Posted by: danimal25 | 07/08/2008

Overrated & Underrated

OVERRATED

Andy Roddick Men’s Tennis Player

Despite winning the US Open back in 2003, Roddick’s career has been a major disappointment. When he first debuted on the tour in 2001, he was expected to be the next great American tennis star along the lines of McEnroe, Agassi, and Sampras. However, he has failed to live up to expectations. While he is armed with tremendous talent, which includes a 150 mph serve, he appears more concerned with his off-court romances than his on-court peformance. When Roddick retires in a few years from professional tennis, we will all think to ourselves, “What could’ve been?”

John Kruk ESPN Baseball Commentator

Kruk is a likable dude. He’s that one fat guy of the group that gets along with everyone. However, that doesn’t usually translate to being a good television analyst. Often times, he avoids criticizing fellow players and adds very little insightful analysis to the broadcast. I truly enjoy watching “Baseball Tonight.” It’s one of the best shows on TV. However, I always find it humorous when Kruk unleashes a 5 minute diatribe on his beloved Phillies, while contributing little else to the discussion regarding the other 29 teams in the league.

Derek Jeter New York Yankees Shortstop

DJ has four World Series rings, three Gold Gloves, and nine All-Star Game appearances. However, his on-field production pales in comparison to other prominent Major League shortstops. I appreciate the fact that he is a “winner” and “plays the game the right way.” But for $22 million a year, he should be producing more than 12 home runs, 70 RBIs, and 15 steals per season.

UNDERRATED

Rafael Nadal Men’s Tennis Player

I know, I know… you’re thinking to yourself, “How could the 2008 Wimbledon Champion be considered ‘underrated’?” Well, the truth is, he is not yet fully appreciated. At the age of 22, Nadal has accomplished more than most players have over an entire career. He is in perfect position to capture 3 major titles in a single year. Rafa won his 4th straight French Open title in June, defeated Roger Federer over the weekend for his first Wimbledon, and is now the world’s #1 player heading into next month’s US Open. Considering Andre Agassi played professionally until the age of 36, the capri-panted Nadal will have plenty of hardware by the time he calls it quits.

Chris Singleton ESPN Baseball Commentator

While Singleton doesn’t have the same name recognition of other analysts on The Worldwide Leader, he has quickly become one of ESPN’s most polished commentators. His smooth and comfortable delivery, combined with his knowledge of the game has elevated his status at the network and has afforded him extra airtime. Singleton’s supreme intelligence is all the more apparent when he is paired on the “Baseball Tonight” set with the likes of John Kruk, Fernando Vina, and Eric Young.

Rick Ankiel St. Louis Cardinals Outfielder

Flashback to the 2000 NLDS between the Cardinals and Braves. A 21 year old phenom by the name of Rick Ankiel is the starting pitcher for Game 1 of the series for St. Louis. The Cardinals jump to an early lead by scoring 6 runs in the bottom of the first. Despite issuing a couple of walks, Ankiel escapes the first two innings unscathed. Then it happens. The “Ankiel Express” is derailed. The “Next Sandy Koufax” can’t throw a strike to save his life. He proceeds to walk four batters and throw 5 wild pitches in front of a packed stadium on national television. Flash forward seven years. The same Rick Ankiel is back on the field for the Cardinals. However, he is not at his customary position in the middle of the diamond. No… he is playing in the outfield for the Red Birds. Not only is he playing outfield at the Major League level, he is hitting tape measure bombs and throwing runners out from the warning track. The same guy that suffered through unbearable humiliation seven years ago is back on the field dominating the competition at a completely different position. This story is so far-fetched, Hollywood would laugh at the premise. Ankiel’s courage, determination, and belief in himself should be recognized and appreciated by all.

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Responses

  1. I love the Ankiel pick. Not to diminish his glaringly bright baseball skills, but, he performs all with such grace and humility. I’m a huge fan of his and I would bet his teammates love him to death…esp. some of those pitchers who struggle on that team. Rasmus may be the future but Ankiel is the present.

  2. Singleton sounds and looks smart. Kruk sounds and looks stupid. But stupid sells. See Vina. Go figure.

  3. You should start a new category “The Grossly Overpaid”, #1 on the list is Giambi. At $23.4MIL, he is known more for his steroid confessions and his bushy stache than his baseball skills (sic). Also, RA looked like a pitcher in the batters box tonight against Lidge…he needs to lay off the breaking balls.

  4. Where has the Danimal gone. Sabbatical???


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