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Old 04-19-2018, 09:33 PM   #9
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The 1965 Yankees are bidding for their 5th pennant in the last six years. The lone interruption to that streak occurred 2 years ago when Boston won 108 games, 2 more than the second place Yankees. Despite the 4 trips to the World Series, New York managed to prevail over it's National League foes just one time, in 1961 when the Yankees beat the Dodgers in 5 games.

New York's starting rotation is considered second only to Baltimore's in the American League as Whitey Ford (18-7, 2.07), Al Downing (16-7, 2.48) and Jim Bunning (14-8, 2.58) lead the way with Bill Stafford (11-9, 4.38) and Ray Herbert (8-10, 4.41) being the weak links. The bullpen has struggled all season but closer Dick Hall does have 26 saves, which leads the major leagues.

The 36 year old Ford is still going strong and has 5 Cy Young Awards on his resume as well as a lifetime 259-131 record. Downing just turned 24 and is in his 4th full season with the Yankees but his first as a fixture in the rotation. Bunning's career began with Detroit but he did not become a major league regular until joining the Yankees in 1957 at the age of 25. He won a pair of Cy Young's and was AL MVP in 1961 when he went 21-8.

The face of the Yankees of course is Mickey Mantle. The 33 year old has 2 batting titles, 5 MVP awards and led the AL in homers on 5 occassions. He is already #3 all-time in homers, behind Ted Williams (726) and Jimmie Foxx (538) and if he stays healthy he has a great shot at retiring as the all-time homerun king.

Joining Mantle in the Yankee outfielder are Curt Blefary (.244,11,50) and Don Lock (.233,16,60). Norm Siebern (.279,10,53) is at first, the platoon of Dick Howser (.220,2,28) and Horace Clarke (.288,0,16) at second, Ronny Camacho (.262,8,46) mans third with Tom Tresh (.272,18,72) at shortstop. Oscar Rodriguez (.284,19,83) is the catcher.

In real life Rodriguez kicked around the low minors for 5 years before retiring but in this sim the now 34 year old native of Puerto Rico spent a number of years in the Phillies system before getting a shot to play in St Louis in 1959. The Cards dealt him to the Yankees for Mel Stottlemyre prior to the 1963 season and he has hit .301 with 47 homers and 195 rbi's in 333 games in pinstripes. In case you were wondering the now 23 year Stottlemyre is 8-10 in his first full season in the big leagues with St Louis.

The Boston Red Sox offense looks far more imposing than the Yankees. The Red Sox batting order is as follows:

1- Don Buford 2B (.311,8,52). The 28 year old has enjoyed 4 strong seasons in Boston since coming over from the White Sox and was an all-star this year.

2- Orlando Cepeda 1B (.349,43,133). The 27 year old led the AL in batting last year and is battling a pair of teammates for the crown again this season. He is tied for the AL homerun lead with Harmon Killebrew of Minnesota and Baltimore's Boog Powell and second only to teammate Tony Conigliaro in rbi's.

3- Carl Yastremski LF (.337,20,81). The 26 year old Yaz is a 5 time all-star and a fixture in the Boston outfield since 1959.

4- Tony Conigliaro RF (.320,40,141). The 20 year old is already in his third year with the Red Sox and drawing comparisons to the legendary Ted Williams.

5- Wayne Causey 3B (.304,7,75). 28 year old infielder is in his 5th big league season, all with Boston.

6- Rico Petrocelli SS (.346,20,92). The 22 year old rookie burst on to the season this year after 3 years in the minors. He made the AL all-star team as a rookie.

7- Fred Walters C (.261,20,60). Played a decade in the minors in real life but became Red Sox everyday catcher 4 years ago. One of two positions Boston needs an upgrade.

8- Lou Clinton CF (.218,7,39) The struggling Clinton recently lost his job to 27 year old rookie Charles Teuscher (.214,2,12 in 18 games) but they are just holding the position until 18 year old Amos Otis is major league ready.

With that much young talent the Red Sox look to be poised to be a powerhouse for the next half a dozen years at least.

The pitching staff is also full of players still in their twenties. Boston lost 23 year old Wilbur Wood (15-9, 3.83) to a season ending injury in August. Wood had a breakout year last season going 23-3.

23 year old Fred Newman (17-9, 3.42) has picked up the slack in Wood's absence, as have lefthanders Dennis Bennett (14-6, 3.39) and Al Jackson (13-9, 4.02). Bill Monboquette (12-4, 4.08) is the number four starter. Bennet is just 25 years old while Jackson and Monboquette are both 29.

The Red Sox finish a 3 game set in Kansas City today before returning home for games Friday and Saturday against California before ending the season with 2 games against the Yankees. Before going to Fenway, the Yankees will be looking to complete a 3-game sweep of Chicago at home today before going to Cleveland for a pair. My next few updates will finish off the '65 regular season and see who will meet the Reds in the World Series.
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