April 18 (stats continue to update)
Let me be the first to welcome you to CBSSports.com's weekly MLB Player Rankings, which will be beamed to your computer screen via Internet magic every Tuesday from here on out. Thanks for coming. Can I take your coat? Would you like a hot drink?
Dobrow: See who is No. 1
Here's the drill: Each week, we'll trot out two lists of 15, one for hitters and one for pitchers. Today (and at the start of each subsequent month), we'll go big picture with a simple who's-the-bestest-in-the-whole-wide-world ranking. Other weeks, we'll discuss set-up guys, leadoff hitters and pretty much anything else that might be debated with the elegance and eloquence the Internet cultivates.
|Is Albert really human? (AP)|
Of course, my own stubbornness will come into play as well. For instance, nobody will be able to convince me that a heroic, baronial closer who throws 70 innings per year is more valuable than a decent starter who throws 200 innings. Two hundred, as I understand it, is more than 70. So don't expect to see a reliever anywhere near the big-picture list unless he puts up Mariano Rivera-in-1996 or John Wetteland-in-1993 numbers.
Meanwhile, the usual Power Rankings caveats apply. To recap: I'm biased against your favorite player because he plays for your favorite team, against which I'm biased. I'm yet to examine convincing evidence that professional baseball exists outside the eastern seaboard. And I'm unable to consider any player whose games start later than 7:15 p.m. ET, because my eyes get all puffy and gross if I don't get 15 uninterrupted hours of sleep.
So there's your primer. Debate away.