The All Decade Team: 2000-2009
Among the list of players who appeared on the 1980's All Decade Team were:
Mike Schmidt (Player of The Decade)
Jack Morris (Pitcher of The Decade)
Jeff Reardon (Fireman of The Decade)
Enclosed you will find my All Decade Team for the new millennium. Though the 2009 season is just opening, the roster spots for this teams are already determined.
To be included in this team, a player had to perform consistently well for many years during this decade. It's no surprise that at least 10 of the 14 players are locks to join the Hall of Fame (assuming steroid allegations and admittance don't sway the voting).
First Base: Albert Pujols
No player in recent memory have taken the baseball world by storm in such a short time as Albert Pujols has done since 2001. In eight seasons, the two time MVP winner has hit 319 home runs, driven in 977 RBIs, and has batted .334. If anyone is going to win the triple crown, it will be King Albert.
Second Base: Jeff Kent
The recently retired Jeff Kent was one of the most consistent players in the game. Kent was a four time All Star who won the MVP in 2000. During the decade, the career home run leader for a second baseman, hit 216 HR, 850 RBI, and hit over .300 for three seasons.
Shortstop: Alex Rodriquez
Before moving to third, Alex Rodriquez was the king of shortstop. It's amazing the stats that he has compiled during this decade. He has hit 405 home runs and driven in 1008 runs to go along with his nine All Star selections and his three MVP crowns. Due to all these astronomical stats, he is my selection for Player of the Decade.
Third Base: Chipper Jones
Even though Chipper Jones is a nemesis to the NY Mets and hit so well in Flushing and named his child Shea, I have so much respect for him. He had another outstanding year in '08 that has seen him bat over .300 in seven out of the nine season in this decade.
Outfield: Barry Bonds
I, like most fans, are not a fan of Barry Bonds. I feel he would be on this list even if he didn't use PED. He was that talented.
During this decade, Barry was selected to six All Star games to go along with his four MVP trophies. During the eight seasons, he hit 317 home runs and batted .322. The most amazing stat was that he averaged a home run every nine at bats.
Outfield: Vladimir Guerrero
Vlad has hit an even 300 home runs with 986 RBI during the decade. The winner of the 2004 MVP has batted .326 and was selected to seven All Star games.
Outfield: Manny Ramirez
Though he moves to his own beat and isn't the prime example of a team player, not many can rake like Manny Ramirez. I remember hearing stories, as a Little Leaguer, about a kid from George Washington High hitting a home run out of Yankee Stadium against FDR in the city championship.
Well that kid is a hitting machine as shown during this decade. Manny has made the All Star game every year during the decade, has hit 329 home runs and driven in 1043 runs.
Catcher: Pudge or Posada
Beside the starting rotation, this was the one position where it was so difficult to decide who deserves the honor.
Ivan Rodriquez has been the best defensive catcher since joining the league in the mid '90s. During this decade, Pudge has been selected to six All Star games and has hit for an average of .300 or better in five out of the nine seasons.
Jorge Posada is the catcher with the pop. He has hit 186 home runs with 738 RBI. In 2007, Posada batted .336.
I'm leaning towards Pudge based on the defensive advantage. Let me know who you would have picked.
Starting Pitchers: The Rotation
The rotation would be headed by Pitcher of the Decade Randy Johnson. Randy is 5 wins away from being the sixth lefty to win 300 games. During the decade Randy has won 135 games, struck out 2,096 batters and has won three Cy Young's.
Joining him in the rotation is recently retired Mike Mussina. It's amazing that he never was selected to an All Star game. All he did during this decade was win 134 games and struck out 1,488 batters. His was a picture of durability, starting 30 games each year except two. Those two years he started 27 games.
Roy Oswalt is another pitcher who is very durable and consistent, which is the reason he has compiled stats that are good enough for him be a part of this team. Roy's record is 129-64 which equates to him winning 67% of his decisions.
It's amazing that Roy Halladay has won 122 games during this decade since there were three season that he started less than 20 games.
Rounding out the rotation is Johan Santana. Even though he didn't become a starter until 2002 and average 10 starts during the first four seasons, Johan still has gone 109-51 (68 percent) to go along with his 1,587 K's during the decade. To put things in perspective, Mussina started 79 more games (roughly 2.5 seasons) than Johan but Santana still has struck out 100 more batters and only won 25 less games than "Moose".
Relief Pitcher: The Fireman of the Decade
Mariano Rivera may be the best closer in history. During the decade, Mariano averaged 44 saves and five times finished with an ERA less than 2.00
Bench: Honorable Mention
The following players were considered when forming this team:
Sammy Sosa, Carlos Lee, Carlos Beltran, Lance Berkman, Ichiro Suzuki, Curt Shilling, Greg Madduxx, Pedro Martinez, CC Sabathia, and Trevor Hoffman.