The MLB's Best Players

One of the many criteria people use when voting for the Hall of Fame is the question of, "Was he one of the best players of his time?" or at least, "Was he one of the best players at his position at that time?"

So I was curious who we think may be the best in the game right now? Here's my top 10 list and then top 3 at each position. I purposefully did very little statiscal research on this one, just more of when I think of the best players, this is who I think of.

Top 10 MLB Players

  1. Albert Pujols
  2. Alex Rodriguez
  3. Chase Utley
  4. Tim Lincecum
  5. Hanley Ramirez
  6. Joe Mauer
  7. Roy Halladay
  8. Adrian Gonzalez
  9. Miguel Cabrera
  10. Ichiro Suzuki

Top 3 Catchers

  1. Joe Mauer
  2. Victor Martinez
  3. Brian McCann

Top 3 1st Basemen

  1. Albert Pujols
  2. Adrian Gonzalez
  3. Miguel Cabrera

Top 3 2nd Basemen

  1. Chase Utley
  2. Dustin Pedroia
  3. Ian Kinsler

Top 3 Shortstops

  1. Hanley Ramirez
  2. Derek Jeter
  3. Troy Tulowitzki

Top 3 3rd Basemen

  1. Alex Rodriguez
  2. David Wright
  3. Evan Longoria

Top 3 Left Fielders

  1. Manny Ramirez
  2. Matt Holliday
  3. Ryan Braun

Top 3 Center Fielders

  1. Carlos Beltran
  2. Grady Sizemore
  3. Curtis Granderson

Top 3 Right Fielders

  1. Ichiro Suzuki
  2. Nick Markakis
  3. J.D. Drew

Top 3 Closers

  1. Mariano Rivera
  2. Francisco Rodriguez
  3. Joe Nathan

Top 5 Starting Pitchers

  1. Tim Lincecum
  2. Roy Halladay
  3. Chris Carpenter
  4. Johan Santana
  5. C.C. Sabathia

Honorable Mentions: Mark Teixeira, Ryan Howard, Lance Berkman, Prince Fielder, Jose Reyes, Jimmy Rollins, Josh Beckett, Cliff Lee, Justin Verlander, Johnathan Papelbon, Kevin Youklis, Felix Hernandez, Matt Cain, Jake Peavy, Yadier Molina, Chipper Jones, Aramis Ramirez

Need a Few More Good Seasons: Ryan Zimmerman, Zack Greinke, Jonathan Broxton, Pablo Sandoval

I'm sure I'm forgetting some names, especially in that last category of "Need a Few More Good Seasons", but when you think of the best players playing right now, who comes to mind?


fwiw, has anyone realized the glut of crap playing right field right now in majors? with Magglio and Vlad looking to be on the fast track to DH-ville, your other options are Ethier, Hawpe and his crap defense, and then guys like Cuddyer, Pence, Abreu and Swisher.

I would trade any Cub for Ethier. Any single player straight up. Anyone.

he's getting better and better... probably deserved some sort of mention in my post, but I just don't think of him as one of the best in the game. Another 30 HR season though and that could change.

What makes it funniest, is that the Dodgers got him for...... Milton F'N Bradley

Rob, These are interesting lists what I would be especially interested is getting your take on where you would place the Cubs finest at. So does Geo Soto make the top 10 catchers?

that's's easy to just sort by OPS over 3 years or WAR or whatever your favorite metric, but some of the young players wouldn't be properly valued the top of my head I'd go with... C - Mauer, Martinez, McCann, Posada, Y. Molina (his defense is that good), Napoli are probably my top tier, I'd throw Soto in the second tier because I really think he had an off season, his peripherals are pretty strong although you have to worry about his defense. But I'd put him right on the fringe of the top 10 with guys like Ianetta, Laird, Doumit, B. Molina 1B - so many good first basemen...Lee's top 10 though, somewhere in the mix with Berkman, Fielder and Votto right now, probably should have put him in the honorable mention list. 2B - Baker and Fontenot are somewhere in the bottom 5 right now SS - Theriot, without putting together a full list, I'm guessing the 15-20 mark. I always consider him to be average to just below average. 3B - Ramirez, probably 4th or 5th in the league LF - Soriano, assuming last year was more a hiccup than the beginning of his fall, I'd say he's easily top 10, maybe top 5. Manny, Holliday, Braun with Soriano somewhere in there with Dunn, Crawford, Bay and Carlos Lee. CF - Byrd; he was somehow top 3 in OPS for center fielders last year. Still I'd probably rank him in the 15-20 range. RF - Fukudome - probably in the 10-15 range, right field is pretty weak right now and his defense is a huge plus out there. Zambrano's probably in the top 20 with Dempster and Lilly not too far behind, say top 30. anyway, that's just totally off the top of my head.

I agree on Soto. It seems like the last month to month and a half he started to look a lot better. The arm worries me far more. He's going to have to start nailing runners again.

so off the top of my head for fun, 24 top pitchers Lincecum, Halladay, Carpenter, Sabathia, Santana, Beckett, F. Hernandez, C. Lee, Verlander, Greinke, Peavy, Cain, Haren, Webb, Lackey, Wainwright, Oswalt, Zambrano, Vazquez, Lester, Hamels, J. Johnson, Gallardo, E. Volquez, Burnett Webb could be off the list if his shoulder surgery destroyed him and I'd bunch Z with Lackey, Wainwright, Oswalt, Vazquez and Lester. good primer on UZR with it's advantages and significant drawbacks... crunch calling B.S. coming in 3...2...1...

you shouldn't need me to call b/ own a pair of eyes, too.

while I appreciate your Archie Bunker-like fear of anything new and your outright dismissal of anything after reading a sentence or two about it, I also appreciate a higher understanding of how things work and the process of getting there. certainly people abuse UZR and then WAR values and don't understand their limitations and flaws, but it also has some good things going for it. The same can be said for Rate2 or the Fielding Bible or a scouting report.

actually, ive backed up my problems many times. you can't pull that "archie bunker-like fear" stuff. 1- it's flawed by default based on zones that could care less where a player sets up 2- it doesn't care if a player is injured or hobbled and having a "large sample size" doesn't make up for this. a player who hits the DL rather than playing through can end up with a better can a player who plays a too-deep OF to make up for his physical shortcomings. 3- the amount of difference between how some of the most popular defensive stats vary is embarrassing...UZR, ARM, +/-, etc... 4- it's even more embarrasing on infielders where things like footwork, motion, arm, and comfort turning plays are ignored as if it doesn't matter how many more footwork skills a 2nd/SS needs to actually do his job it's a work in progress, but a work in progress shouldn't be used to back up "facts" so much. it's good that work is being done, but the adoption of these early D stats is not anywhere near stable. "Better than what we had" doesn't work for me for anything but the future and the future is not here for these brands of stats.

1- it's flawed by default based on zones that could care less where a player sets up
true, every defensive metric has that flaw, thank god they're building that camera system
2- it doesn't care if a player is injured or hobbled and having a "large sample size" doesn't make up for this. a player who hits the DL rather than playing through can end up with a better can a player who plays a too-deep OF to make up for his physical shortcomings.
there's not a stat in the world that cares if a player is injured or plays through an injury
3- the amount of difference between how some of the most popular defensive stats vary is embarrassing...UZR, ARM, +/-, etc...
UZR and +/- are somewhat similar, both rely on zones and they can differ on some players. ARM just measures outfield arms, nothing more, not sure why you grouped that in there. There's a set of defensive metrics that use Play-by-play data (UZR, +/-, and PMR) and those that don't and rely on boxscore info (BP, Zone Rating, etc)'ve got to compare apples to apples, and while there are some disagreements, I'm not sure it's pronounced as you might believe. They mostly agree about who is good and who is not, maybe at varying degrees. If one says -1 run and another +1, that's still just a 2 run difference, even if one is below average and another above. And yes, I'm sure you can find 10 examples of big disagreements and probably 100 where they're pretty close.
4- it's even more embarrasing on infielders where things like footwork, motion, arm, and comfort turning plays are ignored as if it doesn't matter how many more footwork skills a 2nd/SS needs to actually do his job
they measure what they did, not how they did it, does a 25 home runs and 95 rbi's not count even if a guy has a funky swing or insane luck and everyone knows it was a fluke year.

"there's not a stat in the world that cares if a player is injured or plays through an injury" it will show up in any range metrics...mostly as a negative. "they measure what they did, not how they did it" tell that to andy fox and mike bordick (esp. in 2002)...who both benefited from stellar defensive stat rankings because they played SS at the lip of the OF grass. they look like f'n gold, not distressed SS's out of their league...which they were. you can't call mike bordick a better SS than a slew of people he paces on many D can call him a SS with an iffy arm who played at the OF grass to make up for defensive liabilities. ...also, i grouped ARM in there because i was calling that one out as a flawed D metrics, too. i'm happy people are working on D stats, but it's so far from something you can count on that i find it pretty easy to dismiss. many of these stats build on a culmination of flawed stats to end up with one push/pull of a flawed stat when blanked applied.

it will show up in any range metrics...mostly as a negative.
that's not a flaw in the stat or its methodology though. It's like saying HR totals aren't counted properly because a guy had a bad wrist.
you can't call mike bordick a better SS than a slew of people he paces on many D can call him a SS with an iffy arm who played at the OF grass to make up for defensive liabilities.
or you could call him a guy that adjusted for his liabilities and still made the plays he needed to...even if his talent wasn't as good as others. Or maybe he just had a lucky year in 2002.

the stat is innocent...the people applying the stat as meaningful are not. btw, i saw bordick play...esp. in 02. he was having a low-error season while playing iffy D. there's a reason he didn't win a gold glove. you won't see that in a stat. there's no grey area on bordick. all you can say about him is he generally caught what he got to. you can also say he let a lot of stuff roll in front of him before he actually got to it. you can also say he wasn't penalized for this in the stats. also, this isn't an isolated's a cause/effect thing based on where bordick played vs. the chances he involved himself in (which was lower than it should have been thanks to his D). if you play like this, you will have good a good defensive stat in the IF making yourself look better on paper than your peers which are legitimately better.

there's a reason he didn't win a gold glove. you won't see that in a stat.
The reason was his name wasn't Omar Vizquel or Alex Rodriguez, GG voting isn't really known for being particularly fair. by Rate2 and UZR he did measure up well in 2002, he was also bloody awful by Rate2 at least the 3 years prior...

Take a look at the UZR's for Orlando Cabrera, Edgar Renteria and David Eckstein for 2004 and 2005. They all swapped to each others teams. The main predictor for who was the best shortstop in 2005 by UZR wasn't who the shortstop was, but which team he played for. There's just too many flaws in the system, particularly when it comes to handling plays that two players can make.

For what its worth is reporting that the Aroldis Chapman sweepstakes may be nearing a close soon. Although the report does not mention the Cubs is there any chance or hope of Jim Hendry signing him? intriguing, says Marlins have conceded defeat. Cubs are doing a great job of keeping it quiet if they're in the mix.

I hope they are, but I'm a sucker for potential.

Speaking of, Red Sox still in the mix to drive up the price

Joe Posnanski (who I'm reading more and more) wrote an interesting column recently dealing with this very subject. Pos went back to 1970 and determined the best player for every five year period (i.e. 1970-74, 1971-75, etc) up until the present. It's an interesting article and there were some surprises along the way.

Posnanski's a great don't always have to agree with him, but his writing is effortless and he backs up his points.

his methodology though was very stat oriented, using Win Shares which is going to rely heavily on OBP...not a terrible way to do it, but very different than what I just did, which was a more subjective ranking.

Although I think Posnanski is a great writer, I have found that he absolutely loves OBP, not only to the exclusion of some other stats, but to the exclusion of common sense at times. In writing a defense of why he was not going to vote for Andre Dawson for the HOF, he mentioned that Dawson's OBP was too low and went on to say something to the effect of, OBP is what baseball is all about. Although some may disagree with me, my feeling is that OBP is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. Does anyone care if X team had the highest OBP if team Y wins the World Series? Obviously, OBP is very important and a high OBP can help your team win games, but it's just one part of the puzzle. It's not the whole puzzle. Despite this criticism, I just can't get enough of Posnanski's writing.

The thing is that teams with low OBP don't generally win the World Series. And teams that do win the World Series generally have high OBP. That's why it matters, probably the most of any of the basic stats. Here's where a good poster would have data to back that assertion up.

The four teams that lead the AL in OBP in 2009? NY,LA,Bos,Min. But of the slash stats, it by far is the one that is most strongly correlated to scoring runs. It's also the one that's most likely to get you deep into an opponents bullpen over the course of a series.

The top 10 teams in OBP in 2009 were: 1. New York Yankees 2. Boston Red Sox 3. LA Angels 4. LA Dodgers 5. Minnesota Twins 6. Colorado Rockies 7. Tampa Bay Rays 8. Milwaukee Brewers 9. Florida Marlins 10. Cleveland Indians My original point was that, while OBP is important, it's not the point of the game. Winning is the point of the game. OBP is one ingredient, but it's only a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. As you can see, OBP helped the top 6 teams make the play-offs last year. But two of the top 10 teams didn't even have winning records. OBP helped the Yankees go to the World Series, but what about Philadelphia? Philly was 14th in all of MLB in OBP. So, while OBP is extremely important, it's not the only factor that contributes to winning baseball games. By the way, the Cubs were 18th in MLB in OBP. Oddly, the team with the lowest OBP in all of baseball was the Giants. Even so, they were in the Wild Card race right up until the final week of the season.

Now combine it with opponents OBP.

I don't understand your point.

Well, if OBP is the key to scoring runs, then limiting your opponents OBP would be the key to preventing runs. If you combine those two factors for teams, every year, you're going to be pretty close to the best teams in either league.

Instead of looking a records why not only look at scoring runs. Since OBP is an offensive stat it only looks at one side of the game.

That's my point exactly. I wasn't saying that OBP is unimportant. I was simply refuting the statement made by writer Joe Posnanski that OBP is the whole point of the game. My contention is that OBP is one ingredient in the recipe, not the recipe itself.

If OBP is the entire point of the offensive side of the game, then in Posnanski's thinking wouldn't "preventing" OBP (making the other team make outs as quickly as possible through good defense and/or pitching) be the entire point of the defensive side of the game? I think that's where Real Neal was leading. At least that's what I got.

Yes. OBP is not the whole game. But If it's one ingredient in the recipe, it's like the flour in the bread.

I'm afraid I've started something I didn't intend. My entire point is that baseball is not about OBP alone. OBP is part of the game, not the whole game. I like the analogy of OBP being the flour ingredient in the bread recipe. It's really important, but flour alone does not make bread. Here's something I found interesting as I was looking into this. Last year in the NL East, here's how the teams finished based on OBP: 1. Florida Marlins 2. Atlanta Braves 3. Washington Nationals 4. New York Mets 5. Philadelphia Phillies I'm not drawing any conclusions. I just found it interesting.

Taking this point (I'm not even sure what the point is anymore) a little farther, Here's what the NL East looked like based on runs scored: 1. Philadelphia Phillies 2. Florida Marlins 3. Atlanta Braves 4. Washington Nationals 5. New York Mets Although the Phillies were last in OBP, all of the teams in the NL East were bunched fairly closely. However, The Phils outscored their next closest NL East opponent by 48 runs.

Hopefully Joe Morgan doesn't read this. "fastdie3" seems smart...
fastedie3 First of all I want to know what qualifies him for the hall anyway? barley 200 home runs. just made 300 in hitting in a 17 year career. Hell Mattingly had just as good of stats in only a 13 years.

Hope I am not repeating something that has already been said, but MLB network is reporting that Larussa is saying he may use McGwire as a pinch hitter during the season. They said it would be late in the year. Would that affect his HOF status? If he is activated, then would he have to wait 5 more years before he would be voted on again? I know this isn't related to our Cubbies, but thought it was interesting. Maybe we could get Sammy to PH and relive the lovefest from 98.

*Benny Hill Theme* Welcome to the Cardinals Traveling Circus....

To answer the question, yes, that would knock him off the ballot for five years.

...and another discarded Cub appears on the Phillies radar....
Free agent left-handers Joe Biemel and Will Ohman are possibilities to take Eyre's place.

Vlad gets a 1/7M offer from Rangers Valverde has 4 offers, 2 of them multi-years and all for closing (Tigers and DBacks are 2 of them most likely).

What does it say about Jim Hendry's tenure that there are no Cubs among the top 3 at their position for ANY position or pitcher? Despite having the #3 payroll in baseball. Inexcusable.

I've gotta think Mauer ranks considerably higher he's probably #2 on my list

it's pretty subjective obviously, probably could arrange 2-7 a few different ways...

Mariners complete Kotchman deal with Boston. Red Sox take on Bill Hall, a prospect, and cash. According to Cot's, the Brewers are paying around $7 mil+ of the $10 mil Hall is due this year. Sounds like the M's are making Hall a freebie for Boston.

actually sounds like Brewers are making Hall a freebie for Boston. fwiw, I see $8.4M for Hall and $7.15M coming from the Brewers.

I like Derrek Lee, but think he's behind 4 or 5 1b in the NL alone: Pujols, Gonzalez, Fielder, Howard. Joey Votto and Helton are in the mix too. Not to mention Cabrera and Texeira. Kendry Morales had a nice year last year. Berkman, Morneau, Carlos Pena are all good I like Aramis, but in the NL he's behind at least Zimmerman and Sandoval. I think he's better than Mark Reynolds. Wright may be better, but I'm having a hard time figuring out why he only hit ten homers last year in over 500 ABs. In the AL, there's A-Rod and Longoria. Our second basemen are not in the team picture. Who is Ben Zobrist? Jimmy Rollins had a .296 OBP last year. Ouch. He had an OPS seven points higher than Theriot's. I like Ryan, but he's behind at least 5 or six in the NL, and way behind offensively. I'd rank Tulo aherad of Jeter. In Ramirez and Tulowizki, the NL has some damn fine shortstops. It's saying something if you are top 5 or higher at your position in the majors.

Pujols, Gonzalez, Cabrera, Teixeira I think are easily the top 4. Since you still have to play defense and the list was just the best player right now (Lee finished 5th in OPS in the NL last year btw), I'd put him there with Berkman, Fielder, Howard, Votto and Morneau right now, how you order them is gonna be up to you. Sandoval's already moving to 1b and had one good year. Unlike Longoria, I'm not 100% confident of his future. Zimmerman and Ramirez are pretty close in my opinion. Rollins had a tough year, but much like Wright, if you made the list last year, he'd be up there and he's not so far on the downside of his career that I think he's done. Tulo plays in Colorado, had to knock him a bit.

I agree on Colorado. Tulo's D is ridiculous, while I think Jeter's is not as good. Jeter had 9 errors and 75 DP, but his RF/9 was 3.90 against a league average of 4.36 last year. Plus, he's 35. Tulo had 9 errors and 89 DP, with a RF/9 of 4.51 to a league average of 4.38. Plus, he's 25.

well I'd take Tulo going forward for the next 5 years, but not sure he was better last year or will be better next year. Tulo's got quite a groundball staff in Colorado btw...that's gonna help the DP and RF numbers. Although I think he's an excellent shortstop either way... Jason Frasor is a person of interest, Blue Jays like Angel Guzman. this was interesting
But remember it was the edict of past ownership under Sam Zell to make a big splash in free agency, so that the team can do well and sell high. Jim Hendry was only going by what he was being told to do. Some moves have worked and some haven't. I'm sure you like the way Ted Lilly and Aramis Ramirez have worked out. In the case of Byrd, defense is the key to what he brings. His addition makes center and right stronger and above average.
otherwise plan to add a backup OF and hopefully a starting pitcher and RH bullpen arm

there's questions in that article that make my brain hurt... i was making a small/informal list but when it got to the "trade fontenot and bring on andres blanco" part my brain exploded. yes, blanco can field, but that's all he can do. if neifi perez makes you look bad at the plate you got issues...and we have issues if baker gets injured.

Yeah, but if Fontenot hits as badly as he did last year, Blanco probably is more valuable because at least he's a plus fielder and can play multiple positions. At best, Fonty is probably about an average fielder at 2b. And let's not forget that Baker isn't a backup SS, so someone needs to rest Theriot a couple of times a month so he's not worn out by September, like they've been claiming they were going to do for a couple years now. That's hard to do without Blanco or some other capable SS on the roster. I still say they should have non-tendered Fontenot and used that money to sign or trade for an established MLB 2b. Baker is intriguing, but we're trying to win the pennant and he's unproven as a starter with no fall back options. Go get a real 2b and let Baker be the Dero impersonator. If they end up getting rid of Fontenot now and costing us money to do so, it's just another dumb move by Hendry after offering him a contract, like he did with last year with Gaudin. Why does Hendry get a pass on making dumb financial moves that cost the team money when it's something that any idiot can see in advance and avoid?

there's nothing intriguing about Jeff Baker...

I agree, but some people were thinking he was hot stuff with his ridiculous average for a while as a Cub, but the BABIP told a different story.

Agreed. He's being groomed to be the 2010 scapegoat. Still, there's something to be said for his Mark Derosa-like body.

I think the real question is, does he have any Mark Derosa-like stubble?

This is what bench guys look like on real baseball teams... Andres Blanco. He can play baseball good. I'm not sure how much more simple I can say it. Sure Fontenot will give you a home run every once in a while. That's real nice, but half of the game (and some would say more than half of the game) is defense. No offense to you, crunch, my beef is with the Cubs for all the Fontenots, Jake Foxes, Koyie Hills... bleh. Just find some guys who can play baseball good.

Yes, more Neifi Perez's and Caesar Izturis's please!

lol Purely as "bench" players, I would not mind Fox, Fontenot, Blanco, Hill. It is management passing them off as either "platoon" or "everyday starters" that fucking pisses me off!! A player like Mark DeRosa, when he was here, truly could be a starter on most teams, and was tremendously valuable as a SuperSub which Hendry screwed the pooch on last year going into the season with no viable backup for him during A-Ram's annual injury. Hey, wait a minute...! Could it be we have a re-run of the same movie in 2010?! Unbelievable!

-edit- wrong post replied to...damn auto-collapsing message boxes

One of the other noteworthy things about this is the number of real good players that are young. Of those 27 or younger: Mauer, Lincecum, Ramirez, Gonzalez, Tulowitzki, Cabrera, McCann, Pedroia, Kinsler, Wright, Braun, Sizemore, Markakis. Also Votto, Sandoval, Fielder, Zimmerman, Morales, Ethier, Greinke, Broxton. agree to use some tourist tax money to fund project...

Agree with the list for the most part, except I can't believe Matt Holliday isn't in the top ten. Ive considered him and Pujols two of the top 6 or 7 pure hitters in the league for the last few years. When i heard the Cardinals acquired him last year i knew the Cubs had no chance at the division, and now probably not for the next seven years.

The logic that Lincecum is the best pitcher and Greinke needs a few more seasons is dubious. Other than that I'd probably swap in Kemp for Granderson and Hill for Pedroia. As a RF, I don't think Ichiro is a top 10 player, and for my money Mauer is either #1 or #2. Dollars aside, who wouldn't you trade even up for him?

The logic that Lincecum is the best pitcher and Greinke needs a few more seasons is dubious.
okay, one more season, b2b Cy Young's are pretty rare feat though...
Other than that I'd probably swap in Kemp for Granderson and Hill for Pedroia.
Kemp I could see, the Hill part must be a joke by you, other than his immediate family there's very few that would pick Hill over Pedroia if you said name the top 3 second basemen right now. I could see Hill over Kinsler though, just on an opinion poll. whether Ichiro is the top RF in the game or top 10 player is pretty debatable, but when I think of the best players in the game, I think of Ichiro. I definitely wouldn't trade Pujols for Mauer. But you could probably flip 2-6 in a few different ways. some of the brilliant reasoning behind some of the HOF ballots

I'd like to take a moment to rant about the nonsensical "first-time ballot" philosophy. So Mariotti, for one, believes that voting on the first ballot is different than voting on the second. Not that the Hall is made up of simply the inner circle players, just that only those players deserve the first ballot. But if everyone thought like Mariotti, deserving players would fall below the minimum vote and never be enshrined! His philosophy, if everyone agreed with it, would remove players he would later vote for. I realize that he realizes not everyone agrees with him, so he has the luxury of counting on actual, principled voters to vote Hall players every time, so he may grandstand. I have no respect for that point of view.

he's a moron, he said he couldn't vote for Dawson or Blyleven because if they hadn't been voted in yet, he couldn't vote for them. Of course he voted for both of them last year along with Jim Rice.

Let's see... he can't vote guys in on the first ballot because that's only for the very best, and he can't vote guys in on the 9th ballot because if they deserved it they would have made it already. Does he not understand that HE is one of the select few that actually get to vote? I guess I wouldn't blame if he didn't understand that since I have no idea how he's considered a "baseball writer". I just don't get why a person's worthiness would change from one year to the next. Maybe they should just make someone eligible for induction by the writers for one year only and then turn it over to either the player's committee or a separate committee staffed by former baseball executives or something.

some baseball writers take their proximity to the news they cover and the perks that come with it a bit too seriously. too many get shit on by players not taking the writer's job seriously and too many writers make up for it by basking in the glow of the fans who are in awe of the stories that come with the intimate access. it's like some self-feeding ego system that some writers get caught up in. meh... there's not a lot of them, but there's still too many, imo. it's the "entourage" effect. some umps have this issue, too.

Here's Jeff Pearlman again. You may find yourself liking him more than the other day when he was trying to use his blog to get people to hate Randy Johnson...,
Most of us writers weren't exactly the cool kids in school. We stunk at sports, failed at dating and rarely -- if ever -- got invited to the good parties. While our peers were making out with the cheerleaders, we were debating among ourselves whether the Yankees were wise to have traded Jerry Mumphrey to Houston for Omar Moreno (And I don't care what Chris Katechis said -- it was a horrible deal). Point is, even the eternally powerless crave power. In the world of baseball, few wands wield greater oomph than that of the BBWAA Hall vote. ~snip~ To be blunt, sportswriters have no business deciding which men do and do not belong in Cooperstown. It's a farce. A joke. Having spent many of my days covering baseball from press boxes across the nation, I will now proportionately break down for you what, exactly, we scribes do during a nine-inning game: 20 percent: Watch baseball 20 percent: Write skeletal game stories, with blanks to be filled in later 15 percent: E-mail 15 percent: Facebook/MySpace/Twitter 10 percent: Attack press dining room ice cream dispenser 8 percent: Debate the Jerry Mumphrey-Omar Moreno deal 5 percent: Return to press dining room ice cream dispenser 3 percent: Return again to press dining room ice cream dispenser 2 percent: Complain to neighboring writer that press dining room ice cream dispenser lacks chocolate syrup 1 percent: Shoot evil looks toward the overexuberant radio dolt screaming, "I'M FRANKIE ZACCHEO! IN THE FIFTH INNING HERE FROM PNC PARK, IT'S THE BREWERS 3, THE PIRATES NOTHING!!!!!" into a telephone 1 percent: Google "public relations" and "job openings"
Read the whole thing here:

i have no idea why that would make me like him more. less of that kind of stuff is what i'm after.

The Pearlman quote was meant for everyone, not you in particular. Or at all. It just fit in with the topic being discussed. And, less of WHAT kind of stuff??

Yeah, get out of your mom's basement and stop playing "Warcraft" and get a life. etc, etc, etc...

Blue Jays reportedly upped theirs to $23M although it doesn't say how many years, although it seems most are offering 5 years..

this is their year!!!

why isn't chad fox a cub yet? hendry needs to quit dragging his feet on this issue...what a lame SOB.

interview with Bob Feller and Mike Wallace from 1957 the pimping for Phillips Morris cigarettes is great stuff...

a man's kind of mildness! nice one. also...enjoy this ruining of your childhood.

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  • crunch 18 min ago (view)

    that whole "kris bryant thing" is over...but it's never going to be over as long as this ownership group and boras is around.

    boras could have focused this on 29 other teams, especially the more vocal ones because the cubs have been mostly silent.

    he chose the cubs.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 5 hours 43 min ago (view)

    Not looking forward to seeing that list. Hate to see it when a guy you've invested any sort of energy in is given up on.


  • Cubster 5 hours 54 min ago (view)

    Chi Tribune today. Boras picks, and focused on the Ricketts. 

    Headline writer, fun job: Agent won’t let Cubs get away Scott-free Matt York/AP and Paul Sullivan.

    Boras told his players “the game can not be played without you” and asked them to share the concept with teammates and opposing players when “MLB requests further concessions or deferral of salaries” during negotiations.


  • Cubster 5 hours 56 min ago (view)

    The billionaires vs the millionaires. The beauty of the game is not the business of the game. 


  • Cubster 6 hours 37 min ago (view)

    Bat-signal seen in the Mesa skyline...AZ Phil, time to don the mask and cape.


  • Cubster 6 hours 39 min ago (view)

    per mlbtr, supposedly the Cubs have released 30 minor leaguers although Stewart and Asuaje are the only two names so far.


  • crunch 17 hours 34 min ago (view)

    cubs release brock stewart (AAA Rule 5 pick) and carlos asuaje (middle IF'r)...both older AAA/MLB-replacement-part types.


  • crunch 21 hours 49 min ago (view)

    after dragging their feet, the cubs commit to paying their minor leaguers through june.

    i'm a bit dissapointed they're not going to pay the last 2 months.  yeah, they're not the worst owners (in fact, the "through june" thing is common), but they can do better for their baseball household.


  • Cubster 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    "in normal times..."

    It was the burst of times, it was the worst of times.


  • Cubster 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    "Setting aside how stupid it is for fans to blame players when owners are all so much more..."

    I blame Pete Ricketts


  • crunch 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    i can't believe this kind of stuff is what we're talking about 2 months into the 2020 season...i can't believe a lot of stuff about 2020 outside of the game, too.


  • crunch 2 days 32 min ago (view)

    contract rights are retained by the team.

    in normal times this keeps labor relations between employer and player not too volitile with only a handful of player/owner issues.  in times like this you see a system that was not designed for an event like this.

    some owners are being responsible over the players who's contracts they control while other owners make us realize why the guillotine was occsasionally popular during revoltutions/revolts.


  • Jackstraw 2 days 59 min ago (view)

    So they are all free agents?  Or still under contract and not getting paid?  I'm sure AZ Phil or someone else has covered this but I haven't been keeping up with all the fine points of baseball's problems recently.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    Manfred is such a dreadful commissioner. It's his job to walk a fine line and maintain peace in labor relations. Instead he lets the owners do whatever they want.

    Cannot wait for a long, bitter strike after 2021. And for the owners to ultimately turn plenty of fan sentiment against players.


  • crunch 2 days 19 hours ago (view)

    "The A's told their minor leaguers Tuesday that they will not continue to pay them their current salary of $400 per week beyond May 31."

    classy.  absolute class act stuff right there.


  • crunch 2 days 22 hours ago (view)

    Evan Drellich @EvanDrellich
    The MLBPA is very disappointed with MLB’s economic proposal today, source tells me and @Ken_Rosenthal, calling additional cuts proposed “massive." League offered to share more playoff revenue, but on balance, those dollars are small compared to what players give up, PA believes.