All World All Sports Blogs
We're only a few days away from the beginning of a new decade. I've been busy putting together my personal All Decade teams for our four major sports. Today's blog/team highlights the best of Major League Baseball (2000-09). Players suspected of using performance enhancing drugs need not apply... they're out!
Here it is, All World All Sports first All Decade Team:
Starting Pitcher: Randy Johnson (Diamondbacks, Yankees, Giants) - Let the debate begin. Johnson was the most dominating early on when he was still blowing away hitters on his way to winning the decades first three Cy Young's. Injuries slowed down his effectiveness in recent years but no one put more fear into hitters than Johnson.
Catcher: Jorge Posada (Yankees) - Posada has been every bit as important to the Yankees recent success as Derek Jeter's arrival. Posada is a Yankees legend even though spotlights follow Jeter, ARod and Mo Rivera. 5 time All Star. Batted .338 in '07. 30 HR's in '03. The most consistent non-doper catcher of the decade.
1st Base: Albert Pujols (Cardinals) My MVP pick of this decade. He does it all. Hits for average, power, clutch, slick fielder. Five 40+ HR seasons, over 100 RBI every season, over 100 runs scored all but one year (99). Pujols might be the very best of the best by the time his career ends. 366 decade HR's, .334 cumulative batting average, 3 NL MVP's, 2001 NL Rookie of the Year. Not too shabby.
2nd Base: Jeff Kent (Giants) - Killer Kent was one of NL's greatest run producing 2B ever to lace up. Regularly banged out 40+ 2B's, 20+ HR's and 100+ RBI while flirting with .300 BA.
3rd Base: Chipper Jones (Braves) - Smooth, steady, consistent, clutch. Day in and day out Chipper comes to play. Future Hall of Famer. People will fill my email claiming ARod this and ARod that. Sobeit. Yes, ARod's stats are nice but he juiced therefore disqualified from my consideration.
Short Stop: Derek Jeter (Yankees) - Derek personifies hard work, dedication, team leadership qualities, clutch performances and steady play. All while under an intensified New York media circus always ready to pounce on athletes who stray. Yankees captain surpassed 200 hits 5 times, 100 runs 8 times, .300+ 8 times, 20+ SB 6 times, 8 time All Star. In 2009 became NY's all time hits leader.
Left Field: Carl Crawford (Rays) - Blazing fast LF Crawford has yet to reach his prime. Became Rays full timer in 2003. Recorded 5 50+ SB seasons, led AL 3 consecutive years with double digit triples, .295 BA. A few other names come to mind before Crawford... but, they're dirty.
Center Field: Carlos Beltran (Royals, Astros, Mets) - The only knock I have on Beltran is from when he struck out with the bases loaded, Mets trailing by 1, bottom of the 9th, 2006 NLCS. Yes, I can carry a grudge. Other than that, he put together a fine decade. 8 100+ RBI, 4 30+ SB years, superb defensive CF, 5 time All Star.
Right Field: Ichiro Suzuki (Mariners) - Could you imagine if his entire career was spent in USA? He's first player to record 200 hits in 9 straight years, most 200 hit seasons from start of career, most hits in decade 2,030 (only 9 years), 30+ SB every year but one (26), 8 seasons 100+ runs scored, 9 time All Star, 2001 Rookie of the Year, 2001 AL MVP, 9 Gold Gloves. Hands down best all around RF is Ichiro.
Designated Hitter: David Ortiz (Red Sox) - DH extraordinaire and Mr. Clutch (except in '09). Big power numbers from Big Papi. 3 consecutive 40+ HR's, 5 straight 100 RBI.
Closer: Mariano Rivera (Yankees) - Was there any doubt? Never. The best closer of all time. Eclipsed 500 career saves in '09. 8 time All Star, 2005 Cy Young runner up, 6 years sub 2.00 ERA, 10 30+ Save years (5 40+).