There was a recent poll created on the Los Angeles Times Sports Blog regarding who is the better Center Fielder between the Los Angeles Angels' Torii Hunter and the Los Angeles Dodgers' Matt Kemp.
The poll itself describes it as a position by position comparison, which is fine, except, a lot of people are saying how it's not even a comparison, that Hunter is by far better. The people saying that are Angels fans.
Both players are about as equal as you can get as far as ability. The only difference is Hunter is older and more experienced than Kemp is. However, I don't think these fans are judging by player ability, and this is what bothers me. I think they are just loyal to their team and saying that Hunter is simply better because he's an Angel.
Others have also said that Hunter is better because he plays in a harder league. Who's to really say that any league is harder than the other, though? Of course, the National League and American League both have their (obvious) differences, but both center fielders essentially play their positions the same. Stand in the outfield, batter hits the ball in the air, catch the ball.
Remember, the poll doesn't consider leagues, divisions, managers, mascot, or anything else. Position by position. A player's ability to hit, run, and catch.
One person said that Hunter makes dive attempts to catch the ball. My question to them, "Have you seen any Dodger games? Kemp made many dive attempts in 2009 as well."
Their response... "LOL. Why would I watch Dodger games?"
Exactly my point. You really can't "judge" which person is better when you haven't seen the other player perform.
When I told them what their stats for last year were, they mentioned how Hunter missed several games due to injury. Ok... fine.
What about 2008?
Matt Kemp 2008: 155 Games, .290 AVG, 18 HR, 76 RBI, 35 SB
In 2009, he won his first Gold Glove Award the first year he started full time as a center fielder on Opening Day.
Torii Hunter 2008: 146 Games, .278 AVG, 21 HR, 78 RBI, 19 SB.
He won the his first Gold Glove Award in 2001, 2 years after he became a regular starter for the Minnesota Twins.
My point is this; Don't be afraid to admit when another player is just as good, if not, better, than your favorite team's player simply because he's not on your team. If you're a fan of the Angels, or any other baseball team, for that matter, then you have to be a BASEBALL fan.
I will tell you this though... neither man is afraid to throw down with an opponent to defend themselves and/or their teammates.