I'm such a sucker. Anytime ESPN (or any big media conglomerate) forms a list, they do it with the intention of generating controversy and page views. Any omission, any oversight sends a basement dweller such as myself scrambling to cheese-stained laptop to spew my venom over the latest travesty.
So I realize I'm just feeding the beast, but I can't (can not!) let Karl Ravech get away with saying Nick Markakis is the best right fielder in baseball. ESPN's Web Gem video based on PECOTA projections selects Nick Markakis as their best RF in baseball. I love Nick Markakis, as you well know, but defense is Alex Rios's whole deal! Without defense, Alex Rios is just another chump swinging at sliders in the dirt. Dewan's plus/minus, UZR, Probabilistic Model of Range, they all favor Rios. The Hardball Times's outfield arm tools show Markakis generated more outs in 2008 from right, but when Alex's time in center factors in, forget it.
I'm not saying Rios is a better player than Markakis, though I've basically said as much in the past, and I realize that ESPN's in-house stat source BP rated Roccopolous higher, but Alex Rios is CERTAINLY a better right fielder. Than everyone with two names, anyway.
- Round 2 of the Mop Up Duty Superduper Blogger Feedbag went up today. Nowhere else can you get insight like mine, when asked what I would do were I in JP's shoes: I have no idea.
- Parkes wonders aloud if Cito's maybe a little crazy. I like Cito, but I agree that he's said some crazy stuff this spring. While it's hardly a popular position, Cito certainly got an undue amount of praise last year. Hopefully he doesn't WAMCO this years lineup, considering how up in the air the batting order must be. I just wish Parkes would let Scott Rolen's contract go. He doesn't make that much, my friend.
- Say it Ain't Joe. Just like with Accardo, player options trump options on the bench.
- Since you have nothing better to do on a Tuesday night, I'll give you two great ways to kill some time. First, hit the Blue Jay Hunter's live chat at 9pm. I can never make it because of my weekly basketball run/profuse perspiration outing, but I try to follow on my phone when I'm en route. Then, at 11pm Eastern Standard Time, tune into the very first Walkoff Walk Furious Five Podcast. 15 minutes in heaven with the dulcet tones of Kris, Rob, and MAYBE somebody else. Just sayin.