Greatest Living…


Yesterday on Hardball Talk, Craig Calcaterra initiated a list of the greatest living ballplayers of every MLB franchise. He posted a form of a continuance/defense today for his choice concerning the Cincinnati Reds. From his post yesterday:

"Reds: A ton of choices here. I’ll go with Joe Morgan, though I’ll accept arguments for Rose and Bench based on longevity and more homogeneously Reds career, respectively."

But that was far from the end of the topic. Today, Calcaterra backpeddles on his original choice of Morgan. Nothing wrong with the ability to change your mind. For some of us, it’s just not as easy to do (yes, I fall into that category on occasion). Here’s Craig’s response today.

"Speaking of the Reds, almost no one agrees with me on Joe Morgan, including Rob Neyer (who himself is in the conversation for Greatest Living Baseball Blogger). The beef: not enough time in a Reds uniform for Little Joe. I think I have to agree. Neyer likes Rose. Bench gets the nod from most people. He probably gets it from me if for no other reason than I don’t want to encourage the Pete Rose lobby, which consist of a lot of frightening people."

Well, I wanted to see Neyer’s take as I’m sure you do as well. Here it is..

"My only quibble is with Joe Morgan and the Reds. As great as Morgan was, he played for Cincinnati for only eight seasons, so I have to go with Pete Rose and his 16 years in the Rhineland."

As Calcaterra first mentions, there really are a lot of choices, but that does depend on a few factors.

Even though there’s still a great mystique surrounding the Big Red Machine, younger Reds fans are not so inclined to select one of those players. That’s not to say they’re out of the loop on Reds history, they are just not versed on that era. Even as a hardened Reds fan, I hold no grudge against those. It’s fans such as myself that have to take the task on educating the younger fans. A job that I’m sure there are many applicants.

But I know I’m not alone that would disagree with Calc’s first selection of Morgan. I’m sure there’s a lot going the way of Rose and I’m sure some with side with Johnny Bench. You could see those thinking maybe it really is Tony Perez. Maybe even a few votes for Barry Larkin. Maybe there is a Morgan contingent. You could, in essence, choose a couple of other players from the Big Red Machine days.

I don’t believe there’s a huge disagreement with Neyer and his selection of Rose. I would be so bold to say that this may even be a no-brainer. In Alex’s countdown of the top 10 Reds players of all time, he chose Rose. I’m sure there’s those outside of Reds circles that would debate Rose’s inclusion on any list due to the off-field events. I’m sure that can of worms will now be opened again…

But who’s your choice? Bench, Morgan, Rose, Larkin, Perez. Is there another not mentioned? And don’t forget, he must be living. Kind of the point of this.

As always, the comments are here for your usage. Use away…