October 26, 2007

Tonight Tracey and I watched Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS series against the New York Yankees. You know, the game that started the end of the Yankees Empire. The game where Dave Roberts stole second in the ninth inning off uber-closer Mariano Rivera and Bill Mueller singled him home, sending the game into extra innings until David Ortiz would assume the mantle of “Big Papi” by driving in the winning runs and starting the Red Sox’ historic and miraculous comeback.

While watching the game, we were amazed at the changes that have taken place on the Red Sox roster (and the Yankees, for that matter) since then, and now that the Sox are in the World Series again, it is hard not to want to compare the two Sox teams to see how they’d stack up gainst one another. Here’s my view:

Starting rotation: in 2004 it was Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Time Wakefield, Bronson Arroyo, and Derek Lowe; in 2007, Josh Beckett, Schilling, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Wakefield, and a bunch of guys. Here you have to give the nod, I think, to the 2004 rotation simply because Pedro and Beckett cancel themselves out, Schilling was a better pitcher 3 years ago, Wakefield is still Wakefield (for better or for worse), and the last two spots are toss ’ems in both cases. Pick: 2004

Catcher: Jason Varitek remains his same steady self. Draw

1st Base: In 2004, the combo of Kevin Millar and Doug Mientkewicz. 2007: Kevin Youkilis. No comparison here. Pick: 2007

2nd Base: Who would you rather have – Mark Bellhorn or Dustin Pedroia? Again, no contest. Pick: 2007

Shortstop: Orlando Cabrera vs. Julio Lugo. Pretty much a draw, I think – perhaps the slightest, slightest nod to Cabrera. Draw

3rd Base: Bill Mueller vs. Mike Lowell. While Mueller was a steady and solid player, you have to give the nod here to Lowell. Pick: 2007

Outfield: Manny is still being Manny, Johnny Damon was better offensively, but worse defensively, than the combo of Coco Crisp and Jacoby Ellsbury, and I would call J.D. Drew and Trot Nixon pretty much a draw both offensively and defensively. So here, I think overall it’s a draw. Draw

Bullpen: No comparison here. The 2004 team had Keith Foulke as their closer, Mike Timlin and Alan Embree in the setup roles, and bunch of no names to fill out the bullpen. The 2007 staff not only has the game’s dominant closer in Jonathan Papelbon, but Hideki Okajima, Timlin, and Manny Delcarmen are solid behind him. Pick: 2007

Overall, then, if I were to have to choose between which one is the better team, it looks as if the 2007 edition would have be rated better – primarily because of Beckett and Papelbon in the front and back, but an improvement both offensively and defensively around the infield.

Just my opinion, of course. What do you think?

Filed in: Golf & Sports,Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 23:21 | Comments (2)
2 Comments »
  1. I agree that the 2007 team is better.

    I give Beckett a big nod over Martinez, particularly in the post-season. He’s money in the post-season. Pedro wasn’t. Schilling has dropped off but can still turn in a good outing. The 2007 team is tough across the board. They won the division and won more games. The 2004 team did it by getting hot at the right time. The 07 team is better but the 04 team will always be the one we remember and that historic comeback versus the Yankees will be talked about forever. The 04 team broke The Curse.

    Comment by Rob — October 28, 2007 @ 7:51 am


  2. Well I guess it doesn’t matter now, does it Rob? They’re both champs and have a lot to be proud of themselves for. Colorado was just overmatched. There’s 5 A.L. teams better than the best N.L. team right now – these things go in cycles and right now the A.L. is hands above when it comes to interleague play.

    Comment by The Great White Shank — October 28, 2007 @ 11:18 pm


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