|I have no idea what is going on here but Matt Stairs being surrounded by cats is ELITE as fuck.|
Since my kid didn't come out this past weekend (at least at the time of this writing), I decided to take on a massive research project of compiling a list of the 25 Best MLB Players of the last 25 years. It wasn't easy. Just kidding. It kind of was. I used PECOTA and WAR and VORP to properly slot these greats. But not BABIP. Fuck BABIP. Again, just kidding. Here were my guidelines:
-Personal bias was huge
-Steroids were considered but only to break ties
-Since we start this in 1989, we didn't factor in guys who were in their twilight at that time. Yes, guys like Michael Jack Schmidt are ELITE, but he wasn't in his prime then. And since he went to Ohio U, fuck him.
-When in doubt, just assume personal bias was used
-If you think that Omar Vizquel is going to show up LOL! Same thing with Verlander. If Ryne Sandberg, Cal Ripken (most OVERRATED player ever), and Ozzie Smith aren't on the list then your favorite turd isn't going to make it either.
Without further Apu, the 25 Best MLB Players of the Last 25 Years...FYI, I plan on doing this at a later date for the NFL and NBA and perhaps college football and basketball, too.
25. Albert Belle - A career cut short by insanity and Degeneration-X hip issues shouldn't take away from how terrifying of a hitter and human being he was. Do NOT throw eggs at his house.
24. Chipper Jones - Larry is a Hall of Famer when it comes to producing bastards
23. David Ortiz - YOU TOOK STEROIDS. STOP ACTING LIKE YOU DIDN'T. IT'S OK.
22. Wade Boggs - His sky-drinking skills are the stuff of legend
21. Sammy Sosa - He's soooooooooooo real. Baseball was berry, berry good to heeeeem.
20. Roberto Alomar - He may have been ranked a little higher had he not spit in John Hirschbeck's face with his AIDS-spit.
19. Felix Hernandez
18. Ivan Rodriguez
17. Mike Piazza - Pudge and Piazza are both incredibly underrated. Pudge has the giant statue of himself in his yard while Piazza is rumored to be a homosexual. Nice.
16. Clayton Kershaw - The highest ranking pitcher that is still playing. He's fantastic. He has been for a while now and he will continue to be. He's not a thrower like Verlander. He's actually great and not a clown fraud.
15. Roger Clemens - A 7 time Cy Young winner at 15? Yeah, I don't know where to properly rank him. If it wasn't painfully obvious that he was on the juice, I would likely have him in the top 5 but whatever.
14. Ichiro Suzuki - This guy is absolutely amazing.
13. Alex Rodriguez - Oh boy. Here is another guy that I didn't know what to do with so I just gave him his number. Happy birthday yesterday, Centaur! By the way, have you seen Funny or Die's parody to the Re2pect commercial, "F13CK YOU"? Delightful!
12. Tony Gwynn - Baseball needs more husky black guys
11. Manny Ramirez - Definitely nuts but undeniably great. His years in LA were tremendous. See you in LA, Go Dodgers! Also, the Dodgers are Uncle T's favorite team. That's huge...like the bulge in his salmon shorts. Count it.
10. Greg Maddux - Did you see what he looks like now? Yikes.
9. Randy Johnson - How LULZ was his tenure in New York!
8. Miguel Cabrera - Don't you dare call me a hater. I show respect.
7. Albert Pujols - He looks to be back this season to being the slugger that he was in STL.
6. Frank Thomas
5. Derek Jeter - YEAH JEETS is going to retire a 5 time champion (or six!) and 6th all-time in hits. People that call him OVERRATED are the biggest losers on the planet.
4. Mariano Rivera - It's not that he's just the best closer ever, it is that he is arguably the most dominant pitcher to ever live. He's at least in the discussion.
3. Ken Griffey, Jr. - It's a damn shame that he was always hurt with the Reds. Just kidding...fuck the Reds. Junior's 1989 Donruss Rated Rookie will forever be one of the crown jewels of my card collection.
2. Pedro Martinez - Without question, in-his-prime Pedro was the one pitcher that you knew your team was not going to beat. That ASG in Boston that he started where he stuck out all 6 of the batters he faced was unreal.
1. Barry Bonds - I don't care. He's the best baseball player of my lifetime. Did any of these other guys appear on an episode of 90210? I think not. It is a shame that Bonds is such an asshole because he should be in Cooperstown even if there is an asterisk on his plaque. Bonds should be going into the Hall before Pete Rose. FACT.
There you have it. I spent more time on this than I would like to admit. It was really hard for me to not have a top 5 that was some variation of Jeter, Rivera, David Cone, Danny Tartabull, and Shane Spencer but I persevered. Challenge my authority today if you would like. I'll let you know if or when I'm off to the hospital. Iceman is out tomorrow but an old friend is filling in to let us know what he's been up to instead. YAY NO ICEMAN!!!