ESPN's Jayson Stark revealed the winners of his "Who is the Face Baseball?" fan vote today.
The answers will most likely disgust you.
- Alex Rodriguez 22%
- Derek Jeter 12%
- Miguel Cabrera 9%
- Mike Trout 3%
- David Ortiz 2%
- Albert Pujols 2%
- Joey Votto 2%
- Babe Ruth 2%
- Buster Posey 2%
- Bryce Harper 1%
- David Wright 1%
- Mariano Rivera 1%
- Chipper Jones 1%
Yes, even Chipper Jones - a real role model - made the list, despite retiring last season. Granted, A-Rod's #1 spot is undoubtedly a message from the fans to MLB, but it's still... gross... to have to see him up there.
All in all, it's a solid list. Guys like Trout and Posey should be closer to the top. Jeter should be up there, if this were 2-15 years ago, same with Rivera.
I'd put Harper at the 3-4 spot, due to his affinity for breaking himself, and because he named his dog 'Swag.' Votto is a good pick, Pujols and Ortiz are legends, but fading to different degrees, same with Wright, and national writers would just LOVE it if you could forget about Cabrera's DUI.
Yes, on the field, you're supposed to put aside personal issues and appreciate how a guy plays the game. But when you say someone is the "Face of" something, you're encompassing their person in its entirety, and while everybody makes mistakes, the bigger the mistake, the less likely someone is to be considered a role model.
I think the best players for this role are young, vibrant players like Trout, Harper, and Posey - with the additions of guys like Andrew McCutchen, Chris Davis, Adam Jones, Yasiel Puig, Jose Fernandez. Great players, with personalities that have haven't (yet) led to big, public, awful things. Unless you count last night.
At least no one else agreed with Stark's co-worker, Peter Gammons, on who it should be.