Welcome to MLB Network Survivor. This is the show where you'll see a group of sabermetric baseball analysts try to survive a week of watching nothing but our own Harold Reynolds, Dan Plesac and John Hart talk baseball.
Ok, so you might say I count myself among those who are not pleased when it comes to the MLB Network's choice of talking heads. I am, however, willing to say I think overall they're doing a good job.
But you should have seen me rolling my eyes this morning as I watched the debut segment of their 30 Clubs in 30 Days Spring Training special. Some baseball fans are no doubt disappointed they began with the Red Sox, but I just chalked that up to the fact that their trip through the Sunshine State had to begin somewhere, and the further south, the further the chance of toasty temps.
No, I'm annoyed at what came on about 50 minutes past the hour. As part of their look at the team, they are covering the best moments in franchise history, as well as the All-Time Team. I thought they would list the best moments, but instead we got a video montage heavy on the past few seasons.
Can't really beef about that either but check out what they had to say about the BoSox greatest left fielder. We all agree the no doubt pick is Ted Williams, he of not much leather, but a career OPS+ of 191, right?
Well Dan Plesac vehemently objected to that selection and insisted it should be Yaz.
Here Dan, a free copy of Bill James Historical Abstract.
You know how my mind works, right? I've begun to think about how they will handle the Giants. If you're in the company of those of us who proudly own a copy of Turkin and Thompson's Official Encyclopedia of Baseball, the moldy one where the World Series begins in 1882, you'll hope they will include the 19th Century greats.
Sorry guys, that boat left a long time ago.
For some team look backs, beginning in 1903 may not be a big deal. But for the big fellows, you could make the case that Buck Ewing is their best catcher, George Davis best shortstop and Amos Rusie and Tim Keefe belong in the discussion for starting five.
Jettisoning that era, it does make the discussion a bit easier. I think the obvious picks are McCovey at first, Kent at second, Bonds in left, Mays in center and Ott in right.
Catcher is really tough. Chief Meyer and Roger Bresnahan have better numbers, but I think it will come down to Wes Westrum, Dick Dietz and Tom Haller.
Shortstop is the same sort of thing with Travis Jackson and Art Fletcher having better numbers but they might go with someone they've seen.
Art Devlin also has a strong case at third but I would have no problem with Matt Williams.
Sometimes it isn't easy making these picks, but Yaz over the Splendid Splinter?
Any odds on who blows the first fuse?