Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Richard Barbieri Attends First Game With Scorebook
I've described this game before, the first I attended with my own personal scorebook, the same one I still have. I occasionally page through it with the intention of pulling out a column or two out of it, but besides that (rather strange in retrospect) Mondesi entry, I never have. Until today, that is. I thought it would be fun, and interesting, to go down the list of the best player I've seen at every position in games I've attended with my scorebook. So here they are, the Richard Barbieri's Scorecard (through 2005) All-Stars:
C, Mike Piazza, June 1st, 2003: And it isn't even close.
1B: Albert Pujols, August 26th, 2005: You could, I suppose, label this as premature, but I don't see it. Pujols is going to end up as one of the greatest hitters who ever lived, maybe even one of the top ten, and half the reason I went to that specific Nationals' game was to see
2B: Jose Vidro, May 24th, 2003: The weakest position on my 'team' by miles and miles; Alfonso Soriano would probably be an equally good choice. On the whole however, I have seen a shocking collection of mediocrities trotted out at the keystone: Luis Lopez, Joe McEwing, Terry Shumpert and of course, the immortal Desi Relaford.
3B: Alex Rodriguez, May 12th, 2004: I've also seen A-Rod at shortstop, but more as a third baseman so he gets the hot corner. Besides choosing where to put him, this one is a no-brainer. Rodriguez is one of the game's great hitters and an excellent defensive player.
SS: Derek Jeter, September 27th, 2002: Jeter is probably overrated in some circles, notably those led by Tim McCarver, but he's still a great hitter and one of the best shortstops to play the game. His major shortcoming is his defense, but frankly, it won't much matter on this squad.
LF: Manny Ramirez, April 4th, 2003: Another truly great hitter whose defense--and personality--are all just part of the package. But what the hell, in the game I saw him in, he was part of a 7-6-2 relay to nail the winning run at home plate, so maybe he'd play some D after all.
CF: Ken Griffey, Jr., May 18th, 2005: It is a shame that the shambles Griffey's career became once he left Seattle has more or less obscured for so many just how truly great he was during his time with the M's. He earns the spot over one my personal favorite players, Bernie Williams.
RF: Vladimir Guerrero, May 24th, 2003: Probably the hardest choice here, between Guerrero and Gary Sheffield. Both are fantastic hitters with strong arms in right field,
SP: Roger Clemens, August 5th, 2003: I've also seen Randy Johnson, Mark Mulder, Mike Mussina and Johan Santana, but this is an easy one.
RP: Mariano Rivera, September 27th, 2002: Also one I barely need to think about, and not just because the other closers I've seen range towards the Mike Williams level. Interestingly, the first game I saw Rivera he actually appeared as a set-up man as Joe Torre tuned up his team for the post-season.
So there you have it, the Scorebook All-Stars. If I was managing this team, I'd like my chances.