Monday, May 25, 2015

Who Will Be The Mattingly Of This Era ?

Pre-back injuries, Donnie Baseball was the great shining light in the dark days of the mid to late 80s and early 90s. He was routinely surrounded by mediocrity, as assembled by the clumsy, stupid blundering of King George the Incompetent. 

(George may have always wanted to win, but it's time to admit he was a big-spending clown who got lucky for about five years from 76 to 81, then showed his total ineptitude for over 20. Only the ban saved us from unrelieved decades of disappointment. His plaque neglects to mention this truth.)

The question is, is there any Mattinglyesque player looming on our horizon? Someone who will provide an island of greatness...hell, even a peninsula of better-than-competence...that we can point to with pride while the larger team misses the playoffs year after year?

Of course, it's a selfish wish. Nothing is sadder than greatness denied the glory of post-season play, making the collapse during Donnie's one chance , against Seattle in 95, that much more heartbreaking. He, naturally, performed beyond his aging, hurting physical reality in that series.

Will Miller and Bettances be our Mattingly? Does the current state of free agency now preclude greatness from staying on a mediocre team for more than a few years? 

Or is even one pinpoint of light more than we can hope for in the immediate future?


Nico said...

Steinbrenner did not get lucky from 78 t0 81, nor was the success of those teams due to his free spending--it was the result of a series of brilliant trades, most of them by Gabe Paul, which reaped Nettles, Lyle, Chambliss, Randolph, Dent, Piniella, Rivers, and Figueroa. It was also Paul who refused to trade Guidry when Steinbrenner and Billy Martin were itching to do so. Jackson and Gossage were simply the finishing touches on those teams, not the difference makers.

JM said...

I appreciate your point, but when George stepped back and let better people make moves....or, more remarkably, agreed with them...I consider that luck on his part. Not on the part of the more involved parties, but On his part.

As the next decades would show, great decisions were not his common mode of operation.

Might be a difference of how we define luck.

JM said...
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joe de pastry said...

I don't think they win two world series without Jackson and Gossage. So at least give George credit for being willing to spend the money, unlike his loser kid.

joe de pastry said...

Off-topic, but I want to comment on Schilling's moronic mocking of the Yankees' long list of retired numbers last night. Excluding Jackie Robinson, the Red Sox, who have won 8 world Series, have retired 7 numbers. Counting number 42, which the Yankees would be retiring for Mariano anyway, the Yanks have retired 18 numbers and, of course, won 27 world series. Is Schilling too stupid to realize that the better a team has been the more of its players deserve to be honored? Yes, Billy Martin doesn't belong on that list, but what was so great about the Red Sox Johnny Pesky? Pesky had a slightly higher OBP than Bernie Williams, but he hit only 17 homers, compared to Bernie's 287, and like Bernie he was a mediocre defensive player. {Bernie didn't deserve the Gold Gloves he got.] Both guys finished in the top ten in MVP voting twice, and Bernie was on many more All-Star teams and, of course, championship teams.

Anonymous said...

A heath chop from heathcott?

JM said...

Joe de P...Schilling is a schill for anti-Yankee sentiment of any kind. He tries to 'sound' fair, but he's a hateful bastard.

And I give George credit for using his dough. His judgment may have been lousy a lot of times, but his kids are cretins. Though there's a theory that the parents shape the kids to be what they are...I can't honestly imagine what it was like being George's son. Confusing, at best.