You win, Sox fans, your team is better. I will now shave my head, grow a soul patch, put on a Sox hat, walk the length of Manhattan, cross over into the Bronx and order a beer at Piper’s Kilt, where I will risk my personal safety. What? That wasn’t the bet? What? There wasn’t a bet? Well, what am I going to do with this soul patch? Hmm. As established by reality and the first sentence of this post, the Sox are better than the Yanks. This is now a fact. But more importantly, which team is better looking? Yeah, I said it. I’m secure in my sexuality. Plus, I’m following the tradition of Bill James who had his wife, in one of the abstracts, nominate the best looking player in baseball. I recall this from an entry about Ken Singleton, who actually sent a thank you note to Bill James’ wife after being called the best looking player one year. I’m going to continue this tradition, play the part of Bill James’ wife because, once again, I’m secure like that. I’m able to measure a fellow’s looks honestly. To prove it, check out what I think about Leonardo DiCaprio versus Steve Buscemi.
"DiCaprio is very good looking. Steve Buscemi is not."
I said this once to my fiancee (see, I’m secure), who, sort of, was listening.
So which team is better looking? Not to ruin the surprise, but, Yanks fans, we rule! Here’s the position-by-position breakdown.
First Base: Jason Giambi vs. Kevin Youkilis
Gross. There are a special few players who remind us all that playing sports can be a sweaty, smelly affair. Patrick Ewing famously sweated a lot within the first .5 seconds of action. A personal mopper followed him throughout the game. Every NFL offensive lineman also reminds us that moving a lot activates the sweat glands. Baseball, of course, is one of the only sports in which breaking a sweat is rare. But don’t tell that to our two contenders. Apparently the mere thought of playing the game gets these guys wet. Check them both out before the National Anthem. By "can you see" they’re crying from all their pores, such is their sentimental passion for our country and its beloved sport. Both are aesthetically gross, but because I abhor facial hair that seems as if it belongs in the groin area, Youkilis loses. Actually, Giambi is not a bad looking guy. He’s just kind of gross.
Second Base: Robinson Cano vs. Dustin Pedroia
Cano has a million dollar smile. Pedroia has an upturned nose that suggests brattiness. His experiment with Wolverinesque facial hair is a fashion no-no. Meanwhile, Cano continues to flash those white teeth. There’s nice bone structure there. Pedroia gets points for being short because that’s cute, but Cano smiles that smile. No contest.
Shortstop: Derek Jeter vs. Julio Lugo (I don’t know what Jed Lowrie looks like)
There is something I am ashamed to admit. I don’t think Derek Jeter is that good looking. There, I said it and it feels better. The problem is that he has an awful hair cut. Hair is very important. That’s why Johnny Damon is a heartthrob and blows away the competition. So Jeter is, in fact, overrated.* He isn’t as good looking as people, including his stunning female friends of the past, think he is. That said, he’s facing Julio Lugo, who, despite great bone structure, looks like Klaus Kinski when he played Nosferatu.
*Hope that ends that debate.
Third Base: Alex Rodriguez vs. Mike Lowell
It doesn’t get better looking than this. On the one hand, you have A-Rod, he of the perfect eyes, the beautiful skin. And then on the other hand, you have the George Clooneyesque Mike Lowell. His salt and pepper beard is the envy of all. His suaveness is apparent in every gesture of the face. But A-Rod is a looker, too. Therefore, it’s even.
RF:Bobby Abreu v. JD Drew
Jose Canseco and Sammy Sosa’s test-tube baby takes on the non-descript stoic JD. For whatever reason, Drew reminds me of the yokel Cletus on the Simpsons–probably the patchy facial hair he sometimes sports. Abreu has a dreaminess about him that translates into vapidity, not youthful transcendence.
CF: Melky vs. Ellsbury
I think Melky has dimples, which is cute at first, and then you think, after some time, "This guy is really overmatched here." And indeed, he is overmatched in this match-up. Ellsbury is good looking, although in certain lights he looks like the not-so-handsome Ricky Ledee. But Jacoby is blessed with nice hair. Melky is blessed with those dimples. Hair beats dimples.
Leftfield: Xavier Nady vs. Jason Bay
Nady has chiseled Mediterranean features. Jason Bay is Canadianesque in appearance (translation: neutral). You can argue who has been the better on-field pick up, but in the looks department it’s not that close.
DH: Johnny Damon vs. David Ortiz
David Ortiz does not come up clutch here. And I have to say I respect Ortiz’s looks. He’s got a regal quality about his face, as if he could rule many people. That’s a commanding handsomeness that I respect. But Johnny Damon has the hair. Once, in 2004, I was watching a Yanks-Sox game with my lady. Johnny, who was on the Sox at the time and sported the long flowing hair, came to bat. Mandy shrieked. When she relaxed enough to articulate her thoughts, she wondered "Why is that guy from "Legends of the Fall" playing baseball?" Johnny Damon is the Michael Jordan of this competition, and Michael Jordan is the Brad Pitt of Basketball.
Catcher: Posada vs. Varitek
This is a fairly easy one to call. Varitek is just plain better looking than Posada. He’s got a well-defined face, without it being overly muscle-filled (Brian Giles, Kyle Farnsworth), while Posada lacks a good chin.
Final Verdict for Position Players: Yanks dominate
In the future, I’ll do the pitching staffs. The Sox might catch up there.