Will the Red Sox or Yankees Be Better in 2009? Part Three
Okay, so this is the most humbling objective comparison that each Sox fan must admit. The Yankees have a better overall infield than the Red Sox. Do you know how hard it is to admit that? Let's take a look at each position.
If we start at catcher, we would see there are many questions on both teams. One question is, would you rather have defense or offense? The other question is, should either of these guys still be playing?
Yankees Catcher: Jorge Posada—hurt most of last year. Could hardly throw to second base. He only played 51 games, batting .268 with just three home runs and 22 RBI. His backup stinks in Jose Molina. Doesn't do much of anything but maybe give you a little defense. He played 100 games with a .216 batting average and no power.
Red Sox Catcher: Jason Varitek—no catcher is better prepared than this man. However, he only batted .220 last year. He did hit 13 home runs and drove in 43. His offensive stats are way down and have been going down for the last two years.
Posada is a better hitter, but might not be able to give much defensively. Varitek is better defensively and can still hit with a little power to be a minor threat offensively. The edge goes to the Red Sox.
Yankees at First Base: Mark Teixeira is in the prime of his career. The Sox did everything they could to get him. He is a Gold Glove candidate every year. He has great power. Last year, he hit .308 with 33 home runs and 121 RBI. It doesn't get much better than him.
Red Sox at First Base: Kevin Youkilis is only 30 years old and also provides the Sox with Gold Glove-caliber play. He batted .312 with 29 homeruns and 115 RBI. This is very comparable to Teixeira. However, this was a career year so far for him, and Tex has done it a few times, even hitting up to 40 home runs.
The edge has to go to the Yankees.
Yankees at Second Base: Robinson Cano is 26 years old. He actually struggled last year, though he is a great talent. The Yankees even sat him out to challenge him. Rumors were that they looked to trade him. He still did all right by batting .271 with 14 home runs and 72 RBI. He also had 70 runs scored. Not bad, but the Yankees would even say they wanted more.
Red Sox at Second Base: MVP Dustin Pedroia is the battery of the team. No one plays harder or better. His defense is phenomenal. He had a .326 average, 17 home runs, 83 RBI, 118 runs scored, and 20 stolen bases.
Not even an edge, but advantage goes to the Red Sox.
Yankees at Third Base: Alex Rodriguez is the toughest third baseman out there. Besides the steroid issues, he is still the most feared batter in the league. He is only 33 years old. He played 138 games last year, batting .302 with 35 home runs, 103 RBI and a .392 on base percentage.
Red Sox at Third Base: Mike Lowell was playing hurt last year. He is a Gold Glove candidate every year. He is 35 years old. He had a .274 batting average with 17 home runs and 73 RBI.
No need to expound. The advantage goes to the Yankees.
Yankees at Shortstop: Derek Jeter is not what he used to be. The quality of his defense has dropped immensely. At 35 years of age, he still had a .300 average, 11 home runs, 69 RBI, and 11 stolen bases. He is a clutch hitter.
Red Sox at Shortstop: This is up in the air, which shows who gets the edge. Jed Lowrie is only 25 years old and filled in nicely last year. Most analysis will tell you that he would be best suited as a utility player. He has a solid glove with little range. He batted .258 with two home runs and 46 RBI. He was a clutch hitter last year.
Can Lowrie be what the Sox would really want as an everyday player? Let's just say they were looking for help this past winter.
Julio Lugo is the other option. He is 33 years old. He has really not been what the Sox were looking for when they got him. His .268 average, one home run, and 22 RBI were not that impressive, especially with his horrid defense last year. Everyone thinks he is better than that and will get the opportunity to prove it this spring. He does have speed. He is healthy and ready to go (so he says).
Advantage goes to the Yankees.
So there you have it. I admitted it. But let's summarize so far. The Sox have better starting and relief pitchers, while the Yankees have a better infield. Two of three goes to the Red Sox.
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