Thursday, January 12, 2017

If Jorge gets passed over again, we riot

I can't think of Cinncinati's Big Red Machine without reliving how they raped and pillaged my Yankees - and by extension, me. They won six division titles, four pennants and two World Series. Today, they have three members of the Hall of Fame - Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez - and one who will get in as soon as he dies: Pete Rose. Four players. Great team. No argument here.

So let's compare that magnificent dynasty to the Yankees of 1996-2004 - Torre's Yankees: Nine division titles, six pennants, four World Series - and all with an extra round of playoffs, making their achievements even greater. Do simple math. They should send at least four, maybe five or six players to Cooperstown.

They will have Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. (OK, Roger Clemens after he dies, but his career spanned Boston and Toronto.) Greatest team in modern history, by far... and only two in the Hall.

Fifty years from now, our great-grandchildren will see those four World Championships and conclude they must have won themselves, because behind the pillars of hypocrisy known as Baseball's Hall of Fame, there will be no plaques for Bernie, Paulie, Tino, Knobby, Andy, El Duque, Coney, David Wells and - apparently - now we're told, Georgie. Jorge Posada is on the verge of being bypassed for the final time and dropped from the ballot.

Well, we shouldn't be surprised. We know the deal. It's why Roger Maris isn't in, why Clete Boyer isn't in, why Mel Stottlemyre isn't in, why Ron Guidry isn't in, why Sparky Lyle isn't in, why Thurman Munson isn't in... why the Yankees were right to open their own de facto Cooperstown in deep center field: Yankee greats get screwed at the end because they played in a "media capital" where fame is given too freely, and thus, when lifetime awards are divvied out, the voters anoint themselves arbiters of justice, rather than mere observers of the game. Everybody knows the Yankees get too much attention. Therefore, Minnesota sportswriters fought tooth and nail for Kirby Puckett. Their New York counterparts never lifted a latte for Bernie.

So deal with it, folks: Jorge won't make Cooperstown.

Here's another comparison. Surely, the Redsock '17 Hall of Fame Superteam of Destiny (TM) will win this year's World Series, giving Boston two rings in five years. (Also, three fifth places.) Like Torre's Yankees, they'll also have two Hall of Famers: Dustin Pedroia and Big Papi. (Wait... three, counting Andrew Benintendi!) 

One of these days, we just won't care. That time cannot come soon enough.


John M said...

I predict "Bucky" Pedroia (aka "The Rodent") will chip a tooth this year and miss most of the season. Just a hunch.

And yes, the Yankees, individually, often get screwed by the Hall voters (aka "journalists"). Rock Raines is getting in this year, but that really doesn't count. He was a rental.

Plus, why should the voters respect Posada? He was always bad-mouthed early in his career for not being a very good defensive catcher, and it seemed like the Yankees actually stoked that fire. It dogged him for years. Then there was that ignominious last season, when Girardi, his old mentor (aka "asshole"), treated him like dirt and publicly humiliated him. Another good reason to despise Joey Binders, by the way, and one I've never forgotten.

So on the one hand, we can say that the voters are screwing over yet another Yankees great, but the reasons might have something to do with the residual effects of how the Yankees handled (and publicized) him at the start and end of his career.

Might be a stretch but after years in advertising and marketing, I know how this stuff can reverberate for a long time.

Local Bargain Jerk said...

This is a little off topic, but I thought I'd share it anyway because I thought it was quite something when I read it yesterday. It was in an article comparing Ivan Rodriguez with Johnny Bench:

    In post-season play, Johnny Bench had more stolen bases on offense than he allowed on defense.


Alphonso said...

"one of these days, we son't care..." You mean, of course, because we'll be dead. Right?