Chat with Jerry Crasnick

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Welcome to The Show! Jerry Crasnick is stopping by Thursday at 1 p.m. ET for the first installment of our Hot Stove Heaters chats! Check back each day for a new topic and a new chat! Take it away, Jerry!

So my editors call me on a slow January day and pose the following question: If I'm a general manager and I'm starting a major league team today, which superstar would I choose: Alex Rodriguez or Albert Pujols?

Hey, I know that I'll take The Who over Led Zeppelin, Erin Burnett over Maria Bartiromo, Quiznos over Subway, the Cactus League over the Grapefruit League, and "Fargo" over "No Country for Old Men."

A-Rod vs. Albert borders on impossible, but an assignment is an assignment, so here goes:

Pluses for Pujols

He's listed at just shy of 28, which makes him 4 years younger than A-Rod. He ranks fifth in career OPS behind Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig and Barry Bonds. He has an amazingly low strikeout total for a power hitter. He won his second straight Fielding Bible Award at first base in 2007. Pujols also has a World Series ring, and he's a .323 career hitter in the postseason -- as opposed to You Know Who, who's had a tendency to melt in October recently.

Pluses for A-Rod

He's missed 20 of 1,134 games since 2001, so his durability is off the charts. He won his third career MVP Award last year amid extraordinary scrutiny in New York. He's incredibly attentive to detail for a superstar. He steals bases (265) when he's not hitting home runs (518). And most important, he puts up huge offensive numbers at third base, a position where it's much tougher to find primo production than at first base.

That final factor is the tiebreaker for me. It's A-Rod, by a thread. So am I right or am I wrong? Let's hash it out!


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