Jim Donaldson came up with a 2009 Yankees/Red Sox team comparison. I found that I agree on some topics, but a few I don't. In the end..he does say the Yankees are the better team. I can agree on that. Haha. I believe the Yankees have a better 1stbasemen, 3rd basemen, shortstop, catcher, and starting rotation. I will probably get bashed for saying this, but I believe Cano is a better player then Pedroia. Will see if I'm right a few years from now.
This is his view of both of teams:
Kevin Youkilis is a very good player. Mark Teixeira is better.
Not even close here. Dustin Pedroia is the A.L. MVP. Robinson Cano is Robinson Cano.
The Yankees have Derek Jeter. The Red Sox have Julio Lugo and Jed Lowrie. More, in this case, indeed is less.
I like Mike Lowell much, much better than Alex Rodriguez. As a person, that is. As a ballplayer, A-Rod is much the best, especially with Lowell coming off hip surgery at the age of 35.
Will the real Jacoby Ellsbury please stand up? Is he the budding superstar who helped spark the Sox to a World Series title in '07, or is he the solid but hardly spectacular young player who batted .245 in June and .247 in July? J.D. Drew is a heck of player, when he's healthy. When he's not, local hero Rocco Baldelli, who's had serious health problems of his own, will take over in right field. Left fielder Jason Bay hit .293 after coming to Boston from Pittsburgh at the trading deadline, then batted .341, with three homers, in 11 postseason games for the Sox. As long he's not compared to Manny Ramirez - remember him? - Bay measures up pretty well against most players.
As for the Yankees, Johnny Damon - remember him? - hit .303 last year and will start in left field. Center field is up for grabs between Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner. Xavier Nady seems likely to be in right, although Nick Swisher is in the picture there, too. Overall, if everybody performs up to expectations, I'd take Boston's outfield over New York's, but the difference isn't huge.
David Ortiz played a career-low 109 games last year, and his power clearly was affected by his aching wrist. His weight and conditioning could prove to be an issue, especially at age 33. In New York, expect Hideki Matsui to be the DH, at least early in the season. Matsui, like Ortiz, is coming off an injury that limited him to 93 games (he hit .294 with 9 homers and 45 RBI), and he'll be 35 in June. If both are healthy, I prefer Big Papi.
Pardon me if the soap-opera signing saga of Jason Varitek didn't seem like the key to the pennant for the Sox. While his contributions to the handling of the pitching staff are considerable, he has become an automatic out in the batting order, particularly from the left side, where he hit .201 last year. Jose Molina, with hopefully (from a Yankees' standpoint) Jorge Posada returning sooner, rather than later, gives New York a decided edge behind the plate. Posada also can DH, which you can bet Varitek won't be doing.
Joey's right - the Red Sox do have starting depth aplenty. And talent, too. The thing is, the Yankees have more of both. Looking at the lefties at the top of the rotation, there's nothing not to like about Jon Lester. But, if they could afford him, any team in the league would take New York's expensive offseason acquisition, C.C. Sabathia, over Lester -- at least for 2009, if not necessarily the long-term. The Yanks also spent big bucks to acquire A.J. Burnett. But he's no Josh Beckett. As for Daisuke Matsuzaka and Chien-Ming Wang, I'll call that a wash. It also should be noted that having those two guys as third starters (although Wang, not Burnett, may turn out to be No. 2 in New York) is a key reason the Yanks and the Sox are two of the best teams in baseball. In the old-vet category, give me Andy Pettitte over Tim Wakefield. Are Clay Buchholz and Michael Bowden better than Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes? We'll see. Do the Sox move Justin Masterson into a starting role? Do the Yankees move Joba Chamberlain back to the bullpen? We'll see about that, too. Having Brad Penny ready, and John Smoltz recuperating in the wings, are plusses for the Sox, but, as I see it, the Yanks get the nod here.
The Red Sox rate the edge in the ‘pen. In the all-important closer role, Mariano Rivera is a dead-lock future Hall of Famer. But Jonathan Papelbon, who still has to perform over the long haul if he's to get to Cooperstown, is better right now. Masterson could be masterful as Boston's setup man. Hideki Okajima can be counted on to get lefties out, and the hope is that Manny Delcarmen will continue to improve. Having newcomers Takashi Saito and Ramon Ramirez in the mix, along with Javier Lopez, is a plus. As for the Yankees, they've got Damaso Marte, Brian Bruney, Jose Veras, Edwar Ramirez and David Robertson. Which is why the Red Sox get the thumbs-up here.
I'll take Terry Francona, thank you very much, over Joe Girardi. If famous author Joe Torre was still in the Yankees' dugout, this would be a much tougher call.
The pitching staffs are comparable, but the Yankees pack more punch in their batting order, especially in the bottom third. That ability to pound away, day after day, will put them atop the A.L. East at the end of the day -- or season.