This is the fourth installment of my twelve part series chronically the fierce rivalry between Red Sox Nation and Yankee Universe. At face value, there’s honestly no comparison. But if we take the names away from the argument and show their respective stats from 2010, things starts to get a little interesting…

Player A: .275 BA, 92 runs, 174 hits, 11 HRs, 56 RBIs
Player B: .270 BA, 111 runs, 179 hits, 10 HRs, 67 RBIs

SAFE!

From the stats above, Marco Scutaro is Player A while The Captain is Player B.

Ever since the Red Sox traded Nomar Garciaparra away in 2004, the Red Sox have had a revolving door at shortstop. Scutaro marks the seventh different shortstop to start for Sox. Noted above, Scutaro posted a league average season in 2010. Scutaro’s .275 batting average was seventh highest among shortstops in baseball. In addition, Scutaro finished second in doubles (38) and runs (92). Defensively, Scutaro did commit the fifth most errors (25), posting a career low fielding percentage of .965. Scutaro figures to hit at the bottom of the order and set the table for the big players at the top. Remember, Scutaro is entering a contract year, so expect the 35-year-old shortstop to put together a solid season.

There’s no question that Derek Jeter is the present day face of the Yankee franchise. That’s why some people became upset during his contract negotiations during the off-season. Some feel Jeter got low-balled when he accepted a three-year, $45 million deal. However, after Jeter’s pedestrian 2010 season, some felt that he was over-paid. Jeter’s batting average dropped from .334 in 2009 to .270 in 2010. In addition, Jeter’s on-base percentage fell from .406 to .340.

One of Jeter’s biggest flaws last season was his ground ball rate. Jeter’s made 66% of his outs via the ground ball, which was 5% higher than any other player in baseball. From 2006-2009, Jeter had a 58% ground ball rate, so monitoring him early is key. Jeter has spent all off-season working with hitting coach Kevin Long. Manager Joe Girardi still has total faith in Jeter, stating that he will still bat first. As a lead off hitter, Jeter hit .283/.348/.387 so leaving him there makes sense. Some are clamouring for Brett Gardner to lead off, but Brett the Jet had a 26% strikeout rate in the second half of the season. Keep the Captain at the top.

Everyone already knows that Jeter is the all-time post-season hits leader, World Series hero, a few hits away from 3,000, etc etc. No need for me to dive into all of that.

Conclusion:

Edge: Yankees

There’s no doubt that almost every baseball fan would take Jeter over Scutaro and rightfully so. In six of his last seven seasons, Jeter has scored at least 102 runs. Jeter is an eleven time All-Star, five time Gold Glove award winner, has finished in the Top 3 in MVP voting three times. Jeter has the experience, talent, and demeanor to put up a monster 2011 season after suffering one of his worst seasons in 2010.

Yankees 4
Red Sox 0

Check back tomorrow as we take a look at the Hot Corner.