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We’ve gone over the top 20 catchers, top 20 1st basemen, top 20 2nd basemen and top 20 3rd basemen for 2008. Now we finish up the infield with the top 20 Shortstops for 2008. Something I noticed as I went over the top 20 shortstops, it’s extremely shallow. Let’s look at number 7, Michael Young. Is Young the weakest #7 on any list? Well, the #7 catcher is Pierzynski. That’s close, but I’ll give the edge to Young. The #7 1st baseman is Ryan Howard. Um, okay. The #7 2nd baseman is Jose Lopez. Lopez was better. The #7 3rd baseman was Miguel Cabrera. You want Miggy. The #7 Outfielder will be Ichiro. You’d want Ichiro. So is it fair to say the  shortstop position is the shallowest after catchers? Yeah, that’s what I’m saying. Dur. One thing that makes all of this arguable is you need more outfielders than shortstops. Anyway, here’s the top 20 Shortstops for 2008 in fantasy baseball and how they compared to where we originally ranked them:

1. Jose Reyes – I ranked Reyes number two overall in my preseason top ten because I love Reyes.  (He ended up number two overall, as well) He stole a few less bases this year, but he made up with it by hitting a few more home runs. His runs were off, but, as previously discussed in other top 20 lists, offense was down all over. Preseason Rank #1, Preseason Predictions:  130/14/70/.295/70, Final Numbers: 113/16/68/.297/56

2. Hanley Ramirez – Okay, here’s someone I really tried to temper expectations in the preseason by ranking him down at number six for overall top ten and ranking him number two on the shortstop list. These ranks are actually pretty close. The larger problem, I thought his power would come down and his steals would go up. But, in all fairness, my stat prediction was off.  His power was fine, but steals were down. Preseason Rank #2, Preseason Predictions:  110/17/85/.295/45, Final Numbers: 125/33/67/.301/35

3. Jimmy Rollins – I tried to move people away from drafting Rollins last year because he was coming off an over-hyped MVP season. This turned out to be the right move. I thought his power was a fluke, but not this dramatically. Preseason Rank #3, Preseason Predictions:  130/22/70/35/.290, Final Numbers:  76/11/59/47/.277

4. Derek Jeter – Lots of you drafted him because you wanted your girlfriends or wives to have a rooting interest for your fantasy baseball team. Mrs. Razzball reader, “Okay, we can have sex, but I want to call you Jeter.” Mr. Razzball reader, “Deal!” Preseason Rank #5, Preseason Predictions:  110/15/70/.315/15, Final Numbers:  88/11/69/.300/11

5. Jhonny Peralta – Here’s a guy I pushed in the preseason. (Not literally. That’s assault.) His power was down in the 2nd half of the season for the 2nd season in a row. This is something to watch. Preseason Rank #10, Preseason Predictions:  85/32/105/.270/3, Final Numbers:  104/23/89/.276/3

6. Alexei Ramirez – Already covered him in top 20 2nd basemen for 2008. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 65/21/77/.290/13

7. Michael Young – He played through a fractured finger to try and get to 200 hits, but still fell short. I’m convinced he would’ve played through the eye of a tropical cyclones for his 200th hit. Preseason Rank #9, Preseason Predictions:  95/12/95/.310/10, Final Numbers:  102/12/82/.284/10

8. Stephen Drew – Finally starting to come out of that long-injured shadow of his big bro. Yo, big bro, could you hand me the remote? Oh, shoot! Mom, J.D. just pulled his hammy! Preseason Rank #17, Preseason Predictions:  65/20/75/.270/15, Final Numbers:  91/21/67/.291/3

9. Ryan Theriot – Already covered him in top 20 2nd basemen for 2008. Preseason Rank #14, Preseason Predictions:  105/3/50/.290/45, Final Numbers:  85/1/38/.307/22

10. Orlando Cabrera – Luckily Renteria is ten spots away. I wouldn’t want a fight breaking out in the top twenty list. Preseason Rank #15, Preseason Predictions:  100/9/65/.280/20, Final Numbers:  93/8/57/.281/19

11. Cristian Guzman – The only preseason ‘pert prediction (<–alliteration, boyz!) Guzman even sniffed was, “Guzman will suck.” And that’s me quoting some made up prediction! Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 77/9/55/.316/6

12. J.J. Hardy – All the right metrics were moving in the right direction this year for Hardy. A very promising sign moving forward. Oh, wait, right now we’re looking back. Um… Hardy was almost exactly the player I thought he was going to be. Preseason Rank #13, Preseason Predictions:  85/20/80/.260, Final Numbers:  78/24/74/.283/2

13. Mike Aviles – Already covered him in top 20 2nd basemen for 2008. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  68/10/51/.325/8

14. Miguel Tejada – In the preseason, I hoped Tejada’s machismo from being called out for ‘roids would kick in and lead him to a great season. Turned out the lack of ‘roids manscaped his machismo. Preseason Rank #6, Preseason Predictions:  90/25/100/.290/3, Final Numbers:  92/13/66/.283/7

15. Carlos Guillen – I disliked this schmohawk coming into the season and he even underperformed my expectations. Yo, Guillen, go get your shinebox! Preseason Rank #7, Preseason Predictions:  95/15/75/.300/8, Final Numbers:  68/10/54/.286/9

16. Jerry Hairston Jr. – The fact he made the list says more about the state of the shortstop position than I could write so blah blah blah… Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  47/6/36/.326/15

17. Clint Barmes – Already covered him in top 20 2nd basemen for 2008. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  47/11/44/.290/13

18. Yunel Escobar – Already covered him in top 20 2nd basemen for 2008. Preseason Rank #18, Preseason Predictions:  80/10/55/.285/15, Final Numbers:  71/10/60/.288/2

19. Jason BartlettJason Bartlett was ranked 19th and he came in 19th. For all of you in nineteen team leagues that didn’t listen to me. I told you so! Preseason Rank #19, Preseason Predictions:  70/5/45/.270/25, Final Numbers: 48/1/37/.286/20

20. Edgar Renteria – Because Renteria came in last at number 20, there’s a group of Colombian bandits Renteria hired that are GPS-tracking me. My only chance for survival is the group of Colombian bandits Orlando Cabrera hired to protect me. This is worst than the 80s Cola Wars. Preseason Rank #11, Preseason Predictions:  95/10/75/.295/15, Final Numbers: 69/10/55/.270/6

  1. Steve says:
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    @Grey: re: cool names, asssume you’re talking about Tiger, not Eldrick…

  2. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: That totally slipped my mind. He looks like an Eldrick too. What a dork. Arod looks like a bit of a dork too. Though I have it on decent authority Jordan was a womanizer. Which I guess makes him a dork to his wife? I don’t even know the last time I said “dork,” but suddenly I can’t stop using the word. Dork!

  3. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Ha! Dork is an oldie but a goodie. Not as good as ‘dickhead’ though.
    Maybe just as there is that indefinable quality that makes the great ones ‘great’, so there is that indefinable quality that makes a dork a dork.
    BTW, I’m prepared to grant Tiger a pass on Eldrick. With game like that, he can call himself what he likes.

  4. Lou says:
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    Grey

    I have Hanley ahead of Reyes 2 years running now. Do you think Hanley will take a step back or that he was never quite as good as reyes?

  5. Jeff says:
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    Where’s Tulo? He is not top 10?

  6. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: In a parallel universe where he goes by Eldrick, he endorses Reebok and has only won one tournament, The Encino Mini Putt-Putt Classic. Wrap your head around that!

    @Lou: I like Reyes better because his club is more likely to be safe around him, Hanley has a shoulder issue and I don’t want to have to worry about steals as much later on. Though I think they’re interchangable depending on what your preference is. Hanley gives you some power; Reyes gives you all the steals you need. So depends on your drafting style.

    @Jeff: This is for this past year where he went 48/6/46/.263/1 — as bad as some of the numbers on this list are, his are worst.

  7. royce! says:
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    Totally off topic, but just in case anyone reads this site but doesn’t read Big League Stew, this terrible singing must be shared with all:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtaafSTzcDA

    I’m hoping for a 2008 remake! I don’t know why, but I’m certain the 2008 Dodgers have 4 better singers.

  8. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: Thanks for sharing. I had missed that. There’s a lot of remarkable things in that clip. From Gibb’s intro to them talking about violence, but the most remarkable thing for me was there was no irony whatsoever. They go through this whole thing without once winking to the audience (except when undressing). Incredible.

  9. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Hey! The Encino is a tough event – I finished second there once.
    Have to say, though, that the PGA Tour is one place where a lame/crazy name is no hinderance to success: Boo Weekly, Duffy Waldorf, Tag Ridings etc.
    My favourite baseball name?
    Stubby Clapp.

  10. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: I totally see the JCVD comparison.

    @Steve: Stubby Clapp is a good one. I like Van Lingle Mungo.

  11. Steve says:
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    @Grey: I think his given name is Richard so I guess he didn’t want to go through life known as Dick Clapp (snigger).
    Not sure that Stubby is the answer, though.

  12. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Guess it’s better than Stubby Dick.

  13. Steve says:
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    @Grey: “Stories and anecdotes about Mungo tend to emphasize his reputation for combativeness, including episodes of drinking and fighting. The most widely told story concerns a visit to Cuba where, supposedly, Mungo was caught in a sexually compromising position with a married woman by her husband. The husband was punched in the eye by Mungo, leading the husband to attack Mungo with a butcher knife or machete, requiring Dodgers executive Babe Hamberger to smuggle Mungo in a laundry cart to a seaplane waiting off a wharf in order to escape the country.”

    Gold.

  14. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: “Nobody nots let Mungo screw their wife.”

  15. Garrett says:
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    I don’t get player raters. How is Theriot ahead of O-Cab? I guess the 30 points in average offsets the 8 runs, 7 homers and 20 RBI’s. Just weird to me since I’d prefer O-Cab’s statline on my team I think at first glance.

  16. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Wonder if A-Rod snuck out of Madonna’s apartment in a laundry basket.

  17. Garrett says:
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    Player Raters are strange. Looking at O-Cab vs The Riot I’d prefer O-Cab’s statline on my team. I guess the 30 points in average more than offsets the difference in runs, homers and RBI’s but it seems a little weird to me (steals pretty much negligible).

  18. royce! says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: No, you’re absolutely right. Baseball Boogie clearly proves that the Dodgers talents are improving.

    I can’t wait to discover what new-ish music they’ll murder this year! Gotta be something relatively new but verging on played out…Raggaeton seems likely. Or maybe EMO! I guess that would only work if they lost, though.

  19. Garrett says:
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    And yes, I realize I’m an idiot for posting the same comment twice. I’m 86 yrs old so this internet thing still fakes me out occasionally.

  20. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Garrett: I’d prefer O-Cab’s stat line as well. The extra average points are negligible, but they are there and need to be accounted for. BTW, thanks for spending your remaining days on Earth with us. Hope you see 87!

  21. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Possibly. Anyone who has seen a Guy Ritchie movie knows my man likes guns (and fast motion).

  22. Freak says:
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    @Garrett: Clearly the better nickname makes up the difference.

  23. Lolhamburger says:
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    @Grey: Giving you another chance to say dork. If you literally pushed Jhonny Peralta, that technically speaking would be battery, not assault. An assault exists only if you made a move towards Jhonny Peralta that created an immediate fear on his part of an unwanted bodily touching, without there actually being contact. Note that intent is required in all instances. If you tried to push Derek Jeter, who is right next to Jhonny Peralta, and slipped in the attempt and pushed Jhonny Peralta instead, that would not be battery against Jhonny Peralta (because you did not intend the pushing). However, if in the same act, you caused Derek Jeter to fear being pushed, then there would be assault against Derek Jeter (because you had intentionally directed the action against him). Got that?

  24. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Lolhamburger: Mr. Albright, will you be representing yourself today? No, your honor. My counsel is just running a bit late. Ah, here he is now… Lolhamburger, where were you?!

    Lolhamburger, “There was a semantics discourse down the hall–”

    Grey, “Dad-gummit, dork! I’m on trial for assault!”

    Lolhamburger, “Actually, it’s battery.”

  25. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: @Everybody

    HaHa

    You guys had way too much fun while I was gone. Meeting in St Lou all day, 3 hour drive both ways for me. And this is what I come home to………

    “Dad-gummit, dork! I’m on trial for assault!” Memories of Stubby Clapp and Mungo?

    “Mongo like candy”

    I waited all day for this???

    Classic, keep up the good work. You can tell it’s offseason in FBB.

  26. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Van Lingle Mungo would be proud. Then he would batterize you.

  27. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: You can’t batterize a Hippo, you’ll wear yourself out.

    I had the Stubby Clapp one time, one swing of the hammer, 30 feet through a keyhole and you’re cured.

    Thanks for the memories, ugghhh…………

  28. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Too bad he didn’t run over Ayala and Heilman.

  29. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Steve: Sounds like Burgos better lawyer up!

  30. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: “So you served as Urbina’s attorney? Umm… Maybe I’ll go with the public defender.”

  31. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Urbina?

    You lost me man. Jorge Urbina from Costa Rica?

  32. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Oh yeah, forgot about that.

    I need a machete. The neighbors are really annoying. Gonna go to Ron the Knife Man tomorrow and see what he’s got.

    thanks

  33. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: I thought I read Ron Kittle at first. I was about to say, did Ron Kittle kill someone I didn’t hear about it?

  34. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: No you read right, Ron the Knife Man.

    He supplies all the bikers in the bootheel. Switches, carvers, gutters, boneslicers, whatever you need. Truly an artist.

    Kittle may have killed somebody but that’s all hush hush. You didn’t hear it from me. Sonofabitch probably deserved it anyway.

  35. BigFatHippo says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Just messin with ya Grey.

    The call at 3rd base last night was correct no? He tagged him, then fell down and the ball came out. He was already out, cut and dried.

  36. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Yeah, probably, but the Angels really handed that to the Sawx.

  37. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    I’m late to this party, but this may be the single greatest sentence ever in the English language:

    The husband was punched in the eye by Mungo, leading the husband to attack Mungo with a butcher knife or machete, requiring Dodgers executive Babe Hamberger to smuggle Mungo in a laundry cart to a seaplane waiting off a wharf in order to escape the country.

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