Monday, August 9, 2010

The "Deans" of 2010...Revisiting the Players Who've Been with Their Teams the Longest.

It was last year at this time, just before the 2009 trading deadline, that I visited the idea of the "Deans". To review, each of the subjects Topps used for their 1986 Topps' Team Leaders cards were the players on each team that was with their team the longest (for example, the 1986 Angels team leader card had the caption "Depicted on Front: Bobby Grich, Dean of the Angels, Continuous Service Since: 11/24/1976." Now granted, I can't determine service time for the present set of deans, but what did use last year as the deciding factor as to who each team's 2009 dean was by which player debuted the earliest during the season.

Last year, I listed the deans by latest debut with team (which was at the time Jeremy Hermida of the Marlins) to earliest (Chipper Jones of the Braves). This time, we'll just go ahead and rank them by city alphabetically as we're going to compare this year's dean to the dean from the first list (or any updated posts since the first one). So is the dean of your team last year still the dean of your team today? Let's find out. (Players team status as of Friday, 08/06/2010; 2009 deans as of 07/31/2009).

  • Arizona Diamondbacks-
    2010: Brandon Webb (MLB Debut 04/22/2003); 2009: Webb. Although he's been out for most of the 2010 season, but he's still on the team, and there have been reports that he might actually pitch in the bullpen for the remainder of the 2010 season.
  • Atlanta Braves-
    2010: Chipper Jones (MLB debut 09/11/1993); 2009: Jones. In what may also be Bobby Cox' last year at the helm of the Braves, so it may also be Chipper's swan song as well. He is still the "Dean" of the deans, making his debut almost seventeen years ago. To tell you how long Chipper has been with the Braves, teammate Jason Heyward was only four years old when Chipper made his debut (Heyward was born on 08/09/1989).
  • Baltimore Orioles-
    2010: Brian Roberts (MLB debut 06/14/2001); 2009: Melvin Mora. Mora, who had been with the O's since 07/29/2000, is now with the Colorado Rockies. Leaving Roberts as the leader of a young O's team.
  • Boston Red Sox-
    2010: Tim Wakefield (Red Sox debut 05/27/1995); 2009: Wakefield. It's not that hard to believe that the knuckleballer who started his career with the Pirates is still in Boston after more than 15 seasons. He ranks third amongst the active deans in terms of longevity with his team.
  • Chicago Cubs-
    2010: Carlos Zambrano (MLB debut 08/20/2001); 2009: Zambrano. In what has been a pretty bad year for "Big Z," with the demotion, the suspensions, and rumors of his time with the Cubs being short, he still is with the team that he started with back in 2001. If he had left town, Aramis Ramirez would be the only player left from the Cubs' magical 2003 season.
  • Chicago White Sox-
    2010: Paul Konerko (White Sox debut 04/05/1999). 2009: Konerko. The Sox' captain has a number of good years on him, and this year has been a renaissance of sorts for the first baseman in terms of his clutch hitting and power.
  • Cincinnati Reds-
    2010: Aaron Harang (MLB debut 08/09/2003); 2009: Harang. The Reds' pitcher could finally see some action in the postseason if the Reds win the division.
  • Cleveland Indians-
    2010: Travis Hafner (MLB debut 03/31/2003). 2009: Jake Westbrook. Okay, I made a mistake here. Last year, I wrote that the dean of the Indians was Victor Martinez. However, in a situation similar to Webb's this year, I failed to account that Jake Westbrook was actually the "dean" of the Tribe over V-Mart (Westbrook made his Indians debut on 04/11/2001, and was injured all of 2009 which is why I didn't see his name with the 2009 team). And Westbrook was still the dean of the Indians...until he was traded to the Cardinals. Now Hafner, who I declared the Indians' dean in a "Monthly Comment Mailbag" (which I have to do as I'm two months behind), is now truly the team's tenure leader.
  • Colorado Rockies-
    2010: Todd Helton (MLB debut 08/02/1997). 2009: Helton. The long-time Rockie leads the team in a number of their hitting statistics, and is one of the Rox' best home-grown talents, if not the best.
  • Detroit Tigers-
    2010: Brandon Inge (MLB debut 04/03/2001); 2009: Inge. Been around Motown for so long, he remembers what it was like when the Tigers lost more than 100 games a season.
  • Florida Marlins-
    2010: Josh Johnson (MLB debut 09/10/2005); 2009: Jeremy Hermida. Hermida was traded to the Red Sox in another one of the Marlins' annual fire sales. Johnson, the ace of the Marlins, and a two-time All-Star, signed a long term contract with the team, ensuring that he will remain in Miami for a long time to come.
  • Houston Astros-
    2010: Wandy Rodriguez (MLB debut 05/23/2005); 2009: Lance Berkman. With both Berkman and Roy Oswalt now on playoff contenders (Yankees and Phillies respectively), the dean of the now mega-young Astros is Wandy, who remains one of the few remaining players from the 2005 NL pennant winning team.
  • Kansas City Royals-
    2010: David DeJesus (MLB debut 09/02/2003); 2009: DeJesus. Since Mike Sweeney left the Royals, KC has been on a perpetual youth movement. DeJesus, however remains one of the holdovers from the team's last winning season in 2003.
  • Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim-
    2010: Scot Shields (MLB debut 05/26/2001); 2009: Shields. One of the few remaining players from the Angels 2002 World Series squad. Shields may not be the Halos' closer, but their bullpen wouldn't be as good as it is without Shields in it.
  • Los Angeles Dodgers-
    2010: Jonathan Broxton (MLB debut 07/29/2005); 2009: Broxton. He and fellow 2010 All-Star Hong-Chin Kuo are 1-2 in tenure for the Dodgers.
  • Milwaukee Brewers-
    2010: Rickie Weeks (MLB debut 09/15/2003); 2009: Bill Hall. With Hall traded to the Mariners and now with the Red Sox, Weeks is now the longest serving Brewer on the 2010 squad. He's only 27 years old boys and girls.
  • Minnesota Twins-
    2010: Michael Cuddyer (MLB debut 09/23/2001); 2009: Cuddyer. Cuddyer's been around the Twins for so long, that he was there when there was talk of contracting the Twins in 2001. Many playoff appearances, and stars like Mauer and Morneau, have kept Cuddyer, and the Twins, happy in Minneapolis.
  • New York Mets-
    2010: Pedro Feliciano (MLB debut 09/04/2002); 2009: Feliciano. The Mets middle reliever has provided stability and reliability in the Mets' bullpen. He is a workhorse who has pitched in more than 86 games in each of the last two seasons, and is on pace to pitch in more than half of the Mets games again in 2010.
  • New York Yankees-
    2010: Mariano Rivera (MLB debut 05/23/1995); 2009: Rivera. The Yankees long-time reliever beats out Yankee captain Derek Jeter by four days. He is also in second place for tenure among active "deans."
  • Oakland Athletics-
    2010: Eric Chavez (MLB debut 09/08/1998); 2009: Chavez. Despite all the injuries the A's third baseman has had to endure these last few years, he has been around long enough to see Jason Giambi leave for the Yankees, and his return to Oakland seven years later.
  • Philadelphia Phillies-
    2010: Jimmy Rollins (MLB debut 09/17/2000); 2009: Rollins. The Phillies shortstop is the veteran of the team, anchoring the shortstop position for Philadelphia since 2000.
  • Pittsburgh Pirates-
    2010: Ryan Doumit (MLB debut 06/05/2005); 2009: Jack Wilson. Surprisingly, the Pirates didn't make too much noise at the trading deadline. Last year, Wilson, Ian Snell, Freddy Sanchez and John Grabow, the teams' 1-2-3-4 in tenure, were all traded to contending teams.
  • St. Louis Cardinals-
    2010: Albert Pujols (MLB debut 04/02/2001); 2009: Rick Ankiel. I caught heck last year listing Ankiel as the dean of the Cardinals. I mean, he had debuted earlier than Albert, and even though he may have been off the team for a number of years, no other team took him, and he made his comeback with the Cards. That's why he was on the first post. With Ankiel, once a pitcher, now an outfielder, playing across the state in Kansas City, the undisputed king of longevity in St. Louis is Pujols.
  • San Diego Padres-
    2010: Tim Stauffer (MLB debut 05/11/2005); 2009: Jake Peavy. Peavy was traded to the White Sox towards the end of last season. This makes Stauffer, one of the Padres bullpen wizards, as the team dean. Chris Young, the extremely tall pitcher for the Pads' is next in line.
  • San Francisco Giants-
    2010: Matt Cain (MLB debut 08/29/2005); 2009: Randy Winn. Winn left the Giants for the Yankees in 2010, only to be released and latch on with the Cardinals. Cain, one of the aces of the Giants rotation, is now the dean with the least amount of "tenure" among the 30 men featured today.
  • Seattle Mariners-
    2010: Ichiro Suzuki (MLB debut 04/02/2001); 2009: Suzuki. Ichiro, along with Albert Pujols, have dominated the headlines since they made their debuts on the same day in 2001. He proved to be the real deal when he arrived in 2001, and is now the only player left left from that 100 + win season.
  • Tampa Bay Rays-
    2010: Carl Crawford (MLB debut 07/20/2002); 2009: Crawford. If there is one man that isn't taking the team's recent run of success these past few years for granted, it's Crawford. He was around for many of the team's disastrous seasons at Tropicana Field, and is one of the main reasons why they are doing well today.
  • Texas Rangers-
    2010: Michael Young (MLB debut 09/29/2000); 2009: Young. MLB's most underrated (or is that unknown) superstar has been around the Rangers long enough to see Ivan Rodriguez leave the team, and come back to them (for that brief period of time last year). Like another long time player who plied his trade in Texas (Houston, that is), it doesn't matter where you put him, at second, at short, or at third, he will produce as long as he's in the lineup.
  • Toronto Blue Jays-
    2010: Vernon Wells (MLB debut 08/30/1999); 2009: Roy Halladay. Halladay was subject to trade rumors last year, and when the dust settled and he was still with Toronto, he was still the dean. When he was traded to Philadelphia, that left Wells as dean.
  • Washington Nationals-
    2010: Jason Bergmann (MLB debut 08/28/2005); 2009: Nick Johnson. Johnson was the last National to play for the Montréal Expos before the move to DC. When Johnson was traded to the Yankees, Bergmann became the team's dean. Ryan Zimmerman, the team's talented third baseman, is next in line.
So of the thirty teams, we have 11 new "deans." Three started out with different teams (Harang, Konerko, Wakefield). That means that the other 27 have stayed with their present teams since they made their big league debut.

Sure, in five years, all these guys could either retire or move on to other teams, but as of this moment, they've all been around their teams longer than anyone. And no one, except their GM's maybe, can take that away from them.


JayBee Anama


shahekee said...

No big deal, but Ankiel got traded to the Braves at the deadline :)

Play at the Plate said...

I think Young will still be with Texas in 5 years and the HOF talk will start.