The Walkoff Walk End Of Decade Personality Compendium Infocaps, Pt. 3

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infocaps.jpgThe imminent end of this decade has already been fodder for about 10,000 blog posts, magazine articles and TV shows. Well, far be it from Walkoff Wallk to let an easy angle like that pass us by. Starting yesterday and running through tomorry, we're presenting The Walkoff Walk End Of Decade Personality Compendium Infocaps.

Divided alphabetically between Kris, Rob and Drew, the Infocaps are our choices for the member of each organization who most defined them during this decade. Often it's the best player, but not always. We hope to inspire reflection, debate and stick a finger in your sister's eye for selecting The 25th Hour as her favorite movie of the decade. Ooohhhh, it captured the zeitgeist of post-9/11 New York. Richie Tenenbaum is unimpressed.

On with the listicle:

Philadelphia Phillies: Jimmy Rollins.

He certainly wasn't the best Phillie over the last decade, but he's certainly been the most visible. Winning questionably deserved MVP awards, talking glorious amounts of trash, and appealing to our basest instincts by teasing and taunting the Mets into a full-blooded feud, Jimmy Rollins serves as the face of the Phillies. His offensive emergence coincided with the teams ascent to their current World Series shoe-in status. (So did the arrival of Utley and Howard but hush.)

Runners-up: Pat Burrell, The Phanatic, Jared from Subway.

Pittsburgh Pirates: The Green Hitters Backdrop at PNC Park.

Pity the poor backdrop at PNC. Unable to soak in the gorgeous views of Pittsburgh's rivers and bridges, instead overseeing 10 years of abject baseball and row upon row of empty seats. Forced to watch Jason Bay kick the ball around just to his right and Craig Wilson's mullet flutter in the wind. But there's hope for our friend the green backdrop! Now the great and wondrous Andrew McCutchen marshals the area at his feet. Perhaps the next decade will treat his green skin with a little more kindness.

Runners-up: Jason Bay, Jack Wilson, the Primanti Brothers

San Diego Padres: Trevor Hoffman

What can I say about the all-time accumulator of one of sports most meaningless stats playing in one of the most indifferent markets in the league? The Padres started off the decade poorly, peaked in the middle, then finished off with a flourish of mediocrity. Hoffman was there nearly each step of the way, picking up saves and blasting his quads. Until his team needed him to nail down a save in extra innings of rare a one-game playoff, of course.

Runners-up: Brian Giles greasy skin, Tony Gwynn's stretched skin, skinless fish tacos.

San Francisco Giants: Barry Bonds.

Whether you think he's an asshole or merely a prick, Barry Bonds mastery of hitting baseballs is not up for debate. The word "porn" gets attached to everything on these here interwebs and rarely does it apply. Looking over Bonds' decade numbers makes me feel dirty and titillated in a way I didn't think anything tentacle-free could. From Big League Stew's own decade listicle, Bonds posted a .517 on base percentage for the decade. A 221 OPS+ for the decade. He slugged .714 for the decade. Bonds was intentionally walked 120 times &mdash in 2004, the same season he posted a 1.422 OPS.

Runners-up: Tim Lincecum, Jeff Kent, Orlando Cabrera, the guy in the kayak, Brian Sabean's shrink.

Seattle Mariners: Ichiro!

Safe to say this was a slam dunk. Not a normal, powerful slam dunk. The kind of dunk where you're running away from the rim and kind of knock it in sideways. It may look and feel like cheating. Ichiro hails from the land hyperbole forgot. His accomplishments are many, his detractors are few. (but vocal!) He's a baseball singularity and we're all better people for it.

Runners-up: Felix Hernandez, Jack Zduriencik & Bill Bavasi as different sides of the same coin.

St Louis Cardinals: Albert Pujols.

Speaking of slam dunks. Probably the best player in all of baseball over this time. I would list his eye-popping stats or his admirable work within the community here but I don't want this post to delve into NSFW territory so I'll keep the spitting in the ocean to a minimum.

Runners-up: Rick Ankiel, Scott Rolen, Orlando Cabrera.

Tampa Bay Rays: Carl Crawford.

The urge to award this Rocco Baldelli is understandably strong but I held off because Rocco's story is a tragic one while the Rays are mostly just pathetic. Mismanaged for nearly their entire lifespan, the Rays showed signs of life at the end of the decade with a surprise World Series berth. CC is one of the most talented players in baseball, showcasing all 5 tools as well as a neck tattoo scary enough to ensure he'll never court the blue haired Snowbird the owner of every team in Florida swears will fill the taxpayer-funded building he extorts from the local electorate.

Runners-up: Rocco Baldelli, Greg Vaughn, a thousand unsold tickets.

Texas Rangers: Alex Rodriguez

Because Michael Young is the kind of decent hitter that adds zero value. Because the ownership group of Tom Hicks and friends failed to realize paying A-Rod his endless riches meant Rick Helling ends up pitching 200 innings. Because his deal turned into Alfonso Soriano plus cash which turned into Armando Galarraga, Terrmel Sledge and Brad Wilkerson. Just Because.

Runners-up: Michael Young, Rafael Palmerio, Nolan Ryan's bucket of chaw

Toronto Blue Jays: Roy Halladay.

No matter how hard he tried, it wasn't until Roy Halladay was on his way OUT of Toronto that anybody gave a damn. A throwback to another era, the ultimate workman toiling away futilely against forces far beyond his control. The ballplayer we all want on our team, the quiet statesman we all wish would actually say something.

Runners-up: Carlos Delgado, Vernon Wells, a fart in the wind.

Washington Nationals: Youppi.

After soullessly jobbing the people of Montreal out of their team and soullessly plopping them into RFK and building a sleek 21st century ballpark that nary a soul dare enter, the Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos need to reflect on something soulful and good, rather than obese and mercinary. Youppi is all that is right with the world, and the empty $600 seats-for-lobbyists behind home plate point to what's wrong. Go on Youppi, shake your moneymaker for a moneyloser.

Runner-ups: A Zimmerman or Zimmermen, Adam Dunn, Jim Bowden.


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7 Comments

Natsguy and the African queen were jobbed!

They provided the most value added

I don't know about any of you, but I like the fact that Youppi! stayed in Montreal when the Expos moved. You can take the team, but you can't take the weird big orange fuzzy thing out of Montreal!

Youppi! is going to vandalize this post for writing it in English.

Obviously, A-Rod was the player of the decade across all of baseball because he represented three different teams: Yankees, Rangers, and my heart.

Iracane:

Your heart is overrated and has no range.

Anti-emo bias can be the only explanation for Geoff Baker's absence.

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