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I did not want my views to be lost in the flood of the opinion of every sports writer on this side of the globe.

This decade was unique to the sport of baseball. Controversy was a plenty and many records remain in question.

What cannot be questioned is the fact that some players stood out far more than others, and for the right reasons.

Below is my starting lineup for 2000-2009’s All-Decade Team. The choices were made based on statistics as well as intangibles. The numbers listed are the players’ totals for the years  2000-09. Everything else is fairly self-explanatory.

Catcher- Jorge Posada 195hr, 680 RBI, .281 avg.). Posada was a model of consistency and offensive reliability during a time when such was hard to find at the catcher position.

Ivan Rodriguez was a worthy candidate, but peaked too early.

Future: Joe Mauer

First Base- Albert Pujols (345 hr, 1045 RBI, .334 avg.). Even though Pujols did not begin his MLB career until 2001, his numbers still dwarfed those of his peers. He has a great chance of becoming the best first baseman to ever play the game.

Jim Thome was also considered,but has been in the twilight of his career for the last season and a half.

Future: Ryan Howard/ Prince Fielder

Second Base: Jeff Kent (216 hr, 850 RBI, .299 avg.). Kent, though retired as of this season, was a consistent all-star throughout the decade. He put up gaudy offensive numbers at a position that hardly ever saw them and was equally reliable in the field.

Future: Chase Utley. He would have run away with the award if it were three seasons from now.

Third Base: Chipper Jones (263 hr, 881 RBI, .314 avg.). Alex Rodriguez was not in contention for the award. He is still a shortstop in my mind. Jones has scared pitchers for years and has never shown weakness with his glove.

Future: David Wright/Evan Longoria

Shortstop: Alex Rodriguez (414 hr, 1172 RBI, .296 avg.). By far the most impressive stat line of the decade. Steroids or not, he will have a spot in Cooperstown when his career comes to an end.

Future: Hanley Ramirez

Left Field: Manny Ramirez (335 hr, 1063 RBI, .323 avg.). This was a toss-up, so I chose the lesser of two evils. Ramirez’s numbers earn him a spot amongst baseball’s best of all-time. However, because of his steroid use, nobody can tell what they actually should have been.

Barry Bonds was also up for contention (317 hr, 697 RBI, .317 avg.). And that was through 2007.

Future: Ryan Braun (please don’t test positive!)

Center Field: Carlos Beltran (249 hr, 912 RBI, 256 sb, .281 avg.). Beltran has had a great career thus far and inherits Ken Griffey Jr.’s spot from the 1990’s. He is a threat at the plate, on the base-path, and in the field; a five-tool player.

Future: Shane Victorino/Matt Kemp

Right Field: Vladamir Guerrero (301 hr, 997 RBI, .322 avg.). Though his best years are behind him, Guerrero, like Beltran, has embodied the phrase Five-tool player. He is good at everything and is somebody to worry about no matter where he is on the field.

Future: Justin Upton (if he lives up to the hype)

DH/Reserve Spot: Ichiro Suzuki (78 hr, 486 RBI, .332 avg.). He had to be on the list somewhere, and probably would have come close to starting if he spent the beginning of his career in America.

Starting Pitchers:

1) Randy Johnson (141-77, 3.58 era, 2165k—3 Cy Young awards)

2) Roy Halladay (132-60, 3.56 era, 1280 k—1 Cy Young award)

3) Johan Santana (117-56, 3.12 era, 1684 k—1 Cy Young award)

4) Roy Oswalt (132-68, 3.20 era, 1402 k)

5) Andy Pettite (141-84, 3.90 era, 1350 k)

Honorable Mention: Pedro Martinez (107-49, 3.11 era, 1583k—1 Cy Young)

Future: Josh Johnson, Justin Verlander, Tim Lincecum, Brandon Webb

Closing Pitcher: Mariano Rivera (368 saves, 2.25 era, 630k)

Future: Jonathan Papelbon

One Comment

  1. Who would have thought a few years ago that Tim Hudson wouldn’t be on this list? It’s tough to leave out Jim Thome and Pedro Martinez, but it would be equally tough to eliminate someone already on this list to add them in.

    Don’t forget about manager: Joe Torre with honorable mention to Tony LaRussa. Future would have to Joe Maddon or Ron Washington.

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