Writers have to write. Even unpaid, unobligated folks like myself often feel the need to just write something and put it out. The burden for paid sportswriters in this digital age is far more present. This leads to a lot of news when there is no news. It also leads to terrible lists. Lists can be fun. I generally don’t grade them too hard. But sometimes one jumps out at you and it’s just so obvious that all the writer was doing was putting something… anything… out on deadline. A piece of work like that I have to address.
Shaun McPartlin, a featured columnist for bleacher report wrote an article in April called “Nolan Ryan and the 50 Most Overrated Players in MLB History“. Ok, I have problems with that from the start. You can see that his #1 is probably going to be Nolan Ryan, which I take issue with. Then the simple fact that someone would have the gumption to try to make such a list is a little bogus to me. I think baseball fans are some of the smartest fans in the world and players generally get the credit they are due. I wouldn’t ever want to try to make a 50 most overrated list. It’s just not a realistic project. Well, I figured I’d look his list over. It quickly became clear that “MLB History” to this guy is basically the Steroid Era. Throw in a couple old timers and he figured he had himself a solid article. Well let’s see about that. (I’ll release this in 3 parts, so stay tuned!)
On to #50! (PART 2) – (PART 3)
50. Jorge Posada He tells us that “Jorge has always been known as an offensive player first and a defensive player second.” No arguments here. Then he breaks down how Posada isn’t that good offensively. Posada’s offensive stats are, it’s true, not terribly impressive. But the writer never considers Posada’s clubhouse presence, the way he works with pitchers, the fact that he’s been around for so long, playing at a pretty high level, for the most high-stress team in baseball and he has been an integral part of several World Series teams. So does he really get MORE credit than he deserves? Look, I don’t like any Yankee getting too much credit, but when you consider his body of work I think he gets a due amount.
49. David Ortiz A Red Sox player isn’t much better to me than a Yankee, but it’s why he has him here that bothers me.
He has hit for power and knocked in his share of base runners, but with the accusation of him using steroids being released, how much was really his natural ability?
Any player who uses a substance to gain a competitive edge has to have their stats looked at with a grain of salt. If he comes clean, forgiveness could be granted, but until then, Big Papi is just another overrated player.
Reread that if you didn’t catch it. He has been accused of steroids. Anyone who uses steroids has an unfair advantage when it comes to their statline (No? Really?!?!). Therefore, until he comes cleans and admits his steroid use he cannot be forgiven and he is just another overrated player.
Wait, wait, wait. Because he’s been accused of steroids he now has to admit to using them? What if he didn’t use them?
48. Alfonso Soriano No argument here.
47. Cliff Lee Among the most overrated players of all time? Get real. You see him on SportsCenter a lot for the past few years and we’re suddenly talking about him as one of the most overrated of all time? Also “His work in the postseason is what brings all of the hype and frankly, outside of last year’s World Series, he was rather untouchable.” Uhhhh, what is wrong with giving people credit for their post-season work?
46. Jason Varitek Not sure I disagree with him being on the list. But read how he opens this. “Varitek is a leader in the clubhouse and the captain of the Boston Red Sox and due to this, he is overrated.” … … Really? So he could be hitting .380 with 70 HRs, but he “is a leader in the clubhouse and the captain of the Boston Red Sox and due to this, he is overrated.” I know that’s not the writer’s intent, but you’re trying to write professionally correct? You base your opinion of him being overrated on the fact the he is a clubhouse leader. Instead of basing that opinion on the fact(?) that he performs beneath the level he is given credit for.
45. Jose Canseco Slimy cheating bastard, absolutely. But how can he be overrated if everyone thinks he’s a slimy cheating bastard? No one rates him high. He’s not overrated. This is a trend we will see continued. If a guy is a cheater he’ll be on this list.
44. Scott Brosius Ok in his heydey people talked up Brosius like he was a superstar. He wasn’t. He was overrated. But as of today, does anyone really think he’s one of the most overrated players of all time? Again, how high does anyone rate him? I’d wager not very.
43. Brady Anderson Again… how high is this guy rated? How can he be among the top 50 overrated when he is on no one’s radar? I get it. He pissed you off because he had an enhanced season. This bias of yours is causing you to lose any credibility for this list. It’s certainly fair to factor in steroid use, but do so accordingly. Also, this is biased of me but he show support for Eric Davis during his cancer battle (notice the helmet in the above picture), so I give Anderson a lot slack.
42. Chuck Finley Uhh not exactly arguing. Just didn’t know he was high rated to begin with.
41. Phil Rizzuto I won’t argue with this one.
40. Lou Brock The writer should read what he’s writing about this fella. “Lou Brock could steal bases at a blistering rate. His 118 in 1974 is almost incomprehensible… Brock did eclipse 3,000 hits,” He did all that? I had forgotten. Maybe he doesn’t get the credit he deserves.
39. Jonathan Papelbon No argument. Not saying I agree… A lot of these I have no argument on, but I’m not sure I agree either.
38. Vernon Wells Overrated sure. Top 50? Hmmm 50 is a lot of people so maybe, but I don’t know. I don’t see him as being rated high enough in hte first place to get on this list.
37. Joe Torre The more I learn the more I agree with this assessment.
36. Kirk Gibson Whaaaaat? He is essentially famous for his World Series heroics. This is true. Beyond that I don’t see people acting like he was a superstar. He was a very good player who performed an superman feat and I think he’s been given credit accordingly.