Sep 24, 2009, 10:20 AM EDT
It’s hard to argue with this:
No muss, no fuss, no drama–and no longer much debate about who is the best player in baseball. For much of the decade, the debate focused on Rodriguez and Barry Bonds. But in nine seasons, Pujols has never not surpassed a .300 average, 30 home runs and 100 RBIs. Those Hall of Fame numbers (by age 29) define him only slightly more than his all-around pursuit of excellence.
A-Rod was a distant second. He had better counting stats than did Pujols, but if you adjust for the fact that he has played the entire decade while Albert didn’t debut until 2001, those differences become minimal. Pujols kills A-Rod on the rate stats. He also has a ring. He also isn’t loathed in the way that Rodriguez is loathed by so many, though I don’t think that entered into SN’s decision. Really, the only way Rodriguez would have had an argument would be if he had stayed at short and continued to play good defense there, but that obviously didn’t happen.
Sad that this was such a no-brainer. I’m in the mood for an argument this morning, but this thing really doesn’t call for one.