Monday, December 31, 2007
Do Sox Have Managerial Lead Over Yankees?
Dayne Perry wrote an article today about how the Red Sox appear to be the better team going into the 2008 season. He gave the Yankees the advantage offensively, which I'm sure most people would agree with. The Yankees ranked first in runs scored last year, while the Red Sox ranked fourth. Perry also gave the Yankees the edge in their bench. That's a no-brainer, given that the Red Sox currently don't have a bench, and will be looking to make one over the next few months.
Perry, however, gave the Red Sox the advantage in the rotation, the bullpen, their defense, and their manager. I think it's clear why he claimed the Red Sox have the better rotation. Nothing against the Yankees great young pitching prospects, but they will go through some growing pains. Even the best of pitching prospects do. And they haven't been stretched out to a full season's work load either, so the will likely have to be supplemented with other Yankees starters such as Mike Mussina or Kei Igawa.
The Red Sox would appear to have a better bullpen as well. Mariano Rivera may be the best closer of all time, but Jonathan Papelbon is clearly the much better closer right now. And the Yankees lack set up men as strong as Hideki Okajima and Manny Delcarmen.
Perry also explains why he chose the Red Sox defense over that of the Yankees. According to Perry, "by whatever measure you choose to employ — fielding percentage or more advanced and more useful metrics like Defensive Efficiency and the Plus-Minus System — the Red Sox come out on top. The Yankees have sub-optimal defenders at the outfield corners, shortstop (no, Derek Jeter is not a good fielder), and second base."
Perry then goes on to give the Red Sox the managerial advantage. He justifies his choice by saying Francona has two World Series rings. That's not really fair though, Girardi only managed one year and he managed the Marlins. He did very well with what he had, winning the Manager of the Year award.
How Girardi will handle the Yankees is a very interesting topic to ponder. He didn't do so well with the management or media in Florida, something he'll have to improve immediately in New York. But other than that, Girardi's ability to manage the Yankees is a big question mark. Another question mark, just like the Yankees rotation and bullpen. 2008 will certainly be an interesting year in the Bronx. They'll go into the season with more unknowns than I can remember them having in at least a decade.
Any of you have some thoughts on how Girardi will do? If so, feel free to share. Just make sure you give an explanation.