Boston Red Sox: The All-Time Best Defensive Team
Much has been made of the 2010 Red Sox and their defensive prowess, or potential.
JD Drew, Mike Cameron, and Jacoby Ellsbury comprise a formidable outfield.
Jason Varitek, Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, and Adrian Beltre are all Gold Glove Award winners.
But how do these players match up, position-by-position, with the greatest Red Sox defenders of all time?
Would any of them make such a "glovely" squad?
Debate where you see fit, but the following would be the greatest defensive Red Sox team of all time.
Catcher: Jason Varitek
While many would suggest Carlton Fisk, Jason Varitek is the best catcher to ever don Boston armor.
Varitek's 2005 Gold Glove is a start, but Fisk has one of those as well. Although Varitek's .993 fielding percentage edges Fisk's .988 mark, that's also not why Varitek wins this starting spot.
A Major League record four no-hitters caught. That's why.
Some speak derisively of Varitek's so-called intangibles behind the dish. The fact that Jason Varitek has called a record four no-hitters should be tangible enough.
And remember that ninth inning when Curt Schilling shook off Varitek one out away from his own no-hitter?
Don't shake off Tek.
In Tek we trust.
First Baseman: George Scott
Four Gold Gloves.
While current Red Sox first basemen Kevin Youkilis has a Gold Glove and the longest error-less streak at first in Major League history, George Scott has the benefit of nine seasons digging out balls to help him earn this spot.
Perhaps Youkilis will ultimately overtake him, but for now Scott and his .990 career fielding percentage dig out the job.
Second Baseman: Dustin Pedroia
Dustin Pedroia is young and only has a couple seasons under his belt, but in the long history of the Red Sox, there haven't been many elite second basemen.
The 2008 Gold Glover has a .990 fielding percentage over three full seasons, and his 2008 and 2009 UZR/150 both top 10.5.
Scrappy, don't make a fool out of me.
Third Baseman: Frank Malzone
Frank Malzone's career .955 fielding percentage belies his true dazzle at the hot corner.
Malzone's three consecutive Gold Gloves were the last taken by another American League third baseman before Brooks Robinson went on a 16-year tear.
Shortstop: Rick Burleson
Rick Burleson has made more all-time top-100 defensive lists than Maginot.
Although "Rooster" made an all-time record three errors during his Major League debut at shortstop on May 4, 1974, he would go on to win a Gold Glove in 1979 and set the all-time seasonal double-play record.
Alex Gonzalez is really good, but Burleson was the best. When was the last time one player held down Fenway's starting shortstop job for seven years?
Left Fielder: Carl Yastrzemski
Seven Gold Gloves during 21 seasons patrolling left and reading the Monster's hops.
No Manny being Manny, and his amazing defense aside, Yaz and his Triple Crown weren't exactly weak with the bat.
Center Fielder: Fred Lynn
Four Gold Gloves over only six seasons with the Red Sox.
Mike Cameron will be a welcome upgrade in the outfield, but Fred Lynn was a master.
Another Red Sox who should've had a ring.
Right Fielder: Dwight Evans
Saved the best for last?
Eight Gold Gloves. Enough said?
If not, a career .987 fielding percentage and the best gun to home should do the trick.
Pitcher: Cy Young
With this defense behind him, the namesake for the Cy Young Award wouldn't need his career 2.63 ERA or 1.13 WHIP. They'd probably be lower.
Who says pitching and defense can't win championships?