Open Thread: Wade Boggs


(AP Photo/Ron Frehm)

My signature Wade Boggs moment isn’t a hit or a homer or a defensive play or anything, it’s that right up there. Him riding around the Stadium on the NYPD horse after the Yankees won the 1996 World Series. How could it not be? It was my first World Championship as a fan, and there he was towering over everyone else. It’s a scene I’ll never ever ever forget.

Boggs did make four All Star teams in five seasons with the Yankees, but he was never anywhere close to the player he was with the Red Sox and understandably so. Did you know that in 1988, Boggs drew 125 walks and struck out just 34 times? That’s insane. From 1985 through 1989, he hit .357/.454/.496 with 538 walks and 238 strikeouts. In New York, he hit “just” .313/.396/.407 with 324 walks and 198 strikeouts, but of course he picked up his only World Series ring, so we win. Boggs finished his career back home with the Devil Rays, becoming the only player in baseball history to record his 3,000th hit on a homerun. He was a Hall of Famer in every sense of the term.

Here is your open thread for the evening. The MNF pits the Bears at the Vikings, and that’s it. None of the hockey or basketball locals are in action. Use this thread as you see fit, have at it.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. JGS says:

    in 1988, Boggs drew 125 walks and struck out just 34 times

    That same year, he also led the majors in OPS despite hitting just five home runs.


    • Steve H says:

      In the 22 years since 1988, the lowest HR total for someone in either league was Milton Bradley’s 22 in 2008, a year in which Bradley only played 126 games. Think about that for a second, over a span of 42 league leading OPS seasons, one guy hit 5 HR’s, the next closest guy hit almost 4x as many in a partial season. In 22 of these seasons the player hit greater than 40 HR’s, and in 36 (of 42) the player hit greater than 30 HR’s.Since 1988 was around the beginning of what is referred to as the “steroid” era, I decided to take a look back at the 10 years prior to Boggs’ 1988 anomaly. From 1978-1987 the lowest HR total for a player who led the league in OPS was 22 from Dwight Evans in 1981, which was a strike shortened season. Even so, that’s more than 4x as many home runs as Boggs. Adding the 10 years before Boggs, and the 21 years since, Boggs’ ability to lead the league in OPS with 5 HR’s in truly unfathomable. Every other player, of 61, who led the league in OPS had at least 22 HR’s, and the two guys who had exactly 22 played shortened seasons, either due to injury or strike.

      • JGS says:

        Second place in 1988? Jose Canseco, whose OPS fell .006 short. He hit 42 home runs.

        The last time someone led the league in OPS with as little as 10 home runs was Snuffy Stirnweiss in 1945. The quality of WWII players wasn’t exactly at its best.

        The last time someone led the league in OPS with a single digit total? Rogers Hornsby in 1920, with 9.

        The last time the OPS leader had less than 5? Tris Speaker in 1916, when he hit two homers.

  2. ultimate913 says:

    Ugh. Cashman can’t be serious about Mitre, right? Did he actually say Mitre was going to be the #5 SP? Or is that just pure speculation?

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Rule #1: Don’t ever believe a thing that comes out of Cashman’s mouth.

      • FIPster Doofus says:

        Starting in center, Bubba Crosby
        Starting at first, Nick Swisher
        Sharing the catcher position, Jesus Montero and Francisco Cervelli

    • Xstar7 says:

      not looking forward to that

    • DJH says:

      That’s speculation, in fact the ESPN-NY article being refrenced says Cashman plans on giving the No.5 to a current Minor League player, not Mitre. I think even if NY stands pat they will go with a prospect . This is the article below, notice how Cashman mentions the 10 minor league prospects.

      So heading into spring training, Cashman said the Yankees would try to cull two starters from a young crop that includes Ivan Nova, who is virtually assured a spot in the 2011 rotation as the No.4, as well as right-handers Andrew Brackman, Dellin Betances, Adam Warren, Hector Noesi and left-hander Manny Banuelos.

      Of the six, only Nova has pitched at the major league level, appearing in 10 games the second half of last season (seven starts), and compiling a 1-2 record and 4.50 ERA but displaying enough stuff and poise that the Yankees are counting on him to fill one of the starting spots.

      None of the others has pitched at a higher level than Double-A, and Banuelos and Betances, who had ligament reinforcement surgery in 2009, spent last season in Class A ball.

      “We have 10 prospects starting from Double-A on up that our organization can choose from,” Cashman said.

  3. bexarama says:

    That picture will always make me smile. :’)

    (ANDY COME BACK. I have ways of convincing. I mean, errrr. :X)

  4. I was watching Greinke’s interview/press conference thing, and was wondering if the dude dyes his hair, as that can’t be his natural hair color. Another thing that bugs be is that he talks with his mouth half closed all the time, and he is very very careful with his words. I wonder how his personality changes when he is around his wife, he seems like a pretty cool dude.

    And why the hell do you give Frenchy of all people a press conference?

  5. Kiersten says:

    None of the hockey or basketball locals are in action.

    Things like this remind me how happy I am that baseball teams play almost every day.

  6. Steve H says:

    Wade Boggs, greatest beer drinker ever.

  7. pat says:

    Wade Boggs’ legacy will be two things, and two things only-

    1) Fried Chicken

    2) Drinking 64 Miller Lights on a cross country flight.


  8. Steve H says:

    Over Boggs’ best 5 year stretch, he not only led MLB in OBP every single year, but did so to the tune of a .357/.454/.496 line.

  9. long time listener says:

    This one time, a guy came into the bar where I hang out claiming to be Wade Boggs. We didn’t believe him, so we chased him outside and pantsed him. Turns out, it was really Wade Boggs. At least we got Wade Boggs’s pants.

  10. Steve H says:

    In 1980, the Sox primary 3B was 21 year old Glenn Hoffman. Boggs, also 21 at the time was busy destroying AA pitching to the tune of a .325 batting average. Obviously the Sox had no concern having a 21 year old 3B, so why not Boggs? Was he ready for the majors? I’d say likely, consider he’d already played a full season in AA and hit .311, and he had to be more ready than Hoffman, who, considering his career OPS+ of 68 was never really ready to be a full time player. Assuming Boggs gets in the majors at 21, for a partial year, and is a starter from then on, how many hits would he have ended up with? Had he, at 21-24 performed to 85% of what he actually did at 24, and assuming game totals of 100, 150, 150, and 150 (he was very durable), Boggs could have tacked on another 530 hits to his career total. Using 85% was a pretty conservative number as well, as he likely would have improved in the majors each year. Instead he toiled away in the minors for two full years at AA and two full years at AAA. He batted .311, .325, .306 and .335 in those 4 years. He was ready, and the Sox, even after acquiring Lansford, should have found a place for him.

    • MikeD says:

      They had Boggs repeat AA, even after hitting over .300 the previous year in AA, and then the did the same in AAA, having him do two full years there. He basically did four years in AA and AAA, always hitting over .300. They could have haved that. I think 530 is the outer range. An arrival at some point in 1980, his age 21/22 season would make sense. Problem is 1981 was the strike year, so he would have lost 1/3 of his second year. Maybe more 420-450 additional hits, and I’m sure at least one more batting title.

  11. J. Scott says:

    Things I learned about Boggs getting to see him play every day: (1)Relentlessly hard worker; really played hard all the time. (2)Better glove at third than I’d given him credit for. (3)Smart, hustling base runner; knew where outfielders were positioned; knew who could throw and who couldn’t.
    I’d considered him something of a “numbers-hanger” before he came to the Yankees. He was more than that.

    • Cuso says:

      Your first instinct as a numbers-hanger was closer to the truth. Not doubting that he worked hard or hustled. But so did Andy Fox.

      Remember when Boggs went up the official scorer & complained his error at 3B should have been scored a base hit (at which point Clemens was pitching a no-no). Couple innings later Rocket gave up a legit hit & after the game, Boggs literally sought out the scorekeeper to change the error to a hit.

      Could you imagine if, oh say, A-Rod did that today? It would lead Sportcenter for a month!

  12. vin says:

    Barry Bonds was redunkulous. Oh and Boggs was great in his own right.

  13. vin says:

    HR’s, RBI, and SB’s FTW! Check out the WARs.

  14. Pat D says:

    I will always be eternaly grateful to Wade Boggs for helping to restore Yankee Pride.

    The signings of him, Jimmy Key and Jim Abbott just really helped to show that the Yankees were on the rebound from those wilderness years of 1989-1992.

  15. I remember reading something that Boggs was like a doctor on hitting technique. I’ve always admired the guys who get into the nitty-gritty of swing mechanics.

  16. JM says:

    Hmm… I wonder who made This…

  17. Steve H says:

    In 1985 Boggs hit .418/.503/.566 at home.

  18. pat says:

    BTW Steve H if you’re out there, Joe Webb isn’t starting tonight. Favre decided he was fit to play.

  19. Jimmy McNulty says:


    Probably the best Montero piece I’ve ever read. I agree completely. If you’re going to trade him trade him with some of the other top flight guys like Banuelos, etc. and get something completely awesome, not something known to be available.

    • Avi says:

      One of the authors (I think Joe) talked about this article recently. Yes, I would only trade Montero for a true ace who’s under 30, is at least 2 years from free agency and absolutely can’t be obtained with some of our other prospects.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      Did I misread, or did Sheehan actually suggest trading Montero for Garza? I seriously hope it’s the former.

      • Jimmy McNulty says:

        He said that Montero should’t be a piece used in trades for guys that are actively being shopped. He suggests that since the Yankees have confidence that Montero can stay a catcher for a while that he should be treated as such and only be used to pry away an untouchable.

  20. I hate the city of Philadelphia, so I’m declaring the Brewers my pick for the NL reps in the World Series.

  21. Without looking it up, didn’t Boggs make the last out of Righetti’s no hitter when he was with the Sox?

    If so, eat shit Boston.

  22. katesogreat says:

    I met Wade Boggs over Thanksgiving at the grocery store, I didn’t have anything with me but my phone and debit card, but I got to shake his hand and see the World Series ring. He was instrumental in us winning in 1996.

  23. Slappy White says:

    Anyone else that cant wait for the first time we go to Boston for a three game series with AJ, Nova and Mitre taking the hill.

    Total Domination

    • Jerome S. says:

      That won’t happen.

    • ultimate913 says:

      You never know. Maybe it’ll be 2009 again, except the Yanks and Sox switch roles. Yankees win first 8 – 9 games. Sox come back as Yankees regress.

      Although I hope that doesn’t happen.

      • bexarama says:

        I don’t think I’ll ever forget SportsCenter being like “uhhh, hey Red Sox fans, you only need to win two games against the Yankees in the rest of the season and you’ll win the season series!” after the A-Rod walk-off HR 15-inning game.

  24. I’m working on a “Worst Yankee contracts” post (I’ll follow it with a ‘Best’) I’m going to do it by cost per win, so I’ll divide their total WAR by the amount the Yanks paid the player.

    I would imagine Kei Igawa will come out on top, since he contributed so little. Damaso Marte will be up there, since he’s always been hurt. Steve Karsay is another one in that category, as is Carl Pavano. Maybe Giambi, who was good early and hurt/bad towards the end of his deal. But he was so good the first few years I’ll have to see.

    Any other suggestions? Could be a 1 year deal for a guy who did nothing. Anyone know how to search this?

    • I have one. Roger Clemens pro-rated 28 mil in 07. Earned about 18 mil with 1.8 WAR, that’s 10 mil per win added.

    • A.D. says:

      Farnsworth could be up there, Tony Womack, not sure how much they gave him, but he basically produced nothing.

      Kenny Rogers contract

    • Jaret Wright signed for 3/24 and only put up a combined 2.6 WAR in 2 years before being traded to the Orioles, who only ate 3 million of his salary.

      Alex Rodriguez probably deserves to be on there, just because of the sheer amount of money he’ll be paid into his 40s

    • JGS says:

      Nick Johnson, part 2

      ::pours one out::

    • Also if anyone says Jason Giambi please shoot them

    • bexarama says:

      Mark Teixeira – overpaid role player.

      /Yahoo Sports’d or whatever it was

    • MikeD says:

      Although I’ve been a hugh saber supporter since reading my first Bill James Abstract in 1982, I’m more in the JC Bradbury camp when it comes to the concept of “replacement level” players. I think the whole concept needs to be revamped. As you can imagine then, I have an even bigger issue in applying “cost per win” based on WAR, or applying the same number to the Royals as the Yankees.

      I’m off track now since this is a much bigger discussion, yet overall if a player is productive, his contract will almost never make my list of “worst ever,” which means Giambi would never make my list. He has a career OPS+ of 143 for the team. The worst has to be reserved for the non-productive Yankees, or players with long-term deals that maybe only produce a single season of medium or less value. There is also no inflation adjustment for contracts since baseball exists in its own economic universe that has changed dramatically, with the high-end free agent contracts growing much faster than inflation overall. Comparing a 2008 free agent contract to a 1978 contract is pointless, which is why you should focus on productivity.

      Here’s 10, not in exact order, although I do believe Igawa is the worst ever. Considering his posting fee (which I do) and what he contributed, he is worse than Pavano. You’ll noitce I’m heavily pitcher-focused.

      Collins — (My only comment: The key to the failed speed movement!)

      No contract that is currently in progress should be considered since the final chapter has not been written, which is why Marte is not here. Marte also contributed to the 2009 World Series, and even though we could have won without him, I would not undo the signing since $16 million cost-averaged over the life of the deal is nothing compared to any contribution to a World Series win. Similar, A-Rod’s contract can’t be considered. It has potential, but if he continues produces, even at a lower value, it’s unlikely he’d make my list unless he completely collapses.

    • Avi says:

      Burnett and his $82.5M has to be up there.

      • MikeD says:

        Three years to go. He had one good year and one bad year. I don’t count current contracts since the final numbers aren’t in.

  25. T.J. says:

    Jon Heyman on why he didn’t vote for Bert Blyleven again.


    • JGS says:

      This is my favorite part–

      “I did promote Felix Hernandez for the Cy Young, but I still see winning as the ultimate goal in each game, and Blyleven didn’t win all that many more games than he lost.”

      I have a lot of trouble reconciling the two halves of that sentence.

      • Newbie says:

        Ugh… not even worth responding to that one.

      • MikeD says:

        I could live with him (or others) not voting for Blyleven, yet once I see a no-vote for Blyleven and a yes-vote for Morris, it just pushes me over the edge! I haven’t even read his defense, since I know he voted for Morris, so I’m going to save my blood pressure and not read it.

    • There is almost nothing empirical in that argument. I’d FJM it, but it’s not worth the effort.

    • bonestock94 says:

      I found his reasoning strange. Its almost as if he feels that under the radar guys don’t deserve the vote

    • Kiersten says:

      What’s sad is that if he had gotten just 13 more wins, Heyman (and many others) wouldn’t think twice about voting him in.

    • Kiersten says:

      Hall of Famer: Don Mattingly
      Not a Hall of Famer: Bert Blyleven

      Head, meet desk.

    • Pat D says:

      Why he didn’t vote for Bagwell is just as inexplicable. I get the feeling he’s a “never on the first ballot” guy, but then he also said that Alomar should have made it last year, so………………………………………..yea, I got nothing.

      • Mike Axisa says:

        He probably didn’t vote for Bagwell because he suspects PEDs, and wants to wait to see if any revelations come out.

        • Pat D says:

          But he didn’t say that, whereas he did with Juan Gonzalez. If that’s his reasoning, fine, come out and say it. Other people have whispered Bagwell’s name without any solid proof either, so it’s not like he’d be the first.

        • Avi says:

          I definitely suspect Bagwell for using PEDs. The guy was unrecognizable the year after he retired. He pulled an Ivan Rodriguez and shrunk to half his playing size. It looked like someone stuck a pin in and drained all the helium.

          • Ed says:

            Did you see how Bagwell’s career ended? The last few years of his contract his shoulder was so bad he was barely able to throw a ball from first base to the pitcher’s mound. He had several surgeries on the shoulder, and there was a ton of recovery time during which he couldn’t work out.

            I have no idea if he used steroids or not, but even without steroid use I’d expect him to shrink significantly with his health issues.

  26. JonathanCold says:

    I’d love to see Cashman pull off a miracle and land Wandy and Carpenter.

  27. John Cerra says:

    That picture of Boggs on the horse brings back great memories. It happened right in front of me.

  28. John Cerra says:

    Check out his thinking on Don Mattingly. I don’t know if Heyman ever reads blogs, but I have been making those three points everywhere I have been able to, for several years. I don’t know if he came around to my way of thinking, or if anything I wrote convinced him…but it does feel good!

  29. JM says:

    NoMaas confuses me. With the commenting there, I have absolutely no idea what’s going on. The going into character of baseball players is funny, but it’s still confusing.

    • pat says:

      Look at the pictures and move along. Nothing of substance there. The comment section is a veritable wasteland.

    • I Voted 4 Kodos says:

      It’s like walking into an insane asylum, except nomaas commentators tend to make fewer coherent arguments.

    • bexarama says:

      I like the site but the comment section… eh. Also I don’t quite get why they hate RAB, all its writers, and many of the commenters.

    • Kiersten says:

      The photoshops have gone down hill on the past year or so, but I still check the site every couple of days. The comment section sucks, but they do a good job mixing humor with solid analysis.

      Go back in the archives and look at photoshops from the Torre era. Hil. ar. i. ous.

      • MikeD says:

        I’m with you on that. I find their posts to be amusing sometimes, but there is almost nothing of value in the comments section, and the photoshops have pretty much lost it.

  30. OK, here’s what I have so far. Still working on Alex and NJ

    #1-Kei Igawa (2007-11) $46 mil cost per win

    5 yr/20M plus 26M posting fee 46 mil Total WAR as Yankee: -0.2

    #2-Carl Pavano (2005-2008) $35.45 mil cost per win

    4 yr/39 mil Total WAR as Yankee: 1.1

    #3-Steve Karsay (2002-05) $17.50 mil cost per win

    4 years/21 mil Total WAR as Yankee: 1.2

    #4-Roger Clemens (2007) $10.38 mil cost per win

    1 yr/18.7 mil (28 mil pro-rated) Total WAR as Yankee: 1.8

    Went 6-6 with a 4.18 ERA and left after 2 innings in the playoffs and never pitched again.

    #5-Jaret Wright (2005-06) $8.07 mil cost per win

    3 years/21 mil Total WAR as Yankee: 2.6

    #6-Damaso Marte (2008-11) $4 mil cost per win

    3 years/12 mil Total WAR as Yankee: -0.2

    Contributed -.1 WAR in his two seasons with the Yanks, and is expected to miss the 2011 campaign entirely. Total sunk cost, the only reason he’s down on the list is his contract wasn’t that big.

    #7-Jason Giambi (2002-08) $4.90 mil cost per win

    7 yr/120 mil Total WAR as Yankee: 24.5

  31. Jerome S. says:

    Beginning to think that the first half of next year will be so-so, followed by a monster July-August-September. The best part is that the media will write the Yankees off after the first loss, and then pretend that they were favorites the whole time once they win the series.

  32. China Joe says:

    Question: The Yankees actually do go into spring training with Nova/Mitre as their 4/5, but Brackman excels in spring training and in his first few starts at AAA. Would you give him a shot in late April?

    • mbonzo says:

      That all depends on how good Brackman looks and has nothing to do with how bad Nova and Mitre do. The Yankees aren’t going to risk his development for a couple possible wins in the major leagues. If Brackman is totally dominant and he’s got nothing to learn in AAA (which I doubt will happen) he’ll be in the majors.

    • A.D. says:

      Initial would be that Brack might have a chance to win it in the spring:

    • MikeD says:

      If Andy doesn’t come back, or they don’t go out and pick up someone like a Wandy Rodriguez, then I’d have to believe that Brackman will get a shot. He started 26 games and pitched 140 innings last year, so he could project out to 30 starts and 175 IP, more than enough for the 5th starter. That’s right where Hughes was this year. He also pitched in college, unlike the other two B’s, and is now two years removed from his surgery.

      That said, it would be better if he could continue to develop at AAA and get another year under his belt. I still think he has some mechanic issues to work on.

      If Pettitte doesn’t return and they don’t make a deal, all bets are off.

    • China Joe says:

      I think Brack is mentally tougher than people give him credit for – he persevered through arm surgery and a comically bad 2009 season where he was a walking punchline. I say call him up if he’s throwing well…if he struggles he can go back down to AAA and put in some more work. I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes out next year and takes the job from Nova or Mitre (assuming they actually start next year)

  33. AJ says:

    Every week I like “YES Yankees Hot Stove” less…it’s a shame. I really prefer the MLB network hot stove show.

  34. Here’s the final list

    #1-Kei Igawa (2007-11) $46 mil cost per WAR

    5 yr/20M plus 26M posting fee 46 mil Total WAR as Yankee: -0.2

    #2-Carl Pavano (2005-2008) $35.45 mil cost per WAR

    4 yr/39 mil Total WAR as Yankee: 1.1

    #3-Steve Karsay (2002-05) $17.50 mil cost per WAR

    4 years/21 mil Total WAR as Yankee: 1.2

    #4-Damaso Marte (2008-11) $12 mil cost per WAR

    3 years/12 mil Total WAR as Yankee: -0.2

    #5-Roger Clemens (2007) $10.38 mil cost per WAR

    1 yr/18.7 mil (28 mil pro-rated) Total WAR as Yankee: 1.8

    #6-Kyle Farnsworth (2006-08) $8.5 mil cost per WAR

    3 years/17 mil Total WAR as Yankee: 0.5

    #7-Jaret Wright (2005-06) $8.07 mil cost per WAR

    3 years/21 mil Total WAR as Yankee: 2.6

    #8 AJ Burnett (2009-10) 7.02 mil cost per WAR

    2 years/33 mil (4 yr/66 mil deal) Total WAR as Yankee: 4.7 (2 years)

    #9-Alex Rodriguez (2008-10) $6.52 mil cost per WAR

    10 yr/275 mil Total WAR as Yankee: 24.5

    #10-Nick Johnson (2010) $5.0 mil cost per WAR

    1 year/5.5 mil Total WAR as Yankee: 0.1

    Just missed the cut:

    Jason Giambi (2002-08) $4.90 mil cost per WAR

    7 yr/120 mil Total WAR as Yankee: 24.5

    Randy Johnson (2005-06) $3.65 mil cost per WAR

    30 mil paid on 3 yr/45 mil contract extension 8.2 WAR in 2 seasons with the Yanks.

    and just in case you were wondering:

    Javier Vazquez – 2010 $11.5 mil cost per WAR

    1 yr/11.5 mil. Contributed a -0.2 WAR as a Yankee. The only reason why he’s not on the list is that Brian Cashman didn’t give him that contract, the Braves did.

  35. Cuso says:

    Well, I suppose if noone else will, I’ll have to be the lone voice of dissent. Boggs is a Hall-of-Famer, of that there’s no question. Nor do I dispute his ridiculous numbers that he put up in Boston – some of his numbers were just plain sick.

    What I take a bit of issue with is a couple of comments in this thread about Boggs “restoring Yankee tradition” and him being “instrumental” to the championship in ’96.

    His bases-loaded walk in Atlanta was huge, yes. But every single player on that team had a huge moment in that Series. From leyritz to fielder, from Girardi to charlie hayes. Everyone had a key moment.

    Except for that walk, Boggs did nothing. Hayes started most of that WS and a large chunk of August/September.

    Boggs “moment” was depicted above . & even that had a “stick-it-to-Boston-look-at-me” aspect to it. Which is fine by me, but lets not crown him a hero for that particular team.

    I’ll remember him being a jag-off at KISSING THE PLATE in a Devil Rays uni on his 3,000 hit that was a HR.

    Sorry, but that’s douchey.

    And he’s also responsible for the decision about which cap you wear in the HOF to have been taken away from the player (because he wanted to be remembered as the first D-Ray inducted).

    Great hitter, no question. But any “restoration of Yanker Pride” is a straight slap in the face to Donnie Baseball, and I won’t sit still for that.

    Boggs was ON the team that ended a 18-year title drought.

    I’ll remember he was ON the team. Not a focal point, not “largely responsible” for restoring pride.”

    He was just as equal as the next guy and desrves the 1/25th of the praise that Graeme Lloyd does.

    • Cuso says:

      Made this point above, but it bears repeating right here. Apologies from the Department of Redundancy:

      Remember when Boggs went up the official scorer & complained his error at 3B should have been scored a base hit (at which point Clemens was pitching a no-no). Couple innings later Rocket gave up a legit hit & after the game, Boggs literally sought out the scorekeeper to change the error to a hit.

      Could you imagine if, oh say, A-Rod did that today? It would lead Sportcenter for a month!

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