Ok, here’s a hypothetical question. Say you were given the opportunity to merge the two New York baseball clubs, the Yankees and Mets, into a single 25- player team. Who would make the cut? Who wouldn’t? I tried to answer this question, and it wasn’t easy. However, after putting in a lot of thought into the matter, this is my roster:
The Starting 9
1) Shortstop: Jose Reyes
This was definitely the most difficult decision I had to make in formulating the team. However, after considering the fact that Jeter is having a down season, the fact that that the Mets are somewhat underrepresented in my team, and the fact that my team would need a speedy lead-off hitter, I reluctantly chose to go with the speedy Jose Reyes.
2) 2nd Base: Robinson Cano
He’s having a bit of a down season, but there is no doubt that Cano is the best player at 2nd in New York.
3) 3rd Base: Alex Rodriguez
He’s the best player in baseball today. Period.
4) 1st Base: Jason Giambi
Giambi isn’t exactly the best 1st baseman nowadays, but Carlos Delgado has been significantly worse. At least Giambi would give the team some power.
5) Catcher: Jorge Posada
Posada may be a future hall of fame catcher, and even in his older age he is still a star- caliber player. This choice wasn’t hard at all.
6) Center Field: Carlos Beltran
This was a much harder decision for me than you would initially think, although in the end I had to go with the more talented player.
7) Designated Hitter: Hideki Matsui
Hideki simply knows how to hit, and he has proven that he can do it from the DH spot in a lineup.
8) Right Field: Bobby Abreu
Choosing between Abreu and Church wasn’t easy, but in the end Abreu is simply the more accomplished player.
9) Left Field: Johnny Damon
Damon is having an All Star caliber year, while Alou has spent most of the year on the DL. This was an easy choice as a result.
10) Backup Catcher: Brian Schneider
Brian is a great defensive catcher; perfect as a backup catcher.
11) Utility Infielder: Wilson Betemit
He can play just about anywhere on the field, and he hits pretty well too.
12) Backup Outfielder: Melky Cabrera
He’s the best defensive outfielder on either New York team, and he’s a switch hitter, which would prove valuable coming off of the bench.
13) Infielder: David Wright
He’s simply a big time player, so I had to find a way to put him on this team.
14) Infielder: Derek Jeter
When you have a future hall of fame shortstop coming off of your bench, you know you have a good team.
15) Starting Pitcher: Johan Santana
He’s one of the greatest pitchers in the game today.
16) Starting Pitcher: Chien Ming Wang
Wang is one of the most solid sinker- balers in major league baseball. He was an easy choice for the number 2 slot on my rotation.
17) Starting Pitcher: John Maine
Maine has put up some solid numbers as a young pitcher for the Mets.
18) Starting Pitcher: Joba Chamberlain
Many people are calling Joba the next big thing, and he’s already begun to show why: with a 100 mph fastball and pinpoint control, the kid has the ability to dominate.
19) Starting Pitcher: Pedro Martinez
He’s on the back- end of his career, but its always good to have veteran leadership somewhere on your staff.
20) Long Reliever: Scott Schoeneweis
He’s put up very solid numbers in long relief roles.
21) Middle Relief: Jose Veras
A diamond in the rough for the New York Yankees, Jose Veras is in the midst of a breakout season. With his 97 mph fastball and knee- buckling curveball, it’s a wonder how we haven’t heard his name sooner.
22) Middle Relief: Brian Bruney
He’s on the DL now, but when he was healthy he was putting together a career year.
23) Lefty Specialist: Pedro Feliciano
The Mets’ lefty has been one of the few bright spots for the Mets this season.
24) Setup Man: Billy Wagner
He hasn’t fared well in save situations this season, but as a setup man he should be dominant.
25) Closer: Mariano Rivera
Simply stated, Mariano Rivera is the greatest closer in the history of baseball.