Tagged: David Eckstein

Top 5…

 

Top5.jpgSo, everytime I get on facebook, someone has taken about 3 more quizzes about the Top 5 favorite…somethings.  I’m almost completely against applications, so I never do it.  But, they do look fun.  And since this is a baseball-related blog(most of the time), I thought it would be fun to play along.  Since most people are very biased (including myself…at least from time to time), I thought it would be fun to take as much bias out of the game as possible.  So, without further ado…here are my Top 5 Non-Mets current MLB players:

 

5. David Eckstein

So, I mentioned in a post about a week ago of my love for Eckstein.  He’s one of those “tough outs” that you don’t want to face late in the game, especially with the game on the line.    He has won 2 world series with 2 different teams, including being the 2006 WS MVP.  This coming from a 5-7 (yeah, right), 185 pound short-stop turned 2nd baseman.  He has no arm, but plays as hard as anyone in the game.  Talent-wise, he’s near the bottom of the league, but the heart he shows just makes you want to stand up and yell.  I’ve heard him characterized many times as “a guy who never has a clean uniform.”  But the main reason that I like him so much, is that he most resembles who I would be, if I would be playing baseball.  A choke up-on-the-bat hitter, who doesn’t have a lot of power, but will drive the ball all over the field.  He has good range, but not a great arm.  All hustle, never-give-up type of guy who just loves to play baseball.  In my opinion, one of the best role-players in baseball history.  These are the guys that do the little things that win championships.

 

4. Yadier Molina

Ok, this is where Met fans cringe.  I know, I know…I watched him drive a stake through my heart with the rest of you, back in October of 06, but…isn’t that also why we hate Aaron Heilman?  You can’t blame everyone.  Anyway, in the late Summer of 2002, I went to a Cedar Rapids Kernels playoff game (Single A Midwest League).  They played the Peoria Chiefs (with the Cards).  I heard of the “3rd Molina” brother who was supposed to be better than the previous 2.  And…he was.  He must have thrown out 4 base-stealers in that game.  I was wow-ed.  The Kernels had run on everyone all summer.  Not against Molina.  He changed the game…and the series and the Chiefs swept my Kernels.  I never forgot him.  Also, is there a better all-around catcher in baseball.  For his first couple years, he couldn’t hit.  Well, I think we all know that’s not true, anymore.  He is like Pudge in his prime, gunning down stealers and picking them off 1st, 3rd…can pick a guy out of the batter’s box?  I’m sure he will find a way.  Also, I’ve heard many times about what great games he calls.  There aren’t many better cornerstones for good teams, than a great defenseive catcher…who can hit.

 

3. Roy Halladay

The most underrated pitcher in baseball?  If the Mets aren’t on and Halladay is pitching, I will be MLB.TV-ing the game.  This guy has arguably been the best pitcher in baseball for the last 7 years.  Including 2002…he has won double-digit game 6 times (other time pitched half a season due to injury), won 16 or more 5 times, won 20 or more 2 times, and other than his half-injured year of 2004, his highest ERA was last year…3.72.  He has also crushed the 200 innings barrier 5 times.  His K’s to BB’s ratio for his career is obscene…3.1 to 1.  If you take out his first three years (previous to 2002), it is 3.9 to 1.  Also, in his last 7 seasons, he has 37 complete games!  That’s unreal!!  He’s about the last pitcher left in baseball to have more than a couple complete games every year.  The last 4 years his complete games have been 5, 4, 7, 9, respectively.   Only once has he given up more than 20 HRs in a season.  To top all of that off, he has done all this with the Toronto Blue Jays…a team that hasn’t had a decent shot of contention since the Joe Carter days.  Roy, I just love watching you pitch…

 

2.  Albert Pujols

No-brainer.  Who doesn’t love this guy?  He is the unquestioned best player in baseball.  A-Rod?  Maybe, but he whines and gets hurt and can be an incompetent fielder from time to time.  Plus, he’s a drama queen.  Find me one negative thing about Albert Pujols.  He’s the Kurt Warner/Tim Tebow of baseball.  Except, he’s better.  He’s the first guy ever (EVER?) to start his career with 8 straight .300+, 30+ HR, 100 RBI+ seasons…and I think it was true a few years ago!  (Side note, David Wright has done it for 4 years, now…they are the only 2 at 4 years).  He has 4 Silver Sluggers, 3 Gold Gloves, 2 MVPs, and 1 World Series…through 8 years.  He plays in the town with the best fans, has won the Roberto Clemente Award…if I say anymore, he would have to be my Number 1.

 

1.  Derek Jeter

You don’t need statistics to talk about this man…

  • October 14, 2001…throws out Giambi…best play EVER? 
  • Face-plants a seat to make a catch against the Red Sox in the 12th inning…
  • Captained the Yankees since 2003…
  • Won 4 World Series
  • Patented his own throw!!!
  • Wanted to comeback and play for the US in the 2009 WBC because he was embarrased by the performace in 2006…
  • Accepted a scholarship to play at the University of Michigan…
  • He has done ALL of this in New York City…

 

Honorable Mention:

Carl Crawford, Chase Utley, Chone Figgins… 

 

 

Some of my friends’ Top 5’s (in the order they sent them to me):

Mike (Tigers): Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, Grady Seizmore, Luke Scott, and Craig Monroe.

Blaine (Tigers): Carlos Quentin, Ichiro Suzuki, Vladimir Guerrero, Alfonso Soriano, and Manny Ramirez

Sass (Mets): Manny Ramirez, El Duque, Kevin Millar, Melvin Mora, and Dmitri Young

Josh (Braves): Jason Varitek, Nate McClouth, Tim Lincecum, Josh Hamilton, and John Smoltz

Vince (Cubs): Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr, Tim Lincecum, Jim Thome, Pudge Rodriguez

Teddy (Tigers): Ken Griffey Jr, Vladimir Guerrero, Torii Hunter, Evan Longoria, Dmitri Young

Frank (Yankees): Roy Halladay, Albert Pujols, Yadier Molina, Hanley Ramirez, Carl Crawford

 

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Ex-Mets Beat Mets, 6-5…

Can I rant?  Its my blog, so I think I will…I HATE pop-ups.  I know, that’s like saying that I hate outs (which I do…and losing).  But, I really hate getting out via pop-up.  Fly balls are at least hit with power(to some degree).  Ground balls can take funny bounces, more opportunities for an error, etc.  In certain situations, they can advance runners or force certain decisions.  But, a pop-up does nothing.  Sure, a fielder can drop the ball or it can get lost in the Sun, but dropped pop-ups are pretty rare.  Well, it seemed to me that the Mets had some great pop-ups tonight.  I think I counted three 3-1 count pop ups.  And they were in important situations.  Church did it, I believe, in the 6th with no outs and Beltran on 1st.  Beltran did it, leading off the 8th.  I mean, I know its nit-picking and I don’t want to be one of those fans that finds the 1 or 2 things wrong, but that just really bugged me tonight.  At least if the ball was on the ground or into the outfield, it could be potentially inning-changing.  But, pop-ups are like letting the air out of a balloon.  Especially, in 3-0 or 3-1 counts.

 

Tonight was one of those games that after the Mets are eliminated from the playoff race on the final day of the season for the 3rd year in a row, you will look back and say “We could have won THIS one!”  It’s the home opener; you are playing a team that (yes, has gotten off to a hot start), but is picked to finish 6th in a five team division; you should be ready to play because of the tough loss yesterday, leaving a bad taste to an otherwise decent road trip…and then lose to the Padres, who started a pitcher who has had one previous game in the big leagues.  The Mets, just seem to play down to their opponent.  This goes back to the 2007 season.  There are just too many games when you think “Why did we lose this game?”  They just don’t seem to have that killer instinct.  The Braves swept the Nationals (as did the Marlins)…and the Phillies beat them today.  I know its only one game and its in early April, but ONE GAME has kept the Mets out of the playoffs the past 2 years, and with the Marlins and Braves streaking, and the Phillies starting to win again, we don’t need to put ourselves in an early hole by losing to a team that will not be in the pennant race.  Thank God that Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother were New, tonight…I need to go watch something else…  

 

Notables:

  • Another dropped fly ball lead to the winning run…off of a balk, no less…AFTER 2 outs were recorded with the runner on 3rd…these are things that endanger the life of my television
  • Pelfrey still looked a little off…his pitches seemed flat and readable…other than Santana (we’ll see about Hernandez), the rotation still makes me cringe…
  • David Wright gets the first Met HR at Citi Field…
  • David Eckstein is easily in my Top 5 Non-Mets players…
  • Mets were on the short end of a GREAT pitcher’s duel yesterday…only saw some of the game, due to Easter and one of the greatest Masters Sundays ever (not better than 2005, though)…I tip my hat to Josh Johnson
  • My heart goes out to the families of Harry Kalas and Mark Fidrych…both contributed a lot to baseball and will be sorely missed…

 

Lastly, tomorrow is an off day for the Mets…Correia vs. Perez (gulp) Wednesday at 7:10…