All right, so we were just told that Derek Jeter is the "best baserunner", yet Torii Hunter is the "most exciting baserunner", whatever that means (I don't know, I'd say Manny is far more exciting on the basepaths.) I guess I should've figured this out long ago, but it turns out they're writing a "Best..." article for every conceivable category. Rather than grouse about the results as they slowly trickle out over the course of the next month (I said "trickle out"), we should stay ahead of the pack and make our predictions. Of course, there are two predictions to make in each category: who should win, and who ESPN will say. So, without further adieu:
Jan. 12: Best bunter ... Juan Pierre
Jan. 13: Most patient hitter ... Barry Bonds
Jan. 17: Best hit-and-run guy ... Mark Loretta
Jan. 18: Best two-strike hitters ... Bonds and Ichiro
Jan. 19: Best baserunner ... Derek Jeter
Jan. 20: Most exciting baserunner ... Torii Hunter
Any complaints on these? (Other than Jeter of course?)
Coming up ...
Jan. 21: Best basestealer...Dave Roberts!
Jan. 24: Best at breaking up a double play
Jan. 25: Best control pitcher
Jan. 26: Most durable pitcher...The Big Unit or the Rocket, naturally. Must be the nicknames.
Jan. 27: Best slide-step move
Jan. 28: Best pickoff move...Andy Pettitte of course (but aren't those all balks?)
Jan. 31: Best pitcher at moving hitters off the plate
Feb. 1: Best-hitting pitcher...Mike Hampton
Feb. 2: Best outfield arm...Guerrero, Mondesi, Nixon
Feb. 3: Most accurate outfield arm
Feb. 4: Best outfielder at playing the wall
Feb. 7: Best infield arm...Does I-Rod count? There should be a separate category for catchers.
Feb. 8: Best double-play combination...Dumb category -- so few SS-2B pairs stay together for more than 1 season these days. Alomar and Vizquel still get my vote.
Feb. 9: Best cutoff man
Feb. 10: Best first baseman around the bag...Mientikiewzcyxz?
Feb. 11: Best catcher at blocking the plate...Tek
Feb. 14: Best catcher at calling a game...Will be Lo Duca, should be Tek
Feb. 15: Best on-field manager...Bobby Cox?
Feb. 16: Best third-base coach...Dave Sveum. No question.
Feb. 17: Best prankster/clubhouse clown...Ortiz will and should win this.
Feb. 18: Best leader...Brace yourself for a Derek Jeter suck-fest. He probably should win though.
That's a lot of blanks. Any predictions?