In every major professional sport, there are guys who, off the field, stand out due to their unique sense of style. Hey, I guess if I were making that much money, I’d have options and be stylish too. Anyway, let’s take a look at the Top 10 guys in sports today who the ladies pay to see, and we wish we could be:
10. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (Boxing)
Floyd is not only 42-0 in his career in the ring, but is allowed to wear an insane amount of jewelry and a pair of expensive shades to make any outfit look pretty sweet.
9. Evan Longoria (MLB)
Longoria epitomizes a person who can mix casual with formal, and pull it off with ease. That fedora is the man.
8. Stevie Johnson (NFL)
SJ13 may be one of the more uniquely styled athletes out there, with his skinny jeans, crazy hats, and colorful outfits. His haircuts and tats are probably the coolest thing about this guy, they’re a style in their own right.
7. Alex Rodriguez (MLB)
A-Rod couldn’t hit sand if he fell off a camel in the post-season this year and he is obviously metro. Those facts do not undermine his ability to dress well.
6. David Beckham (Soccer)
Beckham was pretty good at soccer once upon a time. It became a problem when men started getting crushes on him, and his celebrity became more important than his sport, a la Matt Leinart.
5. Tom Brady (NFL)
Tommy Boy was a shoe-in for this list before I even started it. Take away his Uggs and overall feminine feel, and he dresses pretty sharp. I’m surprised girls don’t throw their undergarments at him on the field.
4. Reggie Bush (NFL)
Right now, Bush is having a career year running the ball in Miami. Before that, his sense of style was more worth talking about than his disappointing production on the gridiron. I heard he’s sexting Kim Kardashian again.
3. Cole Hamels (MLB)
Before seeing how Hamels dressed, I thought of him as sort of one of those bad-ass Rick Vaughn style guys. How wrong I was in that aspect, but the guy is still an ace.
2. Dwight Howard (NBA)
Dwight Howard is the most dominant big man in the NBA. He is quite the unique dude off the hardwood, not only does he share the “Superman” nickname with Shaq, they have similar senses of style.
1. Dwyane Wade (NBA)
Big Daddy GQ himself, D-Wade has long been thought of as the smoothest character in pro sports. No surprise that he tops this list, as nobody has been able to take the style title from #3.
The much-anticipated 2012 Major League All-Star Game has come upon us. Fans have stuffed their ballots at all 30 stadiums and hacked into the internet sites several times to ensure that their favorite player makes the team. Each year unfortunate injuries occur, and some of those potential All-Star players won’t generate enough votes to make the team. With over 100 ball players on the disabled list, there are enough players on the list to make my own All-Star team. I am basing all my choices off of last years performances. Here is my starting line-up.
Boston Red Sox LF Jacoby Ellsbury
In 2011, Jacoby had an MVP like season, joining the 30-30 club. He batted .321, with 32 HR, 105 RBI, 46 2B, 39 SB and a career high 212 hits. He has blossomed into an everyday player but has been injured with subluxation of right shoulder since the Red Sox home opener. He is currently on the 60-day DL and is scheduled back after the All-Star break. Boston will be happy to see the speedy Ellsbury back in centerfield and leading off things at the top of the order.
Los Angeles Dodgers CF Matt Kemp
2011 National League MVP runner-up went to Mr. Kemp, as he was one home run from joining the prestigious 40-40 club. In 2011, Matt batted .324, with 39 HR, 32 2B, 126 RBI, 40 SB and 195 hits. He started the 2012 season in the same fashion leading the National League in average and home runs before pulling his hamstring in the end of April. He came back a month later and re-aggravated it again. Matt Kemp is scheduled to be back in the first place Dodgers’ line-up after the All-Star break.
Over the past decade it was pretty easy to say either Albert Pujols or Alex Rodriguez were the best players in baseball. But, as we approach another era in baseball history there is a change in the elitists of the game. Pujols put up a 9.0 and 7.5 WAR in 2010 and 2011, respectively. However, he dropped off to 5.1 last season. Which is still great production, but there’s a regression pattern in his numbers. Do the math, he’s basically dropped 4.0 WAR in two seasons. Now that he’s on the Angels, Pujols hasn’t helped out the team very much. In fact, he’s hurt them. He has a -0.2 WAR in 35 plate appearances (8 games.) It’s small sample size, and I wouldn’t expect him to stay around there all year. He’s Albert Pujols. He’s going to produce big numbers, but it’s his time to pass the baton to the young guys.
*All stats are from the 2010-Present Continue reading
Every season there are players who breakout and have themselves a season of a lifetime. They’ll be mentioned for either MVP or Cy Young. Though year in and year out you have the elite players who put up incredible numbers year in and out for their teams. So I figured I would look at the top 5 players in baseball in the last three seasons. These players are very commonly known. You won’t find any surprises here, but I thought you should know.
He put up the fifth highest WAR as a hitter in the past three seasons. Miggy can hit for average and power. In one of the games top pitchers park’s Cabrera can hit 30 home runs a season. He has 102 home runs since 2009 with 334 RBI’s. What’s surprising about that is his batting average was .332 during that time. He’s a one of the most complete hitters. It’s rare to see someone swing for the fences and have such a high average. He makes guys like Adam Dunn look bad.
He has the sixth highest WAR as a position player since 2009. The reason the sixth guy on the list is higher than the fifth is that Tulo is such a rare player. For one he’s the best shortstop in the game and plays incredible defense. We all thought Hanley Ramirez would take the reigns from Derek Jeter, but it turns out it’s Tulo. He’s hit 89 home runs in the past three years. You just don’t see that kind of power from a shortstop, even in Coors Field. Tulowitzki would of had more if not for missing some games in the 2010 season. He went on a tear in September of the year.
In years past his name would be number one on all these lists. Now it’s time that his career is going in the other direction. Of course he’s still good enough for 3rd on this list. It just goes to show how good Pujols has really been when we consider 37 home runs and 105 RBI’s a “regression”. We’re spoiled sorry to upset you Machine. Please don’t vaporize us. In all seriousness he’s first in WAR since 2009 by a small margin. He’s one of the top defensive first basemen in baseball and can hit the ball to all sides of the field on his command. Pujols will go down as one of the top 20 players in baseball history when it’s all said and done.
I’m really high on Longoria. If not for injuries he could very well be owning this league. Longoria is second in WAR since 2009. His defense plays a large role in where he ranks, similarly to Tulowitzki. Longoria plays the best hot corner in baseball. I’d say he’s the absolute all-around best third basemen in the game currently. He hit 86 home runs in the past three years and has carried the Rays to a division title and a Wild Card spot. Longoria and Tulowitzki should be the best positional players in baseball over the next decade.
I couldn’t leave off the most consistent pitcher in the past five years off the list. Halladay eats up innings. His 723.1 is the most IP by pitcher in the last three years. Since 2009 Halladay leads pitchers in WAR. He can either strike you out or he can get you to hit a weak ground ball. There’s a reason he pitched two no-hitters in 2010. He strands 79.9 % of his base runners. That’s the highest % of any pitcher with 600 innings pitched in the last three seasons. He’s a horse that the Phillies will ride until he has no more fuel left in him.
- By Lead Columnist Joe F
By Joe F
In the days of multi-million dollar contracts for old regressing players there are actually a few players who are elite that are getting paid much less than they are worth. Usually these players are younger due to not being able to test the free agent market, or they’re extremely underrated. You won’t see an Alex Rodriguez contract or Albert Pujols contract on here. Most likely if Scott Boras is your agent you’re not making this list.
5. Brett Gardner – 2011 salary $529,500
When you think best contracts you don’t think a Yankee would make that list. Yet Brett Gardner just cracks it at number 5. Believe it or not Gardner has been one of the leagues top outfielders since 2010. He has a 11.2 WAR in the last two seasons combined. Putting him on the verge of calling him a level of greatness on the sabermetric scale. I’d say he’s a way above average good player. He brings speed on the base paths, amazing gold glove caliber defense, and can get on base for the bottom of the order. If Derek Jeter wasn’t on the Yankees I’m sure Gardner would be batting lead off.
4. David Price – 2011 salary $2,084,671
Price is coming into the final year of his contract and will make $1.5 million in 2012. This could possibly be the final year that he’ll have great value for his production, but he’s been a top contract for the Rays since he’s been in the majors. He’s one of the best left handed pitchers in baseball and is Tampa’s future ace. What makes him second is because he’ll probably be getting anywhere from $11-18 million a year with the team next season. He’s should reach his peak in his next contract.
3. Jacoby Ellsbury – 2011 salary $2,400,000
Ellsbury emerged as one of the best players in 2011. He led all of baseball with a 9.4 WAR. That’s an elite level WAR worthy of an MVP award possibly. His fielding was always excellent, but rose to a different level in 2011. His UZR sky rocketed from his last full season of play in 2009. It was a -9.7 to a 15.6. Ellsbury also raised his power numbers having a .230 ISO for 32 home runs. That sort of power is odd for a lead off hitter, but it works for the Red Sox.
2. Justin Upton – 2011 salary $4,458,333
Another young star that has a decent contract. Upton is on the brink of becoming a higher paid player but $4 million last year and 6$ million the next isn’t that bad for an elite player. Upton led the Diamondbacks to the playoffs in 2011. He could make a case for NL MVP. He combines great power with some speed and defense. He will be a Diamondback until 2015.
1. Evan Longoria – 2011 salary $2,500,000
Longoria finally made a million dollars last season. He actually made 2 million. In 2009 Longoria was paid 550K, what a deal for the Rays. They’re one of the smartest organizations out there when it comes to paying guys. They actually found a way to keep Longoria around until 2015 and by then they’ll be paying him $11 million. That’s if they decide to keep his club option. I say they will most likely. Longoria is the best 3rd basemen in baseball when he’s not hurt. He’s only 26 years old and is likely just hitting his prime. He hit 31 home runs and had a 6.1 WAR in an “off year.” He’s the best player on this list and having such a good value for his contract that gets him the number one slot.
By Joey Bats Fitzgerald
For baseball fans last night was very exciting. As a Yankee fan I wasn’t even mad that they lost. I was actually happy to see the chance of the Red Sox completing the biggest collapse since the Mets in 2007. I stayed up past 12:00 Est time to see who is going to be the American and National League Wild Card winners. After 161 games the Red Sox and Rays, and the Braves and Cardinals were tied in their respective leagues. I can’t explain the feeling I have right now. When October baseball comes around I just get revamped. A season of 162 games is too long, but when you see magic like what happened last night it’s truly a fun and exciting thing to see as a fan. The Rays and the Cardinals are going to the playoffs after improbable collapses by the leading team earlier this month.
September 1st -
The Red Sox led the AL East by a half game over the Yankees. The Rays were 8.5 back of the Yankees and 9.o games back of the Red Sox. According to all media analysts this was over. It was just a matter of who was going to win the division and who was getting the Wild Card.
September 9th -
The Red Sox now trailed the Yankees by 2.5 games and the Rays trailed by 5.5 games in the Wild Card.
September 15th -
Red Sox trail the Yankees by 4.5 games, the division is slipping away. The Rays are now 3.0 games back and are in striking distance.
Septmber 21st -
The Yankees clinched the American league East and now the AL Wild Card is a three team race. The Red Sox lead the Rays and Angels by 2.5 games.
September 27th -
The Red Sox and Rays are tied atop the Wild Card Standings and the Angels are eliminated from playoff contention.
Which brings us to yesterday. Both teams are tied. The Rays are playing the Yankees and the Red Sox are playing the Orioles. David Price was on the mound vs. Yankees prospect Dellin Betances. Surely it looked like Tampa Bay was set to get off to a good start, but that didn’t happen. David Price and the Rays let up 7 runs in first 5 innings, but didn’t let the Yankees score another run afterwards. Which is key to this game.
Then the bottom of the 8th inning came along. Damon singled, Zobrist doubled, Kotchman hit by pitch, and Sam Fuld walked with the bases load to drive in a run. It was 7-1 Yankees. Sean Rodriguez is now up and gets hit by a pitch. 7-2 Yankees. Desmond Jennings and B.J. Upton record outs, but Upton’s was a sac fly. 7-3 Yankees. There are two men on base for Longoria, and he smashed a home run to make it 7-6. The inning eventually ends with the score 7-6 Yankees.
At this time the Red Sox are leading 3-2 over the Orioles in a rain delay. They’re watching this Rays comeback in their clubhouse. Soon after it’s 7-6 Yankees, the rain delay ends and the Red Sox and Orioles take the field.
Back in Tampa Bay the Rays are down to their final out with Dan Johnson up. He’s batting under .200 and hasn’t played in six days. Down to his and the Rays final strike of the 2011 season and boom. Dan Johnson hits a home run inside the right field pole.
Back to Baltimore. Papelbon is set to come in to close the game down in the bottom of the 9th. The Red Sox lead 3-2. He strikes out Jones and Reynolds to start the inning. The Red Sox were an out away from getting a chance to play another day. Chris Davis doubles and then is taken out for Kyle Hudson a faster runner. Nolan Reimold then hits a ground rule double to tie the game at 3-3.
Back to Tampa Bay. It’s late in extra innings and fans are getting information from the scoreboard and smart phones. A loud roar comes from the Rays crowd that the score is tied.
Back to Baltimore. A fitting ending to the Red Sox game is when the streaking Robert Andino singles to left field. Where ex Ray Carl Crawford just can’t come up with the shoe string catch. He throws it to home, but it’s too late, Reimold scores and the Orioles win.
Back to Tamp Bay. The scoreboard shows BAL 4 BOS 3 F and the crowd goes crazy even more in the bottom of the 12th. Three minutes later Evan Longoria hits a shot just inside the left field pole. The exact opposite of Dan Johnson’s home run. A little symbolism that he hit it to left field filling with Crawford not playing there anymore. Just an awesome coincidence.
At this point I’m shocked and guess what? I’m not mad. The Yankees are my team, but I’m not mad that they lost. I was actually indifferent. This was one of the greatest night in baseball history. If not the best or exciting game in baseball history. The Red Sox walk into the their clubhouse shocked that they lost. Three minutes later they’re even more shocked because the Rays have came back from seven down to steal the Wild Card in game 162.
The Rays have added a few historical pieces to their young franchise over the years. They won two division titles, an American League Championship, and came back from 9.0 to win the Wild Card. Not only was last great for Rays history it was great for baseball history.
Many Red Sox fans are going to blame the Yankees for dogging it. Listen the Yankees don’t owe the Red Sox or the Rays for that matter anything. They did what they had to do. They won the amount of games so that they can get home field advantage throughout the American League playoffs. And now they can rest whoever they want to rest. While Boston went 7-20 in the month of September. The Red Sox have only themselves to blame. They played the Rays 18 times this season, and they lost the season series. They also played the Rays in a four game series in the middle of the month. The Rays took three of four. Who’s fault is that? The Red Sox collapsed. Just face the fact that they had one of the best rosters in baseball and they couldn’t play well together. They ended the season like they started it. Some of the younger Red Sox fans haven’t see a Red Sox team choke like they have in the past. They should call up their elders how to hope.
Congratulations to the Tampa Bay Rays. They’ll take on the Rangers in Texas tomorrow night. One more thing I’d like to show you is the win probability graphs for the Rays and Red Sox games.