The best active player in baseball? Albert Pujols.
Now you know.
(And since he's out this year, I'm not considering Barry Bonds an active player.)
It's possible that someone may not fully agree. So your nomination?
posted by Mike at
8/08/2005 06:26:00 AM
MC, you are dead on right with this one. There are a lot of great players out there right now, but the line forms behind King Albert. With all of their injuries, he may have to put the Cardinals on his shoulders and carry them into the World Series again. Hopefully, they will show up to play this time. I don't know who those imposters were last year with Cardinal uniforms on! :)I am pulling for the White Sox in the American league.Have a great week!
By David U, at 8/08/2005 06:56:00 AM
There is no other. . . by far the best player in baseball. Not only his unparalleled ability to hit, but his love for the game is amazing. I watched the cards win with a walk-off yesterday, and he was the first guy out of the dug out and jumping around like a twelve year old. Thats why I love baseball.
By Brandon Moore, at 8/08/2005 07:05:00 AM
Being a displaced St. Louisan (in Dallas), I, of course, agree with you. I also agree with david u, "Who were those imposters last year?" And I work for a company that is based out of Boston... Do the math on that one; that was an ugly time!
By Ray, at 8/08/2005 07:20:00 AM
Pujols is great, but it can be argued that right now the greatest is Andrew Jones (I probably spelled his name wrong I can never remember which way he spells it). I am NOT a Braves fan, never have been. But his hitting is right with Pujols and his defense is far more valuable in my opinion. Pujols is a good 1st baseman, but he just doesn't contribute as much as Jones. But my 5 year old has Pujols over his bed, so what do I know.
By TCS, at 8/08/2005 07:27:00 AM
Pujols...gotta love it when Chris Berman calls him "Winnie the..."Sure, he's great, but I am going on a limb here and calling Jeff Francouer the greatest player that is active. Of course, it will take a few years for me to be proven right, since he's only played in about 20 games, but the kid has everything.And TCS, its AndrUw, with a U. We Braves fans are certainly enjoying his output this year, he's finally living up to expectations. Speaking of the Braves...who won the weekend series with the Cards?!? I was out of town...:D
By Greg Kendall-Ball, at 8/08/2005 07:49:00 AM
As a very partial Braves fan and Hotlantan, I'm gonna have to second the Andruw Jones vote. Offense = solid. Defense = solid. And he's worked wonders on my fantasy team! Hey, but watch out for the young Jeff Francouer...he's hot! (I say this as a baseball fan and a woman)
By Sarah, at 8/08/2005 07:50:00 AM
How ironic - I have read your blog for over a year now and have wanted to respond many,many times but refrained. But baseball shows up (again) and I lost all restraint. I agree wholeheartedly. But Roger Clemens is a close second on my list. And Clemens is rarely second to anybody when it comes to baseball. That's how good Albert is. Andruw Jones is certainly worthy of some consideration as well.My brothers DU and CJ know of my love for baseball. By the way DU, I am severely disappointed that you pull for the archenemy, the sorry-dog WhiteSox. The Tribe needs some love right now at 13 out and 4 1/2 back in the Wild card race.I still remember a story you told, Mike, about preaching a meeting and visiting in a member's house who had a young child and several quality baseball cards, including multiple Nolan Ryan rookies that the child was picking up and handling as if it were just a "piece of cardboard".
By Southpaw17, at 8/08/2005 07:56:00 AM
The Kendall-Ball gang must have gotten hooked on some of those left-handed cigarettes in Rwanda! 20 games makes you "the greatest active player"?!?!?! You're kidding, right? I'm glad you weren't born when the Edsels came out. Let's give him, let's say, maybe a couple of years and then MAYBE he would have earned the right to be compared to the "greatest" that are currently playing. And by the way, the Cards took 2 out of 3 from the Braves. Sorry.Southpaw, it's about time you entered the bloggin community! WELSOME! Sorry to point out the obvious, but your Tribe is going down. It's the White Sox's turn. When is the last time the ChiSox have made it to the big dance.........back when Shoeless Joe was playing? GKB, you were one of those who probably said Tiger Woods was the real deal. What has he done? :)
By David U, at 8/08/2005 08:28:00 AM
Pujols is great, yeah and Andruw is too, yeah - but must agree with CLEMENS!! YEAH! [and am almost ready to replace Clemens with Peavey, but not quite yet. But he's comin' along, he is.] :o) Hey, even my poor, sorry Padres have won last two series, including sweeping the free falling Nationals. Ain't baseball great? Last year the NL West was considered the toughest in the League, this year the sorriest. ?!?!?!?!?!? But the Padres keep holding onto the slim lead in that poor division.And Ranger fans, I'm SOOOOOO glad you've got 'im - Neven. He reminds me of the adage "even a blind pig can find an acorn sometimes." Neven is NO baseball player. He can't play any defensive position above mediocre and he can't see the ball. But when he 'finds the acorn' it does fly a long way. Sorry you have to put up with him - he's poison in the clubhouse being a leader, but very, very negative. Have fun.
By Kathy, at 8/08/2005 08:49:00 AM
Quick question: Do you mean the best active player on 'roids or off or does it matter?
By Sean, at 8/08/2005 09:17:00 AM
No doubt that Pujols is great and probably the best player currently. But consider Alex Rodriguez. Before you start hating, hear me out.Pujols has a slightly better AVG than Rodriguez (.342 v .315), OBP (.433 v .417) and SLG (.633 v .589). They both have 31 homeruns. Pujols has 89 RBIs and Rodriguez has 87. They are virutally the same offensively. But defense is a different story completely.Consider what Rodriguez has done since coming to the Yankees. He has gone from his beloved shortstop position to playing third which, according to just about any knowledgable analyist, is a huge leap! And everyone knows that it doesn't take much skill or effort to play first base. So I think Rodriguez surpasses Pujols defensively without a question.Which then pleads the question, "Is Pujols the best all around player or the best offensive player?"
By jch, at 8/08/2005 09:39:00 AM
i'm sorry to disappoint you but Pujols is the best ALL-Around player... give him 2 years and he will win a gold glove! why do they keep given it to that sorry cubs 1B anyway!?!?!?
By Rees, at 8/08/2005 10:26:00 AM
oh, and one more thing - andruw jones and francoer??? come on now, i have heard of pride for your team but you don't see me saying that so taguchi is an up and coming star! anyway, andruw jones is a great defender but this is his ONE outstanding offensive year. he has to put in his time. a-rod is also an amazing young superstar but i can't give him the best player in the MLB simply bc his #s have not been as good as pujols'. also, how about pujols' story with his wife and kid with down syndrome. it is facsinating, he is a great person!
By Rees, at 8/08/2005 10:34:00 AM
If you can't count pitchers. Roger Clemens is absolutely phenomenal. His ERA just dropped after last night to 1.38 (0.83 on the road). That's amazing for anyone, especially a 42 year-old.
By Chad, at 8/08/2005 10:42:00 AM
Pujols is good, but I've got one that's better.Derrek Lee.Is Pujols currently running for the Triple Crown right now? Pujols has improved tremendously on his defense at first base, but Derrek Lee has been one of the best all around first basemen for years.I know you're thinking well, Derrek Lee plays his home games in Wrigley, one of the top hitters parks in baseball, but there's only one bat in the Cubs lineup that can protect Lee, which makes what he's done this year that much more impressive, whereas Pujols is in one of the most potent offenses in baseball. Lee's hitting like .360 or something, and that's after a three week long slump.Mike, I'm not taking anything away from your boy Pujols, but as for all-around talent this year, Derrek Lee has been the best.See you next week, I'm looking forward to coming back to the office and worshiping with you guys at Highland
By Jeremiah, at 8/08/2005 11:41:00 AM
Don't you love baseball fans? Some with stats out the wahoo, all passionate. I don't know who the best is, but I like Pujols because from all I've read about him, he's humble, has a deep respect for the game, is a "Natural" (no 'roids - hopefully), and he's a Cardinal! My perfect World Series: the Cardinals-vs-the Angels.AnneL.A.
By Anne, at 8/08/2005 12:02:00 PM
As a life long Braves fan, I still have to give the nod to Albert. His consistancy at the level he is playing makes him the best in the National League. I think A-Rod and Vlad G are the best in the American. If I had to start a team with one of the 3.... I would choose Albert. Andruw is having a great year but I wouldn't build a team around him. I drove through Atl this weekend but I didn't drink the Andruw and Francour koolaid.
By Steve Duer, at 8/08/2005 12:07:00 PM
I am speaking as a Braves fan. Albert is THE best player in Baseball right now. However, Jeff Francouer has got to be the NL's Rookie of the Year. World Series will be great when it's two old Boston teams, the Braves and the Red Sox with Braves winning in 5!PS BTW, how about this, no YANKEES in the Post Season! 'bout time! The evil empire is vanquished!
By Ed Harrell, at 8/08/2005 12:11:00 PM
Love it, love it, love it.When Albert Pujols came to America he spoke hardly any English. When he registered at his first school in this country, he found the main office, waited until a secretary saw him, and said, "Where baseball?"He is a joy to watch. Having said that, there is no question that the best player in baseball is Alex Rodriguez. Joe nailed all the reasons why so I won't reiterate. Baseball is more than hitting.And Anne? I agree. Cardinals vs. my Angels would be perfect. Especially if it means I get to watch David Eckstein hit just one more walk off granny.As for Roger Clemens, he is the best pitcher ever. And I know all the stats. Yes, even Walter Johnson's.
By Thurman8er, at 8/08/2005 12:56:00 PM
Sure, Pujols is a great player. But as a Braves fan, I'd have to say that the guy that hits before him -- you know, the guy who hit the walk-off grand salami that beat us yesterday? -- well, he ain't too bad, neither...One more thing:No, he's not the single greatest player in the game, but my absolutely favorite major leaguer has to be Julio Franco. HE'S 47 YEARS OLD, for crying out loud!! Have you seen those arms? Have you seen him pinch-hit? And with no steriods, either. Simply amazing.
By Matt Elliott, at 8/08/2005 02:09:00 PM
When you spend 36 years as a Ranger fan (13 of those within minutes of the ballpark), it's hard to stay a baseball fan. I saw a vote for Julio Franco and that'll work for me. Who knows if the age is right (does he even know?) but it's great to see a guy like that putting up highlights on ESPN. Regardless Mike, you know how to get some discussion going.For me, it's football season now. Think Julius will ever break Emmitt's record? Now there's a debate for ya.
By Donny, at 8/08/2005 02:20:00 PM
I say Albert, for sure. (And not just because he plays for Cardinals, which DOES make me feel happier).
By Frank Bellizzi, at 8/08/2005 02:38:00 PM
Ed says "PS BTW, how about this, no YANKEES in the Post Season! 'bout time! The evil empire is vanquished!"Does Ed not know that there are more games to be played? Ed, don't count the Yanks out just yet.
By jch, at 8/08/2005 02:42:00 PM
As a major Astros fan I must begrudgingly admit that Albert Pujols is probably the best hitter. But I have a hard time saying that since I don't consider first base a very difficult position to play. Sure you got to dig balls out of the dirt and sometimes get a hard grounder from a lefty, but it's generally an easy position with little movement for homerun hitters. I would say that (despite my distain for the Yanks) Derek Jeter is consistant, a true leader, classy and an all around baller. A-Rod is up their two. As far as this year's best all around player my vote is for Andruw Jones. When the Braves are in town he frightens me a lot.
By Kyle, at 8/08/2005 03:38:00 PM
Albert is not only the best player in the game, but also one of the best people in the game. He is as humble as they come, great family man (for instance legally adopted his wife's daughter who has Down Syndrome), very supportive of the St. Louis community, and plays the game with all class.
By slipperycatsanddogs, at 8/08/2005 07:37:00 PM
Pujols it is.Joe H. - both you and I married ladies from St. Louis. How have you managed to avoid Cardinal Nation indoctrination without being disowned? :)
By Malibu Librarian, at 8/08/2005 09:45:00 PM
I'm gonna have to agree with the Andruw Jones votes on this one. He's an incredible hitter (for power and for average), but he is probably most fun to watch in the field. He makes warning-track catches look like child's play. He's money.
By Steve Jr., at 8/08/2005 10:03:00 PM
As much as I enjoy watching Andruw in the outfield, I'm still amazed at John Smoltz's career.And honorable mention to Julio Franco - he may not have the stats of some others, but he's got longevity down.
By KathyGS, at 8/09/2005 04:16:00 AM
You are right, Mike. Albert Pujols is the best active player, which at this point in time includes more than his explosive bat and improving glove (in spite of last night's error), but his quiet yet effective leadership, too.
By Al Sturgeon, at 8/09/2005 05:33:00 AM
Of Course, Of Course, Of Course. As a die-hard Cardinal fan, I may be a bit biased. But just look at his numbers and his consistency. Not only the best active player, but thhe most promising player I have seen in a long, long time. More promising than McGwire, Canseco or even Mantle, who did not have a start like Pujols. Pay attention to this guy. He is one of those once-in-a-lifetime players.
By Buzz, at 8/09/2005 06:08:00 AM
By Buzz, at 8/09/2005 06:09:00 AM
Pujols is probably the best and definelty on the upside. Andruw Jones for sheer talent playing also a very hard position (3 E's) finally healthy. Alex though I can't stand the guy he scares me and the move to 3rd is working now. Vlad is fun to watch but sometimes looks like Manny in the outfield. Bonds is a dork, just like his dad, a clubhouse cancer.Cabrera is the next big guy.Now if I had to manufacture a run to win a game Ichiro to lead off followed by Hideki.
By happytheman, at 8/09/2005 11:48:00 AM
By doGGY, at 8/09/2005 11:54:00 AM
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