Wednesday, December 7, 2011


The Big Red Machine from 1970 to 1976 won only four pennants and two rings. Sheesh. You wouldn't know it in Cooperstown. The Reds have five in Hall: Sparky Anderson, Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench, Davy Concepcion and Tony Perez. Pete Rose would join them but - ahh, the vagaries of life!

The Toronto Blue Jays from 1989 to 1993 took two pennants and two rings. Shit. You wouldn't know it in Cooperstown. They  have five: Roberto Alomar, Dave Winfield, Ricky Henderson, Joe Carter and Paul Molitor. They'll probably add Jack Morris and David Cone - (although the latter will never get my vote, because he retired a Redsock.)

Despite having to survive an extra tier of playoffs, Torre's Yankees (1996-2001) took five pennants and four rings. More rings than Toronto and Cinncy. FOUR RINGS IN FIVE YEARS. The gravity of that achievement won't be fully appreciated for decades. The words they'll apply: Dynasty. Unbelievable. Greatness.

But we sure don't have friends among the Gammonites, eh? OK, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera will make the Hall. Torre - yeah, but as a Cardinal and Brave. Wade Boggs? OK, nitpicking; he was there one year. Roger Clemens? Ah, the vagaries...

The point, dammit? Where are the Davy Concepcions and Tony Perezes of that great Yankee team?

Andy Pettitte? Probably not. Same with Jorge or Pauly O'Neill. You can read the sportswriting on the wall.

But Bernie should get in. He played centerfield. He anchored the team. He launched rallies. Bernie belongs. Why aren't Yankee writers and bloggers pushing this?

Critics will throw numbers at Bernie: He didn't hit enough HRs. He didn't win the MVP. Numbers will put Tim Wakefield and Charlie Hough in the hall. Numbers don't win rings.

Listen: We won't live long enough to see another team win four rings in five years. Torre's Yankees will go down as one of the greatest teams of all time.

Bernie belongs in the Hall. He fought for us. We need to fight for him.

Those world championships just didn't happen on their own.

1 comment:

Joe De Pastry said...

I'm with you on Maris, but Bernie was just a very good player who happened to play on a great team.