Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Bernie hosed again

Keep moving, everybody. There’s nuthin to see. Move on, keep going. No news here. Nothing happened, go on. . .  
    Nope. Nothing new. Same ol’, same ol’. Once again, Bernie Williams has been stiffed for Cooperstown. Nobody expected otherwise. He has Yankees Disease: Too much fame, so obviously, he doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame. All we can do is remember this insult when Josh Hamilton, Torri Hunter and Big Papi come around, so we can politely ask how many rings they accrued in their long and august careers. Because Bernie has four. And write this down, folks: There won’t be many people in the Hall for the rest of time who have four. 
    Oh, yeah, we know the argument: Bernie’s career numbers don’t rate the Hall. Of course, it’s the Craig Biggio argument. Lookit all them there base hits! Nevermind that only two dozen came in a pennant race. They should make Cooperstown the Hall of Numbers —  eliminate the sportswriters altogether and install a counter out front of the Hall: When a guy reaches that golden number of hits — bingo, he’s in. Eliminate the middle man! Hey, let’s hear it for Tim Wakefield. Two hundred wins!
    Say, how many rings does Tim have, anyway? Two. Well, that’s two more than Josh and Torri. 
    Listen: Bernie Williams was part of the heart and soul of Joe Torre’s Yankees – the last great team in baseball history. Four rings, baby. Four. That’s two more than the Big Red Machine, two more than the Mantle-Maris Yankees (who, shamefully, have still been denied Maris) Torre’s team faced extra rounds of playoffs, too. But hey, don’t bother looking for anyone in the Hall. Why — those World Series championships must have won themselves.  Of course, Jeter will make it. Mariano will make it. After that — well, like I said, it all must have just happened on its own.
    Well, we know the deal. Play in Kansas City and the sportswriters will take up your cause, because they’re all about comforting the oppressed. Plus, you can have your Arod years — just swing away and stack those numbers! In New York City, a season is a lifetime, and week is a year. Bernie is one of our greats. He's done. He's off the ballot. Jeez, I can’t believe the New York writers let the profession get away with this.


JM said...

That was the 'problem' with the great late-90s Yankees--individually, most of them didn't have what is usually considered HOF careers. But for several wonderful, glorious years, they played as a team, different star every game without, by and large, the individual monster numbers that make for Hall shoo-ins.

It should be like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (which is woefully misnamed, but still). Townshend and Daltrey and Moon and that guy who played bass can theoretically get in as individuals, but they can also get in as The Who. So can McCartney, Lennon, Harrison, even Ringo (who for years got a bum rap that overlooked how good his drumming always was), along with the Beatles.

Jete, Mo, for sure. But why can't the 1996-2000 Yankees get in, too? That would make sense. So would the Big Red Machine. So would the Ruthian Yankees. So would the 1950-60s Yankees, or years thereof.

The Hall was created to honor individual achievement, yes, granted. But when they've let in racists, wife beaters, bennie poppers, drunks, (illegal) spitballers, spike sharpeners and ball doctorers but suddenly can't touch anyone who used HGH for a couple of years...well, obviously, the unofficial rules for entry have changed over time. Why not allow team plaques? Or Tinker to Evans to Chance? Or Murderers' Row? Or the Negro Leagues as an entity?

It's a hall of FAME. Opening up a new wing for legendary teams/batting lineups/pitching rotations/what-have-you would only help keep the real history of baseball alive in an era where the past is basically unknown to several generations.

You don't have to lower the bar for individuals--although it would be nice to include defense as a serious consideration, fer chrissakes, already--but it would be a nice way to acknowledge the greats whose numbers may not have been that great.

SanJoseKid said...

How much respect can a baseball fan muster for MLB, the sports writers, and the Hole of Shame if they have not recognized DON MATTINGLY! The guy personified baseball. There are intangibles above and beyond sabermetrics and statistical obsessions. It ain't fair to Bernie, but why should we be surprised at all considering the disrespect shown to Don Mattingly. And to add insult to injury, Mattingly is passed by as Yankees manager in favor of Chicago Cub Joe Girardi and now must wear those pathetic Dodgers uniforms.