Mancrush: The Latest Trend in Sports (Part One)
It seems like every male sports fan is developing a 'mancrush' on profession players all around the sports world.
I'm no different, and I'm not ashamed to admit a mancrush when I have one.
You'll notice that this is part one, as I have chosen to list 10 mancrushes that I have. Part one focuses on the MLB, and part two on the NFL.
These guys have been favorites of mine for awhile. Sure, they can be classified as just my favorite players, but possibly a new term to use is 'mancrush'.
They are guys that you'd pay to see, and always try to draft on your fantasy teams.
Before I list my Top 5 MLB mancrushes, there is one thing I should point out...
What Exactly is a Mancrush?
According to urbandictionary.com, 'mancrush' has many definitions. Here are some of them.
1. When a straight man has a crush on another man; not sexual, but idolizing.
2. A man who has a crush on another man without sexual attraction (not that there's anything wrong if one does).
3. A man having extreme admiration for another man, as though he wants to be him.
4. For a man to have a very close platonic relationship and/or admiration for another man.
So the following list is my five mancrushes on current MLB players (or guys that I have deep admiration for and which I had their skills).
5. Evan Longoria (The Other Longoria)
Longoria hasn't even played a full season's worth of games in the league, but he has already proven that he is awesome.
In his 2008 AL Rookie of the Year campaign, Longoria hit 27 HR and had 85 RBI in just 122 games.
He has started the '09 season on fire as well, and is an early contender for AL MVP.
Oh, he hit six home runs in 16 games of the '08 post season; that's pretty good for a rookie.
Longoria should be good for a long time to come, and there should be no shortages of mancrushes on this guy.
4. Vlad "The Impaler" Guerrero
The best bad-ball hitter in the game today.
I've seen him take a pitch around his eyes deep over the left field fence, and I've seen him drive a pitch just over his shoe tops into the upper deck.
You can't pitch around Vlady, if you don't want any part of him, give him four wide ones...way wide.
I developed this admiration when he was in Montreal, and he hit a home run that hit the back wall around the roof of Olympic Stadium.
Then it grew its strongest when he took a horrible pitch near the dirt that almost landed clear out of Safeco Field in Seattle.
Guerrero isn't just a home run hitter (though he is approaching career No. 400), he also hits for average, as his career .322 shows.
The 2004 AL MVP and seven-time All Star is just down-right good, and a guy that I'm always checking on in the boxscores.
3. Torii Hunter (a.k.a. Spiderman)
What Hunter does in center field is just plain amazing to watch.
Opposing hitters dare not try to put one passed him, because he will catch it. Don't even try to sneak one over the wall in his vicinity, because he will bring it back.
His eight Gold Gloves will back that up; he has won the award every year since 2001.
Oh, he can hit too.
In 11 full seasons, Hunter has hit 221 HR, with a .272 average. Not the greatest, but not too shabby.
The guy continually appears on the 'Web Gem' segment of Baseball Tonight, and the occasional "Touch 'Em All', so there's no wonder why he's near the top of my list.
2. Ken Griffey, Jr. (The Kid)
The prettiest swing that I, and the game, have ever seen, and the predecessor to great center field players, like Hunter.
There wasn't a ball that he couldn't catch out in center, and he dared hitters to put one out in "his" area.
"The Kid" took the MLB by storm in 1989 as a 19-year old rookie, and continues to have a 'cult-like' following.
Even though I grew up nowhere near the Pacific Northwest, I idolized Junior, and still do to this day.
As a natural right-hander, I taught myself to bat left-handed because I wanted so bad to be like him.
If it wasn't for his nine, cursed years in Cincinnati (won seven Gold Gloves in Seattle, and hasn't won one since), Junior would already be the true Home Run King, and we wouldn't even be talking about that Bonds character.
Back in the day, I could watch Griffey take away home runs forever, as his highlight reels were endless.
After 10 years, Junior has finally returned home to Seattle, where I think he can still reach the 700 HR mark.
Let the mancrush continue.
1. Ryan Braun (The Hebrew Hammer)
Granted, Braun tops my list because I see him play every day, as I live in Milwaukee.
But it could also be because the man is a beast at the plate. He never gets cheated up at the dish.
When he does get a hold of one (which is often), he will hit it a country mile. Braun has power, can hit anything for a base hit and has speed around the bases.
Braun hit 71 HR in his first two seasons in the MLB, tied with Albert Pujols. There was no 'sophomore slump' for this guy, and he continues to tear the cover off the ball early in the '09 season.
He also plays solid defense after a move to left from third base in his 2007 NL Rookie of the Year season. The awards should just continue to roll in for "The Future of the Brewers".
Braun hit a walk-off grand slam and the go-ahead HR to clinch the Wild Card in the final week of the 2008 regular season. You can't have a better ending than that.
With the game on the line for my Brewers, there is only one guy I want at the plate in the clutch...Ryan Braun.