Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Red Sox Franchise Deep Six

Last time I did the real Sox, now it's time to do the fake Sox! (Little joke there, Red Sox fans).

1stRoger ClemensCarlton FiskJimmie FoxxDustin PedroiaWade BoggsNomar GarciaparraTed WilliamsTris SpeakerDwight Evans
2ndCy YoungJason VaritekMo VaughnBobby DoerrJimmy CollinsRico PetrocelliCarl YastrzemskiFred LynnHarry Hooper
3rdPedro MartinezRich GedmanKevin YoukilisPete RunnelsLarry GardnerFreddy ParentJim RiceReggie SmithTrot Nixon
4thLefty GroveRick FerrellGeorge ScottBilly GoodmanFrank MalzoneJoe CroninManny RamirezJacoby EllsburyJackie Jensen
5thLuis TiantBill CarriganJake StahlMike AndrewsMike LowellJohn ValentinMike GreenwellDom DiMaggioBuck Freeman
6thJon LesterLou CrigerMike NapoliHobe FerrisBill MuellerJohnny PeskyDuffy LewisEllis BurksJ.D. Drew

Several things about these teams surprised me. For starters, the BoSox are surprisingly shallow at both catcher and first base. Jason Varitek and Mo Vaughn seem more like 3rd Teamers than 2nd Teamers, but there they are, on the 2nd team of such a storied franchise. I didn't really like including Mike Napoli, since it's early in his third season with the franchise, but I decided to assume that by the end of 2015 he'll look like a much better selection. The Red Sox really don't have a lot of great options at the initial sack.

Left field, of course, is a famous position on the Red Sox, since there have been so many great players there. Equally worthy is pitcher, where they're four-deep with top-tier Hall of Famers. Tiant, of course, has a borderline Hall of Fame case too.

Shortstop and center field were both deeper than I expected. Vern Stephens and Johnny Damon, respectively, both just missed the cut at those positions.

Some might quibble with me putting Pedroia over Doerr at second base, but I think the time has come. Doerr might have the longevity advantage, but Pedroia at his best was better than Doerr ever was, and he's been producing long enough that he deserves the top spot. After those two, second base was another position that turned out to be weaker than I expected.

The 4th Team is an interesting one; you have three Hall of Famers, plus another who played at a Hall of Fame level in Manny Ramirez. In the cases of Lefty Grove and Ramirez, it's because the Red Sox have so much depth at their positions. In the case of Joe Cronin, it's because his best years were spent with a different franchise, and in the case of Rick Ferrell, it's because he wasn't really a worthy Hall of Famer.

Some of you diehards might be upset that I gave the right field spot on the 6th Team to J.D. Drew rather than franchise icon Tony Conigliaro, but I couldn't justify it based on the WAR numbers. Believe me, I tried.

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