Not really Mets related, just a theoretical question for a lazy Sunday afternoon that came out of an interesting discussion I was having the other day. Basically you've got four choices amongst the most prevalent, distinct style of ballplayer, and if you could become any one of them, which would you be?
1) The Slugger - Obviously this is the prototypical, corner IF/OF player whose contribution comes almost entirely at the dish. This player clearly hits for a lot of power, probably bats in the traditional 'run production' section of the lineup and in general is one of the bigger, bulkier players on the field. Not always the most athletic but hey, chicks dig the longball.
2) The Burner - This guy is basically Jose. Steals a lot of bases, triples, bunt hits, general chaos. Not nearly as many home runs. Probably plays in one of the 'up-the-middle' positions and derives a good amount of value from his defensive contributions. Most agree he's most exciting to watch but his average paycheck might not represent that.
3) The Ace - Here we have the stud at the top of any rotation. Throws a ton of innings, strikes out a ton of batters. Starts a few All-Star Games, probably throws the ball really hard with some sort of plus secondary offering(s). Lefty, right, doesn't matter. A truly valuable commodity as there are only a few of these true studs at any given time and the salaries bear that out.
4) The Closer - Then there's the brick wall at the end of games who demoralizes the opposition with his mere presence. He gets the adrenaline rush of throwing the last pitch, driving that last nail in the coffin. Despite his far inferior contribution, his notoriety is equal if not even greater as his music, demeanor and perhaps celebration feed into an almost WWE-esque persona that no other profile can match.
Obviously there are other profiles within the game. But who wants to be the pinch hitter or the defensive replacement? The middle reliever? And it kind of spoils the exercise if we include the transcendent players, guys who blend many of these skills, say Carlos Beltran circa '06 or David Wright in '07. Or simply a player with virtually no weaknesses, an all-time great like Albert Pujols.
So who would you want to be?