I was going to retire my Jamblin' Man blog for the extent of this Fan Cave competition, despite my aching desire to keep up my once-a-week New Year's resolution. But who the hell actually keeps those resolutions? And there's no better reason for dusting off the old keyboard on this site than to accept a CHALLENGE from a fellow Fan Cave finalist.
That's right. Brian Boynton (he's kinda a big Rangers fan if you didn't know) has challenged me to a blebate. What? That's a blog debate, don't you know anything?
The best lineup in the majors. His Texas Rangers vs. the New York Yankees. I guess all that money does buy them something - my endorsement in this piece. And a few championships here and there. Sorry, I digress. On to the real stuff.
This is how I expect the Yankees' 2012 lineup to look on Opening Day:
1. Derek Jeter
2. Curtis Granderson
3. Robinson Cano
4. Mark Teixeira
5. Alex Rodriguez
6. Nick Swisher
7. Andruw Jones
8. Russell Martin
9. Brett Gardner
That hurts me to see. Mostly because the only guy I can consciously root against in the lineup is A-Rod, and partially because there is an aching, gaping void at catcher for my Dodgers that Martin used to spectacularly fill.
Texas has an incredibly deep lineup too. From top to bottom, their only weak spot might be 8 or 9. But when comparing stats across the board, I have to believe the Yankees have the best overall lineup in the majors.
Jeter, el Capitan, had better numbers than Elvis Andrus in every category except runs and stolen bases last year. It's a push in hits, home runs and RBI, but in average, on-base percentage and slugging, Jeter won handily.
Curtis Granderson's average lacked last year, but he will easy outperform whatever combination of Julio Borbon and Craig Gentry that Ron Washington trots out to center field.
We don't need to compare Robby Cano to Ian Kinsler (who is a fantastic second baseman, don't get me wrong, but Cano is just better all-around). Advantage 3-0 Yanks.
First base is Tex's territory here. We're not even sure if it will be Mitch Moreland, Michael Young or even Mike Napoli (or some combo of these three) at first for the Rangers this season.
Third base goes to the Rangers. That Beltre guy is okay. Just don't touch his head. Suck on that A-Rod!
Right field easily goes to Nelson Cruz over Swisher and left field goes to Josh Hamilton over Brett Gardner even though they play a completely different style of ball.
Of course, Michael Young is much more of a DH than Andruw Jones is so the Rangers score an extra point there. So, according to my fool-proof statistical evaluation, the Yanks have five positions out of the nine that are more productive on offense than the Rangers.
Here's some real sh*t people say for ya: In 2011, despite a lower batting average and less hits than the Rangers' offense, the Yanks outscored them and had the second-most runs scored as a team in the league, just behind Boston. It's not the quality of the run scored people, it's the quantity.
It's widely accepted that whoever scores the most runs in a game wins. Well, the Yankees are damn good at that. And they haven't subtracted on offense at all this off-season. That might change if Jesus Montero has a big season in Seattle, but until then it's looking like the same old offensive juggernaut in the Big Apple.
Which sucks. For pretty much everyone.
So there you have it - the Yankees, owners of the best lineup in baseball - are still the team to beat.