|10-23-2001, 06:03 PM||#1|
NetShrine All-Century Team
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Boston, MA
World Series, position by position
I've been thinking about a Baseball Weekly style position-by-position rundown of the World series matchups. With two caveats, I submit it as a spark for discussion. The caveats are: (1) I don't follow the NL that closely so my assessments of the Diamondbacks may be off the mark. (2) I am a Yankees fan, albeit an eternally pessimistic one, and I have tried very hard to be objective but I am sure I have some misjudgments in here. In any event, I look forward to your comments. What do you think?
Catcher: Jorge Posada / Damian Miller
Yankees. Posada's the third best offensive catcher in the game, which more than makes up for his defensive struggles.
First Base: Tino Martinez / Mark Grace
Even. Tino has some pop and had a good year, but if Grace's hamstring is okay I like his hitting style and his presence.
Second Base: Alfonso Soriano / Craig Counsell
Yankees. Counsell picked up NLCS MVP honors, but he's no match for Soriano's speed and burgeoning power threat.
Shortstop: Derek Jeter / Tony Womack
Yankees. Womack's got the defensive edge, Jeter's ALDS heroics notwithstanding. But Tony Womack is the guy for whom they coined the phrase "you can't steal first base."
Third base: Scott Brosius / Matt Williams
Even. These players' offensive numbers look pretty similar this year. Brosius has the edge in defense.
Left Field: Chuck Knoblauch / Luis Gonzalez
Diamonbacks. Even the staunchest Knoblauch defender would have to admit there is no contest here.
Center Field: Bernie Williams / Steve Finley
Yankees. Finley had an off year, but this is a new series. Bernie's three homers in three days show that he's turned on the post season jets. I like Finley but given the choice Bernie is the man.
Right Field: Paul O'Neill / Reggie Sanders
Diamondbacks. The old man still has one last good fight left in him, but I have to give the edge to Sanders and the Diamondbacks here.
Even. Johnson/Schilling pack a mighty 1-2 wallop but what happens with 3 and 4? Bautista shut down Atlanta but paired against Pettitte, Mussina, or a rested Clemens the edge has to go to the Yankees.
Yankees. If the starters do their jobs, Stanton, Mendoza and Rivera are all you need. I admit that I choose the Yankees here, though, mainly because I don't know a thing about the Diamondbacks' pen.
Closer: Mariano Rivera / Byung Hun Kim
Diamondbacks. Just kidding! Yankees. Kim has a bright future but Rivera is the simply the best there is at closing out games in the postseason.
Two words: Erubiel Durazo. Justice may have something left but I'll believe it when I see it. Spencer may be able to provide something off the bench but so can Arizona's Danny Bautista.
Diamondbacks. There is something Tony Womack is good for. And Jeter's heroics aside, to quote an ESPN sportswriter, "he moves left about as well as Strom Thurmond." Veteran Counsell outdoes rookie Soriano as well. And Grace is every bit the athlete that Martinez is. Only Brosius has a real edge.
Diamondbacks. Not really sure on this one as I haven't watched them enough, but I'm down on the Yankees' outfield D.
Manager: Joe Torre / Bob Brenly
Yankees. Brenly's done a nice job in his rookie year as manager, but "4 out of the last 5" goes a long way.
Prediction: Yankees in 6. If Pettitte or Mussina can outpitch Johnson or Schilling just once each, the Yankees are taking home another trophy. This series will be a dandy if you like dominant pitching.
Last edited by satchel : 10-23-2001 at 06:06 PM.
|10-23-2001, 06:17 PM||#2|
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: The bowels of Shea
Nice assessment. It is as far from biased as you can get. Nice job on staying as impartial as possible.
(Someone remind me for a rainy/snowy day in January to dive into the free ride Posada gets for his defensive woes. I don't want to distract the WS talk right now.)
You Gotta Believe
|10-23-2001, 08:03 PM||#3|
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Southern CA
Excellent assessment, and I agree with just about every point except one - Matt Williams is still a plus defender at 3rd.
And I'm not a fan of Bob Brenly. As a Yankee fan, I hope he's got a couple more of those suicide squeezes up his sleeve.
It's such a fine line between stupid and clever.
|10-23-2001, 08:22 PM||#4|
Satchel, great list, something it seems both NL and AL fans can see good research and fairness in, I must say.
Do the Backs have any switch hitters? One nice play Bernie pulled which I liked was when Piniella was going to the pen and Bernie went in as a lefty. Lou brought out a LHP. Bernie then simply switched positions and hit as a righty. Lou must've been like "huh?" since he probably didn't expect this. I think Bernie got a hit.
How's Finley's glovework? People compared Seattle's Mike Cameron to Bernie and that Mike's glovework was awesome.
Jorge Posada is another switch hitter, also with some power (though not Piazza power, as Mets fans will always remind me ). Jorge seems to block the plate well, is good defensively, but his passed balls have earned him the nickname "Passada" to the legions of Yankee haters.
I see Mark Grace hits/bats lefty, so no advantage there with Tino. Since Mets86's Keith "Mex" Hernandez, I've been hearing that a lefty first baseman is very important.
Don't forget Shane and Justice, since they can DH, play RF when Paulie is asked to sit and both started at LF before Chuckie couldn't throw a whiffleball 2 feet if you paid him.
Paulie is a long-time fan favorite, and for good reason, old timers wear his t-shirt and jersey but the other two are more power hitters, and can be called on when a tough leftie is on the hill, usually a reliever. Joe sometimes sits Paulie on the bench against some lefties or if he hasn't produced in the other game. Same with Justice and Shane.
|10-23-2001, 11:04 PM||#5|
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NetShrine WHQ
Excellent summary Satchel.
Actually, this is one of the first things that I did in my head when I knew it was going to be ARZ - NY. Quickly, I tallied that the Yanks had a better INF (incl C), that the OF was pretty even, the Yanks have a better pen, and that the Yanks SP was better (because of the depth). Seems like the Yanks should be the fav, no?
Here's the rub: Each game is played individually - - so, the team comparison really has to go out the window. Instead, you have to look at it like:
Can Jeter, Williams, Posada, Soriano, Brosius and whatever other 3 hitters are used beat Johnson at least once?
Can Justice, Williams, Posada, and Martinez and whatever other 4 hitters play do damage v. Schilling?
I'm pretty confident in the ability of the Yankee pitchers to handle most of the D-back hitters, sans Lugo.
Long story short, too late - I know, I still think the series will come down to those 4 starts in Games 1-6 made by Schilling and Johnson. If the Yanks manage to split them, they have a chance. Even then, they'll need a 6 or 7 games series to win it all. If they lose 3 of the 4 "ace" starts to ARZ, it will be almost impossible for them to win.
|10-24-2001, 10:47 PM||#6|
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NetShrine WHQ
Here's another couple of views:
How the Yankees and Diamondbacks compare
By JOSH DUBOW and BEN WALKER
.c The Associated Press
A look at the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks going into the World Series, starting Saturday night at Bank One Ballpark:
Yankees:@ Tino Martinez. In his final year of a contract, Martinez is making a strong push to stay in pinstripes. Led the team with 34 homers and 113 RBIs during his most productive season since 1997. Very good in the field, but slow on the bases. Batting only .184 in the postseason.
Diamondbacks:@ Mark Grace. Left Cubs after 13 years, hoping for a chance at a championship. At 36, one of many Arizona old-timers playing in first Series. Eager to see Yankee Stadium for first time. Consistent, .300 spray hitter - lines doubles, not homers. Only one RBI so far in postseason. Smooth in field, especially scooping throws. Left clinching Game 5 of NLCS with tight right hamstring.
Yankees:@ Alfonso Soriano. Brings youthful exuberance to normally staid team. Stole 43 bases and has pop from bottom of lineup, with 18 homers. Hit game-winning shot in Game 4 of the ALCS that turned the tide for the Yankees. Susceptible to mental mistakes, as evidenced by failure to run a ball out and to cover second base in ALCS. More patient then at beginning of year, but still will chase breaking pitches out of the strike zone. Converted shortstop not smooth at turning double play.
Diamondbacks:@ Craig Counsell. Clutch October player, despite wiry frame and unorthodox stance. NLCS MVP, hit .381 and scored five runs against Atlanta. Tops team with seven RBIs in postseason. Only Arizona player with a ring, starred in Game 7 for Florida in 1997. Teammates chant ``Rudy! Rudy!'' when he delivers - he attended Notre Dame. Started season as a sub, became regular in mid-May.
Yankees:@ Derek Jeter. Not the flashiest of the great shortstops, but always seems to do what it takes to help his team win in October, as evidenced by his remarkable relay against Oakland. Strained hamstring at end of season slowed his lateral movement a bit and tends to cheat up the middle to make up for it. His acrobatic catch into the stands in Game 5 of first round left him banged up for ALCS and he went just 2-for-17. Smart baserunner, but hasn't stolen a base since Sept. 3.
Diamondbacks:@ Tony Womack. Uneven season. Leadoff man with weak .307 on-base percentage. Hit RBI single in bottom of ninth to beat St. Louis in Game 5 of opening round. A three-time NL stolen base champ, swiped 28 in 35 tries this year. Slumped after father's death in late April, hit grand slam on Father's Day. Slowed by right calf strain late in season. OK in field, no better.
Yankees: Scott Brosius. In the lineup more for his glove than his bat, despite 22 errors. Comes in and barehands balls as well as any third baseman in the league. The 1998 World Series MVP has 26 RBIs in four postseasons with New York. Missed six weeks with broken left hand and hasn't hit stride at plate since his return. Just two homers after the All-Star break. Batted .121 in first two rounds.
Diamondbacks:@ Matt Williams. Struggling at .176 in the postseason, was booed at home during first round of playoffs. Big power hitter in the '90s, has been hurt for two years. Missed 47 games this season because of hip and hamstring trouble. Trying to win first title at 35, having lost with San Francisco in 1989 and Cleveland in 1997. Still has good glove and strong arm.
Yankees:@ Jorge Posada. Very vocal from behind the plate. Not afraid to get in the faces of New York's veteran starters, especially Orlando Hernandez. Commits way too many passed balls. Better hitter from left side, especially with short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium. Very patient and clutch hitter. Batted .341 with runners in scoring position.
Diamondbacks:@ Damian Miller. Underrated. Arizona pitchers say he should win Gold Glove for way he handles diverse staff. Threw out 34 percent of basestealers, his success rate falling after late right shoulder strain. Hit .176 in NLCS, can do better. Only starter taken by D-Backs at expansion draft in November 1997.
Yankees:@ Chuck Knoblauch. Sparkplug at top of lineup has had up-and-down season. Yankees count on him to tire out pitchers and get the offense started. Benched for part of the second half, Knoblauch is hitting .300 in the postseason. Converted from second base because of throwing problems. Covers decent amount of ground in left field, but still looks shaky at times. Not a strong arm.
Diamondbacks:@ Luis Gonzalez. Monstrous year, yet stuck at .237 in postseason. Smashed career highs with 57 homers, 142 RBIs and 100 walks. Batted .325 with 100 extra-base hits. Won All-Star home run derby. Mediocre for eight years, traded by Detroit for Karim Garcia after 1998 season. Now 34, ``Gonzo'' says birth of his 3 1/2-year-old triplets helped him relax, on and off field.
Yankees:@ Bernie Williams. Latest in a line of great Yankees center fielders. Has power from both sides of plate and is usually in the middle of any big rally. Very fast, but a poor baserunner. Gets bad jumps and doesn't have great instincts. Makes up for that on bases and in the field with his great speed.
Diamondbacks:@ Steve Finley. Enjoying fast finish after slow start. Hitting a team-leading .364 in postseason. Outstanding glove, known for homer-robbing catches. Endured 0-for-30 slump in early April, briefly benched around All-Star game. Finished at .275, exactly his career average. Drew intentional walk that ended Greg Maddux's NL-record streak of 72 1/3 innings without a pass.
Yankees:@ Paul O'Neill. George Steinbrenner's ``warrior.'' The heart and soul of the Yankees' dynasty is likely in his final year in baseball. Hobbled by broken left foot, but still managed two homers in ALCS. Bat not as quick as it was when he was young, but still able to come up with key hits. Known for showing his frustration and temper by throwing bats and helmets. Probably won't start against Randy Johnson.
Diamondbacks:@ Reggie Sanders. Set career bests with 33 home runs and 90 RBIs. Postseason problems persist, though, falling to just .118 in NLCS. Before this year, was lifetime .114 hitter in playoffs with whopping 24 strikeouts in 35 at-bats. Hit his first career slam in April - had gone 167 homers without one, the longest active streak in majors. Made only one error this year.
Yankees:@ David Justice. One of the best postseason players around. Playing in his ninth postseason and fifth World Series. Bothered by groin injuries all year wasn't nearly as productive as in his first year in New York. Batted only .214 vs. left-handers.
Diamondbacks:@ Erubiel Durazo. Promising hitter, would start somewhere for many teams. Has 13 home runs this year, six as pinch-hitter. Hit go-ahead shot in clinching Game 5 of NLCS after Grace's injury. Lefty with power, could benefit from 314-foot distance down right-field line at Yankee Stadium.
Yankees:@ Andy Pettitte, Mike Mussina, Roger Clemens, Orlando Hernandez. With Clemens and Hernandez banged up, Yankees counting heavily on Pettitte and Mussina to match up with Arizona's aces. Mussina has been one of the best pitchers in the league all year and Pettitte is always strong in the postseason. If healthy, El Duque could be tough on Diamondbacks, who are unfamiliar with his tricky deliveries. Hernandez is 9-2 in the postseason. Groin injury has affected Clemens' control and endurance but he still throws hard. His strikeout pitch is the splitter.
Diamondbacks:@ Curt Schilling, Randy Johnson, Brian Anderson, Miguel Batista. The outcome of the whole World Series rests right here. Schilling, 3-0 with an 0.67 ERA and three complete games in the postseason, and Johnson, 2-0 in the NLCS, form one of the best 1-2 tandems in October history. Two starters can lead a team toward a championship - Frank Viola and Bert Blyleven did it for underdog Minnesota in 1987. But how many games will they pitch? Anderson, hit hard by several Yankees, draws a surprise start for Game 3 in the Bronx and Batista, better than some people realize, may follow on a spooky Halloween night.
|10-24-2001, 10:47 PM||#7|
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NetShrine WHQ
Yankees:@ Mariano Rivera, Mike Stanton, Ramiro Mendoza, Mark Wohlers, Jay Witasick, Sterling Hitchcock. There's no bigger reason for the Yankees' postseason success under Joe Torre than the bullpen - especially Rivera. He's the greatest postseason reliever in history, converting 22 straight saves and posting an 0.74 ERA. Bat boys better be ready when Rivera is on the mound because his cut fastball breaks plenty of bats. Torre doesn't hesitate to use Rivera for two innings at a time, making him the best setup man and closer rolled into one. Stanton (1.52 postseason ERA) and Mendoza (1.99) are sharp as well. Soft spot is the long relief, but once the game gets to the seventh inning, the Yankees rarely cough up a lead.
Diamondbacks:@ Byung-Hyun Kim, Mike Morgan, Albie Lopez, Greg Swindell, Bobby Witt, Mike Koplove. Kim started the season as a setup man, became closer when Matt Mantei injured elbow and was lost for season. A hard-throwing sidearmer, the right-handed Kim can cause real trouble for hitters who have never seen him - no one on the Yankees has faced him more than once. Then again, he also can be prone to homers and wildness. Morgan (42), Witt (37) and Swindell (36) each had a 27.00 ERA in very limited NLCS outings.
Yankees:@ Randy Velarde, Shane Spencer, Enrique Wilson, Todd Greene, Luis Sojo, Clay Bellinger. Velarde could prove valuable against Randy Johnson, going 19-for-42 against the Big Unit. Spencer also could get the nod against the tough lefty Johnson. Wilson is a solid backup middle infielder, but doesn't figure to get much of a chance. Not much else there. Greene is only there in case Posada gets hurt; Sojo has a knack for clutch hits, but mostly is a cheerleader; and Bellinger could be valuable as a pinch-runner or defensive replacement, but offers little offense.
Diamondbacks:@ Jay Bell, Greg Colbrunn, David Dellucci, Midre Cummings, Rod Barajas. D-Backs led league in pinch-hitting at .278. A strong, versatile NL mix, set to do whatever is needed - can bunt, pinch-run, play defense. Extremely well prepared, often found in video room during games, studying pitchers they might face. Bell, at 35, makes first Series appearance.
Yankees:@ Joe Torre. Is 53-19 in the postseason for the Yankees, which works out to 119 wins over a full season. Fiercely loyal, but won't hesitate to bench Justice and O'Neill against tough lefties. Never panics, which is a valuable trait with the demanding George Steinbrenner as owner. Understands that managing in October is different than June. Won't hesitate to use Rivera for two-inning saves or playing for a run early with the sacrifice. Likes to hit and run.
Diamondbacks:@ Bob Brenly. Stepped out of broadcast booth and became first manager to lead a team to the World Series in his first year since Kansas City's Jim Frey in 1980. Trying to become first to win title since the Yankees' Ralph Houk in 1961. Steady, did not tire out or overtax his veterans during hot summer. Prefers to stick with streaky players.
Yankees:@ One of the loudest, most knowledgeable crowds in baseball. Playoff games at Yankee Stadium have been particularly emotional in the wake of the Sept. 11 tragedies in New York. Fans are right on top of the action and can intimidate players who haven't been to Yankee Stadium before. Creative with their chants, both for and against the Yankees. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani will be front and center in his seat next to the Yankees' dugout.
Diamondbacks:@ Polite fans will make a splash for first Series games at Arizona. Did not sell out every NL playoff game, hurt by daytime starts. D-Backs went 48-33 at home, won Game 5 clincher in opening round over St. Louis before delirious crowd. Expect lots of TV shots from the swimming pool beyond right-field fence - no thongs allowed, by the way.
DUBOW:@ YANKEES in 7.
WALKER:@ YANKEES in 6.
|Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)|
|Thread Tools||Search this Thread|
|Display Modes||Rate This Thread|
|Thread||Thread Starter||Forum||Replies||Last Post|
|Wild card in the World Series||nyy26wc||2003 Hot Baseball Chatter Archives||81||11-02-2003 11:18 PM|
|Season series vs post-season series.||Ytown Tribe fan||2003 Baseball History Archives||1||10-29-2003 05:19 PM|
|World Series Centennial Celebration||Bruce Markusen||2003 Seventh Inning Stretch Archives||2||10-09-2003 11:41 PM|
|World Series Veterans||TreAnt985||2003 Baseball Trivia Archives||7||04-08-2003 05:41 PM|
|World Series is tied, 2-2||nyy26wc||Around The Majors Reports||1||10-24-2002 01:03 PM|