All Decade Team: 1990's AL

In retrospect, the advent of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) during the 1990s has muddied up how we view the top level players of the era. Statiscial feats and player valuation have to be measured against the likelihood the person cheated by using PEDs. Thus far, these players have traditionally fallen into three categories. The first category represents players that have either failed a drug test or admitted to using PEDs (Rafael Palmeiro, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Mark McGwire). The second category of player involves guys that are widely believed to have used albeit without concrete proof or admission (Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Juan Gonzalez). Finally the third category involves players that are deemed guilty by association as they played with guys that were thought to have used PEDs (Jeff Bagwell, Ivan Rodriguez). Truth be told, with the exception of guys that copped to it or openly failed tests, there is no sure-fire way to know who cheated and who didn't. At FBJ, although we have our opinions on who most likely used and who didn't, we're reserving our judgements for our Hall of Fame considerations. For the purposes of the best decade teams, we opted to pick the best player given the stats and the impact to his team. So here is our 1990s AL Team...

C - Ivan Rodriguez
1B - Frank Thomas
2B - Roberto Alomar
3B - Robin Ventura
SS - Cal Ripken Jr.
IF - Mo Vaughn
OF - Ken Griffey Jr.
OF - Kirby Puckett
OF - Albert Belle
OF - Juan Gonzalez
SP - Roger Clemens
SP - Randy Johnson
SP - David Cone
SP - Mike Mussina
CL - Jeff Montgomery

Three current HOF (Alomar, Ripken, and Puckett) and arguably 4 more close to locks (Thomas, Rodriguez, Johnson, and Griffey). Pudge might have trouble with PED implications, but the other three are pretty clean in the court of public opinion. Juan Gone and Albert "Joey" Belle are lumped into the PED group, but again we went with best players during the decade. Kenny Lofton and Joe Carter were bandied about as potential members of this team. Jimmy Key was considered on the pitching side and nearly nudged Cone off the team. Some clear omissions are Edgar Martinez and Paul Molitor. In lieu of picking a DH on our All Decade Teams, we've added an extra IF spot and OF spot on all our past teams. During the 90s, however, both Martinez and Molitor played almost exclusively DH, a position not eligible for our teams. Jeff Montgomery over Eckersley was due to longevity in the league. Montgomery spent the entire decade (successfully) with the Royals whereas Eck spent his final year in St. Louis and ended the decade in 1998.


  1. You have to have Boggs at 3B. Ventura may be the best of the rest but Boggs if far and above the best in the 90s.

  2. It was close. I'm confident with Ventura; he posted a higher OPS for the decade and had 171 HR to Boggs' 54. He also won five Gold Gloves to Boggs' two. Boggs had a higher batting average and more Silver Slugger awards so you could certainly make the argument... HOWEVER... we factored in the fact that we had Boggs on our 80's AL squad (as we always do when a player is up for multiple all-decade nomination). We aren't against using a player on two different all-decade teams but if there is a viable alternative, we try to go with that. For a player like Boggs, we try to pick his best decade. Boggs hit .352 in the 80's and won 6 silver sluggers.

    Thanks for commenting, Mike.

  3. Maddux should be on that team.

  4. It is funny I went through the decade and Ventura is a nice player, but if you are not going with Boggs. I would call him the best of the rest. Boggs obviously was way better in the 80's. I guess the only argument I would have is he is a weak option for a power hitting 3b but everybody else in the decade either played very little at 3b or was mediocre at best.

  5. You're right Michael, there wasn't much else to choose from.


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