Dan's Dugout: Who's the Game's Top Player? • Latino Sports

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Dan’s Dugout: Who’s the Game’s Top Player?

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Kids of the Roaring ’20s argued Babe Ruth versus Rogers Hornsby.

Then it was Ted Williams versus Joe DiMaggio.

Later it was Willie, Mickey, and the Duke.

Hank Aaron: was he the game's best player?

Hank Aaron: was he the game’s best player?

More recently, fans debated the virtues of Hank Aaron against Barry Bonds.

Baseball today is also a game of controversies. One of the biggest is figuring out the identity of the top player in the game.

Could it be Mike Trout, the only man to be Most Valuable Player in the All-Star Game two years in a row?

But how about the younger Bryce Harper, last year’s National League MVP and a threat to win the league’s first Triple Crown since 1937?

Miguel Cabrera, the veteran first baseman, has not only won a Triple Crown but four batting titles.

Perhaps a pitcher is the epitome of perfection. Jake Arrieta pitched

Clayton Kershaw may be the top current player

Clayton Kershaw may be the top current player

no-hitters 10 starts apart over two seasons, Clayton Kershaw is bidding for his fourth Cy Young Award, and Stephen Strasburg opened this season by going 10-0.

All of these players are sure to flock to San Diego for the July 12 All-Star Game, a showcase of the game’s best talent.

So the question is: if you were starting a team, who would be your first pick? Ask 10 different people and there might be 11 different opinions. But the discussion will certainly be lively — and less venomous than the daily diatribes emanating from the presidential campaign trail.

Elsewhere in baseball:

Ex-Met Wally Backman, virtually certain to become a big-league manager soon, will manage the Pacific Coast League against the International League in the Triple-A All-Star Game in Charlotte July 13, the day after the big-leaguers play . . .

Atlanta rookie Mallex Smith is on pace for 32 stolen bases . . .

Detroit’s Victor Martinez had a three-homer game the same night that teammate J.D. Martinez broke his elbow by crashing into the outfield wall in Kansas City . . .

Toronto’s experiment with slugger Jose Bautista as leadoff man is over . . .

Ian Desmond has become a huge star

Ian Desmond has become a huge star

Erstwhile Washington shortstop Ian Desmond could make the AL All-Star team as a centerfielder . . .

Jose Reyes and Omar Infante could be at the end of the line after both were designated for assignment . . .

The best division races in baseball are in the AL East, with three teams fighting it out, and the AL Central, where four clubs are within hailing distance of the top . . .

Beleaguered Minnesota suffered another serious setbacks when closer Glen Perkins, a three-time All-Star, went down for the season with shoulder surgery . . .

Surgery has also sidelined Mets captain David Wright, whose spinal stenosis was compounded by neck issues . . .

CC Sabathia, who seemed over the hill as recently as last year, has made a miraculous comeback — and is the first Yankee pitcher to post an ERA as low as 0.82 over a seven-start span . . .

With ace Dallas Keuchel still struggling, veteran Doug Fister has really been a booster shot for the Astros staff . . .

The approach of the August 1 trade deadline has sparked an upswing in trade talk among all teams, from the buying contenders to the selling pretenders. The next six weeks should be interesting.

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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