All-Decade Team: 2000's NL

Today, we're taking a look at our 2000's NL All-Decade team. Selecting this team will officially wrap up our All-Decade selections (until 2021, that is). This team was actually relatively easy for us to agree on with the exception of starting pitching. There was some dissension in the infield, particularly 2B and 3B. It came down to Jeff Kent or Chase Utley at second base. Chase was probably the better all-around second baseman of this decade, in terms of talent and ability in all facets of the game. However in close calls, we have almost always erred on the side of the player that spent more time playing in that decade. Chase didn't play his first full season until 2005 so we went with Kent. We encountered a similar problem at third base.  David Wright was a tremendous player, hitting .309/.389/.518 to go along with four all-star appearances and two silver sluggers.  Talent-wise, he was as good as anyone in the 2000's at the hot corner but he didn't make his debut until 2005.  It really came down to Chipper Jones and Scott Rolen. While Rolen had the better glove (winning six Gold Gloves at 3B in the 2000's), we gave the nod to Chipper who posted a .960 OPS for the decade (and an incredible OPS+ of 147) and showed up on seven MVP ballots. Surprisingly, Chipper made the fewest all-star appearances of the three players that we considered at this position, which speaks to how underrated he was.

In the outfield, we came to consensus rather quickly. The only name that we considered that didn't make the cut was Matt Holliday, who debuted in 2004 and benefited from Coors. Two names that might surprise some are Jim Edmonds and Andruw Jones. Edmonds quietly posted a .937 OPS for the decade and won six consecutive Gold Glove awards; perhaps the best all-around outfielder on this team. Andruw Jones, like Edmonds, won multiple Gold Gloves in this decade (eight, to be exact). Jones wasn't a great contact hitter but he had power, he played tremendous defense, and he showed up on five MVP ballots in the 2000's.

As mentioned earlier, selecting our starting pitchers for this decade was by far one of the toughest decisions we have had to made. It came down to a "pick two" of Greg Maddux, Carlos Zambrano, Tom Glavine, Brandon Webb, Jake Peavy and Livan Hernandez. The only name that we agreed on from the get-go was Roy Oswalt who was the decade leader in wins with 137.  There was a little hesitancy to slot Johnson in here because he did make our 1990's AL squad and spent two years in the AL. Yet Randy Johnson's three Cy Young awards and his other-worldly numbers in the early 2000's were good enough to earn him a spot on our roster.  Despite the fact that he played two seasons in the AL (and he missed some time in three other seasons), Johnson won 109 games to go along with a 3.03 ERA and 1.095 WHIP.  Even his his 40's, Johnson was good and those numbers serve as evidence as to why the Big Unit is probably a top 5 all-time pitcher.  After settling on Oswalt and Johnson, it came down to the length versus prime debate.  On one side were Maddux and Glavine who were consistent yet somewhat declining (and notably, already made our 90's roster).  On the other, you had Peavy and Webb who won Cy's and posted solid numbers in short stints due to injury.  Knowing this debate would be tough, we also threw in Big Z and Livan because they spent more time in the NL in the 00's but didn't have the hardware.  You'll likely laugh at Livan but he won 129 games in the NL in the 2000's.  In fact, his 129 wins for the decade is the 11th highest win total of any pitcher for this pitcher unfriendly decade.  To earn back some legitimacy, we quickly eliminated Livan from consideration but I thought his name was worth mentioning in this post.

Admittedly, at first, Big Z didn't strike me as "our guy" but upon closer inspection, you'll see why we think he deserved to earn a spot on this team.  Rather than dig deeper, I'm going to give you the numbers and let you tell me where we went wrong.

Click to enlarge

Here's our squad, tell us what you think.

C - Brian McCann
1B - Albert Pujols
2B - Jeff Kent
SS - Jimmy Rollins
3B - Chipper Jones
IF - Todd Helton
OF - Jim Edmonds
OF - Barry Bonds *
OF - Lance Berkman
OF - Andruw Jones
SP - Roy Oswalt
SP - Randy Johnson
SP - Brandon Webb
SP - Carlos Zambrano
RP - Trevor Hoffman


  1. You just HAD to put an asterisk next to Barry's name, didn't you? LOL!

  2. More for my colleagues... Can't deny what he did, can't say I blame him but there's no reason to act like he's the patron saint of baseball, either. Asterisks, posthumous HOF inductions and criticism are all fair game (pun intended). He was as much a part of baseball in the 00's as anyone... So is that asterisk.


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