1. Matt Holliday
I had him on every team. I’m not prescient. Not Nostradamus. Not even Ms. Cleo. Frankly, I’m more surprised Schwarzenegger is the governor of California than I am about Holliday’s season. Ten years ago, you wouldn’t have believed Schwarzenegger PLAYING the role of Governor. You would have said, “I liked the movie’s action effects, but Schwarzenegger playing the Governor was completely unbelievable. Eastwood I believe, Schwarzenegger I ain’t buying.” Anyway, Holliday was 27 and playing in Coors. Of course he was going to have a good year. I’ll cover next year in a future blog, but he will be overpriced next year. As someone who watched 500 of his almost 700 at-bats, he swings and misses a lot and doesn’t walk enough. You heard it here first. You’ll hear more in a future blog; I promise.
2. Magglio Ordonez
Take a second and look at his average again. Um, WTF?! He never hit higher than .320 before. And that was 5 years ago. When you top your career high in average by forty points at age 33, you’re having one of those seasons where everything hit found a hole. I don’t like the Detroit sportscasters and dislike the city even more, so I didn’t watch a whole lot of Mags’ season, but I guarantee he was lucky. You just don’t hit 50 points above your career average without some luck. It’s just not possible. Let’s move on before my head explodes.
3. Ichiro Suzuki
I contemplated writing just Ichiro for his name, but why should I? Why does he get to go by only Ichiro? How does he even get away with putting only Ichiro on his jersey? Why hasn’t more been made of this? Can you picture the brouhaha (That’s right, I used the word brouhaha. Deal with it.) if Manny showed up at a game sporting a jersey that said Manny on the back? How about Pedro? Or just Torii? What happens if another Ichiro is picked up by Seattle? Does he start going by Ichiro S. or does one have only his last name put on his jersey and Ichiro keeps his first (which I think is his last name in Japan or something like that)? How does MLB allow this? Onto his season, Ichiro Suzuki hits for a high average every year, no surprise here. At some point, Ichiro Suzuki is not going to hit for that great of an average and I don’t want to be the last person standing on that Kotaka when it starts sinking, if you catch my drift.
4. Eric Byrnes
Okay, sidenote: About three years ago, I pitched around Hollywood a baseball reality show, the theme of these meetings all came to the same conclusion. They liked the idea, but they needed a “name” attached. Someone that would generate interest in the baseball world, but, even more so, THEY needed someone that meant something to the average fan. We went after Steinbrenner. We got as far as his personal driver. That’s right, I have a connection to Steinbrenner’s driver! Anyway, since I’m writing this you can probably figure out, Steinbrenner passed. We couldn’t get any “name” interested. The one “name” we could get… Wait, for it… A fourth outfielder on the Oakland A’s, the one and only, Eric Byrnes. This time we passed. Eric Byrnes meant bupkus. Now he means, a 20/50 season. I’m happy for him. I’d still rather have Steinbrenner.
5. Carlos Lee
I took thirteen years of Spanish and I can say two phrases, “Mi mama cocina en el bano.” And, “¡El Caballo!” You had to draft the horse pretty high so you probably were hoping for more, but he did what he could. Did the horse lose your season for you? Neigh.
6. Carl Crawford
Dude, eleven homers really isn’t gonna cut it from a first round outfielder. Fifty steals or not. I’m sorry. Can we get twenty homers one of these years? Please. Stop teasing. It’s not nice. And, I’ll tell you what, you need to draft so home run heavy later in the draft to make up for 11 from your first outfielder, that you’re really not happy with Carl right now, are you? Of course you’re not. Pain felt.
7. Curtis Granderson
That Curtis came in seventh in a deep position makes me think I don’t know a damn thing about FLB. I wouldn’t have picked up Granderson if he were on waivers. No joke. He should be an eight hole hitter on an NL team. Seriously, isn’t Granderson a middle class man’s Endy Chavez? His numbers are a testament as much to his natural skills as they are to Leyland’s foolhardy stubbornness in keeping Grandy a leadoff hitter.
8. Vladimir Guerrero
“From his head to his toes, that’s how Vladdy goes,” says Rex Hudler 81 games a year. Sigh. At least it’s not Don Sutton. Matt Chico isn’t good, Sutton, I don’t care how many times you say it. Vlad looked like a surefire MVP for the first two months of the season. Then the tennis balls came off his walker and the opposing teams realized they should try challenging Kotchman.
9. Carlos Beltran
You know someone that goes from very hot to very cold? Beltran, the Latin Jason Bay. Also, his resemblance to Ricky from My So Called Life, while covered many times before now, is uncanny and, frankly, distracting. I half expect him to hit a home run then celebrate by giving Delgado an open mouth kiss. All this aside, Beltran didn’t give you the numbers you might have hoped for when you drafted him in the second round, but he did give you exactly what you should have expected. His numbers are above-average, but not spectacular, year in and year out. Stop expecting more and you’ll no longer be disappointed. Now go kiss Delgado!
10. Nick Markakis
Here you got some really nice value for where you had to draft him. In a league of mine, when Markakis started slow, I tried to pry him away from his owner. Didn’t happen. You know who I like a lot for next year… The Greek God of Roto! Opa! But that will wait for another column.
With outfield being such a deep position, there’s so many more to talk about from 11-20 that it might need its own column. For now, know that: Grady (11) wasn’t in the top ten, Abreu (12) wasn’t that bad from June on, Torii (13) cooled off in a major way after July, Dunn (14) didn’t have that many 0 for 20 stretches, Rios (15) is set to catapult into the top ten, Soriano (16) deserves his own column for how far he fell short of expectations, Rowand (17) um, it’s Aaron Rowand, he had a good year, you got lucky, Berkman (18) was covered in the 1st base column, B.J. Upton (19) also covered previously, and then, the one and only, Corey Hart (20). How can Corey Hart not have his own column? The guy has the same name as the guy who’s married to Pink!