If I've learned anything from blogging, it's that people love lists. So I'm going to run out some lineups that fall in line with the arbitrary parameters that I have set. Yesterday we looked at the 25-year-old and younger team. Today's lineup consists of players who are 35-years-old or older by April 1st, 2011. The 2011 forecasts are courtesy of Bill James. Now, allow me to present to you the 2011 New York Yankees.
Catcher - Jorge Posada 8/17/1971
2010: 18 HR, .248/.357/.454, .357 wOBA, 2.4 WAR
2011: 16 HR, .260/.363/.454, .375 wOBA
Posada only started 78 games behind the dish in 2010 and will see considerably less time there in 2011 with the signing of Russell Martin and prospect Jesus Montero's already ready bat for the bigs. But my other choices were Rod Barajas and Bengie Molina. And I'd rather play one of those catch screens over Molina both for defense and offense. And base running.
First Base - Paul Konerko 3/5/1976
2010: 39 HR, .312/.393/.548, .425 wOBA, 4.2 WAR
2011: 32 HR, .273/.361/.496, .372 wOBA
Konerko turns 35 just before this season starts and turned in the second best season (per WAR) of his career in 2010. Konerko parlayed that season into a fresh 3-year, $37.5 million contract with the White Sox. I don't have a joke about the White Sox captain so I suggest you follow @OneyGullien for a good laugh.
Had Konerko not barely qualified, Derek Lee would have made the list since we share a birthday. Also born on September 6th, porn star Raven Riley.
Second Base - Adam Kennedy 1/10/1976
2010: 3 HR, .249/.327/.327, .303 wOBA, 1.0 WAR
2011: 4 HR, .264/.334/.354, .307 wOBA
Bill James might be a little generous with his projection here considering Kennedy only signed a minor league contract with the Mariners this off-season. I'll give Kennedy the nod here unless Joe Morgan is looking to fill his newly acquired free time. Kennedy ended up as the everyday second bagger in Washington after the Nats traded Christian Guzman to Texas before the deadline. He would flail away to that .303 wOBA which only Brandon Wood was in awe of.
Others receiving votes include Omar Vizquel (from The Golden Sombrero) and Tony Lazzeri (from our own Derwood). Lazzeri hit .273/.361/.417 in 1935 and I'm starting to think Derwood didn't understand the question.
Short Stop - Derek Jeter 6/26/1974
2009: 18 HR, .334/.406/.465, .390 wOBA, 7.1 WAR
2010: 10 HR, .270/.340/.370, .320 wOBA, 2.5 WAR
2011: 13 HR, .295/.365/.410, .344 wOBA
Jeter followed the second best season of his career in 2009 with his worst season in 2010. That earned him a new 3-year deal worth $51 million. Jeter will make roughly around $33 million more than Evan Longoria will make over the 6-year deal he signed in 2008. That seems just.
If you think I come off as a little bitter towards Jeter for no apparent reason, I present Exhibit A, B and C. I hate that guy.
Third Base - Alex Rodriguez 7/27/1975
2010: 30 HR, .270/.341/.506, .363 wOBA, 3.9 WAR
2011: 35 HR, .284/.381/.530, .393 wOBA
I assume you've heard of A-Rod by now. He's a pretty good baseball player when he's not yelling at cameramen for filming him eating popcorn at the Super Bowl.
The over 35-year-old third base club is pretty impressive with Chipper Jones and Scott Rolen rounding out this particular Hall of Fame bunch.
Right Field - Ichiro 10/22/1973
2010: 6 HR, 42 SB, .315/.359/.394, .338 wOBA, 4.8 WAR
2011: 7 HR, 30 SB, .316/.361/.391, .339 wOBA
Ichiro isn't showing any signs of slowing down as a 37-year-old and, compared to the other outfielders on this list, can still field his position.
Center Field - Torii Hunter 7/18/1973
2010: 23 HR, .281/.354/.464, .350 wOBA, 3.5 WAR
2011: 23 HR, .272/.340/.457, .346 wOBA
Hunter started 97 games in center in 2010 before being jettisoned to right field for Peter Bourjos' plus glove. Hunter could still man center if push came to shove but the Angels crapped on common sense by trading for Vernon Wells who would probably get the first shot at center if Bourjos' bat doesn't play.
Left Field - Manny Ramirez 5/30/1972
2010: 9 HR, .298/.409/.460, .382 wOBA, 1.6 WAR
2011: 23 HR, .290/.401/.503, .393 wOBA
Manny only played 46 games in left for the Dodgers in 2010 and will spend most of his time as the designated hitter for the Rays in 2011. But I'd rather deal with his drunken-hobo wandering in the outfield to get his bat in the lineup compared to whatever it is that Bobby Abreu does nowadays.
DH - Jim Thome 8/27/1970
2010: 25 HR, .283/.412/.627, .437 wOBA, 3.6 WAR
2011: 17 HR, .245/.384/.498, .384 wOBA
Every time I look up Thome's career stats, I'm stunned. This guy seems to have hit the quietest 589 home runs, .278 AVG, .404 OBP, .559 SLG, .407 wOBA and 73.5 WAR in baseball history.
My boy Vladimir Guerrero is the other option here but despite his resurgent 2010, he's still crippled from the waist down from playing on the painted concrete in Montreal.
Staff Ace - Chris Carpenter 4/27/1975
2010: 3.22 ERA, 3.69 FIP, 3.84 xFIP, 3.7 WAR
2011: 3.06 ERA, 3.27 FIP
Carpenter missed most of 2002 and then almost all (if not all) of 2003, 2007 and 2008. But when he is pitching, he's been fantastic. Carpenter would have been my pick here even if Andy Pettitte didn't retire. But I was really tempted to put Pettitte here and Scott Brosius at third and Chuck Knoblauch at second.
Closer - Mariano Rivera 11/29/1969
2010: 1.80 ERA, 2.81 FIP, 3.65 xFIP, 1.7 WAR
2011: 1.89 ERA, 2.52 FIP
At this point, I'm convinced that Mo Rivera will outlive us all and still be closing for the Yankees in the 2132 Galactic World Series. Strangely enough, Barry Bonds and Ted Williams' frozen head are also on that Yankee team.