The all-important comparison continues. Thanks to your feedback, I now have begun incorporating metrics into this analysis. One important tool I’m going to use is the DAVID WEATHERS. This 2-part acronym (it’s too complicated to spell out each term. Trust me, it does make sense.) provides a baseline for ugliness. The closer an individual player is to this low point, the uglier he is. It should be noted that only one player has ever reached this level. He shall remain anonymous. Nick Johnson, however, was a star prospect who flirted with reaching that zero-point very early in his career. His decision to grow facial hair pushed him toward the middle-ground. The tool that measure this middle-point is the BILL MUELLER–a replacement level for looks. At the high end, we have the GRADY SIZEMORE.
These tools helped me level the field better, and I believe that this is the definitive take on the physical appearances of both team’s pitching staffs.
Caveat: The New York pitching staff has been all over the map this year. For our purposes, I used the planned rotations for both teams.
#1 Wang vs. Beckett
It should be noted that the whole frat boy aesthetic just doesn’t appeal to me. Perhaps, it’s because I grew up in New York City, or that I like The Talking Heads, but the whole puka shell necklace thing just takes away from one’s appearance. Beckett loses points as a result. Additionally, Wang is actually a good looking, albeit not hyper masculine, guy. Beckett, on the other hand, looks like a Muppet. Don’t get me wrong, he’s not ugly. In fact, if he lost a few pounds, he’d probably make this even.
#2 Pettitte vs. Matsuzaka
I’ve learned a lot from my gay and female heterosexual friends about what makes a man good looking. And apparently, one of the ways you can look better, is to look more like Andy Pettitte. This is amazing to me. I never much thought of Andy as a looker until he left the Yanks, when suddenly there was great mourning among these friends. It turns out that Pettitte was the best looking Yankee during the dynasty years, not Derek Jeter. Again the familiar refrain, "Jeter is overrated." So Andy wins this battle against the endearingly pudgy phenom. Dice-K has a cool hairstyle, of course, and he carries his weight well, but Andy is dandy…or so say the ladies and a few of the men in the know.
# 3 Mussina vs. Wakefield
Interesting how time treats people differently. At the beginning of their careers, this would have been a no-brainer in favor of Moose. But the years (and apparently the crosswords) have hurt him and helped Wakefield. Mussina is a handsome fellow, but those bags around the eyes (late night crosswording apparently) recall Jeff Van Gundy with a diet Coke in hand pacing the sidelines. We all know now who Mike Mussina will resemble in his old age: John Huston when he was old. Meanwhile Wakefield has become more dignified looking over the years. They have met halfway, but not quite. Because even with time doing its work, Mike Mussina is super hot. This still is a no-brainer. Duh.
#4 Hughes vs. Clay
I’ve seen the future and it is murder. So Sayeth Commander L. Cohen, and judging by these supposed up-and-comers, it is ugly too. For some reason, maybe because of the chin, the Franchise (remember that nickname?) reminds me of the Wicked Witch of the East or West. Or is something having to do with Easter Island heads? Clay isn’t exactly ugly. He’s just young looking. There is hope for him, so he wins, although he does occasionally wear something that looks like a puka shell necklace.
#5 Kennedy vs. Lester
Lester wins by virtue of not looking like Ian Kennedy who looks like Alfred E. Newman.
Notable Bullpen Comps:
Closer: Mariano vs. Papelbon
Some see a fruit bat. Others see a handsome dignified man aging gracefully. Are these things necessarily at odds with each other? A fruit bat can be good looking. Just ask a fruit bat. Mariano’s one problem is his male pattern baldness. Hair is very important. He should go Jordan on us and fix it. With a tenth of a point taken away there, will our hero be surpassed by their hero? Papelbon loses points because he is a frat boy in reliever’s clothing. It is shocking that he doesn’t wear a puka necklace. Shocking. That said, he is a good looking frat boy. My sister-in-law has a thing for these type of people, and she says he’s cute. Therefore, I will call this a push.
Random bullpen guy who isn’t very good (a.k.a. LOOGY): Billy Traber vs. Javier Lopez
Traber is right at the BILL MUELLER level, a replacement-level looker if there ever were one. His head is a little too big, creating an Alvaro Espinoza-like hat effect. Not very pretty. Javier Lopez, on the other hand, approaches the GRADY SIZEMORE level. Interestingly, the only other player I know of named Javier Lopez was also a GRADY SIZEMORE level looker. The lesson here is to name your son Javier Lopez.
The rest of the bullpen battles favor the Yanks, although the Sox bullpen is more interesting looking.
In summary, the Yanks are the better looking team by a lot. But the Sox are better on the field. Correlation equals causation? I think so. Bring me the head of Nick Johnson! Wasn’t he in the Yankee system the last time they won it all?