I decided that this would be a good year for me to venture into the world of fantasy baseball. That quickly subsided when I saw just how much effort it takes to not only draft what will hopefully become a successful team, but manage it throughout a 24 week season. Luckily for people like me, there is what I like to refer to as a “lazy option.”
I thought it would be best if my first time was as simple as possible, so I opted to let the system do most of the work for me. Don’t get me wrong, I spent an inordinate amount of time pre-ranking just about every player in the Majors to give myself the best chance at having a semi-good team, but that’s about as far as my involvement went. I guess in the end, my chances of winning the $10,000 are pretty slim, but considering I started this whole thing basically on a whim, I don’t really care.
Well, today was my auto-draft and when I checked my email earlier and saw my roster, I figured there were people in my league that cared even less. I mean, how else do you explain Prince Fielder and Matt Holliday winding up on the Brewgirl’s Bombers (corny, I know) when I was in the 8th slot? I was also pretty happy to see that I got both the Brewers and Twins pitching staffs, not to mention a slew of Hotties, past and present, in Garrett Jones, Casey Blake and ,yes, even JJ Hardy.
Quite honestly, I think I might be able to hold my own in this thing if I just let it play out. I have my team set to send out the top ranked players for each game automatically, though if I see things are starting to look rough, I might actually have to step in. Although, I’m not even really sure how to go about things like trades and waivers. I may just have to let the thing play itself.
So anyway, I’d like to introduce you all to the Bombers and I’m open to any criticism or advice you may have. Already I’m a little concerned not having a backup catcher so that might have to be something to address.
1. Prince Fielder – 1B, MIL
2. Matt Holliday – OF, STL
3. Ryan Zimmerman – 3B, WSH
4. Jason Bartlett – SS, TB
5. Carlos Lee – OF, HOU
6. Miguel Tejada – SS, BAL
7. Michael Cuddyer – 1B, MIN
8. Kurt Suzuki – C, OAK
9. Alberto Callaspo – 2B, KC
10. Milwaukee Brewers – P, MIL
11. Casey Blake – 3B, LAD
12. JJ Hardy – SS, MIN
13. Garrett Jones – OF, PIT
14. Minnesota Twins – P, MIN
15. Carlos Delgado – 1B, –
16. JD Drew – OF, BOS
True, this may be a little premature. And in actuality, it should really be called the 2009 Top 10 Hotties because this is based on players and performance from last season, but honestly, who cares? It’s really just for my own personal enjoyment, afterall. But this list is official. (For girly baseball nerds, anyway.) For the duration of the 2010 season, I will refer back to it, make amends when someone pisses me off (see #8) and shuffle guys around based on whether or not they’re on my good side at the time.
I’ve chosen not to do the day-by-day countdown like I did last year because **shocker** the Top 3 are the same. Yes, sometimes even Skip Schumaker’s performance doesn’t weigh in on the decisions. If it did, every time he led off and didn’t get on base, it would knock him down a peg. Hell, he’d be well off the list by now. But alas, some things cannot be disputed. Hotness is one of those things.
So without further ado, the Top 10 for 2010.
Ryan Church, Pittsburgh Pirates
First of all, thank you, Ryan, for staying in the National League. Church was oft out last season with various injuries (which is no surprise. Concussions, much?) but I feel fortunate enough to have gotten to see him at Miller Park on a couple of occasions. And by fortunate, I mean downright giddy. Ordinarily, Church isn’t the kind of guy I’d see on the street and think, “damn,” but on the field? Well, in a baseball uniform, there’s little you’ve got to do to turn my head.
And overall, Ryan Church doesn’t do much. He’s a career .272 hitter and his OBP and SLG are only slightly higher. Church has played for some notoriously bad teams, too. Well, not bad, just not good. And he’s continuing that tradition with the Pirates for 2010. I mean, you could do worse, I suppose. But Pittsburgh is rebuilding and going with Church isn’t such a bad thing.
Robinson Cano, New York Yankees
The only time you will hear me say anything positive about the Yankees is when I’m talking about good looking guys. Ordinarily, you wouldn’t even see a Yankee on this list, but if it weren’t for that damn World Series last year, I probably wouldn’t have fallen for Robinson Cano. Have you ever seen such perfect teeth? And this girl is all about good oral hygiene.
This poor guy has played his entire career so far with the Yankees but, you know, he’s been holding his own. He managed to scrape by in ’06 by batting a mere .342 and last season eked out .320. And, he’s just one of those guys you love to watch play. He’s young, energetic and hot. What more could you ask for?
Manny Parra, Milwaukee Brewers
So what if Manny’s Josh Hartnett-esque good looks haven’t quite caught on yet? I’m still on board. He’s tall and brooding and looks great in high socks – all pluses for me.
And so what if his ERA has done nothing but balloon since his debut in 2007? He’s been kicked off the list once already. And this position is a demotion from his #5 spot last year. Poor Manny just has to learn to deal with pressure and the occasional bad game. Plus, he’s competing for a job this year so I’m hoping that, all things considered, he finally has a stand-out year for the Brewers. Lord knows he (and they) need it.
Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins
Ahhh, another set of beautiful chompers! Joe’s slipped down in the ratings since last year too, but that’s most definitely not performance based. I just fell in love with some new guys and comparatively, being tall and having nice teeth won’t get you everywhere. But it will get you JJ Hardy’s spot in the Top 10. (Hardy is nowhere near the list this year, btw.)
Joe Mauer easily had the most talked about year in ’09. He won the AL MVP without question as he and his .365 average couldn’t be beat. (Not to mention that his first at-bat after coming off an off-season back injury produced a home run – a small glimpse of things to come.) 2010 will be another big year for Joe, as he’s nearing a pretty big contract extension with the Twins. Awe, such the hometown hero.
Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers
I never thought much about Matt Kemp being a hottie. That is until I saw him make some appearances on Sports Soup. And, well, yum! I’m a sucker for a guy in glasses. And a guy that knows how to dress. And a guy with a great jawline. And since Kemp’s got all three of those going on off the field, he definitely qualifies as an on-field hottie, as well.
After watching Mike Cameron in centerfield the past couple of seasons, I’ve been spoiled by hotdogging plays. And by spoiled, I mean watching him go over the top for a routine play and miss. Watching Kemp play last year was way more entertaining because unlike Cam, he only had 2 errors. At the plate, Matt did pretty well, batting .297 and was nearing a 30-30 season, stealing 34 bases but coming in just 4 shy of 30 homers.
Andre Ethier, Los Angeles Dodgers
I came across a picture of Andre at a signing event in a work newsletter and was shocked at how I’d not considered him for the list before. Shocked. There isn’t much to elaborate on other than he’s gorgeous.
Last season Andre batted .272 with 31 home runs and 106 RBIs but had a great post-season run for the 8 games the Dodgers played. Ethier hit .355 with 3 homers and 6 RBIs. Along with Kemp, the Dodgers are boasting a great looking outfield. Manny Ramirez brings them down a bit, but with the other 2, he doesn’t have to be hot.
Garrett Jones, Pittsburgh Pirates
Who would’ve ever thought with guys like Ryan Doumit and the brothers LaRoche that the Pirates would’ve ever had 2 players on the Top 10 Hotties list? Well, enter the 2009 season and Garrett Jones. Holy hell, what a good looking man. I recall watching a Brewers-Pirates game on TV last year and seeing Jones for the first time. If I weren’t already sitting, my knees would’ve gone weak. That jaw, the scruff, 6’4″, not to mention one of the most perfect profiles I’ve ever seen – what’s not to love?
Moreover, Garrett Jones made a push (along with Casey McGehee) as one of the older rookies in the game last season. At 28, he batted .293 and hit 44 RBIs and 21 home runs. I saw quite a few of those home runs because he hit what seemed like, oh, all of them, against the Brewers.
Skip Schumaker, St. Louis Cardinals
Yes, Skip again. Easily one of the hottest. Again, a sucker for a great scruff-covered jawline and he’s still holding on to the title of “Best Team Photo.” Seriously. Every other player manages to look like they’re posing for a mugshot. Not Skip. After my roadie to St. Louis at the end of last season, I decieded if I ever had to move there for any reason, I could handle it. 1. Because the city is awesome and 2. because of Skip Schumaker making it a little easier to not hate the Cardinals so much. What Skip lacks in height (he’s only 5’10” compared to the 6’+ crowd on the rest of the list) he makes up for in looks from the neck up.
Now, as I said earlier, performance would ordinarily warrant a hiatus from the list, but Schumaker managed a .303 average last year. He could’ve fooled me because every time I saw him in action, he wasn’t doing much at the plate. As a leadoff hitter, I feel like he should be doing more, but Tony LaRussa seems to like him in that spot. He’s also a really useful player on the field, as he’s an experienced outfielder that took over main duties at 2B for the Redbirds last year.
Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies
I mean, honestly. If it weren’t for, well, nothing. I find nothing wrong with this man. Even the flavor savor doesn’t bother me because Chase Utley can do anything he freaking wants to. It’s no wonder he’s so beloved by The Gang, Mac, in particular.
He’s a power-hitting second baseman. “Do you know how rare that is?” Last year, Chase hit .282 in the regular season and hit 31 homers. His post season was even better. He batted .296 and hit 6 homers, 5 of which came in the World Series alone. Not too shabby. Chase Utley is one of the main reasons the Phillies are my second favorite NL team.
<object width=”512″ height=”296″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.hulu.com/embed/JWwFdog480KzV-d9Ws5cvw”></param><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param><embed src=”http://www.hulu.com/embed/JWwFdog480KzV-d9Ws5cvw” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowFullScreen=”true” width=”512″ height=”296″></embed></object>
Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers
As I’ve said many times before, Ryan is a stud. He’s the total package. He’s a tall, ripped, major league baseball player who’s got a bit hardware to back up the goods (ROY, a couple Silver Sluggers – you know). I like the attitude. I like, in his words, the swagger. It works in his favor because what girl doesn’t fall for the bad boy? And it doesn’t hurt when the bad boy is hot.
But we all know what Ryan is capable of on the field, too. He finished out ’09 with a .320 average, 114 RBIs and 32 HRs and led the National League with 203 hits. Braun continues to be one of the best players around today and I look forward to another stellar season in 2010. And I look forward to just looking at him, too.
Well, there they are. The 2010 Top 10 Hotties in all their glory. I hope you enjoyed my clearly feminine view on the Boys of Summer. Well, some of them anyway. Trust me, it’s hard work narrowing the list down to just 10. The few that got bumped from last year’s list are still lingering along with a handful of newbies, just ready to take someone’s place should anyone falter this season. But fear not, if that does happen, the loyal readers of A Girl’s View will be the first to know. Because I know you all care so much.
The Brewers season has been marred by injuries, poor starts, fatigued bullpen arms and too-high expectations. There have been some bright spots, however. Prince Fielder has tied the club record for single-season RBIs, Ryan Braun has become the second fastest player to reach 100 homeruns, new addition Trevor Hoffman is padding his all-time saves lead and Alcides Escobar is finally getting his time in the Major League spotlight. Despite the standings, the list could go on and on.
In addition to all that, Casey McGehee, added to the 25-man roster back in April as a bench player, has gotten his first full season with a Major League ballclub and has proven himself as a valuable asset. More than that, McGehee has become a legitimate contender for NL Rookie of the Year. I think it’s unlikely that he’ll win the honor, but let me plead the case on why I think he should.
Top 10 NL Rookies
Everth Cabrera, SS, San Diego Padres
Chris Coghlan, OF, Florida Marlins
Chris Dickerson, OF, Cincinnati Reds
Dexter Fowler, OF Colorado Rockies
Travis Ishikawa, 1B, San Francisco Giants
Garrett Jones, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
Casey McGehee, IF, Milwaukee Brewers
Gerardo Parra, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks
Colby Rasmus, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
Those 10 guys represent the top hitting performers of all NL rookies this season. I’m going to break down the top categories by where Casey ranks and who’s got the highest ranking, for a quick comparison.
G: 101, 6th (132, Rasmus)
AB: 303, 7th (436, Coghlan)
H: 92, 6th (132, Coghlan)
AVG: .304, 1st
RBI: 58, 1st
R: 51, 7th (72, Coghlan)
HR: 15, T – 2nd (19, Jones)
TB: 155, 6th (192, Coghlan)
SLG: .512, 2nd (.586, Jones)
OBP: .368, 3rd (.376, Coghlan)
Out of the top 10, it’s obvious there are 2 names that are standing out way above the rest. But that’s not to say McGehee hasn’t proven himself worthy. What it’s really going to come down to is the voting. Garrett Jones has playing time in the majors over the last 4 seasons and the Pirates have pretty much accepted this season as a failure. That’s not to say what Jones has been able to do, despite Pittsburgh admitting 2009 was a terrible year, isn’t impressive. (And he’s def making the revamped Top 10 Hotties list. But that’s to be continued on a later date.) Chris Coghlan is absolutely a top contender for the award, and rightfully so. The kid has pushed his way to the top 5 in all batting categories and it’s going to be hard to see how he couldn’t win it. Another guy worth mentioning is another Pirates outfielder, Andrew McCutchen. His arrival to the big leagues was much-anticipated and it’s clear why. Despite not leading any categories, his name shows up pretty consistently in the top 5, as well. And his defensive skills are pretty on-point.
My plea for Casey McGehee is the fact that he started off the year basically as a bench player, working in a 3-man platoon at the Brewers’ hot corner with Craig Counsell and Bill Hall. Fortunately for McGehee, a rather unfortunate season-ending injury of everyday 2nd baseman Rickie Weeks afforded McGehee consistent playing time, splitting duties at 3rd with Hall and 2nd with Counsell. He was good at 2nd, but it became clear 3rd base was a more comfortable fit. Still, Hall was on the team and as a tenured player, albeit a mediocre one, he garnered more starts. When McGehee did step in, he proved his worth and Hall was forced to sit more and more, eventually being traded to the Mariners, which gave McGehee the starting nod at 3rd nearly every game. Not only has Casey’s bat been hot, but his defensive skills should definitely warrant a second look when it comes time to cast the votes. Sure, he’s got a few errors, but nobody’s perfect. Quite honestly, and I’ve said it before, I know it’s unlikely that Casey McGehee will win Rookie of the Year. But seriously, I feel like this guy plays with more heart and tenacity than I’ve seen in a while. Even if he doesn’t get it, he’s definitely more than deserving of it.
So that’s it. My 2 cents on the matter.
Let’s talk a little bit about this Brewers-Cubs series though. Just a little.
I will take a split. A split is better than a loss. Especially when the Brewers scored 16 runs in the last 2 wins, and will ride those wins back home to Miller Park.
Alcides Escobar was supremely awesome last night, going 4-5 with 3 RBIs and turned 2 doubles plays, 1 of which was just beautiful to watch. Especially after that whack DP the Cubs supposedly turned in the top half of the inning. (Andres Blanco stepped off 2nd before the ball was anywhere near his glove. Neither here nor there. The Crew still won.) It took last night’s game for me to actually sit back and come to terms with the fact that JJ Hardy is replaceable and Escobar will be the way to go come 2010.
Today, the Brewers had an early 1-0 lead taken away, but Jody Gerut’s grandslam (yes, I said Jody Gerut) put them back on top, giving Dave Bush and the Crew a much-needed win.
Tomorrow the Crew comes home to face the Astros over the weekend and then the Cubs come to Miller Park for one last showdown before the Phillies wrap up the final homestand of the season. It’s kind of sad to think I only have 2 more trips to the hometown ballpark before season’s end (of course, there’s the trip to Busch Stadium after that), but in a way, once the year is over, it means the powers that be in Milwaukee can start thinking ahead towards next season. And, of course, it means I can focus all my sports energy on football.
Manny Parra will be replaced by Chris Narveson(1-0, 4.67 ERA) again tomorrow night. Narveson takes the mound against the Astros’ Bud Norris (5-3, 5.44 ERA).