A Few Rules to Follow When Making an All-Decade List

Steven ResnickSenior Writer IAugust 4, 2009

ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 14:  National League All-Star Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals tosses the ball to first during the 2009 MLB All-Star Game at Busch Stadium on July 14, 2009 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

When writing a decade list no matter if it's going to be the upcoming decade from 2000-2009 or previous decades it is important to make sure that the research is complete and the numbers aren't just thrown out there. I'm not saying that the writers of these lists aren't doing their research, but they overlook important facts that need to be included.

In some lists I've come across whether it is a all-decade list or a all-time team list certain facts get left out. For example when you think of the Chicago White Sox at the first base position whether it was for the decade of the 90's or the all-time team the name Frank Thomas comes to mind.

Don't get me wrong. Thomas was an excellent player for the White Sox and he definitely provided power for the South Siders lineup, but was he truly the best first basemen of the franchise?

Considering that a majority of Thomas's career was spent as a designated hitter and only in three season did Thomas ever play in over 100 games at first base. As a designated hitter he had six seasons of over 100 games.

Now let's take a look who I would consider the best first basemen in White Sox history. That would be Paul Konerko. In his time with the White Sox, Konerko has nine seasons of over 100 games at first base.

Here's another rule to go by as well if you are going to compare stats of a particular player who has switched positions such as Alex Rodriguez only include the games at the position you are referring to.

So, if Alex Rodriguez is going to be on a list for the article titled "The Half Decade Too Early MLB All Decade Team," and you used Rodriguez as the third baseman, but included his stats for the decade...he wasn't always a third basemen throughout the decade.

In fact it wasn't until he came to the New York Yankees in 2004 that Rodriguez became a third baseman, as most know he was a short stop. So, from 2000-2003 those stats do not count towards his numbers as a third baseman because he wasn't playing the position.

Same can be said about the use of Alfonso Soriano. Soriano did have years from 2000-2005 playing a majority of his games at second base, but after that time he was moved to the outfield.

Finally, the same can be said about Albert Pujols. He was not a first baseman to begin his career. Pujols did not become an everyday first baseman until 2005 for the St. Louis Cardinals.

So, how is it fair to measure a player who's played the position since 2000-2009 at first base, but to be uprooted by Pujols, because included are Albert's numbers when his time was split playing other positions for the Cardinals?

Yes, Pujols has played at first base since his rookie year, but in 2001 he played 78 games in the outfield. n 2002 he played 118 games there as well, and in 2003 he played 113 games in the outfield.

The stats that you can find with Pujols, Rodriguez, and Soriano are relatively easy considering that Baseball-reference.com has a split section where it shows exactly what stats they put up at the position.

For pitchers it's somewhat of the same thing. Johan Santana has been a dominant pitcher since he became a full time starter and that was in 2004. In 2003 he did have some starts, but he also came out of the bullpen as well, so any stats he had from 2000-2003 need to be separated out from what he did as a reliever and what he did as a starter.