jon Greenburg [ http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/columns/sto... ]
was published at ESPN Chicago. He says,

But overall, according to information from the Team Marketing Report Fan Cost Index survey I have put together the past few years, the average Cubs ticket is up about 10 percent. For the 2009 season, tickets went up 10 percent; for 2008, they were up about 24 percent.

...

The average Cubs ticket this season, not counting the premium seats or the skyboxes, is going to be up about $5, $52.60 from $47.75, compared with last season

$5 a ticket X 3,000,0000 tickets grosses out at $15 million. And that's on top of the previous year's increase.

That's contradictory to the other report, that Tito linked. It would be interesting to hear some of the season ticket holders chime in. This guy's article is a confusing mish-mash when he starts using numbers.

Confusing mish-mash, eh?

FWIW, unlike Paul Sullivan, sports ticket prices is Greenberg's (I misspelled it Greenburg above) niche. He's editor over at Team Marketing Report (www.teammarketing.com) which claims to have been around since 1988. Here's his breakdown of MLB average ticket prices last season.
.

http://teammarketing.com.ismmedia.com/ISM3/st...

Again, according to Jon,

MLB 2010 FCI Early Update According to an early review of the numbers, Team Marketing Report figures the Cubs' average ticket price will increase from $47.75 to about $52.57....

Well, let me explain it to you this way.

If you want people to believe your numbers, don't just start arbitrarily grabbing things and making paragraphs. The best way to back up his information would be to show the ticket prices in a chart, so you coul see the # of tickets in a section and the average price of those tickets.

If the ticket price increase is actually $4.85 which his article says, $.53 of that is going to this increased tax, so it comes out to $4.32. Then the Cubs don't sellout every game, so you would have to look at what seats don't get sold to determine exactly how much extra revenue they expect. But there's no way to get to $15 million. Maybe $13 million.

Then there's also the issue that he didn't seem to verify the prices last year - which would explain why the ticketing department doesn't agree that the % he came up with is correct.

Or it could be this:

Average ticket price represents a weighted average of season ticket prices for general seating categories, determined by factoring the tickets in each price range as a percentage of
the total number of seats in each venue.

So yeah, the numbers don't represent even $13 million. How many season tickets do they sell 22,000?

According to this chart the Cubs attendance was 96.3% of capacity last year. So assuming that doesn't change, 41,160 (Wrigley capacity per Cubs.com) x .963 x a $4.32 increase (your number) x 81 games = $13,866,981. You have to assume that some tickets will be comped, but even assuming they comp a thousand tickets a game the Cubs would still pocket around $13.5 million.

As for figuring out which tickets went unsold, based on my observances I'd say the cheapest tickets -- e.g., the upper-deck foul-line seats -- are the ones most likely to be unsold. So the total might indeed be higher that $13.5 mil.

Thanks for looking that up.

Unfortunately the $4.32 is only for season tickets, and the 2008 numbers were never confirmed, so you can't really conclusively determine anything.

I'm not saying they're on the verge of bankruptcy, but they're not going to be making profit for a while either. That happens when you pay $800 million + for a team.

No love for Pete Rose or George Brett?

Rose was an honorable mention, don't have any problems with Brett, but a guy nicknamed "The Penguin" is gonna win the heart of an 8-yr old....

so far, Phillipe Aumont, Michael Taylor and Dominic Brown have been mentioned going to Toronto, most think they'll end up with 4 prospects.

another tweet was after they sign Lackey, Red Sox will look to move Bucholz to Padres for Adrian Gonzalez.

Two thoughts-
Should Cubs offer Vlad a one year deal?

or

Blow the shit up and trade Z to Angels?

is the NL adopting the DH next year?

otherwise Vlad might have a problem finding at-bats...

Vlad can't play RF in Wrigley?

/waiting for Angel fan wife's response

:-)

He can platoon in right with Aubrey Huff.

Vlad's body too shot to play field anymore?

his knees are done...

turf at Olympic Stadium claims yet another...

Does he have back problems too?

/forgot about knees

yeah, I think so....

http://www.fantasypitchfx.com/DL/injury-tool.php

you can search his DL time here, looks like a variety of ailments, although don't see anything recent about his back.

I don't want anyone playing RF unless they are of GG caliber.

Tired of all these substandard Right fielders keeping the Cubs out of the World Series.

Sign Gary Pettis and stick him in Right.

well I think it's pretty much accepted by Vlad himself that he's looking for a DH job...

Yes.

http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/news/st...

12 teams interested in Capps, some want him as closer, Capps would like a multi-year deal...

so let's forget about that...

http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/3086

Pirates didn't want to pay $3.4M that Capps wanted

http://espn.go.com/chicago/columns/blog/_/pos...

Levine insinuating yet again that deal will be done soon, possibly by end of week.

what? brian roberts isn't a cub yet? what the hell?

So that's where Navigator's $15 million comes from.

Bruce Levine is to accurate reporting what Milton Bradley is to hitting with RISP.

no, not Levine, see #76

It's imminent.

5/85M....

That seems a tad high.

I was sitting out in behind the bullpen in SF years ago when Clark hit a homer and raised his fist as he rounded first. With that, Mike Krukow stood up in the Giants' bullpen, turned to the rest of the seated pitchers and gave the universal hand motion for male self-pleasuring. Apparently despite the pretty swing, not a huge favorite with the teammates.

They should have traded him before he made Kirt Manwaring and Barry Bonds forget how to hit.

http://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/66773...

"serious" talks on 2-yr deal...

Two years guaranteed? Pass.

Now if we can just get someone to sign Byrd maybe Hendry will be saved from himself.

lol, #61

Interesting list, Rob. I would have expected Dawson over Sosa, especially with Raines already listed.

Dawson's on my guys I should like more but they pissed me off during the playoffs...

see Lee Smith and Leon Durham for other examples...

they really want adrian gonzalez, eh?

assuming Lackey and Matsui become official, along with Figgins and Harden so far, we have a grand total of one correct pick.

"The stick" had Harden to Texas for 10.

Do I win anything? I'm hoping for something like a Dusty Baker used toothpick. I could put a bow on it and my Christmas shopping for my brother would be done.

not yet, but you're the clear frontrunner at the moment...

speaking of untouchable...via rotoworld...

"Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun has heard that RHP Kyle Drabek is involved in Monday's three-team blockbuster but not Mariners prospect Phillippe Aumont."

wow.

from ken rosenthal's twitter...

"# Cameron money: Two years, $15.5 million range. 8 minutes ago from web
# Cameron in serious talks with Red Sox on two-year deal. CF or LF unclear. about 3 hours ago from mobile web "

shi...

So does that mean Byrd is the CF target????

What a fucking offseason this has become....

2 years, 15.5 mil would be a decent bargain for Cameron and he'd be good for the Cubs.

Cameron: Not too bad.
Marlon Byrd: Oh, fuck.

Just sayin.

I would think they would want Ankiel before Byrd. While both are below-average offensively Ankiel atleast would give us a LHB for a little balance (which if they start Baker at 2B, the only LHB in the lineup is Fuku. While) and he has an excellent arm. A Sori-Ankiel-Fuku OF would be the best throwing OF in MLB.

I'm sure since common sense points to Ankiel, and many of us would much rather see him in CF than a way-overpaid m byrd...

.....

Byrd it is!!!

Agreed.

http://sports.espn.go.com/boston/mlb/news/sto...

ESPN says they want him for LF. Smart - backing up Elsbury with a starter with Hermida on the bench to cover in the off chance Drew gets hurt or Elsbury/Cameron goes down.

2010:
Cost of their top 4 OFs: $25M (approx.)
Cost of our questionable LF: $19M

So just because you're a big-market team, you don't have to blow money foolishly? Unpossible.

Mike Cameron for $7.5 million to play left field is blowing money.

It really sucks to not be a part of this off season with the exception of trying to see how little of Bradley's contract we have to eat. Just think, if Hendry hadn't been "forced" to dump DeRosa and Marquis' contract in order to sign Bradley, the Cubs could of not only enjoyed having a back up for when A-Ram got hurt and an above average (but overpaid) 5th starter for a season but now would have around $20 million worht of contracts coming off the books. That may have made this offseason more exciting.

boston globe confirms cameron to bos 2yr/15.5m pending physical.

Rick Ankiel's turned back into the pumpkin he always was. Pass.

I'd rather deal with another year of Bradley's BS.

Call me crazy, but I like the edge that Bradley brings to the clubhouse. Keeps the team from getting too relaxed. We just need to keep the reporters away from him or appoint a new DeRosa/Wood to give them a bunch of quotes and satisfy their appetite for soundbites. It needs to be a talkative starting position player or key reliever...

I nominate:
Theriot
Grabow
Soto?
Marshall?
Free Agent?

Who among these men can give the media what they want?

I'm fully on board to keep Bradley and watch the fireworks of 2010. It is the least costly move for the future of the team. We won't have money to sign anyone until next year, and that's assuming that Lee and Lilly provide the salary relief! How unfair that they are the two best players at their respective positions (of course ARam has a player option).
2010 $25M coming off books

After 2011 the Cubs will be out from under Bradley, Fukudome, Grabow (Cubs can also buyout last year of Ramirez contract, not reflected below).
2011 $29M coming off books

I say we give up for the next two years and focus on rebuilding the farm system. Try to get some draft pick compensation once in a while and let the kids develop into a major league ball club. Once there's only $71M committed to Zambrano, Soriano, Ramirez, Dempster, and Samardzija, just think of the possibilities.

Pretty early to give up hope on two seasons, huh?

You are crazy.

The Cubs just raised ticket prices. Why not pressure the worthless Ricketts kids to spend the $15-20 million on players instead of toilet renovations and private jet trips to Naples.

Wow the honeymoon period was pretty short.

White Sox get Juan Pierre from Dodgers for two minor league pitchers. Dodgers pay 1/2 of Pierre's bloated salary.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/12/white-s...

Call me crazy, but I like the edge that Bradley brings to the clubhouse...

Facepalm.

proof that sarcasm can be done poorly
I'll be more deliberate next time

No no, my bad.

Good suggestion. Add that motivational guy that Dusty had, because Lou is not gonna do it. His swagger is losing its grip on his belly.

If we give up on the next two seasons, then let Ryno have the team now. Bring up the kids he's been working with in the minors and clean house now.

The only way to get Lou back in the game is to pressure him. Fans, media, and T.R. all putting him on the edge. The money's been spent. If Lou can't give one more good showing as a manager, then give him the boot. It worked with the Blackhawks...

White Sox trade for Juan Pierre. They're sending two minor leaguers to LA and the Dodgers are picking up $9 million of Pierre's salary for the next two years.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/12/white-s...

If the Dodgers are willing to pay $9 million to get rid of Pierre and the Red Sox are willing to pay $9 million to trade Lowell, what will it cost the Cubs to move Bradley?

I think they're fooling themselves if they think they can find a deal that will only cost them $5 million (the amount I've read).

I still think there is an argument to be made for trading Bradley to Atlanta for Lowe. Bradley fills the Braves' need to dump payroll and for a corner outfielder. A straight up trade will cost the Cubs an additional $24 million dollars over three years.

It looks like the Dodgers are actually paying $10.5 million to rid themselves of Juan Pierre...

http://twitter.com/Buster_ESPN/status/6700534248

The Dodgers are a much better organization than the Cubs.

Tallest midget.

They do develop players light years ahead of the Cubs.

I was recently assessing organizations for an article I'm going to write ranking the performance of MLB teams 1-30 between 2000 and 2009.

Dodgers are a tough nut to crack - they had 9 winning seasons in the decade but only 4 playoff appearances and 0 pennants. So while on some level they've displayed a level of consistency only matched by NYY, BOS, LAA and STL, it's hard for me to agree that they are a "much" better organization than the Cubs. 'Somewhat' seems to be more in line.

I haven't finalized my rankings, but based on early work I expect to put the Dodgers around No. 10 and the Cubs around No. 16.

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