Red Sox-Yankees: The Ultimate Team
Arguably the greatest rivalry in sports, the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are teams of great history. Just imagine if they joined forces.
I will look at both team's starting players and determine whom I would rather have as my starter. This is not based solely on their stats this year, but also on how great they have been in the past.
There will also be a starting rotation and a closer.
Left Field: Jason Bay
Red Sox LF: Jason Bay
Yankees LF: Hideki Matsui/ Johnny Damon
Now this is really a no brainer to me as Jason Bay is an overall excellent player. Looking at Matsui and Damon, I see more of a DH because they are really all about his bat compared to his speed and fielding ability, but Damon is pretty good on the bases.
Bay is a big clutch hitter and is an excellent fielder and base runner. Overall with all due respect to Hideki Matsui, Jason Bay is the guy to take.
Center Field: Jacoby Ellsbury
Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS) vs. Melky Cabrera/ Brett Gardener (NYY)
I'm not taking anything away from these two young Yankees, but Ellsbury is so convenient to have on your team. He may be a bit inconsistent at times at bat, but he is unstoppable on the basepaths, and his fielding ability is Gold Glove caliber.
He can make a steal and play some excellent defense in center field. A great lead-off hitter for any team.
Right Field: J.D. Drew
Red Sox: J.D. Drew
Yankees: Nick Swisher
Well not to be Red Sox biased, but the Red Sox dominate the outfield position for this team. Swisher is a great hitter and is young, but he is very inconsistent at the plate.
I was a little tied when choosing Drew, but he is so reliable at the plate and on the field. The only thing with Drew is that he is injury prone.
If Drew stays healthy, he is a force to be reckoned with and Swisher needs some more development to become a big star though he has had his moments.
Third Base: Alex Rodriguez
Red Sox: Mike Lowell
Yankees: Alex Rodriguez
A-Roid, Alex Rodriguez, or anything else you want to call him, Rodriguez is one of the best players of this generation with steroids or not.
He has solid defense and has such great offense that he will (guaranteed) break the Home Run record if he stays healthy.
Don't get me wrong about Lowell, I love the guy but he is nowhere near A-Rod's capabilities. Rodriguez is a much more consistent player and the media hopefully leaves him alone. Go torture Bonds or something
Shortstop: Derek Jeter
Red Sox: Julio Lugo/Jed Lowrie/ Nick Green
Yankees: Derek Jeter
This was a simple squash for baseball's poster boy as the lovable Derek Jeter easily makes it to this list. When I think of Lowrie I think defense, Green is speed, and Lugo is offense. But Jeter is all of the above.
The guy is a clutch hitter and always provides good at bats every time he plays. You never really see him have a bad season. Above that his defense and baserunning skills are still great and Jeter earns the spot easily here.
Secon Base: Dustin Pedroia
Red Sox: Dustin Pedroia
Yankees: Robinson Cano
Well the 2008 Most Valuable Player knocks out an All Star second baseman in Robinson Cano for the spot on this team. Pedroia is a Silver Slugger, All Star, MVP, and Gold Glover is a phenomenal player in his short career.
Dustin is a very well balanced hitter who hits mostly for contact, but he sometimes hits for power when needed. The kid's stellar defense is also a major factor in his already great career. I look forward to seeing what the kid does next.
First Base: Mark Teixeira
Red Sox: Kevin Youkilis
Yankees: Mark Teixeira
Well Tex barely won this battle as he is not very consistent this year opposed to Youk, but he is an overall better player in my mind.
Tex and Youk are both great hitters, though I find Tex more of an on base guy who hits to knock in runs opposed to hitting them out of the park, but I may be wrong there.
Defensively and baserunning skills are really the same as both men share pretty average speed and they have similar defensive skills, though I think Tex is better by just a tad.
Overall they are both great and I look forward to seeing what these two exciting players do this season.
Catcher: Jason Varitek
Jason Varitek (BOS) vs. Jorge Posada (NYY)
Maybe if I was viewing this over their entire careers, Posada would win, but this is based on stats from a few years back (Maybe 2006) to the present. Posada and Varitek share similar offense at the plate as well as similar defense, but I think Varitek has been a major factor due to his roll with pitchers.
With Varitek the Red Sox have won two championships and have seen him catch four no hitters. Posada last won a World Series in 2000 and hasn't caught a no-hitter this decade.
First In Rotation: CC Sabathia
CC is the real only choice to have as your No. 1 guy, though some may suggest Josh Beckett (I find him overrated). CC is a slow starter but has always been a force to be reckoned with. The guy can do anything. He led the Brewers to the playoffs by repeatedly pitching on three days rest.
The guy is great to have in any rotation,and the former Cy Young winner is not done yet.
DH: David Ortiz
David Ortiz (BOS) vs. Hideki Matsui (NYY)
Despite Ortiz's season to date—and the fact that me may never be the same again—who in 10 years will remember Hideki Matsui as a dominant DH? No one. Who will remember Ortiz? Everyone—especially the Yankees.
Second In Rotation: Josh Beckett
Like him or not, Beckett has been a great acquisition, though not for what the Sox gave up (Hanley Ramirez). The guy is inconsistent, but when he has all of his stuff together, he is Cy Young material.
Though struggling this season, Beckett is a great power pitcher that—if healthy—will dominate
Third In Rotation: Jon Lester
The guy is struggling, but I believe that last season was not a fluke. The kid has thrown a no-hitter and won more than 15 games last season. Lester is a strong pitcher that dominates on the mound and can give you seven or eight solid innings when he is all together. Lester is a great quality pitcher and deserves this spot on the team.
Fourth in Rotation: A.J. Burnett
The guy was flat out unstoppable in Toronto and is continuing that in New York. Burnett has had no hard time adjusting to the spotlight and has been the best starter in the rotation so far in 2009.
Burnett can give you so much as long as he remains healthy. A.J. is a definite No. 1 starter on any lower-market team in my opinion. Throw him on the Orioles, Twins, Brewers, or even the White Sox, and he is your top guy.
Fifth in the Rotation: Joba Chamberlain
Though he has not been around for long, I think Joba is much like a young Roger Clemens. He is young, brash, confident, and competitive, which makes him a player who deserves to be on this team.
My only beef with him is his attitude, and I hope his career is not cut short due to something stupid like a DUI or something. If he plays his cards right, he'll be a star.
Closer: Jonathan Papelbon
Some may hate me for this one, but Papelbon is the one improving as I think Mariano Rivera is on the decline. Do not get me wrong, Rivera may be the greatest closer of all time, but he is older and he has become inconsistent over the years.
Papelbon, on the other, hand is a star. He may get into jams sometimes, but he is yet to blow a save this season. He is a star on the rise, and I see him leaving a legacy in baseball if his career remains as consistent as it has been.
The Final Score
Red Sox: 8 Players
Yankees: 6 Players
Some may think I'm Boston biased, but I believe I was very fair in these. I still question the Catcher and First Base Position but I can throw Youkilis and Posada in their for the bench players. In conclusion, this is one rivalry with a load of stars on their team. I would like to do more rivalry comparisons, but that is based on your reactions to this one.
Until next time,
The Truth has Spoken