So, Nice Guys Finish Third recently has been putting out his lists of like, the "all-jerk" team and the "all-fun-to-watch" team, etc. So, I am finally actually putting together a list of my "all-cute" team. I've been joking about this since the all-star ballots came out, when I specifically filled out a few ballots just selecting guys I thought were attractive, since I wanted to see them on TV (the All-Star game is one of the few times of the year that I get off my cable-lacking butt and seek shelter on someone else's couch). I've also, a couple times at games during the year, said something like, "Dang, that guy's pretty good-looking. He'd make it onto my All-Cute Team for sure."
It was really a stretch for me to come up with guys for some of these positions, since there are a lot of teams where I don't see the players on a regular basis, and I really wanted a full roster for both leagues, and then other positions were inundated with wonderfully adorable candidates, such as American League first basemen.
I swear, I'm not usually this much of a girl on here, but I figure, once or twice a year I should be allowed to admit to that second X chromosome which dictates that sometimes, I like to see a player flashing a great smile as well as flashing the leather.
Disclaimer: This list is entirely subjective, and yes, it has been pointed out that I have a thing for tall white boys with brown hair and blue eyes. It's true.
Also See: 2005 Postseason All-Cute List
Anyway, onto the honors!
American League lefty: Jarrod Washburn, Anaheim Angels
American League righty: Mike Mussina, New York Yankees
National League lefty: Zach Duke, Pittsburgh Pirates
National League righty: Chris Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals
Jarrod Washburn was a no-brainer for me. He has the deepest blue eyes I've ever seen, and a really adorable smirk. He's just the epitome of cute, really. Mike Mussina, well... what can I say, he's the tall, dark, quiet, handsome type. He has a really intense stare that goes right through you. NL lefty starter was tough, and I almost gave it to Andy Pettitte, since he's pretty good-looking too in a Mussina-like way, but... if you haven't seen Zach Duke, he's a damn cute kid in addition to being an amazing rookie pitcher. I mean, cuter than that other Zach kid, even (and unlike Greinke, he can actually pitch). And then there's Chris Carpenter, who has nice eyes and a sensational smile, which he has fortunately had the opportunity to flash many times this year. He'd probably be even cuter if he picked up this year's Cy Young award.
Runners-up were Barry Zito, who is also incredibly good-looking and has really intense eyes, but his headshot reminds me too much of an ex-boyfriend of mine, plus there's nobody who beats Washburn. I also think Kerry Wood is pretty damn cute, a sort of Washburn-Millwood cross, and he was actually my original pick in there, but I think Carpenter eclipsed Wood's cuteness in 2005. Gil Meche used to be the cutest Mariner ever, like such a lost little brown-eyed boy, but this year he's looked like a zombie.
Relief Pitchers / Closers
American League relief: Chad Bradford, Boston Red Sox
American League closer: Joe Nathan, Minnesota Twins
National League relief: Ryan Madson, Philadelphia Phillies
National League closer: Billy Wagner, Philadelphia Phillies
I think Chad Bradford is an interesting pitcher to watch both because submariners are awesome and because he's really cute. Joe Nathan looks pretty dorky in his headshot, now that I look at it, but he's got such a great smile, he really lights up when he smiles, especially when he's doing things like striking out the last three guys in a game for the save. He is, as many of the other Twins players are, absolutely "adorkable". As for the NL, yes, I am utterly and totally biased here towards the Phillies; I won't pretend not to be. But, Ryan Madson's headshot does NOT do him justice. He has dreamy blue eyes and a perfect face; he almost looks more like a movie star than a baseball player, really. And then there's Billy Wagner, who I also have a bit of a crush on. But, he came out before a Phillies-Mariners game here and signed stuff for kids and chatted, and when he was there, all relaxed, instead of being Badass Closer Billy, or I-Hate-The-Press-In-Philly Billy, he looked more like a big cuddly Billy Bear. Awwwwww.
Runners up here were Justin Duschcherer and Huston Street, who have almost identical headshots, though they're both pretty cute in person (Street has a really sort of quiet intense cuteness to him, sort of like Mussina). Scot Shields is my favorite quintessential adorkable relief pitcher -- he's an absolute and total sweetheart when dealing with fans, and the stories of him eating enough Halloween candy that he almost puked in the bullpen is enough to make any fan grin. Unfortunately, he looks an awful lot like Stanley Spedowski (from the movie UHF), which no amount of personality cuteness can really make up for. And then there's Shiggy, who is pretty damn cute as well. I mean, he's one of the most likeable guys in the universe. But he can't quite compete with Bradford's eyes.
American League: Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins
National League: Mike Lieberthal, Philadelphia Phillies
Joe Mauer is not only the best-looking catcher in the American League, he's one of the best-looking baseball players that has ever lived. Period. It doesn't hurt that he's also an insanely talented catcher and hitter. There needs be no justification for the gaggles of teenage girls that call out to him during batting practice at the Metrodome.
Now, it really pisses me off that Jason Kendall is no longer in the National League, and that Mike Lieberthal has started looking so goddamn haggard as his knees give out from under him. Because, really, Lieby used to be really cute, and he still has a pretty attractive smile. Basically, the Cute Catcher in the NL award is only going to him because there's no way I'm giving it to @#$@^! Mike Piazza, who is still good-looking, but overrated. Honestly, the Phillies had a better looking catcher right before Lieberthal, in Darren Daulton, but alas.
There were a ton of runners-up in the American League for this honour, though. I mean, there's Jason Varitek, who is an all-around great-looking guy - he's built, he has nice pale eyes, he has a great smile, especially when he laughs, and even when he's not smiling, he's still pretty cute. And, don't laugh, but I think Jorge Posada is pretty cute as well. Matthew LeCroy is also adorable in a roly-poly greying sort of way, honestly. And then, if he still counts, there's Pat Borders, aka Uncle Rico. He's aged really well, and has a pretty boyish grin for a man of 42. And there's Dan Wilson, too, who is a heck of a good-looking guy, even if he's really not my type.
American League: Mark Teixeira, Texas Rangers
National League: Sean Casey, Cincinnati Reds
The first time I ever saw Mark Teixeira play or even heard of him was at Safeco Field during the 2003 season. They put his face up on the scoreboard and I looked up like "Who's that guy? He's GORGEOUS!" Ahh, his bright brown eyes, his smile... it's rare that I immediately fall in love with a player like that, but Teixeira, what a cutie. The fact that he's blossomed into such an amazing fielder and hitter doesn't hurt either. As for Sean Casey, I had seen him on TV a few times, in the all-star game and whatnot, and thought he was kinda goodlooking, but he sings a song on the "Oh Say Can You Sing?" CD, and in his interviews on the DVD, he's just positively precious.
Now, there is a LOT of competition for best-looking first baseman in the American League. In the National League it really just came down to Casey and J.T.Snow, to me, but daaaamn. I mean, because of my long-standing crush on Teixeira I had to turn down heartthrobs like Ben Broussard and Justin Morneau, you know. And of course there's always the quintessentially handsome John Olerud in the fray, and the boyishly adorable Kevin Millar. So yeah. It's a tough field, you know.
American League: Adam Kennedy, Anaheim Angels
National League: Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies
Adam Kennedy is listed as being 6'1", but I don't believe that. Either way, he's got a great smile and is actually a pretty charming guy if you ever get to talk to him. And though I'm not a great judge of it, there was this Angels fangirl I was talking to during batting practice once who was convinced that Kennedy has the nicest butt in baseball, and I couldn't really disagree. As for Chase Utley, I'm sure not a single one of you is surprised to see him listed here. Chase Utley is easily one of the most gorgeous baseball players out there as well, let alone second basemen. He has deep blue eyes, thick wavy hair, a captivating grin, and a very stoic, yet friendly demeanor. As I've mentioned before, when I was at a few Phillies-Mets games at Shea this summer and a bunch of Mets fans were like "Oh, who's this kid? Chase UGLY, is he?" I retorted, "He's better-looking than Piazza!" I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it. He's so dreeeeeeamy. If I had my choice of being able to hug any major league baseball player, I would pick Chase Utley.
I had a lot of trouble coming up with other cute second basemen to pick from, to be honest. Jose Lopez actually was a candidate because of his "cute kid smile" picture they put up on the scoreboard, and Brian Roberts was up there for the "adorkable" factor, but that's about it. On the whole, most second basemen are old and/or plain.
American League: Michael Cuddyer, Minnesota Twins
National League: David Wright, New York Mets
Ironically, both third basemen I picked wear #5 for their respective teams. Anyway, there's a damn good reason Bat-Girl and company call Cuddyer "DJ Cuddles". It's because the guy literally oozes cuddliness, like a big ol' teddy bear. When he smiles, his entire face smiles. His eyes smile, his nose smiles. It's almost cute enough to make you puke, sort of like this entire post. No, really. He's probably my runner-up in "MLB Players I'd really like to hug". And then there's David Wright, who not only ended up being a better hitter than Carlos Beltran this year, but is also much much better-looking. There was an article in the Mets Magazine about him and his brothers, how one day they were all sitting around watching baseball on TV together, and then boom! a few years later, now they're all at home watching HIM on TV. It's so sweet. But, have I mentioned that he's cute? Because, like, he is, sort of in the same way Ryan Madson is. Just a very nice, somewhat chiseled face overall.
Screw A-Rod and Jeter. They don't make *MY* cute list. Word.
American League: Marco Scutaro, Oakland Athletics
National League: David Eckstein, St. Louis Cardinals
These guys both get my vote because they're funny little dudes, X a little moreso than Skootch. But no, really. Scutaro is such a goofy guy, and he's always got a smile for everybody, be it fans, or opposing players, or his teammates. And Eckstein just makes me laugh. I always want to go over and pat him on the head or something. Cuuuuuuuuuuuute!
(Honestly, there weren't many other guys on my shortstop and 3B lists. I think Nomar is kinda cute, and I also think Eric Hinske is somewhat good-looking too, but, yeah.)
American League: Lew Ford, Minnesota Twins
American League: Grady Sizemore, Cleveland Indians
American League: Aubrey Huff, Tampa Bay Devil Rays
National League: Pat Burrell, Philadelphia Phillies
National League: Jason Bay, Pittsburgh Pirates
National League: Randy Winn, San Francisco Giants
I know, you're shocked that Eric Byrnes isn't on there. The dumb thing is, it's sort of like Scot Shields. Eric Byrnes is one of my favorite players. I like watching him play baseball a lot. He's a really crazy fun guy, a good fielder, a fast runner, and he's also an absolute sweetheart to his fans; I have never seen him fail to come out and chat with people before every game he's in. On the other hand, when it really comes down to looks, he's NOT THAT CUTE. It pains me to say it, but it's true -- the personality cuteness doesn't make up for the lack of face cuteness against this group.
Anyway. Lew Ford is the epitome of "adorkable", with his crinkly smile. He also looks like Lou Gehrig, who I think is one of the cutest baseball players of all time. Grady Sizemore is the epitome of "cute kid". No, really. And Aubrey Huff... he's kind of a dark horse. Came out of the same place as Sean Casey - that CD/DVD of him singing. He had such a soulful, heartfelt expression on his face while singing "Letters from Home" that it just broke my heart.
If you list good-looking baseball players and you don't list Pat Burrell, it's a crime. While I think he looks kind of stupid with his recent extremely short haircut, in general, he's a dreamboat, with such great eyes and an absolutely dazzling smile. Jason Bay's headshot doesn't do him justice, but if you've ever seen him talk in an interview, he's just really a total sweetheart. And well... I guess technically Randy Winn is a Mariner in my heart, and mostly, I'm just remembering the "Nicknames" commercial where they're like "Yeah! This is the guy who came up with Nelly! And Cammy! And Shiggy!" and Winn rolls his eyes with this look on his face like "I'm going to KILL these guys." It's so goddamn adorable.
Anyway, there's my first stab at an All-Cute team. I reserve the right to edit this as I think of stuff. Notably, I bet I could come up with some better cute outfielders if I tried a little harder. And I could maybe add in a "utility/DH" spot (where DH, is, of course, "Designated Hugger") or two so some of my runners-up can be on the real list where they deserve.