The Stark Truth?
Today before work, I made a stop at "Borders" bookstore which is right across the street from where Chilis is. I had some time to blow before work and desperately needed to get my mind off of things. So I turned to baseball…yet again. I grabbed an organic chocolate milk from the cafe in the store along with Jayson Stark’s, "The Stark Truth: The Most Overrated and Underrated Players in Baseball History." I was really enjoying flipping through the pages and trying not to spill chocolate milk on it. You know, so I didn’t have to buy it. I mean not that I would mind buying it, just that who wants a book with a chocolate stain on it? Once the milk was gone, I bought a coffee, my second of the day.
So anyway, I loved that Nolan Ryan was the "Most Overrated RH Pitcher" of all time according to Stark. It really helps get my point across. Look, the point is, is that Nolan Ryan was a great pitcher, but he is not the best ever. He wouldn’t even fall in my top 5, and may not even be in the top 10. But if he fell short of the top 10, he would be right on the outside. I try and explain this to the "baseball fans" at work, but they seem to think that when I say "overrated," that I am calling him a bad pitcher or something. I am not, it is just that he is not the greatest of all time simply because he has the most strikeouts of all time. There is more to pitching than that strikeouts. Although, they are a very effective way of retiring a batter, obviously.
So I agreed with a lot of the book. JD Drew was the second most overrated RF of all time, Abreu was fifth. Yaz was in there as being overrated. Jeter was the second most underrated SS. Although, I do not know how the leader of the most recognized franchise could be underrated. He gets an incredible amount of respect and recognition. And his defense is actually overrated. But it is Stark’s opinion. I mean I am fully aware of Jeter’s greatness and I feel that many others are too, whether they can admit it or not.
Dwight Evans was one of the most underrated RF of all time in the book. And my Dad swears that he was superior to Jim RIce. He watched basically every game each of them played, and he says Evans was superior in most ways to Rice. I mean Evans is one of the five best RF’s of all time defensively, and his OBP was .18 higher over the course of a longer career. Rice led in "OPS+" by only 1 point. And their actual OPS was .14 points apart. And I am not saying that Evans should be there. Just saying that there is always support for Rice getting in, but not many seem to mention Evans.
But overall, what I saw in the book was pretty interesting. Don’t know that I will ever buy it, but I haven’t ruled out the possibility.