.5*Yankees > .75*BoSox

Yes, I just titled an article in the format of a simple inequality. If you did not get that I suggest you pull a Billy Madison and re-enter the third grade. Miss Veronica Vaughn will be able to explain that the Yankees proved this past weekend that at half power they are better than the Red Sox at three-quarters strength. While neither AL East power was at full capacity, most would agree more Yankees were at the nurse’s office (all were actually hurt except for Nick Johnson who was trying to get out of a third period exam), yet the Pinstripes still took two out of three. How hurt were these teams? What did we actually learn? Let’s give these two teams a physical examination.

New York Yankees
Who came in hurt? Jorge Posada, Curtis Granderson, Nick Johnson, Andy Pettitte, Javy Vasquez (ego), Mariano Rivera
Who got hurt? Robbie Cano, AJ Burnett (pride)
Even the Yankees’ medical staff could not prevent the Curse of the Sports Illustrate Cover from knocking three of the core four out of the lineup. Posada, Rivera, and Pettitte all came into the series with injuries preventing the two pitchers from seeing the mound and limiting Posada to DH duties. Granderson and Tin Man Johnson, both on the DL, also did not make any appearances, while Javy Vasquez was out with a lack-of-effectiveness.

Still, all the Yankees replacements performed admirably. Brett Gardner continued to disprove me and provide an effective bat to go along with his stellar fielding. Marcus Thames continued to smash lefties. Randy Winn made a cameo. Ramiro Pena (a.k.a Regular Staten Island Kid) provided his normal energetic and determined effort. Francisco Cervelli continued to enter the group of back-up guys who I wish played more but would never be effective everyday players. Phil Hughes continued to attack the strike zone like he was an LA Cop and the zone was Rodney King. All of these guys, plus the usual excellent contributions from the likes of Jeter, Cano, Teixeira, and A-Rod catalyzed the Yankees to a series victory.

Boston Red Sox
Who came in hurt? Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Cameron
Who got hurt? Red Sox Nation, well almost

OK, so only two main players for the BoSox were out, but do not underestimate their value to the team. Although not off to the hottest start, Mike Cameron lengthens the lineup while playing a very good centerfield. (At least he did the past two years. I tend to give outfielders who are passing kidney stones the benefit of the doubt when it comes to playing defense.) Jacoby Ellsbury, whose average was equal to his OBP at .333 (i.e., 0 walks in 30 plate appearances; i.e., he made Robbie Cano look like Tin Man Johnson) and was playing well in left field, was an even larger blow due to the explosiveness he adds to to the top of the lineup and constant pressure he puts on defenses while on the bases. Are these losses as impactful as missing a M.A.S.H. unit full of patients as the Yankees were? No. Nonetheless, missing two-thirds of your starting outfield will hamper any team.

The Yankees took two out of three as not one game was close. AJ Burnett, per his normal self since he joined the Yankees, was destroyed as even David Ortiz was able to turn on a fastball. Still, to go into Boston with more players hurt than their biggest foe and to come out with a series victory is pretty cool. In fact, some might consider that Miles Davis cool.


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