Thursday, April 03, 2008

That's offensive!! Boston v NY: Who has the better offence?

This all stems from an argument between myself and Dublin City Hurricanes B squad captain Lorcan 'I have an IQ of 243' Sherlock.

He claims to be from Boston yet also claims the Yankees have a better lineup than his home town Boston red Stockings. All joking and partisan allegiances aside, let's chop it up, position by position.

Catcher
Posada v Varitek
Lorcan says: ''Varitek is in decline man''
In retort: Okay, dude! Seriously though, Posada did have a shining 2007, however Varitek actually put up decent numbers for a catcher, and is showing some signs of life early on in '08. This is, however, a piece on offence, and you have to hand this one to Posada based on his incredible '07. If it was 'Who is the better player?' Varitek's defensive skills and superb pitch calling might edge it more in his direction. But it's not. So it won't.
  • Spankees 1
  • Red Stockings 0
Second base
Cano v Pedroia
Lorcan says: ''Love Pedroia. but tough to argue he's better than Cano offensively''
In retort: Does Pedroia know about this love you have for him?! Pedroia took ROY honours because he put the ball in play, his high average and doubles totals were excellent for a first year player. Lorcan is right though, Cano's power numbers push this one in his favour.

  • Spankees 2
  • Red Stockings 0
Third Base
A-Rod v Lowell
Lorcan says: ''Best offensive player in baseball''
In retort: I assume he means A-Rod?! Lowell certainly put up a banner year in '07 however only the wildest of Red Sox fans would argue that Lowell is a better player offensively. Nicer guy, better club house guy, better guy with the glove, absolutely, but again, the Yankees win this one.

  • Spankees 3
  • Red Stockings 0
Shortstop
Jeter v Lugo
Lorcan says: ''Jeter in decline, but still wins here.'
In retort: Wait a second, not so fast. Isn't it funny how Derek Jeter gets a free pass in most of these discussions? On closer inspection of last seasons statistics, this is not a shoe in. The two were actually very close in a number of key areas? Doubles? 39-36, Jeter. Home runs? 12-8, Jeter. RBIs? Tied at 73-73. That's right, tied, even though Lugo often hit low in the Sox order whilst Jeter never, ever leaves the top of the Yankees order.

''I am actually not a bad little player!!''

Here's where it gets very interesting. Strikeouts? 82-100, Lugo with the lower figure. That's right, Lugo struck out almost 20 times less than Jeter. And the cherry on top? Stolen bases, 33-15, Lugo! Many of the offensive categories were a tie, whilst the biggest gaps were steals and K's, and Lugo walked those. You all know where this is going!

  • Spankees 3
  • Red Stockings 1
Outfield
Damon v Manny
Lorcan says: ''Maybe three arrows.'
In retort: Manny really looks ready to mash in '08. Meanwhile, if Johnny D lasts to the All Star Break in one piece, it will be a moral victory on his part.
  • Spankees 3
  • Red Stockings 2

Outfield
Matsui v Ortiz
Lorcan says: ''Maybe three again''
In retort: You don't say. While Matsui san is a very nice little player, Ortiz is one of the greatest offensive forces in Major League Baseball.

  • Spankees 3
  • Red Stockings 3

First base
Giambi v Youkilis
Lorcan says: ''Giambi gets on base like Youk, but still has more power. In decline, but still better.''
In retort: I guess chicks really do dig the long ball. To hand this one to Giambi on the basis that he has more, steroid induced, power, is just lazy. So first off, Giambi hit 12 bombs in '07, how many did Youkilis hit? That's right, 14. Youkilis had a vastly superior batting average to go with his extra power too.

Look, Giambi has a pretty (steroid induced) swing, and hits the occasional long ball, of that there is no doubt. However, Youkilis gets on base more, strikes out less, walks more, has more hits, scores more runs. I am going to come out and say it, if you don't like it, throw it right back at me, Kevin Youkilis is, from here on in, a more valuable offensive player than Giambi.

  • Spankees 3
  • Red Stockings 4

Outfield
Cabrera v Ellsbury
Lorcan says: ''iffy, never know what you'll get from rookie.''
In retort: I politely disagree. You often do know what you are going to get from a rookie. It's called scouting! Many teams do it. On top of that, Jacoby stepped into the heat of a playoff run in '07 and won a ring to boot.

Ellsbury projects to be a greater offensive than the nice-but-not-spectacular Carbrera

  • Spankees 3
  • Red Stockings 5

Outfield
Abreu v Drew
Lorcan says: ''Drew is useless, and even if returns to form Abreu is better.''
In retort: How many playoff grand slams did Abreu hit? Just curious. Have a look at these two underpreforming, big contract laden outfielders. They are a total wash. If anything, Drew struck out less and had more impact in the playoffs. Still, a tie, for now.

  • Spankees 3
  • Red Stockings 5
Final score? Red Sox 5 Yankees 3 with one tie. I tried to be objective there and stick to the plot, which was, best offensive lineup. See if you agree, or indeed disagree.



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