Players keep the game great
March, 22, 2008
What we are asked every day is what the Exxon Valdes mess that was the Mitchell report will do to baseball. Some journalists use their own eye tests to judge users and non-users, with no ESPN classic flashbacks to the 1970s NBA finals or '70s Super Bowl players. The answer should be contained in this week's Baseball America piece on the 25 best players 25 years of age or younger. In working on my MVP and Cy Young Award selections for ESPN.com, I had Miguel Cabrera as the runner-up to Manny Ramirez; Cabrera is No. 1 on the 25/25 list, with two of my top 10 MVP picks, Grady Sizemore and Joe Mauer, in their top 10 in both leagues. National League? I have David Wright as my MVP. Oh, he's No. 2 behind Cabrera in the 25-and-under catagory, and in my preseason top 10 I would have Jose Reyes, Russell Martin, Prince Fielder, Troy Tulowitzki, Hanley Ramirez, Ryan Zimmerman and Jeff Francouer, and Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez and Cole Hamels would all be on my Cy Young preseason ballots. All of the players listed above are 25 or under.