1990s All-Decade Team

27 12 2013

My All-Decade team:

C – Mike Piazza, LAD-FLA-NYM (.328/240/768)

1B – Jeff Bagwell, HOU (.304/263/961)

1993 Topps Black Gold Barry Bonds2B – Craig Biggio HOU (.297/136/641, 362 2B, 1,042 R, 319 SB)

3B – Ripken, BAL (.278/198/827, MVP)

SS – Barry Larkin, CIN (.303/137/639, MVP)

OF – Barry Bonds, PIT-SFG (.302/361/1076, .434 OBP, 343 SB, 1,091 R, 1,146 BB, 3 MVPs)

OF – Ken Griffey Jr. SEA (.302/382/1,091, 1,002 R, MVP)

OF – Larry Walker, MON-COL (.313/262/851, MVP)

DH – Frank Thomas, CHW (.320/301/1,040, .440 OBP, 2 MVPs)

START HERE

SP – Greg Maddux, CHC-ATL (176-88/2.54/1,764, 4 CY)

SP – Roger Clemens, BOS-TOR-NYY (152-89/3.02/2,101, 3 CY)

SP – Randy Johnson, SEA-HOU-ARI (150-75/3.14/2,538, 2 CY)

RP – John Wetteland, LAD-MON-NYY-TEX (37-32/2.66/655, 295 SV)

I’d say that Mark McGwire is easily my biggest snub here.  The guy led the majors in slugging and homers in the decade and broke the most famous record in the game.  But I don’t know how I’d put him ahead of either Jeff Bagwell or Frank Thomas.  Aside from that, I got creative with one position but didn’t do so in another place.  This was with Cal Ripken and Craig Biggio.  I could have argued for Biggio being a catcher – he played catcher for the first two years of the decade.  But the next 8 years he was at second base.  That was too much, and the positions are too different to put him at catcher just for the lineup spot.  Biggio was easily one of the best players of the decade, so I needed him in the lineup.  That meant Roberto Alomar got bumped – and Mike Piazza got included.  Piazza was only around for 7 years of the decade, but he was so good that I was happy to include him.

COMC Sept 2013 Griffey 95 Topps Spectra promoOn the other hand, I did put Ripken at third.  Ripken played 3rd base in ’97, ’98 and ’99.  Like Biggio at second, Larkin was clearly the best shortstop out of the guys who played the whole decade (I don’t think A-Rod, Jeter or Nomar were around quite long enough to bump him).  So it basically came down to putting Ripken, Matt Williams or Robin Ventura.  I think Ripken was the better player out of those 3, and since I felt like 3rd base was fair – he gets the nod.  The 1995 season when he broke Gehrig’s record was a seminal moment in baseball history, so he seems like a good fit here.

There were a lot of great pitchers in this decade – Tom Glavine and David Cone were excellent and pitched the whole decade, and Pedro Martinez was dominant in the second half of the decade.  But I don’t think you could argue the top 3.

I’d give Maddux a slight (but definitive) edge over Clemens for pitcher of the decade, and Bonds similarly nudges out Griffey for player of the decade.


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2 responses

28 12 2013
sanjosefuji

Great team. Loved watching a lot of those guys. I know Gwynn wasn’t mentioned due to a loaded outfield… but he was pretty solid during the 90’s too: 10 out of 10 all-star appearances, 4 batting titles, 2 golden gloves, and hit .338 or higher in 6 out of the 10 seasons… while never hitting below .309.

30 12 2013
chuckneo

Yeah – it’s a tough team to crack and that’s the toughest position. Bonds and Griffey are the 2 best players of the decade, so they’re locks – I think Walker, Gwynn, Kenny Lofton, Albert Belle would all be in the discussion.

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