NEW YORK, NY – Let me start by stating the obvious, the Yankees and their fans have absolutely zero interest in how they match up against the Mets entering a new baseball season. They are far more preoccupied with teams like Toronto and Tampa Bay and Baltimore, though it’s uncertain as to whether they still care about the post-Valentine Boston Wreck Sox. Anyway, Bomber loyalists be damned, it’s still fun to see how the clubs from Queens and the Bronx stack up against each other. Here goes, Yanks vs Mets…
C – Francisco Cervelli vs. Travis d’Arnaud. The Mets will probably start the season with light-hitting John Buck, behind the dish, but how long can that last? The match-up we’re looking at is between two guys who sound like characters in a World War II escape movie. Cervelli has been linked to South Florida performance-enhancers (who hasn’t?) while d’Arnaud is the main piece the Mets got back for R.A. Dickey. Trying to be optimistic here. Edge: Mets
1B – Mark Teixeira vs. Ike Davis. This is a much more interesting match up than you might think.
Tiexeira… Texeira… Teixiera… Teixeira still plays great defense, which counts for a lot, but he’s seven years older than Ike and coming off a pedestrian, for him, 24 hr, 84 rbi, .251 avg. year. Plus his name still trips up the little freaks at the annual Scripps Spelling Bee. Davis entered last season with something called Valley Fever whose side effects apparently include anemic hitting (.227 avg.) with occasional power bursts (32 hrs). Tempted to call this one even but… Slight Edge: Yankees
2B – Robinson Cano vs. Daniel Murphy. Answer: “Robbie Cano, dontcha know.” Question: “Who had perhaps the worst playoffs of anyone on the Yankees?” And that’s saying a lot because the whole team kinda sucked in the post season. That being said, we just can’t take Murphy here, even though Keith Hernandez seems obsessed with him. Edge: Yankees
3B – Kevin Youkilis vs. David Wright. Youk may thrive as a Yankee, but Wright really seemed to turn a corner last year, especially on defense. Sure we’d like to see better power numbers but those don’t come easy with a lineup like this. Youks Ike-like 2012 .235 average doesn’t help him either. Edge: Mets
SS – Derek Jeter vs. Ruben Tejada. No breakdown necessary, broken ankle and all, this one belongs to Jeter until he starts acting his age, which doesn’t seem anytime soon. If Tejada does manage to outplay Jeter this year he will become New York’s most famous Ruben since Ben Stiller’s Reuben Feffer in Along Came Polly. Edge: Yankees
OF – Ichiro, Granderson, Gardner vs. Baxter, Nieuwenhuis, Duda. Wow, this one’s not even close. Even taking into account Ichiro’s age, Gardner’s past injuries, and the remorseless strikeout machine that is the Grandyman, at least the Yankees are fielding a professional outfield featuring better than average defense, speed, and even some power. I’m not sure anyone in the Mets projected starting outfield could have started for the 1962 team. Edge: Yankees
Starting Rotation – Sabathia, Kuroda, Pettitte, Hughes, Nova vs. Santana, Niese, Marcum, Harvey, Gee. This one would have been a hell of a lot closer had the Mets held on to Robert Allen Dickey, but he, his 20 wins, and Cy Young have headed north. That being said, fans should be excited to see a full season of Matt Harvey and the signing of righty Shaun Marcum looks like a good one. Johan Santana is a total question mark though and the Mets don’t have anyone to match Sabathia. Edge: Yankees
Relievers – Rivera, Robertson, Chamberlain, etc. vs. Francisco, Parnell, etc. I would take a one-legged, 60-year-old Mariano over Frank Francisco any day. Joba Chamberlain will probably come down with the bubonic plague but it matters not. The Mets have brought in Pedro Feliciano and Latroy Hawkins to bolster the pen, which is kinda funny. Edge: Yankees
Hmm… this started as a fun exercise but got kinda of depressing as we moved down the list. Still shaking my head about the Mets outfield. Who knows, maybe Collin Cowgill turns out to be a cult success.