To all of my enthusiastic responders (I cannot bring myself to sound like a lawyer and call you "respondents"),
I am REALLY looking forward to doing this, and I thank all of you--so many more than I'd hoped for--for your avid interest.
When May 1 rolls around, I will start listing players one position at a time. As I said, I will list ALL qualified players from a given position
(other than pitcher) who are in the Top 50 at that position in Bill James' magnificent book, and I will provide info on each one. I will include a
few extras, if they are qualified players whom I can see a given region of the U.S. being real fond of.
The higher they are rated, the more info I am likely to provide, but if I consider the player particularly intriguing--e.g., if Dave Kingman were #50
among LF's and eligible, instead of #98 and ineligible because a zillion teams got rid of him--I'll write a lot.
Obviously I cannot do all of this and produce one position every night. This is especially so at pitcher, where I shall use all eligible pitchers
from James' Top HUNDRED, and probably need 6-8 days.
I will, however, do my best to produce one position every THREE or FOUR nights. That means we can each have our individual team ready to post by
about the 1st of June.
I suspect, and really hope, there will be a lot of differences between our teams. If I pick between the 2 eligible members (Mantle, DiMaggio) of the
Great Five CF's (Cobb, Speaker, DiMaggio, Mays and Mantle)--which I will--and someone from the North wants to pick Kirby Puckett out of sentiment or
the fact they actually SAW him, no problem. For one thing, James rates Mantle #3, DiMaggio #5 and Puckett (a distant) #8 among CF's, so the late
Kirby is not light years off. And again, nobody is going to ridicule anyone, even if they pick someone whom James rates #48 at his position.
Within the next month or so, I will finish this monstrous, 500-page brief (how's that for an oxymoron?) that I've worked on for years. I have
another, even more monstrous capital appeal waiting for me, but one without horrific time pressures. So I should be able to put all the necessary
time in on this project come June, and I promise I will do so unless a disaster occurs in my life.
I know a lot about almost all of the eligible players already, and I have a great website for getting more stats on them, too. All the same, this
will take me a lot of time and effort, so please bear with me.
And for those of you who'd like to learn at least some things about greats of long ago, you can do so this way, even if you don't want to read the
facts I include about the old players who are in the middle or bottom (say, #20 thru #50) at their positions. Take, for example: Lou Gehrig, Roy
Campanella, Pie Traynor, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Mel Ott (who held all great NL power stats until Musial arrived), Stan Musial, Jackie Robinson
(who is WAY underrated as a player), Ernie Banks, Charlie Gehringer, Ted Williams (a world-class jerk during his playing days, but unlike Hornsby, his
teammates loved him and his team was willing to put up with him), George Brett, Mike Schmidt, etc., etc.
Each of these guys is eligible, and each of these guys (with one possible exception) is at LEAST among the top 10 of all time at one of the 8 everyday
positions. At least EIGHT of them, in my opinion, can be argued for credibly as THE greatest player ever at his position, including guys who didn't
play for only one team.
Now that I can erase Bonds with a clear conscience, there are FOUR guys on the above list for whom I expect to vote. But while I'm doing my
up-to-date research for all of you, I'll be keeping an open mind for myself and my own rankings. At some positions (RF, 1B, 3B, SS), it's just not
going to change. At others, who knows?
I'm really looking forward to this. And I appreciate very much that so many of you have let me know you're looking forward to this. My work is
oppressive and sapping my energy, and my current dining companion is--I guarantee you--going nowhere as a "woman in my life," so this is a nice thing
to look forward to.
But since I had to toss the other current "woman in my life" overboard for being a very hardcore drunk (750 to 1500 ml of 14% alcohol wine every
night), for doing it constantly in front of her kids (of whom she has SOLE custody), and for being as insufferable when drunk as I was during my brief
career as an active alcoholic (I quit at 26; she's 47!), it's not like I'm going to let myself lapse into making this my "life." This one-team
players team is a great thing to look forward to, but when I find another babe who's got the brains, looks and outgoing sweetness of my fellow
attorney, without the huge drinking problem, I'll be--well, hell, I'll be reducing my posts by 15%. lolol.
At least I know myself.