Bleacherreport.com has made a sort of cottage industry out of them.
The reasons they are popular are obvious: they generate page views because of their slide-show format and any crazy idea can be presented. Maybe we have David Letterman to blame.
But one kind of list is beyond me. That would be the Power Rankings that various sites post for baseball and other sports. Generally, they are like the standings, with a couple of teams flip-flopped, I guess to generate comments. And most of the comments are predictable. Home team fans offended by the placement of their favorite.
Whenever I click on them, I feel immediately like I have wasted a few minutes I can never get back. Baseball is great for generating debates that can't really be answered. The arguments over who are the best player, hitter, pitcher, and team go on with no real resolution possible. That's what makes them fun.
The opposite is true of the Power Rankings. Everyday the standings in newspapers and on websites pretty much tell you who the best teams are. And at the end of the season they take the field for another month or so of games to determine the champion.
It's all determined on the field by the players and managers. So why bother with Power Rankings?
Now, as to choosing the best player ever ...