Take a look at A-Rod there and make it a good hard look. I want that image ingrained in your head as we go through this blog because A-Rod is the gold standard when it comes to talking about Sweet Baseball Players.
But not just any A-Rod.
This designation is specifically reserved for the 3 years he played in Texas and to be even more specific, when he wore the all white uniform with white spikes and white batting gloves. I mean are fucking kidding me? Eat your heart out:
People think that much white on a baseball uniform is tacky and safe to say those people don’t appreciate the beauty of MASHING baseballs in a perfectly clean uniform. Just sooo fucking cocky you have no choice to respect it.
And even if you don’t, then let me point you to A-Rod’s 3 seasons seasons with the Rangers from 2001-2003 where he AVERAGED:
162 games played
.305 /.395/.615 slash
1.011 OPS / 155 OPS+ ***
52 home runs
15 stolen bases
I can keep going but you get the point.
Just kidding obviously some quick video to drive the point home:
And the point is this: A-Rod in all whites for the Rangers is the sweetest version of any player ever.
But that’s not to say there aren’t sweet players now. Actually quite the opposite – you could argue we’re leading into a sweet player heyday with guys like Cody Bellinger and Javy Baez and Ronald Acuna leading the way. It’s arguably as good as it’s ever been and that’s where I want to focus our time this week.
Reason being is two-fold: first off we’re in the dog days and I can’t pretend that much has changed since we last talked. The Yankees are still in a commanding lead and that’s even after losing 3 of 4 to Red Sox. The Indians have closed on the twins to 2 games and I’ll still be surprised if The Tribe keeps hanging with a gruesome 3 week stretching coming.
That’s a nightmare as is the AL West with Houston leading 8 games over a still surging Athletics team that’s got the best win percentage team the last 50 games.
Then in the NL it’s more of the same: Braves are making the Bryce Harper deal look worse by the weekend while the NL Central is a dogfight and the West is a bloodbath.
In other words, you haven’t missed anything between this week and last, so let’s have some fun and put together a 1-30 of the sweetest players in baseball. First, some notes:
Sweet: look good, feel good. Must be at least above average. Must be extremely smooth in the box or in the field, but preferably both. Flair is encouraged, but you can’t cross the Douchebag Line (DbL). The better you are, the more leeway you have to encroach on the DbL Power is the most important raw tool, but really the most important thing across the board is how you carry yourself on the field. Head up, chest up, butt out with a natural ability to be extremely fucking casual regardless of the circumstances.
To Be Eligible: position players from MLB teams. Can’t be a fuckboy. One player per team, and then I’m going to rank them #1-30.
AL East: Giancarlo (Yankees), Xander (Red Sox), Austin Meadows (Rays), Justin Smoak (Blue Jays – controversial selection until you’ve seen him take BP), Jonathan Villar (Orioles – BARF)
AL Central: Tim Anderson (White Sox), Francisco Lindor (Indians), Whit Merrifield (Kansas City Royals), Miguel Cabrera (Tigers), Nelson Cruz (Twins)
AL West: Matt Chapman (A’s), Kyle Seager (Mariners), Justin Upton (Angels – Mike Trout is too good to be sweet), Josh Reddick (Astros), Joey Gallo (Rangers)
NL East: Ronald Acuna Junior (Braves), Pete Alonso (Mets), Starlin Castro (Marlins – gotten way sweeter over time for me), Anthony Rendon (Nationals), Bryce (Phillies)
NL Central: Javy Baez (Cubs), Dexter Fowler (Cardinals), Lorenzo Cain (Brewers), Jose Iglesias (Reds), Starling Marte (Pirates)
NL West: Manny Machado (Padres), Cody Bellinger (Dodgers), Trevor Story (Rockies – Nolan plays too hard and I mean that as respectfully as possible), Brandon Crawford (Giants), Ketel Marte (Diamondbacks)
There should be some surprises in there and for good reason. I explain briefly where I think it deserves but other than that you’ll just have to trust me. These are the guys you just feel good watching play baseball on a day-to-day basis. Like it just looks sooooo much better when they’re the ones playing.
And before I get to rankings, another quick note on Nolan because I don’t want to offend anyone: he’s one of the best players in the world but he’s not that Sweet. He’s tough, mean, aggressive, amazing, flawless… etc. But he’s not that Sweet. He’s actually on a completely different level which is arguably more impressive, and that’s the Cocksucker category. The guys you hate playing against because they’re just unbelievably hard to compete against. Not every team has one. Nolan’s at the top of that list so don’t freak out.
As for Mike Trout, he will never get put on any list. He’s #1 on everything. That’s too easy for me. Like it would be insulting to put him in other company. I don’t want God to smite me for ragging on his bloodline.
Tune in this week to Red Line Radio for the exact science behind the rankings and more importantly, why your favorite player sucks: