What defines a great career? Championships? Individual accomplishments? If you could mirror the career of a member of the Boston Red Sox, who would it be?
What matters most to you when evaluating a player’s career? Are you a ring chaser who only cares how many championships a player won? Flags do fly forever and titles are the reason these players play the game. We all know that the Boston Red Sox have been stockpiling championships as late.
Do you prefer to look at a player’s individual accomplishments instead since one man can’t win it all on his own? We know the five tools that make for a great ballplayer, but what accomplishments and accolades make for a great career?
The CBS Sports twitter account proposed this question late last night and it left me up all night pondering what I’d want my fictional sports legacy to be:
The four careers in this choose your own adventure game are:
Option A – 15x All-Star, 3x MVP, 5 Playoff Appearances, 0 Championship Titles
Option B – 0x All-Star, 0x MVP, 12 Playoff Appearances, 5 Championship Titles
Option C – 5x All-Star, 0x MVP, 9 Playoff Appearances, 2 Championship Titles
Option D – 3x All-Star, 1x MVP, 3 Playoff Appearances, 1 Championship Titles
To add some perspective to this exercise, I came up with some Red Sox players whose careers more or less match the above descriptions. To qualify for these comparisons the player had to spend more time on the Red Sox than any other team.
If I considered anyone who ever donned a Sox uniform then someone like Eric Gagne would qualify (Option D) and nobody wants that. Remember how terrible he was? We got Gagne a ring and what did he give us in return? A 6.75 regular-season ERA (14 ER in his 14 IP) and a blown save in the ALCS. Not a great deal.
Because I’m a man of honor and don’t want to let in just any riff-raff, I had to stretch a little to find a comp for some of the options. For example, no player who played for the Red Sox longer than any other ball club has won 3 MVP awards or 5 World Series titles. But that’s just the way it is and we’re all going to have to deal with it.