The Better Looking Pitching Staff

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.

Verdict: Wang

#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.

Verdict: Pettitte

# 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.

Verdict: Mussina

#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.

Verdict: Clay

#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.

Verdict: Even

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.

Verdict: 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?

26 comments… add one
  • Sadly, two of the rivalry’s ugliest pitchers – Julian Tavarez and Jeff Karstens – have departed.

    Brownie August 15, 2008, 3:59 pm
  • Nick, you are doing a great job of keeping me off the ledge these days. You are hysterical.
    I don’t know how Hughes loses to Clay though, but I will take your word for it.
    Now we need a YFSF moderator evaluation. I am definitely a low seed, like a SW Missouri State.

    John - YF August 15, 2008, 4:00 pm
  • I always thought Moose looked a bit like Chandler from Friends. Well, before Chandler put on all that weight anyhow..

    Lar August 15, 2008, 4:02 pm
  • My girlfriend thinks Okajima is cute. But she is dating me, and I resemble Joba. I suppose that’s a tie?

    Kazz August 15, 2008, 4:06 pm
  • Clay Buchholz does look like a kid, I agree.
    An ugly kid.

    SF August 15, 2008, 4:07 pm
  • We know what YF looks like (a little Malcolm Gladwell, a little Paul Giamatti – smoldering!). If anyone wants to check me out and see what an architectural professional looks like go here.
    I think I have this one hands down.
    And we all know what an attackgerbil looks like, right?!

    SF August 15, 2008, 4:15 pm
  • I once looked like Tim Robbins, and now people say I look like John C. Reilly. I am not aging well.

    Nick-YF August 15, 2008, 4:18 pm
  • Tim Robbins is the man. Questionable taste in women, but the man anyhow.

    Lar August 15, 2008, 4:21 pm
  • I’m with SF on Clay – every time I see his official picture I want to yell “WHERE THE HELL IS YOUR CHIN?!” at him. I’d give that one to Hughes, myself.
    I might give Pettitte and Dice-K a push, though I’ll defer to your female friends. Andy’s always defined “horse face” to me, so I would put both of them in the ‘mediocre’ category.
    If we bring in former Sox and Yanks, though, I think we have a clear winner for all-time.
    I am speaking, of course, of the legendary El Guapo. His name says it all!

    Micah-SF August 15, 2008, 4:32 pm
  • “…If anyone wants to check me out and see what an architectural professional looks like go here….”
    gee sf, i never knew you were so dorky…nice hat…
    i take my cues on this topic from my daughter, a sensitive sweety, who as a little girl absolutely fell in love with pettite and [no longer a yankee] tino martinez…she still hates giambi for taking tino’s place…still loves pettite, because she’s not clued in to the hgh thing, but i’ll still defer to her ability to separate the good from the bad…sorry sf’s, she doesn’t like any of the sox [probably my doing], but she does think lowell looks like george clooney [not bad], and papelbon looks like a cartoon character…not sure which one…doesn’t matter…

    dc August 15, 2008, 4:33 pm
  • My girlfriend thinks Mariano handles himself in a good-looking way; but believes that Papelbon’s “nose-breatehing” thing is silly and boarder-line gross.

    walein August 15, 2008, 4:45 pm
  • Mike Mussina is one of the sexiest motherfuckers is baseball. Even his nickname implies he has a big one.

    MM August 15, 2008, 4:56 pm
  • My soxfriend and I have spent hours arguing who’s team is uglier. I feel it’s obviously the sox–lord, all those goatees.
    just so many goatees.
    Plus, there’s
    -Papelbon’s ‘an*s face’ (But hell, i’d be intimidated having a big southern an*s throwing 100mph heat at me)
    -Youkilis’ ‘lil bunny fru fru’ batting stance
    -Manny’s “Predator” haircut
    -fratboy Beckett’s weak chin-hidin’ goatee
    -Youkilis’ seven goatees-in-one goatee

    J (yf) August 15, 2008, 5:36 pm
  • “You’re killing me Smalls!!!”
    Awesome work again Nick, killing me.
    Joba might be the ugliest pitcher on both teams, FYI. So that might bring the overall average down if you take a macro approach.
    If this is purely based on looks and nothing else, you’re pretty right on.
    However, if you factor in ATPW (ability to pull wool) the scales begin to tip towards the Red Sox.

    LocklandSF August 15, 2008, 5:36 pm
  • I’m with you on most of these, but Wang over Beckett? Hell no. Beckett is sex on a stick. Even with the terrible facial hair.

    Jackie (SF) August 15, 2008, 6:11 pm
  • (And I also think he has much better hair.)

    Jackie (SF) August 15, 2008, 6:12 pm
  • Yeah, there’s no way Wang beats Beckett. And for some reason I think Pettitte looks like a camel. His nose is HUGE.

    Atheose August 15, 2008, 7:10 pm
  • Ath is absolutely right. Pettitte = Joe Camel. And Beckett tops Wang. When he’s wearing a beard, he’s got it going on. And Joba is just hideous. He easily cancels out any benefit the Yanks get from having lookers like Mussina.

    Paul SF August 15, 2008, 7:46 pm
  • See, now this follow-up article shows me that this debate isn’t really being explored seriously. Because we all know that Andy Pettitte looks like Scott Thompson’s (Kids in the Hall) beefier cousin. Jon Lester is a genuinely good looking guy and doesn’t have to win any pairings by simple “default.” Also, I’m not an expert on the way Hughes looks, but I daresay he’s got to be more appealing than Buccholz, who is nick-named “Stickbug” for good reason.

    maxwell horse August 15, 2008, 8:04 pm
  • Having said that, I will add that the Wang/Beckett matchup is a toughie. They are arguably the best-looking starters on their respective staffs. I go with a draw on this one. They are equally mantastic in their own unique ways.

    maxwell horse August 15, 2008, 8:13 pm
  • Pettitte has the stare of a deranged goat.
    I love no where near boston, and girls who don’t even follow baseball know who beckett is. I have no opinion on the ‘frat boy’ but if you’re going by female reaction beckett is da man.

    dave August 15, 2008, 9:00 pm
  • I was really good looking in high school.

    Brad August 15, 2008, 11:27 pm
  • nick, no disrespect, but are you actually attracted to guys?
    as someone who is, wang over beckett is INSANE. and rivera v. papelbon a push?!? uhm…no.
    that said, great posts. looks like yfs are finding ways to cope.

    beth August 16, 2008, 9:41 am
  • that said, pettitte is HOT. i’ve had a shame-crush on him for years.

    beth August 16, 2008, 9:44 am
  • …and i’m gonna add another ‘that said’ just because three seems like an ideal number.

    beth August 16, 2008, 9:46 am
  • once again, Sox fans are underrating the Wangster:
    The man is just better looking than Beckett, who is not bad looking himself.

    Nick-YF August 16, 2008, 10:45 am

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