Monday, December 28, 2009

Jeter, Mo tops in the New York sports world

The Daily News is at it again with their list of the top ten best and worst Big Apple athletes of the decade. To no one's surprise, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera stand at #1 and 2. Those two could have traded places, but the News gets it right that they have had the most impact on New York sports over the last 10 years. They started the decade with a five-game World Series victory over the hapless Metsies and finished with a six-game win over the Phillies. In between those victories, Jeter assumed the hallowed position of Captain of the New York Yankees and broke Lou Gehrig's all-time Yankees hits record while Mo soared past the 500-save mark.
Alex Rodriguez makes the best list at #4, which I think is too high. Yes, he won two Most Valuable Player trophies in the decade, but he struggled in the postseason until this year. I would have put both Michael Strahan and Eli Manning higher than ARod because of their exhilarating defeat of the then 18-0 New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. And I think Jason Kidd had more impact because the New Jersey Nets were nothing before him and have once again faded into obscurity.
The News got it right putting both Carl Pavano (#2) and Kevin Brown (#3) on their worst New York athletes list although I think they probably were both worse than Stephon Marbury (#1). A lot of Knicks fans would disagree with that, but the team wasn't blameless in their handling of Marbury. Can't argue with them putting Kei Igawa (#7) on the worst list as they rightly note that he's being paid $20 million to win a ton of games in the minor leagues.
No Mets players made the best athlete group except for Mike Piazza (#8), but they are all over the worst athlete list. Armando Benitez (#5) blew dozens of important save opportunities, most notably Game 1 of the 2000 World Series against the Yankees, while Roberto Alomar's (#6) Hall of Fame chances are being threatened by his Mets tenure. Mo Vaughn (#8) was overweight and later outed as a steroids user while Kaz Matsui (#10) was a complete bust after the Mets bent over backwards for him, even moving their stud Jose Reyes to second base. Any of these Mets could have finished higher on the list if the team was more relevant.
Thanks to Keith Allison for the photo.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so not surprised that the Mets dominated the worst athlete list, especially Mo Vaughn! What a joke that guy was.