Mets vs. Yankees

5 Mar

By Jim Walters

It is not easy being a Mets fan these days. Even with a payroll nearing $140 million, the Mets enter the 2010 season with plenty of questions and plenty of holes. It doesn’t help that the big brothers over in the Bronx, the Yankees, are raising their 27th World Championship flag this April and enter this season as the clear favorites to repeat.

As the Mets learned last year, teams need to stay healthy to fulfill any October dream that may present itself in March. Yet, the Yankees, unlike the Mets, can probably still suffer an injury to a key player and still make it to October. Even if the Yankees lost Mariano Rivera, Joba Chamberlain would fill the role, and fill it quite well. If the Mets lose any of their stars for an extended period of time, Citi Field will suddenly feel like a cemetery.

If we look all across the infield, the Yankees have the better players in each position. In fact, all teams in the league would struggle to match this infield. Mike Francessa, of WFAN, made the case last week that few teams in the history of baseball could compare to this high-powered infield.

When looking at the outfield, if healthy, the Mets have an edge. With Carlos Beltran in center (if healthy), he is one of the best in the league. With newly acquired Jason Bay in left and smiling Jeff Francoeur in right, the Mets have an impressive outfield for the first time since the late 1980s.

The Yankees outfield received a makeover this offseason as familiar and reliable faces like Johnny Damon, Melky Cabrera and Hideki Matsui changed uniforms. New York did acquire Curtis Granderson who, with a new set of contacts, promises to capture the hearts of the Yankee faithful.

As for pitching, the Yankees have a gigantic edge. Any of the Mets starters, excluding Johan Santana, would be the number five starter in the Yankees rotation at best. In fact, many of the Mets starters wouldn’t even make the Yankees rotation.  The Yankees bullpen is also deeper, stronger and proven. The Mets only have question marks.

When examining the coaching staff, the Yankees again have the edge. Yankees skipper, Joe Girardi, managed to push all the right buttons last year. Everything Mets manager, Jerry Manuel, touched fell a part as if he was the present-day Job.

It isn’t fair to compare these two teams, especially when we coming off of last year. The Yankees are the best team in baseball and a sure bet to make the post-season. As optimistic as the Mets camp is in March, most question if they are the fourth best team in their own division. They have more questions than any other team.

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