This is less the Sporting News’ mistake as it is their panel of “125 experts, including 18 Hall of Famers” who pick the Top 50 current ballplayers in the game this time each year. They get number 1 OK: Pujols. Not many would argue with that.
But how about Chase Utley at number 9 behind Ichiro and Derek Jeter of all people? How about Jayson Werth at 49, only 16 slots behind Derrick Lee and five behind Bobby Abreu! I love to make fun of defensive Phillies fans more than life itself, but they have my total permission to go apes— over this one. Not that they are the only ones with beefs here. Go down the list and you’ll find all manner or weirdness.
As Adam Morris at Lone Star Ball notes, the panel of experts includes guys like convicted multiple felon and all-around dummy Denny McClain, Peter Ueberroth, the architect of 1980s-collusion, and Darren Daulton, a fine former catcher but a man who currently believes that the universe is created and sustained by numerical synchronicities, and that all matter is charged with vibrational energy, which has escaped human perception because it is extradimensional in origin. Really.
So obviously good judgment and sober reasoning is not a qualification for the Sporting News’ expert panel. As such, I think we should take this poll’s results about as seriously as McClain and Ueberroth take the law and Daulten takes the scientific method.