It's not often that two championship-caliber teams start shortstop in their mid-30s. The Yankees' Derek Jeter will turn 36 in June, while Red Sox newcomer Marco Scutaro will be 35 in October.
But if both perform at their 2009 level, neither club will have a complaint.
Jeter, of course, is one of the iconic players of his generation. He is also, apparently, ageless. Last season, he finished third in the MVP race after putting up a classic offensive season -- a .334 average, 18 homers, and an .871 OPS. According to metrics and scouts alike, he also improved his defense, winning his fourth Gold Glove (and perhaps his first justified one).
Scutaro's career path couldn't be much different from Jeter's. A utility man early in his career, he was never an everyday shortstop until last season, when he rewarded the Blue Jays' faith by batting .282 with a .379 on-base percentage and 48 extra-base hits. Scutaro is -- like most Red Sox acquisitions these days -- above average defensively, with a knack for the sensational.
Globe & Getty Photo / Barry Chin & Jared Wickerham