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Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci picks the best of the Braves and Yankees from the '90s.

RH Pitcher John Smoltz David Cone
  This is one team Greg Maddux can't make. John Smoltz has more wins than Maddux in a Braves uniform and has been the franchise's best postseason pitcher. A no-brainer. Cone is 57-20 as a Yankee, giving him a winning percentage (.740) that's better than any Yankee who made at least100 starts for the club -- except for lefthanders Whitey Ford (.773) and Ron Guidry (.765).
 
LH Pitcher Tom Glavine Andy Pettitte
  Glavine is the easy pick, with Steve Avery a distant second. Pettitte gets the edge over Jimmy Key. Pettitte is 81-46 since coming up to the Yankees in 1995. That's the most wins by any Yankee this decade.
 
Closer Mark Wohlers Mariano Rivera
  John Rocker and Kerry Ligtenberg haven't done it for more than one year. Wohlers is the pick for his 112 saves with the Braves and for being the closer on their 1995 world championship team. The new Mr. October has surpassed what his mentor, John Wetteland, ever did in two seasons for New York.
 
Catcher Javy Lopez Joe Girardi
  Lopez is the easy pick over Greg Olson, who, believe it or not, actually made the All-Star team once. As the only player to lead the Yankees in games caught three times this decade, Girardi rates a slight edge over Mike Stanley. Girardi gets the nod for his defensive prowess and his ability to get the most out of an eclectic mix of pitchers.
 
First Base Fred McGriff Tino Martinez
  We'll always remember those chants of "Sid! Sid! Sid!" at Fulton County Stadium. But the Crime Dog, Fred McGriff, is the clear pick here. Sorry, Don Mattingly fans. He may have been the Bombers' star of the '80s, but Donnie Baseball's numbers in the '90s pale in comparison to those Martinez has put up: only DiMaggio, Gehrig, Ruth and Martinez knocked in at least 100 runs in their first four seasons with the Yankees.
 
Second Base Mark Lemke Chuck Knoblauch
  Quick, who played second base for the Braves before Lemke took over the job in 1992? If you said Jeff Treadway, you know way too much about the Braves. Lemke was a sure-handed player who came up big at the plate in several postseason series at the plate. Sure, Knoblauch may have some throwing problems. But he is a very good offensive player who takes pitches, steals bases, hits home runs and scores runs much, much more often than Pat Kelly, Steve Sax or Mariano Duncan ever did.
 
Shortstop Jeff Blauser Derek Jeter
  Blauser hit .305 and made the All-Star team in 1993, the first of five years during which he was the regular shortstop. He clearly gets the edge over Rafael Belliard, who seemed to be a good-luck charm more than a useful player. Check out this list of Yankee regular shortstops before Jeter arrived: Alvaro Espinoza, Andy Stankiewicz, Spike Owen, Mike Gallego, Tony Fernandez and Randy Velarde. Jeter was the best even after just one year in the bigs.
 
Third Base Chipper Jones Wade Boggs
  Jones is the pick over Terry Pendleton. Take Jones' worst season and it's still better than Pendleton's best year. Give the edge to Boggs over Scott Brosius. Boggs didn't have Brosius' pop at the plate, but he did win two Gold Gloves with the Yankees and posted very good on-base percentages in his five-year run.
 
Leftfield Ryan Klesko Gerald Williams
  Klesko gets the slight edge over Ron Gant, who was a powerful offensive force, but just didn't play the position long enough to rate over Klesko. Both have been poor postseason players. Maybe this is why they call it Death Valley: your killer choices are Williams, Chad Curtis, Ricky Ledee, Luis Polonia, Dion James, Mel Hall, and Oscar Azocar. The Yankees haven't had a decent leftfielder since Rickey Henderson in 1988. The pick goes to Williams.
 
Centerfield Andruw Jones Bernie Williams
  Here are your choices: Ron Gant, Otis Nixon, Roberto Kelly, Marquis Grissom, Kenny Lofton and Jones. It's tempting to take Grissom, a key player and personality on that O95 title team. But the pick goes to Jones, the best centerfielder in the business today and one who gives more sock at the plate than Grissom. Roberto Kelly or Williams? The Yankees made that choice in 1992 when they traded Kelly for Paul O'Neill. We couldn't agree more. Williams, batting champion, Gold Glover and cleanup hitter, is the easy pick.
 
Rightfield David Justice Paul O'Neill
  Similarly, for sentimental reasons, it's tempting to give it to the Braves' 1990 rightfielder: Dale Murphy, the Braves' Mattingly. But the pick goes to David Justice, who hit that big home run in Game 6 of the 1995 World Series. Otherwise, Justice has been a brutal postseason player. O'Neill made people forget Danny Tartabull very quickly. Then again, Eugene O'Neill could have made them forget the Bull.
 
DH Ryan Klesko Cecil Fielder
  Klesko hit a home run in all three World Series games played in Cleveland in 1995. Another lean position. The decade began with Steve Balboni -- yes, Steve Balboni -- as the Yankee DH. You also have Kevin Maas, Tartabull, Ruben Sierra, Cecil Fielder, Darryl Strawberry and Chili Davis. Ugh. Fielder gets the nod.
 
Pinch Hitter Francisco Cabrera Darryl Strawberry
  The man who delivered the biggest clutch hit in Atlanta Braves history: Francisco Cabrera. No one is more of a threat coming off the bench than Strawberry.
 
Manager Bobby Cox Joe Torre
  Cox has raised some eyebrows with his decisions in postseason games, but he always gets the most out of his players. Torre has been not only the right man for his personnel, but the right man for George Steinbrenner.



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