When it comes to the baseball reporting rat race, Buster Olney just isn’t quite as cute as Tim Kurkjian. Everybody knows it. Kurkjian’s got that squirrelly little voice that will crack like a seventh grader during recess. It gets me every time.
Olney’s great at what he does — don’t get me wrong — but he certainly can’t get away with a mistake like the one he made yesterday:
If you think real, real hard you might realize there’s a name left off that list. Maybe José Abreu? You know, the guy who has, without question, been the best offensive first baseman in the American League.
Just for giggles, here are a few of his ranks (among AL 1B):
- AVG: 1st (.308, the next closest is Yuli Gurriel at .284)
- HR: 4th (9)
- RBI: t2nd (31)
- R: 3rd (28)
- OBP: 3rd (.368)
- SLG: 1st (.540, the next closest is Yonder Alonso at .479)
- K-Rate: 17.3% (Justin Smoak – 25%, Mitch Moreland – 20%)
- Only AL first baseman with a WAR above .8 (1.2)
- One of just SIX first basemen with a stolen base (because why not)
Though we just established this is more than your simple ESPN-White Sox forgetfulness, let’s take a peek at some of the heat Olney has gotten in his mentions:
Now, before I gush about Abreu, I get where he was going with the Moreland mention. The dude’s been crushing the ball and is now going to get some more playing time with Hanley Ramirez searching for work outside of Boston.
Justin Smoak (.249/.377/.439) though? Not so sure about that one, Buster. Sure, he’s a fine player, provides modest power, walks/gets on base; but, he strikes out at a pretty elite level (people who regularly watch Joey Gallo and Crush Davis scoff at that line).
Want to know a reason why Abreu would MAAYYYYBE be left off the list? His defense. According to Fangraphs, he’s dead-last in defensive WAR with a -6.1. No doubt about it, that’s a bad number. But good lord almighty it does not offset the fact that he hasn’t stopped raking all year.
As a matter of fact, only twice this season has Abreu gone consecutive games without reaching base. Not once, however, has a streak like that reached three games.
Look, Buster, simple mistake, my man. Completely get it. Still, you’ve got to consider how few things White Sox fans have to appreciate about their major league club at the moment. Leave José Abreu off a prospective All-Star lineup tweet and you’re going to hear about it.
Sorry for saying you’re not as cute as Kurkjian, I get emotional about these things.