With the Red Sox and Yankees facing off this weekend at Fenway Park, we decided to create a little rivalry between the two teams -- because, you know, these games don't create enough passion without help -- with the help of their fans.
First, we asked the fans to select each franchise's All-Star teams -- via ESPN New York and ESPN Boston -- and then we used Rob Neyer Baseball to pit your all-time Yankees against your all-time Red Sox.
Just eyeballing the rosters, I worry for the Red Sox; it's not that I want them to win, so much as I'd like to see them throw at least a little scare into the Yankees.
Can they do that, though? The Red Sox have a number of great players, of course. But with the exception of Ted Williams, which Bostonians can match up with their Yankee counterparts?
Carlton Fisk was great ... but as great as Yogi Berra?
Manny Ramirez was great ... but as great as Mickey Mantle or Joe DiMaggio?
Carl Yastrzemski was great ... but with Williams in right field and Ramirez in left, where do you play him? We opted to platoon Yastrzemski with fellow Hall of Famer Tris Speaker, if only to give the Red Sox a center fielder who could cover all that ground between Manny B. Manny and Teddy Ballgame.
The Red Sox might make up some ground in the pitching department, though. For a team that's won 27 World Series, the Yankees just don't have as many immortal hurlers as you might expect. Whitey Ford's awfully good, but who else do the Yankees have who can match up with the likes of Cy Young, Roger Clemens (Boston version; there's a New York version, too!), and Pedro Martinez?
If the Red Sox ultimately have a shot, it's because their starters might hold that murderous Yankee lineup to two or three runs. Obviously, that didn't happen in Game 1 -- Red Sox fans may view the results here, Yankee fans here -- as the Sox didn't find anyone who could hold the Yankees scoreless until Curt Schilling took over the ninth. But the Red Sox have had their backs against the wall before, so they don't figure to let a little thing like a Game 1 blowout get too far into their (virtual) heads.
We'll have the results of Game 2 later today, with the series continuing tomorrow and wrapping up at some point this weekend (no spoilers!).
A note about our methodology: You selected the players, but we made out the lineups, then played the series 1,000 times, ultimately choosing just one series that was representative of the overall results and contained the requisite amount of drama. You might have picked a different series than we did. But we can promise you that the best team will win.