Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mt.Rushmore - AL East

Well, it's time to wrap up our Rushmores.  This last installment is the venerable American League East. So, let me tell you who made it and then we can get back to our regular installments dealing mainly with the hobby.

New York Yankees:  Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Yogi Berra.

Defense:  I will not defend this, at all.  I can say that only the Yanks would have a Rushmore that did NOT include Jeter, Mo Rivera, Reggie Jackson, Thurman Munson, Don Mattingly, Phil Rizzuto, blah, blah, blah.  It seems that the greats always spend a good chunk of time in the Bronx.

Boston Red Sox:  Carl Yastrzemski, Ted Williams, Pedro Martinez, and David Ortiz.

Defense:  Two old timers, two not-so-old timers.  Yaz and the Splinter could hit the cover off of the ball.  Williams was probably a far better player but I believe that Yaz was far more beloved by the Sox faithful.  No one, and I mean no one, the size of Pedro could pitch as hard as he could.  Remember the years when he was the most dominant pitcher in baseball?  You should.  There were like ten of those seasons.  Just an amazing pitcher.  He punches old men, too.  Big Papi is the face of the franchise these days.  Hands down.  Talent, power, and charisma...he's got it all.

Toronto Blue Jays:  Joe Carter, Roberto Alomar, Roy Halladay, and Tony Fernandez.

Defense:  Carter was the lynchpin to some great teams back in the early 90's.  Joe could hit for average and power and play a pretty good defense.  Nice player.  Robbie Alomar, all spitting aside, is one of the top second baggers to ever play the game.  Period.  No discussion.  Roy Halladay was easily the best pitcher to ever play in Canada.  That's an easy one.  Just a dominant player and he had so few losing seasons (I think 2 total) in his career.  Tony Fernandez is the all time hits leader in Toronto.  Can you believe that?  I couldn't when I found out.  But, Tony was awesome.  Some of you whippersnappers are too young to remember.  But, I do...because I'm old.

Baltimore Orioles:  Cal Ripken Jr., Brooks Robinson, Jim Palmer, and Frank Robinson.

Defense:  Every single one of these guys is in the Hall of Fame. What is there to defend?  I can say that I think that Cal is one of the greatest players I have ever watched play in person.  There was no weakness to his game, I say.  The rest of the guys were pretty good, too.

Tampa Bay Rays:  Fred McGriff, Wade Boggs, David Price, and Evan Longoria.

Defense:  Another young franchise makes it hard to come up with a Rushmore.  But, McGriff, who should already be in the Hall, was an incredible player before he got to Tampa/St. Pete was one of the best.  A great hitter who was also an awesome guy.  Just loved in Tampa.  Boggs, who spent his last two seasons with the Rays (Devil Rays, back then), was one of the best contact hitters of his generation.  He could really just about hit anything.  Let us remember he hit his 3 thousandth hit in Tropicana Field (a homer).  I met him once and found him a little surly...I still like him, though. Price, a youngun, has the franchise's only Cy Young award.  He's a damned fine pitcher and I, for one, would love to see him spend his career in Tampa (ain't gonna happen).  David is a VERY nice dude, too.  Who could argue with Longo being on this list?  Fans love him.  Teammates love him. He's well respected around the league.  He plays great defense and hits well, too.  He stays on the Rushmore.

Well, that's it.  All of our Rushmore's are out into the internets world for posterity.  Argue amongst yourselves about who your Mt. Rushmore's are.  I am moving on to bigger and better things.

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