I’ve always had the impression that some Yankees fans fall “in love” with a “name” simply because he wears the pinstripes.
For example: “Mike Mussina is an ace and a future Hall-of-Famer” is something that you might hear from a Yankees fan. However, if Mussina had been with the Red Sox since 2001 (instead of New York), I would bet that many of those same Yankees fans would say “Mussina is over-rated.”
Related to all this, for fun, I decided to look at the main players on the Yankees 2006 roster and try and find a match for him – meaning a new “name” that would not carry the pinstripe-love factor. I thought this would be a unique way to objectively look at who was good and who was really not so good on the Yankees last year.
For batters, I’m just going to use hitting stats – and forget fielding and speed. And, I’m only going to use 2006 production for the matches. Lastly, age will not be used in finding a match.
Johnny Damon = Raul Ibanez
Derek Jeter = Garrett Atkins
Bobby Abreu = Jason Bay
Jason Giambi = Nick Johnson
Alex Rodriguez = Carlos Guillen
Jorge Posada = Pat Burrell
Bernie Williams = Julio Lugo
Melky Cabrera = Nick Markakis
Robinson Cano = Reed Johnson
Randy Johnson = Matt Morris
Mike Mussina = Curt Schilling
Worm Killer Wang = Erik Bedard
Jaret Wright = Tim Wakefield
Corey Lidle = Jon Lieber
Kyle Farnsworth = Ryan Dempster
Scott Proctor = Chad Qualls
Mariano Rivera = Francisco Rodriguez
I wonder how far in the post-season those names on the right side of the equal signs would have gone in 2006 had they been an actual team?