1. Alex Rodriguez
The only sign that he was human this year is when he was caught in a strip club. The effortlessness in which he plays the game makes it extremely effortful (I made up that word) to like him, but if you had him on your team you probably were able to show some enthusiasm. He will probably go down in the history as the only number one in his sport that no one really loves. People loved Jordan, Tiger Woods, Pele, etc. With Arod, I feel people don’t show him the love that his skills definitely deserve. Perhaps it is his effortlessness or maybe the New York media. Oh, and the other thing surprising about Arod is his heritage. He’s about as Latin as Taco Bell.
2. David Wright
These top two weren’t that close to the rest of the field for 3rd base and this year 3rd base was a pretty loaded position. What I love is how the New York media terrorizes Arod, but can’t find any fault with Wright. Sure, he’s a great bats-smith, always hustles with his natural speed, power, next door neighbor good-looking… Darn, now I wanna marry him, too. Loved to see what Wright could do playing in Citizen’s Bank. Actually, I don’t because I hate Wright. Seems a bit too perfect. Like O.J. in the 70s.
3. Chipper Jones
And he missed some time. (Of course, he did. He always misses time.) I usually don’t draft Chipper. Nothing personal, although Chipper does strike me as a racist. Usually I’m all for drafting people who are injury-prone because if you fill in for them properly you can actually do quite well. The thing with Chipper is he’s not injury-prone as much as he is always playing hurt. He’s the kind of player that sits for a day or two so you take him out then he plays. By the time you get him back in there, he’s hurt again. And the cycle continues. This year, injuries or not, Chipper gave you more than value.
4. Miguel Cabrera
If you take Pujols, subtract sixteen years and add eighty pounds, you’ve got Cabrera. He could weigh three hundred and twenty pounds and still hit .320 and thirty homers and he might just weigh that by this time next year. The Latin Prince Fielder. At least with the extra poundage, it now makes sense why he has absolutely no speed.
5. Ryan Braun
To the alien that just landed from another planet, “He might be fifth but this is the absolute best player on this list because you got him for nothing.” In one league where I picked him up off waivers as soon as he was called up, guess what? I won. In another league where I drafted him but dropped him when he didn’t get the immediate call-up from the minors, I finished third. Had I not dropped him, I would have won. The owner that did pick him up ended up in fourth, they would’ve been in eighth. Know what I really like about him? He goes to the opposite field. Know what I don’t like about him? He struggles a bit against righties. Um, this might be a problem.
6. Mike Lowell
Wow, Julio Lugo, Coco or Varitek couldn’t drive in poor Mike Lowell more than 79 times? Here’s another guy that was on a lot of winning teams. He went from an afterthought to .324 and 120 RBIs. He was slotted into more corner positions and got more hits against a wall than a twenty dollar whore. This was a career year at… Wait, how can he be 33 years old? He looks older than my father and he’s supposedly younger than me. Can we just make it a law to add seven years to everyone’s age that was born outside the U.S.? (Lowell is from Puerto Rico.) Like if you moved to another country you wouldn’t go by whatever age you could pass for. BTW, I’m twenty-two in the Dominican Republic.
7. B.J. Upton
(See Top 10 2nd Basemen for why guys love them a B.J.)
8. Garrett Atkins
Okay, you could have done better with your fourth round selection than G.A. (apologies to the trademark Garrett Anderson has on those initials). But you didn’t lose your league because of Atkins (apologies to the Atkins Diet people). Sure, he started slow. Yes, he could have topped thirty homers and hit for a slightly higher average. Okay, Garrett (apologies to Garrett Morris and Leif Garrett) didn’t win you any leagues either. But the only thing you can get down on him for is coming in no higher than second in a Google search of any variation of his name. He will forever be known Garrett Atkins, anything shorter is someone else.
9. Adrian Beltre
In a mixed league, you didn’t even draft him so “You’re welcome.” In an AL-only league, you didn’t want to draft him and he was the fourth best AL 3rd baseman so “You’re very welcome.” With skills coming out of elementary school, so much should have come from Beltre yet he will be forgotten in less than seven years by everyone except possibly family members. Perhaps we should start a Remember Adrian Beltre? website now before he fades from memory. Someone registers www.rememberadrianbeltre.com and I’ll be your first supporter. As long as I don’t have to give my email address.
10. Aramis Ramirez
What’s that funky smell? It’s Aramis! Injuries weren’t too kind to Aramis this year and who knows how long he might have been playing hurt, but he still got 500 at-bats. Geez, his stats remind me of the Kaiser Chief song, “Everything Is Average Nowadays.” If Derrek Lee and him would have had their normally productive years, the Cubs would’ve ran away with the division.
Just out of the top ten, Chone Figgins (41 steals in part-time action!) could have helped, Ryan Zimmerman (really average in full-time action!) never took the next step so many predicted, Alex Gordon (struggled mightily for three months!) is not winning the ROY and his teammate, Mark Teahen (7 home runs!) sucked, but not as bad as Aubrey Huff. But, then again, no one is really ever as bad as Aubrey Huff.