Wednesday, September 10, 2008

AL All Hustle Teams

A couple of nights ago I was watching the Astros beat my Cubbies. I wasn't able to catch the game until late in the 7th inning. Hunter Pence came up and was a triple away from the cycle. I then watched the cubs blow their lead in regulation and later blow the game in extra innings. However just after watching Hunter Pences last AB in extras I was paying attention to his approach to his at bat, and thinking about the times I have seen him in the past. He plays and prepares for games, at bats, and just goes full board every second of every game and leaves it all out on the field. This prompted me to think of all the players that have that same intensity and desire to play the great game of baseball. There are not many like that but it made me want to come up with my own AL and NL All Hustle Teams. These are players that may not be the best hitters or defensive players at their position or even their team but players that play the game day in and day out like it's their last one.

I won't be opening a spot for the pitcher or DH. A hustle player has to do it all. You also will not be seeing the likes of Robinson Cano, Manny Ramirez, or BJ Upton for obvious (Lazy) reasons that I should have to explain.

My American League 2008 All Hustle Team

Catcher--Ivan Pudge Rodriquez. I'm not the biggest fan of Pudge but I have to give it up to him. He has been a solid catcher his whole career, a great hitting catcher and will swipe a bag whenever possible. Not one of your classic big guys at that particular position, but what he lacks in size he makes up with competitive drive and the will to succeed.

1B-- Justin Morneau doesn't necessarily do it with overall power but power to the gaps and beating out Doubles. Plus Ron Gardenhire will hold all of his players accountable for their Hustle. Also is looking for his second MVP award this year.

2B--Brian Roberts. Similar to Hunter Pence in my mind. Just a class act Hustling Pro who I would want my kids to watch and to tell them, "That's how your supposed to play the game, right there"

3rd--Scott Rolen. When he came up with Philly I didn't pay too much attention to Rolen. Then he got traded to the Cardinals and I watched him a lot more then I used to and saw the way he played the game. He gives his body up at 3rd base and throws his body into any ball and then shoots the ball out of his cannon arm. I then would watch him beat out doubles and steal bases and he would make me think what would happen if there was a collision? It might be like a semi running over a second baseman or a catcher. He is an intense beast.

SS--Derek Jeter. Is the greatest leader since Michael Jordan. In a great Leader like that you need him to set a good example for his teammates. Which he has done year in and year out with his clutch hitting in the playoffs. That is one of the few players that I could guarantee you that you would never ever see him dog it.

LF--Jacoby Ellsbury. Is one of the up and coming stars for years to come. He is always busting out infield singles, doubles that would be singles for most, and is making virtually a nightly appearance Web Gems.

CF--Tori Hunter. It doesn't matter what team or what ballpark Hunter is at there is no for sure HR. Sometimes I wonder, "Could he rob an HR on the Green Monster?" He is always trying to make the play on defense and he carries that same intensity to the plate, and on the bases.

RF--Josh Hamilton. Hamilton will chase down fly balls in the outfield with wreckless abandonment in Texas, he puts Hustle and effort not only into making plays but having complete control of the outfield. It was clear to me that after his poor choices earlier in his career that he wasn't going to let this opportunity slip away. He plays like it night in and Night out.

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