Yankees and Red Sox who?
CINCINNATI – So in my last post from Porkopolis, I mentioned that Tuesday night’s American League lineup is the first in All-Star Game history without even a single lefty- or switch-hitting batter.
Well, here’s another one, maybe just slightly less surprising: This is the first American League lineup in history without anyone from the New York Yankees or the Boston Red Sox.
Now, one thing I’d like to know: How many Yankees and Red Sox have started since the first Mid-Summer Classic in 1933? If I were home, I might have looked it up. Even though it would have taken me an hour or so. But I’m in Porkopolis, so instead I’ll just estimate the answer: a lot.
Still, the Red Sox and Yankees have suffered through some down years. Then again, even in most of their down-years the Red Sox had Ted Williams or Carl Yastrzremski. Even in most of their down-years, the Yankees had Mickey Mantle or Bobby Murcer or Thurman Munson or Don Mattingly.
Yeah, I’m just throwing names out there. Probably missing a few surprising names that kept the streak alive. But it’s damn-dead now.
Whatever you might think about these teams, it seems highly unlikely that this streak will reach two All-Star Game. Which got me to wondering how the streak will end.
Here are this year’s starters, ranked in order of the likelihood they’ll be next year’s starters:
1. Mike Trout (OF)
2. Josh Donaldson (3B)
3. Jose Altuve (2B)
4. Salvador Pérez (C)
5. Albert Pujols (1B)
6. Nelson Cruz (DH)
7. Adam Jones (OF)
8. Lorenzo Cain (OF)
9. Alcides Escobar (SS)
Now, who are the best Yankees and Red Sox likely to be next season? Not including anyone they might acquire between now and next July?
Well, Xander Bogaerts has a decent claim on being the best shortstop in the American League, especially a year from now, while Mark Teixeira and Brett Gardner are both All-Star reserves right now. Like Iglesias, Mookie Betts is quickly building a fine reputation. You never know when Brian McCann might run into enough fastballs for a great first half. Ditto for Hanley Ramirez. And what if Jacoby Ellsbury’s completely healthy next spring? Ditto for Dustin Pedroia.
I think you gotta like the Red Sox to bust the streak. My top five candidates:
1. Xander Bogaerts
2. Dustin Pedroia
3. Mookie Betts
4. Jacoby Ellsbury
5. Brett Gardner
Really, though, when it comes to the Yankees I’ll take whichever superstar hitter they sign next winter. Because it sure looks like they’ll be looking for one.
Meanwhile, can I pull for Mr. Rodriguez getting the nod next year in San Diego?