SPORTS ILLUSTRATED 2003 Player Survey Who's the best manager? The worst umpire? The best-dressed player? Should Pete Rose be in the Hall? We wondered what the players think, so we went right to the source*

July 06, 2003

1. Who's the greatest living player?

Barry Bonds 38.9%
Alex Rodriguez 12.8%
Willie Mays 12.1%
Nolan Ryan 7.1%
Hank Aaron 6.7%
Pete Rose 3.6%

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

--Bonds and Rodriguez were the only active players to receive more
than 10 votes.

--Bonds's AL vote total (34.5%) more than doubled Rodriguez's
(16.7%).

2. Who has the best outfield arm?

Vladimir Guerrero, Expos 56.8%
Jose Guillen, Reds 13.4%
Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners 13.4%
Raul Mondesi, Yankees 6.0%
Larry Walker, Rockies 2.6%
Jim Edmonds, Cardinals 1.3%

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

--Guerrero received 58.7% of the votes cast in the NL and 54.7% of
the votes cast in the AL.

--Guillen drew 43.6% of his votes from the NL Central.

3.Who's the best defensive player?

Andruw Jones, Braves 29.8%
Omar Vizquel, Indians 23.0%
Torii Hunter, Twins 13.4%
Alex Rodriguez, Rangers 6.1%
Scott Rolen, Cardinals 6.1%
Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners 2.1%

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

--Half of all shortstops voted for Vizquel.

--Jones had 54.5% of the vote in the NL East.

4. Whom would you most like to play with?

Alex Rodriguez, Rangers 16.6%
Barry Bonds, Giants 7.0%
Roger Clemens, Yankees 6.5%
Sammy Sosa, Cubs 3.5%
Jeff Bagwell, Astros 3.1%
Greg Maddux, Braves 3.1%

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

--Rodriguez, who received less than half as many votes as Bonds
for greatest living player, turned the tables here.

--Bonds earned only 2.6% of the vote among catchers and 3.6% from
pitchers.

--Pitchers accounted for 80.6% of Clemens's votes.

5. Who gets the most from the least talent?

David Eckstein, Angels 62.2%
Craig Counsell, Diamondbacks 6.7%
Jamie Moyer, Mariners 4.8%
Joe McEwing, Mets 2.7%
Kevin Millar, Red Sox 1.7%

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

--Only five players got more than five votes.

--Moyer earned 72.7% of his votes from pitchers.

6. Who gets the least from the most talent?

Ruben Rivera, Giants 29.3%
Raul Mondesi, Yankees 6.9%
Frank Thomas, White Sox 3.1%
Mo Vaughn, Mets 3.1%
Adrian Beltre, Dodgers 2.8%
Kyle Farnsworth, Cubs 2.8%

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

--Rivera was the top choice in both the AL (32.1%) and the NL
(27.0%).

7. What should be done with the designated hitter?

Keep it as is 47.8%
Abolish it 34.8%
Don't know 5.0%
Use it in both leagues 12.5%

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

--Pitchers (46.4%) want the DH abolished much more than hitters
(23.0%).

--NL players favor ditching the DH (41.9%) much more than AL
players (27.0%).

--Among players with one year of experience or less, 56.5% voted
to keep the DH.

8. Who's the best-dressed player?

Alex Rodriguez, Rangers 9.9%
Gary Sheffield, Braves 4.5%
Ellis Burks, Indians 3.5%
Reggie Sanders, Pirates 3.5%
Mike Cameron, Mariners 3.3%
Derek Jeter, Yankees 3.1%
Michael Tucker, Royals 3.1%

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

--Votes were cast for 125 players, 28 of whom voted for themselves.

--A-Rod led the NL with 7.5% of the vote.

9. What's your favorite nonbaseball activity?

Golf 25.7%
Hunting 12.5%
Fishing 11.0%
Time with family 5.1%
Movies 4.7%

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

--Golf (30.7%) and hunting (14.9%) are most popular with pitchers,
while catchers (18.8%) prefer fishing.

--Golf (11.7%) and movies (10.8%) were tops among non-U.S.-born
players.

10. Which is your favorite ballpark?

Safeco Field (Mariners) 17.6%
Pac Bell Park (Giants) 10.2%
Wrigley Field (Cubs) 8.5%
Oriole Park at Camden Yards 8.0%
Yankee Stadium 6.7%
Bank One Ballpark (Diamondbacks) 6.3%
Busch Stadium (Cardinals) 5.8%

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

--Safeco Field was an even more popular favorite among pitchers
(23.3%).

--Of the votes cast for Camden Yards, 42% came from NL players.

--Wrigley was the favorite among players with 10 or more years'
experience (16.1%).

Which is your least favorite?

Olympic Stadium (Expos) 22.3%
Veterans Stadium (Phillies) 10.3%
Metrodome (Twins) 8.9%
Tropicana Field (Devil Rays) 7.2%
Fenway Park (Red Sox) 6.0%
U.S. Cellular Field (White Sox) 5.8%
Shea Stadium (Mets) 5.4%

11. Which city has the best fans?

St. Louis 46.4%
Boston 13.1%
New York 11.4%
Chicago 8.2%
Seattle 6.7%
San Francisco 2.8%

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

--Nearly two thirds (65.2%) of players with 10 years' experience
favored St. Louis, and 26.4% of AL players voted for St. Louis.

Which has the worst?

New York 15.6%
Montreal 15.5%
Philadelphia 14.6%
Chicago 13.2%
Tampa Bay 6.0%

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

--Chicago finished first among AL players in the worst-city voting
(19.0%) but second among NL players in the best-city voting (12.8%).

12. Which ballpark has the best-quality playing field?

Dodger Stadium 23.2%
Edison Field (Angels) 11.2%
Safeco Field (Mariners) 9.5%
Oriole Park at Camden Yards 5.7%
Kauffman Stadium (Royals) 5.1%
Bank One Ballpark (D-Backs) 5.0%

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

--Only five of the 525 votes for best field (1%) were for parks
with artificial turf; 35.5% of the votes for worst field were for
parks with artificial surfaces.

Which has the worst?

Wrigley Field (Cubs) 17.5%
Fenway Park (Red Sox) 17.1%
Olympic Stadium (Expos) 13.0%
Shea Stadium (Mets) 9.7%
Metrodome (Twins) 9.3%
Veterans Stadium (Phillies) 6.6%

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

--Fenway was least favorite among outfielders (23.2%), while Olympic Stadium was voted the worst by pitchers (17.9%).

--Wrigley Field (6.6%) was voted fourth worst by AL players.

--Of the votes cast for Shea Stadium as worst field, 37.0% were from infielders, the highest such percentage.

13. Which is the best road city?

Chicago 34.6%
New York 16.5%
Seattle 7.4%
San Diego 6.7%
Phoenix 4.3%
Miami 3.9%

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

--New York was the favorite (31.6%) among players with less than one
year of experience.

--Detroit (53.5%) and Milwaukee (37.2%) were runaway winners (or in
this case, losers) among players in their respective leagues.
Detroit even finished second among NL players (12.4%).

Which is the worst?

Detroit 31.8%
Milwaukee 24.1%
Philadelphia 6.2%
Cincinnati 5.6%
Pittsburgh 5.6%
Montreal 4.8%

14. Which ballpark has the best visiting locker room?

Tropicana Field (Devil Rays) 36.7%
Miller Park (Brewers) 15.5%
Coors Field (Rockies) 10.6%
Minute Maid Park (Astros) 7.8%
Safeco Field (Mariners) 7.4%

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

--Tropicana Field's visitors' clubhouse features four hanging TVs,
three couches, three recliners and the big leagues' most
extensive candy collection (16 jars and eight boxes on a table in
the center of the room), but it's the attentive six-member staff
that earned it the top ranking; it received 63.2% of the AL vote
and even finished fourth with NL players (12.0%).

Which has the worst?

Fenway Park (Red Sox) 30.5%
Wrigley Field (Cubs) 24.8%
Dodger Stadium 8.1%
Jacobs Field (Indians) 6.3%
Olympic Stadium (Expos) 5.8%

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

--Fenway's cramped quarters (smallest in the league) were voted
second-worst by NL players (14.6%).

15. Should Pete Rose be in the Hall of Fame?

Only if he admits he bet on baseball 11.1%
Not under any circumstances 9.4%
Don't know 5.3%
Yes, unconditionally 74.2%

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

--U.S.-born players are harder on Rose (10.8% voted to bar him
under any circumstances) than foreign-born players (4.4%).

--Among players with 10 years' experience, 13.4% favored an
absolute ban.

16. Who's the best general manager?

Billy Beane, A's 34.1%
John Schuerholz, Braves 8.6%
Walt Jocketty, Cardinals 7.8%
Brian Sabean, Giants 7.6%
Brian Cashman, Yankees 6.8%
Pat Gillick, Mariners 4.9%

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

--Beane led both the AL (42.5%) and the NL (25.0%) by a wide
margin and received 52.4% of the AL West vote.

Who's the worst?

Steve Phillips, Mets 17.4%
Chuck LaMar, Devil Rays 14.2%
Jim Bowden, Reds 13.8%
John Hart, Rangers 6.0%
Kenny Williams, White Sox 5.7%
Dave Dombrowski, Tigers 5.3%

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

--Phillips, who was fired late in the survey process, received
26.7% of his worst-G.M. votes from the NL Central.

17. Who's the best hitting coach?

Rudy Jaramillo, Rangers 9.5%
Jeff Pentland, Royals 6.9%
Rick Down, Yankees 5.9%
Mickey Hatcher, Angels 5.6%
Mike Barnett, Blue Jays 4.6%
Lee Elia, Devil Rays 3.6%

Who's the best pitching coach?

Leo Mazzone, Braves 21.0%
Mel Stottlemyre, Yankees 7.1%
Dave Duncan, Cardinals 6.3%
Bryan Price, Mariners 5.4%
Bud Black, Angels 4.8%
Rick Peterson, A's 4.8%

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

--Hatcher got 41% of his votes from pitchers.

--Mazzone led both the NL (25.9%) and the AL (15.5%), though he
fared better with catchers (23.5%) than pitchers (16.0%).

--Stottlemyre got 44.0% of his votes from the NL.

18.Who's the best manager?

Dusty Baker, Cubs 23.6%
Joe Torre, Yankees 18.7%
Bobby Cox, Braves 13.1%
Mike Scioscia, Angels 6.2%
Tony La Russa, Cardinals 5.8%
Lou Piniella, Devil Rays 5.6%

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

--Baker earned 35.8% of his best-manager votes from the NL
Central; he was also No. 2 in the AL voting (18.0%).

--Cox finished second in the best-manager voting among players
with 10 years' experience (20.2%).

Who's the worst?

Larry Bowa, Phillies 16.1%
Bob Boone, Reds 9.4%
Jerry Manuel, White Sox 7.1%
Tony La Russa, Cardinals 6.3%
Lloyd McClendon, Pirates 6.3%
Buck Showalter, Rangers 6.3%
Bob Brenly, Diamondbacks 4.7%
Alan Trammell, Tigers 3.9%

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

--Bowa led both the NL (17.9%) and the AL (13.5%) in the
worst-manager voting; the highest percentage of his votes came
from the AL East (36.4% ).

19.Who's the best umpire?

Tim McClelland 22.0%
Jim Joyce 9.2%
Ed Rapuano 8.9%
John Hirschbeck 8.0%
Ted Barrett 4.8%
Mark Hirschbeck 4.5%

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

--McClelland, who led both the AL (27.2%) and the NL (17.0%) in
the best-umpire voting, fared better with hitters (26.4%) than
with pitchers (16.7%).

Who's the worst?

C.B. Bucknor 20.7%
Bruce Froemming 16.1%
Joe Brinkman 8.0%
Joe West 7.0%
Phil Cuzzi 4.7%
Angel Hernandez 4.7%

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

--Froemming, a 33-year veteran, led the worst-umpire voting among
players with fewer than two years' service (27.5%).

20. The current drug-testing policy ...

Should be more stringent 36.5%
Is adequate as is 40.7%
Should be abolished 7.6%
Don't know 15.2%

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

--Pitchers (41.4 %) favor more stringent testing more than hitters
(31.5%).

--Among players with one year of experience or less, 54.5% want
more stringent testing.

--Among players who earn $10 million or more a year, 50.0% think
the system is adequate as is.

* SI approached every major league player; 550 agreed to
participate, though not every player answered every question.
Figures used are percentages of the total number of respondents
for each question.

For more on our major league player survey go to si.com.

COLOR PHOTO: AL TIELEMANS BONDS COLOR PHOTO: AL TIELEMANS GUERRERO COLOR PHOTO: BOB ROSATO JONES COLOR PHOTO: HEINZ KLUETMEIER CLEMENS THREE COLOR ILLUSTRATIONS COLOR PHOTO: JEFFERY A. SALTER RODRIGUEZ COLOR PHOTO: OTTO GREULE COLOR PHOTO: DAN DONOVAN COLOR PHOTO: CORBIS CHICAGO COLOR PHOTO: V.J. LOVERO BOWA COLOR PHOTO: TAMI CHAPPELL/REUTERS BUCKNOR

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