Today I had a rather interesting discussion concerning the relative merits of Melky Cabrera and Jacoby Ellsbury. My colleague, whom I'll call Bruce the Yankee fan, insisted that he never judges players by April or September events, and that in his opinion, Melky Cabrera, with his track record was a superior player to Jacoby Ellsbury.
Not always right, but never in doubt, I argued that Ellsbury's performance, sample size admittedly small, came during a pennant race and World Series. Also in a mere 33 games, Ellsbury had 6 win shares while the redoubtable Melk-Man has had two fairly full seasons with 13 apiece.
Obviously, we're both biased, although I see Ellsbury as a .300 plus hitter, .375 OBP guy, with 15 homer potential and forty steal potential, plus a solid glove in center. I see Melky as the guy who played Trot Nixon's line drive into an inside the park home run. Obviously, the pinstripes devalue him in my eyes and raise him to the apotheosis of centerfielderhood among Yankee fans.
Of course, as we are wont to say, the World Championship race from 2001-2007 stands at Boston 2, Gotham 0.
So people, is Jacoby (if he's still here) or Melky the Real Thing?