BOS-STL World Series Super Teams

October 23, 2013
  
The Red Sox and Cardinals are meeting in their fourth World Series matchup. While I admit that this is one of the least interesting matchups to come out of a playoffs that included the Pirates, Naps, A’s, and Yasiel Puig, it’s worth remembering that two of the three previous World Series matchups between these two teams (1946 and 1967) went the full seven games.
 
Considering the long history between these two storied franchises, I’ve gone ahead and put together the best rosters for each team, as constructed from their 1946, 1967, 2004, and 2013 lineups and pitching staffs.
 
We’ll start with the Red Sox, because ‘B’ comes before whatever state St. Louis is in. Is it Kansas? Tennessee? It’s not Alabama, is it?
 
 
 
Boston Red Sox ’46-’67-’04-’13 Super Team
 
Pos.
Name
Year
rWAR
Notes
C
Jason Varitek
2004
4.0
.390 OBP. 1-for-1 in swinging at A-Rod.
 
 
Tek comfortably beats out Saltalamachia (2.9 WAR) for the catcher’s spot on the Boston roster.
 
Pos.
Name
Year
rWAR
Notes
1B
George Scott
1967
4.4
.303 BA, 19 HR, 138 OPS+.
 
1967 was a tough year for the bats….Boomer’s Triple Crown line isn’t too impressive, but given the contexts, it was a big hitting season. Scott passed away this year: he holds, perhaps improbably, the team record for most games played at 1B, ahead of Mo Vaughn, Phil Todt, and Jimmy Foxx.
 
Pos.
Name
Year
rWAR
Notes
2B
Dustin Pedroia
2013
6.5
.301 BA, 116 OPS+, 9.6 on Eckstein Grit Scale
 
Beats out Doerr (5.6) and the underrated Mark Belhorn (3.7). Should eventually take Doerr’s spot on the All-Time Red Sox team.
 
Pos.
Name
Year
rWAR
Notes
SS
Johnny Pesky
1946
6.5
.335 BA, 115 Runs, 43 doubles.
 
Nice to see Pesky here…he edges Rico Petrocelli (4.1) and Stephen Drew (3.1) for this spot.
 
Pos.
Name
Year
rWAR
Notes
3B
Bill Mueller
2004
1.2
.283 BA. Confusing vowels.
 
Another favorite….Mueller hit the game-winning homer off Mariano Rivera in the A-Rod/Tek fight game. There’s not a lot of competition for this spot.
 
Pos.
Name
Year
rWAR
Notes
LF
Carl Yastrzemski
1967
12.4
Triple Crown: .326/44/126.
On the other hand, there is pretty steep competition for this spot, with Yaz edging 1946 MVP Ted Williams (10.9 WAR). It’s tough that Ted Williams misses a spot on the team, but the Cards have their own heartbreakers. Manny Ramirez doesn’t really enter the conversation against these two.
 
Pos.
Name
Year
rWAR
Notes
CF
Jacoby Ellsbury
2013
5.8
52 steals, .355 OBP
 
This is perhaps the most well-rounded position: the 2004 team had Damon (4.3), 1946 had Dom DiMaggio (4.4), and the 1967 team had the perennially underrated Reggie Smith in center (3.4). Smith was the best player in the group, but he has the lowest WAR here.
 
Pos.
Name
Year
rWAR
Notes
RF
Shane Victorino
2013
6.1
Stopped switch-hitting. 119 OPS+
 
The only competition for Shane is Tony Conigliaro., whose 1967 season was prematurely ended by an inside fastball. Conigliaro is one of two Red Sox players who played high school baseball in the city of Lynn, whose major league career was something of a ‘what-if.’ The other is the Harry Agganis, the Golden Greek.
 
Pos.
Name
Year
rWAR
Notes
DH
David Ortiz
2013
4.4
.309/30/109. And one improbable Grand Slam.
 
He narrowly edges the 2004 version of himself.
 
Pos.
Name
Year
rWAR
Notes
SP1
Curt Schilling
2004
7.9
21-6 W-L, 3.26 ERA, 1 bloody sock. 
SP2
Tex Hughson
1946
5.9
20-11, 2.75 ERA, 172 SO
SP3
Pedro Martinez
2004
5.5
16-9, 3.90 ERA. 227 K's in 217 IP, in an off year.
SP4
Clay Buchholz
2013
4.3
12-1, 1.74 ERA. Or half a good Pedro year.
SP5
Jim Lonborg
1967
4.1
Cy Young Award. 22-9, 3.16 ERA, 273.1 IP.
 
Curt Schilling is the ace of the rotation, ahead of Tex Hughson, Pedro, Clay, and Jim Lonborg. Lonborg is the only pitcher of the group to have won the Cy Young Award….he was the dentist to a lot of my classmates growing up. Dave Ferris doesn’t make the cut, despite a 25-6 W-L record in 1946.
 
Pos.
Name
Year
rWAR
Notes
CL
Koji Uehara
2013
3.6
.565 WHIP. 101 K's, 9 walks. 1.09 ERA.
RP
Keith Foulke
2004
3.5
32 saves, 2.17 ERA, 79 SO in 83 IP
RP
John Wyatt
1967
2.2
10 wins, 2.70 ERA, 93.1 IP
RP
Bob Klinger
1046
1.7
2.37 ERA, 57 IP
 
All four teams are represented in the bullpen, with the superlative Uehara just edging Foulke for the closer gig.
 
 
 
St. Louis Cardinals ’46-’67-’04-’13 Super Team
 
Pos.
Name
Year
rWAR
Notes
C
Tim McCarver
1967
6.0
.295 BA, 136 OPS+, 0 pitch counts.
 
We start with a stunner: the guy in the booth tonight edges the guy who will be behind the plate at Fenway. Molina has been excellent in 2013, but WAR gives a slight edge to Tim McCarver.
 
Pos.
Name
Year
rWAR
Notes
1B
Stan Musial
1946
8.6
365/16/103 Triple Crown line, 183 OPS+
 
If the Red Sox don’t have Ted Williams in the lineup, they can at least be thankful that Stan Musial edges Albert Pujols (8.4) off the team. Orlando Cepeda was also excellent (6.8)…all three players are comfortably ahead of George Scott.
 
Pos.
Name
Year
rWAR
Notes
2B
Matt Carpenter
2013
6.6
Only bat from 2013…126 runs, .318 BA
 
Not sure he’ll bat leadoff, but Carpenter comfortable edges Tony Womack, Julian Javier, and Red Schoendienst at second.
 
Pos.
Name
Year
rWAR
Notes
SS
Marty Marion
1946
3.9
.233 BA, excellent defense
 
No Ozzie here, though Marion was an excellent defensive shortstop.
 
Pos.
Name
Year
rWAR
Notes
3B
Scott Rolen
2004
9.1
MVP-caliber season: .314/34/124, excellent defense.
 
The MVP of the Cardinals made-up squad, Rolen had a monster season in 2004. It will be interesting to see how his Hall-of-Fame case plays out, when he gets on the ballot.
 
Pos.
Name
Year
rWAR
Notes
LF
Lou Brock
1967
5.6
.299 BA, 21 HR, 52 SB.
 
Brock had some pop for a guy known as a leadoff hitter/base stealer, though this was the only year he topped 20 HR.
 
Pos.
Name
Year
rWAR
Notes
CF
Jim Edmonds
2004
7.1
Another monster year: .301/42/111, Gold Glove in CF.
 
You could adjust the Cardinals lineup, (put Molina in for McCarver, Pujols for Musial) and have a tremendous defensive team. Edmonds edges Curt Flood here.
 
Pos.
Name
Year
rWAR
Notes
RF
Enos Slaughter
1946
4.4
.300 BA, 130 RBI
 
Slaughter edges Roger Maris (3.6) and Beltran (2.4). You can see video of his ‘mad dash’ on the interwebs…it looks like a clean relay would’ve nabbed him.
 
Pos.
Name
Year
rWAR
Notes
SP1
Howie Pollet
1946
6.6
21-10, 2.10 ERA, 5 saves
SP2
A.Wainwright
2013
6.2
19-9, 2.94 ERA, 219 K's
SP3
Harry Brecheen
1946
5.4
15-15, 2.49 ERA
SP4
Dick Hughes
1967
4.2
16-6, 2.67 ERA
SP5
Chris Carpenter
2004
3.3
15-5, 3.46 ERA, led team with 152 K's
 
Here’s the other shocker: no Bob Gibson. The 1967 version of Gibson notched a 13-7 record, with a 2.98 ERA over just 175.1 IP. His cumulative WAR (2.5) rates well below Dick Hughes (4.2), and a couple ticks behind some kid named Steve Carlton (2.8).
 
Pos.
Name
Year
rWAR
Notes
CL
Kevin Siergrist
2013
2.0
0.45 ERA, 39.2 IP.
RP
Steve Kline
2004
1.6
1.79 ERA, 50.1 IP.
RP
Edward Mujica
2013
1.5
37 Saves, 2.78 ERA. Might not pitch in WS.
RP
Isringhauser
2004
1.4
2.87 ERA, 47 Saves

Here’s another shocker: the most valuable bullpen arm for the current Cards, according to WAR, isn’t Rosenthal or Mujica, but Kevin Siergrist, who’s posted a 0.45 ERA this year.  
 
Alright….setting the two teams up against one another, let’s see who has the advantage, and where they have it:
 
rWAR
YEAR
NAME
POSITION
NAME
YEAR
rWAR
4.0
2004
Jason Varitek
C
Tim McCarver
1967
6.0
4.4
1967
George Scott
1B
Stan Musial
1946
8.6
6.5
2013
Dustin Pedroia
2B
Matt Carpenter
2013
6.6
6.5
1946
Johnny Pesky
SS
Marty Marion
1946
3.9
1.2
2004
Bill Mueller
3B
Scott Rolen
2004
9.1
12.4
1967
Carl Yastrzemski
LF
Lou Brock
1967
5.6
5.8
2013
Jacoby Ellsbury
CF
Jim Edmonds
2004
7.1
6.1
2013
Shane Victorino
RF
Enos Slaughter
1946
4.4
4.4
2013
David Ortiz
DH
n/a
--
--
 
The Cardinals have the stronger infield, getting the edge at catcher, first, second, and third. The Sox take shortstop and the corner outfield positions, and have a comfortable edge at DH. I don’t think the Cardinals have ever had a Designated Hitter of any real ability…
 
Looking a little closer at the lineups: the Red Sox have fourplayers on their 2013 team who make the lineup: Pedroia, Ortiz, Ellsbury, and Victorino. The Cardinals have just one player from the 2013 squad making the cut: the improbably Matt Carpenter, who is playing injured.
 
The tally of these lineups?
 
Red Sox: 51.3 WAR
Cardinals: 51.3 WAR
 
A tie! So it’s onto the starting pitchers:
 
rWAR
YEAR
NAME
POSITION
NAME
YEAR
rWAR
7.9
2004
Curt Schilling
SP1
Howie Pollet
1946
6.6
5.9
1946
Tex Hughson
SP2
A. Wainwright
2013
6.2
5.5
2004
Pedro Martinez
SP3
Harry Brecheen
1946
5.4
4.3
2013
Clay Buchholz
SP4
Dick Hughes
1967
4.2
4.1
1967
Jim Lonborg
SP5
Chris Carpenter
2004
3.3
 
The Red Sox, surprisingly, get an edge at four of the five rotation spots, though the edge is pretty narrow: 27.7 to 25.7. That brings our tally to:
 
Red Sox: 78.3 WAR
Cardinals: 76.3 WAR
 
rWAR
YEAR
NAME
POSITION
NAME
YEAR
rWAR
3.6
2013
Koji Uehara
CL
Kevin Siergrist
2013
2
3.5
2004
Keith Foulke
RP
Steve Kline
2004
1.6
2.2
1967
John Wyatt
RP
Edward Mujica
2013
1.5
1.7
1946
Bob Klinger
RP
J. Isringhauser
2004
1.4
 
And it’s a clean sweep for the Boston bullpen, netting 11.0 WAR to the Card’s 6.5.
 
Final Tally:
 
Red Sox: 89.3 WAR
Cardinals: 82.8 WAR
 
I think the Series goes seven games. And the home team wins the clincher.
 
Dave Fleming is a writer living in Wellington, New Zealand. He welcomes comments, questions, and suggestions here and at dfleming1986@yahoo.com.
 
 

COMMENTS (17 Comments, most recent shown first)

gerryi
billy c didn't play high school ball in lynn,too?
4:20 PM Oct 30th
 
DaveFleming
Ah, a Cubs burn! I missed it. Nicely done, sir.
3:12 PM Oct 28th
 
rgregory1956
Sometimes my humor only amuses me. To tell you the truth, I'm not exactly sure why I thought it was funny, but I did.

Still do.
1:16 PM Oct 28th
 
ChitownRon
I cant tell if you are serious, but

Lou Brock didn't play on the Cubs in 1967. He played on the Cubs in 1964 and was traded & to St. Louis on June 15 1964.

Per baseball Reference, Lou Brock was traded by the Chicago Cubs with Jack Spring and Paul Toth to the St. Louis Cardinals for Ernie Broglio, Doug Clemens and Bobby Shantz.
4:35 PM Oct 27th
 
ChitownRon
I cant tell if you are serious, but

Lou Brock didn't play on the Cubs in 1967. He played on the Cubs in 1964 and was traded & to St. Louis on June 15 1964.

Per baseball Reference, Lou Brock was traded by the Chicago Cubs with Jack Spring and Paul Toth to the St. Louis Cardinals for Ernie Broglio, Doug Clemens and Bobby Shantz.
4:35 PM Oct 27th
 
DaveFleming
"30 Brock (time with Cubs included)."

I didn't realize Lou Brock played on the Cubs in 1967.
4:14 PM Oct 27th
 
rgregory1956
For fun, I used Win Shares (this is after all a Bill James site) to make up a team similar to Dave's. My teams are a little shorter. I only included 3 starter, 1 closer and no DH (you're welcome, Ron).

The Red Sox
18 Varitek
23 Scott
27 Doerr
34 Pesky
13 Foy
19 Victorino
26 DiMaggio
49 Williams
25 Hughes
23 Ferriss
21 Schilling
18 Foulke or Uehara

296 Total

Saint Louis Cardinals

30 McCarver (Molina had 29)
44 Musial
35 Carpenter
19 Marion
35 Rolen
29 Slaughter
37 Edmonds
30 Brock (time with Cubs included)
27 Pollett
20 Breechen
18 Hughes
16 Dickson

340 Total
8:30 PM Oct 25th
 
steve161
There are so many things in this article I disagree with, starting with the overreliance on WAR, that if I listed them all it would be longer than the original. I content myself with the most egregious.

McCarver over Molina????? I was a great fan of Tim McCarver's and rate his defense as comparable to such catchers' as Charlie O'Brien, Jerry Grote, Sandy Alomar and Bob Boone. But over the 2013 version of Yadier Molina? Ridiculous.

And no, I can't defend this position with numbers. We'll have a colony on the moon before we are able to reliably assess catchers' defense sabrmetrically. But if you haven't noticed what he accomplished with a pitching staff barely old enough to shave, you haven't been paying attention. (P.S.: he did it in the WBC for Puerto Rico as well.)​
5:54 PM Oct 25th
 
ChitownRon
Hell, why even play baseball?

Lets just play Home Run Derby, No pitchers, no defense, no double plays, just lob the ball up there and see who can hit the most home Runs & extra bonus points for who can hit ball the farthest...


Just, like a long drive contest for golfers.​
11:33 AM Oct 25th
 
DaveFleming
I was going to write something pithy about how if the Cards wanted a DH, they should've voted for it way back in the day...

Then I did some checking up on things, and found out that the Cards actually DID vote for the DH.

On Aug. 13, 1980, the NL teams had a meeting to vote on instituting the DH, because the AL teams were thumping the Senior Circuit in attendance. In a convoluted vote that had lots of weird twists of teams establishing alliances, the NL voted 5-4 to reject the DH.

There happened to be 12 teams in the NL at that point, but three abstained from voting....the NL teams had a 75% voter turnout, which is remarkable for American politics, but sort of abysmal for the NL.

The teams that voted IN FAVOR of the DH were the Braves, Mets, Padres...and Cardinals. The Cards Gm was instrumental in pushing for the vote, and strongly advocated the adoption of the DH.

The teams that voted against the DH were the Cubs (I know one reader who will be please to note this) Reds, Dodgers, Expos, and Giants.

The Pennsylvania teams got tripped up: the Phillies VP didn't know how the owner wanted him to vote, so he tried to contact the guy on a fishing trip. It didn't work: the Phillies abstained from voting.

The Pirates guy was told to vote however the Phillies voted: this was in deference to that famous Abe Lincoln quote: "A Pennsylvania divided cannot win the NL pennant." The Bucs abstained.

The Astros didn't vote. They just assumed they were already in the American League.

Anyway...hard choices had to be made. As NL fans routinely chirp that their version of baseball is manifestly purer and more noble than the AL version, I don't think we should give them a 'free' DH in this fake universe. They've made their own bed.
3:58 PM Oct 24th
 
pob14
I live an hour and a half from St. Louis. It's definitely in Alabama. Culturally, at least.
11:33 AM Oct 24th
 
stevemillburg
As a Cardinals fan, I remember Dick Hughes vividly. As a very unheralded 29-year-old rookie in 1967, he saved the Cardinals after Bob Gibson was lost for a couple of months with a broken leg (Roberto Clemente line drive off the leg in July). In spring training the next season, Hughes hurt his arm, and that was it for his career. He's now a retired farmer in Arkansas, and is apparently a great guy: http://tiny.cc/qftg5w.
10:33 AM Oct 24th
 
tangotiger
If the Tigers can move Mickey Stanley to SS in the World Series no less, then I think in our little world here, we can find room to put Ortiz, Ted Williams, and Yaz on the same team.

And obviously, you have to give the Cards a DH as well.
10:29 AM Oct 24th
 
briangunn
That makes sense, David - no reason for the Cards to play without a DH. If you put Pujols at first (2004 8.4 rWAR) and slide Musial over to DH (1946 rWAR 8.9 - he actually had -1.1 dWAR that year), it's a +9.5 upgrade for the Cards - so let's give them 92.3 overall. Then yes, Williams has to be in there for the Sox. Put him at DH over Ortiz, give them +6.1 oWAR, and they're at 95.1.
10:01 AM Oct 24th
 
ChitownRon
Well done Dave!
I have the Cards in 5...

9:57 AM Oct 24th
 
DavidTodd
Can't we put Stan Musial in LF and put Pujols at 1B, or Musial as DH, or Ted Williams as DH over Ortiz, with Ortiz at 1B.
8:38 AM Oct 24th
 
izzy24
"Dick Hughes" is such a great name. It's weird to see Tex Hughson above Pedro, but I guess Pedro was just starting to slow down a little at that point. Speaking as a Red Sox fan, I hope your prediction comes true.
10:47 PM Oct 23rd
 
 
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