Throughout the World Series, as I watched Miguel Cabrera disdainfully regard an Angel Pagan chopper that nicked off of third base and squibbed past him, have trouble coming in on balls, and show roughly the same enthusiasm for playing defense as I had for raking leaves last weekend, I couldn't help but think of this tremendous Mariners commercial from 2006, "The Great Wall of Adrian

Now, of course, no one can say for sure that Beltre would have made all of those plays, nor is it really fair to say that Cabrera blew them all. However, watching him refuse to chase after Pagan's "hit" and potentially prevent Pagan from advancing to second left me certain that Beltre would have at least given the appearance of caring more about the defensive half of his job. It underscored how lucky the Dodgers, Mariners, Red Sox, and Rangers have been to have such a tremendous player in their midst. In fact, between his offensive and defensive contributions, it's pretty clear that Beltre is one of the greatest third basemen in history, and a worthy Hall of Famer.

Beltre's 2004 was simultaneously the best and worst thing that could have happened to him. His 48 homers and 1.017 OPS got him the respect -- and contract -- he deserved, but also created unrealistic expectations about what he could be expected to produce on a yearly basis. When he proceeded to have a series of good-but-not-great offensive seasons in Seattle, he was called overpaid and condemned as someone who only turned it on in a contract year. This couldn't have been less true. No, Beltre was never going to reach the heights of his career year again, particularly not at pitcher-friendly Safeco Field, where he hit .254/.307/.411 versus a more-robust .277/.326/.472 on the road, but he has settled in as an above-average hitter with a low OBP but very good power.