Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Best Defense: Outfield

Instead of giving you a long explanation of how beautiful it is to play outfield, I decided to make this post quick, and we can put this segment to bed.

Here is what you need to know about the Outfield (besides they have the least intimidating lead singer of all time).

You catch flies. You crow hop. You throw the ball. Preferably to the right base.

And away with Rob's picks...

LF -- Carl Crawford

Left fielders don't often win Gold Gloves, and Crawford's still waiting for his first.

Well, if we can't measure who has won the most Gold Gloves how could this ever be decided?

Oddly, though, his defense got him another award: All-Star Game MVP.

Ah, obviously the best way to announce who is the best fielder of the decade would be to give it to a guy who has played the best in one game. What's that you say, good sir? It's not even a real game? It doesn't count? Tell that to Big Bad Bud.

It happened this past summer, when Crawford went above the fence to steal a go-ahead homer from Brad Hawpe in the seventh inning of what would become yet another American League victory.

That's all the time you get Left Field. Try being a real position next time.

My pick for best Left Fielder of the decade is Carl Crawford. Shocking, but it is not for his performance in an All-Star Game. Carl has finished in the Top-2 of UZR/150 each of the past 7 seasons. Posting rediculous 20+ UZR in three of them. There is really not even a close second, unless you count Eric Byrnes as a baseball player. Which I most surely do not do.

CF -- Andruw Jones

Forget the past two seasons.

Just remember, he's on the White Sox now. Everything will be ok.

Remember instead the Andruw Jones who patrolled center field for the Braves from 1998 through 2007, and he just might have been the greatest center fielder since Willie Mays.

Bold statement, but he was quite fun to watch. This actually isn't too bad of a pick either. Mainly because guys like Corey Patterson put up ridiculous UZR/150's each year. Centerfield is by far the most sporadic position to predict fielding prowess. Each year there is a new great centerfielder.

Of course, Jones will not be remembered as the second coming of Willie Mays, who played a good center field into his late 30s; it now looks like Jones' days as an every-day center fielder ended at 30.

Au contraire. He plays for the Pale Hose now. I think that boosts his street cred a little.

But this wasn't due to a lack of ability. It was due to a surplus of weight.

And increase in steroid testing.

Between injuries and ballooning to 240 pounds, Jones simply wasn't the fielder (or the hitter) that he had been. But, oh, what a fielder he had been.

My pick for best CF of the decade... Nyjer Morgan, and not just because his name is Nyjer. Granted, he has only played a few games at center in 2008 and 2009, but look at his UZR/150! It's in the 40's. He wins. Stop arguing.

RF -- Ichiro Suzuki

He's correct here, but lets see how bad his argument is.

Ichiro's fast. He's not just fast for a right fielder. He's just flat-out fast.

Jermaine Dye is slow. He's just not slow for a right fielder. He's just flat-out slow.

Ichiro can throw.

(Crossing my fingers) Ichiro can crow hop... Ichiro can crow hop...

The most replayed throw by an outfielder in the entire decade is probably Ichiro's laser to nail Terrence Long at third base, early in Ichiro's rookie season.

I bet the crow hop was great. Also, make sure to click on the link to Terrence Long, just for a smile.

Afterward he asked, via a translator: "Why did he run when I was going to throw him out?"

Other great questions to ask: "Why did she say no, when I was going to rape her?" - Mike Tyson
"Why would people say stop drinking, when I love beer?" - John Daley
"Why would he call me out when he knew I was going to spit in his face?" - Roberto Alomar (side note: he has AIDS)

In his seventh season in the majors, he shifted from right field to center, and played there well enough to win yet another Gold Glove. Oh, and the Gold Gloves … in nine seasons, Ichiro has never not won a Gold Glove.

Didn't Neyer start this article off by saying Gold Gloves don't matter???? That he was going to use statistics???? He fucking obliged by neither!!!!

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