I wanted to get to this sooner since I was so irritated by it, but in the May 25th issue of The Sporting News, they surveyed 100 "baseball people" to come up with a list of the 50 best players in the Major Leagues. There were 13 Hall of Famers, 13 Cy Young winners, and 12 MVPs among the panel. Guys with Tigers connections in the voting included Sean Casey, Eric Davis, Phil Garner, Bill Lajoie, Lloyd McClendon, and Frank Tanana. They also had insight from other current and former MLB players.
What gets me, is that we only have one player on the entire list: Miguel Cabrera. The insult to Cabrera, in my opinion, is that he came in 28th in the voting. Really? That's it? And no Curtis Granderson or Justin Verlander on the list? I'm amazed by this.
Captain Overrated, Grady Sizemore, the guy always compared with Curtis, came in 12th. Hell, Zach Greinke, he of two productive MLB months in his career, came in 25th! Lists like this are subjective, I know. But the lack of love for the Tigers' core is amazing to me.
Cabrera's a top ten guy, at least. I'll give you Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, Joe Mauer, Mark Teixeira, Manny Ramirez, and maybe Hanley Ramirez ahead of him. But that's about it. I wouldn't include pitchers very high because they only pitch every 5th day. When I'm looking at valuable, I'm looking at an every day guy. And when I think of the best players in baseball, Miguel Cabrera's a name that has to come up right away.
Here's their top ten:
1. Albert Pujols
2. Alex Rodriguez
3. Johan Santana
4. Manny Ramirez
5. Hanley Ramirez
6. Chase Utley
7. Roy Halladay
8. Derek Jeter
9. Mariano Rivera
10. Chipper Jones
Jeter and Rivera? What is this, 1997? Mauer finished 39th, an even bigger insult than Miguel's. In their "Just Missed The Cut" section, Magglio (Ichiro) Ordonez finished 53rd. But no Granderson. No Verlander. What's the reason? Am I just biased? Was the panel blinded by the overwhelming "Yanks/Sawx" media coverage we're all subjected to on ESPN? You tell me.
I'll end with this bit of wisdom. One of the former players giving "insight" was our own ex-roller coaster of a closer Todd Jones. His pick as the best player in baseball? Derek Jeter, he of declining ability and lack of range. Todd says it's because when he looks at Jeter, he sees a champion. He blows a bunch more smoke up Jeter's behind after that. I find it sad that a guy that was in Detroit for so long would pick Derek Jeter, a sure Hall of Famer, but the most overrated player in modern times, to be the current best player in baseball.
What does a Tiger player have to do to get some national media love? Well, other than get traded to Boston or New York, that is...