Jorge Posada: Catcher of the decade


Shoulda played Jorge more in '98 (Kathy Willens/AP)

When you think about the best catchers in baseball during a certain period, who comes to mind? I go from Bill Dickey to Yogi to Johnny Bench to Carlton Fisk to Gary Carter to Ivan Rodriguez to Mike Piazza to Jorge Posada to Joe Mauer. I know I’ve missed a few, but this is the general idea. The one name that might stand out among these is Posada. Here we have listed the greatest catchers of all time — Hall of Famers, the lot of them. How does Posada fit on this list?

I think that Posada’s case among the all-time great catchers gets caught up in arbitrary end points. There’s one period that begins in the early 90s, when Rodriguez and Piazza came up, where they absolutely dominated. From 1991 through 2003 Piazza produced 62 fWAR and Rodriguez produced 56. The next closest, Jason Kendall, produced 29. Then, from 2004 through 2010 we have the Joe Mauer era. While he doesn’t so thoroughly destroy the competition, his WAR is the highest of that period and he has the narrative of catcher dominance.

Where does Jorge fit in? For starters, he’s at 26 fWAR from 2004 through 2010, just seven behind Mauer, so his case there is immediately understated. But there was a period when he stood above all of his peers. Now we can see it in a somewhat visual format, as FanGraphs has introduced WAR Grids. Here are the top 25 catchers of the last decade, 2000 through 2009:

Click for larger

This isn’t Mauer 2004 through 2010 dominance, though it’s not quite Piazza/Rodriguez dominance, either. Stil, Posada put up 10 more fWAR than his closest competitor, and he did it at the same age range. If we add in 2010, to cover Posada’s tenure a the Yankees’ starting catcher, he’s 12 WAR ahead of No. 2. Even if we go back to 1998, the first year Posada played more than 100 games, he’s still No. 1.

In a few years, Posada’s name will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot. Maybe the process for induction will have changed by then, but I doubt it. That leaves the writers with the responsibility to determine Jorge’s case. I’m not saying that WAR alone is grounds for Posada’s induction. But I do think that his reign over the league since he became a half-time player, and his sheer dominance in the 00s, makes for a strong foundation. He might get trapped between Piazza/Rodriguez and Mauer, but that doesn’t make his career any less impressive.

Categories : Days of Yore
  • robert pavlik

    You are out of your mind. Ivan Rodriguez ends the discussion. Jorge is a middle level at best catcher on a better than average team.

    • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

      Well, at least you provided some evidence to back up your lunacy.

    • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

      Jorge is a middle level at best catcher on a better than average team.

      What does this even mean?

      • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

        The pinstripes have super powers and made him better?

        • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

          Jeter’s calm eyes clearly were responsibly for about 30% of his production.

    • Steve H.

      Did you read what he wrote and just disagree? Or are you going by your perception of the two players?

    • Colombo

      Pudge has been a shell of his former self for the past 5 seasons. While he had a greater peak, Jorge has had the better body of work throughout his career. Both are HOF’ers, but in the end, Posada will have had the better career.

      • Stan the Man

        I am confused, how is Posada a catcher of the decade when Pudge was better from 1993 to 2003 and Mauer is the best catcher since 2004…where does Jorge compare again to these guys? Jorge is terrible defensively and for a catcher good offensively but he has had only 1 season offensively that would be considered great in comparison to Mauer, Piazza, and Pudge.

    • steve (different one)

      Ivan Rodriguez ends the discussion.

      What “discussion”? You mean the one the author clearly defined and can’t really be refuted?

      Or the new discussion that you are introducing? I assume, who was the best catcher of the last 20 years? Something like that? IOW, a different discussion.

    • Bobby M.

      I bet you’d be happy if Montero had a career about equal to Posada’s… what Posada has done over a sustained period offensively as a catcher makes him an anomaly w/ very elite company

      • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

        This is spot on, though I think a ton of (irrational) fans feel that Montero having Posada’s career would be a letdown. A lot of Yankee fans underrate Posada and have unreasonable expectations for Montero, especially early. If he had Posada’s career behind the plate, we should all be so lucky to have 30 years of production like that at catcher.

        • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

          I’ve seen it said here. That’s just fucking pathetic, quite frankly. Oh no, not Montero having a borderline HOF career!

        • Bobby M.

          We’d be especially lucky if Montero was the type of leader that Posada is and a catcher that brings the toughness day in and day out to Yankee Stadium. Obviously, the 2008 Yanks had other issues, but does anyone think having Jorge Posada miss the majority of that year didn’t severely hurt the Yanks? It is the only year since he’s become a full-time starter that we haven’t made the playoffs.

          • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

            Yeah, replacing Jorge’s bat with Molina’s sub-70 OPS+ bat for most of the year really hurt the team.

        • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

          There have been 15 catchers (defined as having caught in 70% or more of their games) ever to accumulate 40 bWAR or more. Of those, ten accumulated 40+ bWAR for one team. The Yankees have four of those ten. No other team has more than one.

          Thus, the impossibly high standard Yankee catchers are held to.

          • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

            Posada, Berra, Dickey, Howard? Probably would have been Munson too.

            I’ve never really thought about all the great catchers who have played for the Yankees. Damn.

            • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

              Howard was at 28.2. The four were Yogi, Dickey, Munson, and Posada.

              The other six teams were Cincinnati (Bench), Chicago Cubs (Hartnett), Detroit (Bill Freehan), St. Louis (Ted Simmons), Texas (Pudge), and Montreal/Washington (Gary Carter)

              Kinda funny that two of the seven teams to have 40+ WAR from a catcher are expansion teams with basically no other history.

              • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

                Wow, then imagine if Munson had played a full career.

                • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

                  In 1979, he was 32 and had a 95 OPS+ going at the time of the accident, after putting up a 101 in his age 31 season. Those are still solid numbers for catchers, and he would certainly have had a more impressive career, perhaps a HOF one, but it’s not like he was still on the upswing of his career.

                  • http://twitter.com/kschmidt2 Kiersten

                    Ah ok, for some reason I thought he was younger in ’79.

        • brockc

          Agreed. There’s going to be some sad faces if Montero doesn’t turn into Manny Ramirez with a catcher’s mitt.

          • Reggie C.

            By 2015, if Montero is still in pinstripes he’ll be playing full-time as the DH. Its insane to think he’ll actually stick in catcher beyond his mid-20s. By 2015, the era of Gary Sanchez begins.

            • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

              Because clearly the 6’2″ currently 18-year old Sanchez has a much better shot at sticking at catcher than the 6’4″ Montero.

    • Metalhead Matt

      Posada is already a Hall of Famer. You are retarded if you do not think so.

      2000-2007: Posada earned 5 Silver Sluggers in 7 years?! HELLLLOOOOO?!?!?! He was the single most dominant player of his position for his era. 9 seasons with 20+ HRs, and realistically he should have been the AL MVP in 2003 since neither Delgado nor A-Rod were on playoff teams that year.

      Posada is the only Catcher IN THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF BASEBALL to ever attain 250 HRs, 350 2Bs, 1500 hits, 1000 RBIs, and 900 Walks. Go ahead and look up that fact. Spend all day on baseballreference.com and see if you can find another Catcher with those stats. There are none.

      If Posada does not make it into the Hall of Fame, then you need to take Gary Carter out of Cooperstown immediately. Posada’s numbers are better, and he did it in a shorter amount of time with fewer games played. His batting average, slugging, and on-base percentage completely DWARF Carter’s numbers, yet they both have 5 silver sluggers as Catcher.

      In fact, Posada has one of the highest OPS in the history of MLB catchers. And let’s face it… no offensive stat is as important as OPS. It is the most comprehensive offensive stat because it takes into account the total picture.

      Last year in particular, people often compared Posada to Carter, Fisk, Pudge, and Bench because those are the only 5 catchers to ever attain the big milestones for Catchers. But now look at this: Posada has more World Series rings than all those other Catchers combined. Yeah, suck my ass doubters.

  • Big Juan

    Great post, Joe. I just watched Jorge’s Yankeeography this morning and was thinking to myself how much even Yankee fans take him for granted. We’ll all realize just how good he was in a few years.

    • Xstar7

      I don’t take him for granted. He’s my favorite current Yankee.

      • Big Juan

        I find it incredibly hard not to love Jorge, which is why all the hate amongst some of the fan base is so confusing to me.

        • Xstar7

          I agree. Jorge is probably one of the most underrated players in Yankees history.

          • mackeyse

            i think a lot of fans look at his defense (or lack thereof) the past few years and forget what he has done for NYY offensively in his career—his ability to block balls and throw out runners (and i suppose call games if we are to believe some pitchers work better with cervelli or Molina) clouds some fans vision but that’s what you get with an aging catcher who used to be an infielder in his early years—but offensively fans totally underrate him i agree

  • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

    I was going to make the “that’s impossible, he sucks” comment but I see the first commenter on this thread did it for me, without being sarcastic. Good job.

  • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

    Love it, love it, love it. Jorge to Cooperstown!

  • OldYanksFan

    Just a few thoughts:
    If you ranked the top 4 catchers of every year since 1998, is Po in that group every year? If you gave 1 pt for 1st, 2 pts for 2nd, ect… Does Po have 26 pts or less… for an average of 2 or less?

    How many C’s should make the HOF every 10 years?

    Po has been a great player. But I can’t help but think of a Catcher as a predominantly Defensive position. Since defensive stats are questionable, we don’t know if Po’s abd Piazza’s overall WAR is ‘really’ high or low. But while these 2 guys are great with the batch, when you see a guy like Ivan play the position, ya kinda think ‘Now there’s a CATCHER’.

    My guess is Po is bordeline HOF. Since I personally want the HOF to represent the best of the best, I would say No. But if the Jim Rice’s of the world keep getting in, then Po should maybe be there too.

    • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

      It’s because of the defensive requisites for playing catcher that the Piazzas and Posadas of the world are special, not despite them. If you are good enough to stick at C and provide immense offense that is incredibly valuable and ridiculously rare especially if your body holds out and you can stay there for a long time.

    • whozat

      The consequence of your argument is essentially that you ignore the offensive component of the player’s contribution. Like…it only feels like it counts once he’s passed the “Now there’s a CATCHER” smell test, and that’s irrational. Jorge Posada is a catcher. He’s played that position for a major league team for 12 years or so. He may have cost them some with his defense, but he was tolerable back there — and his offensive prowess outstripped the field. Honestly…he and Jeter are kind of similar, except Jeter’s sure-handedness and flair fooled your eyes into thinking he was a plus defender when he wasn’t.

      • OldYanksFan

        My point was most of us feel that OBP and SLG do a good job representing a players offense. But defensive stats, and the variables involved in CS%, and escoterics like pitch calling and plate blocking, just make it harder to evaluate Catchers by the numbers…. as opposed to by eye and reputation.

        Here’s a post I made on another site:
        Piazza: 142 (sick for a Catcher!)
        Mauer: 136 (on his way to the best is history?)
        Cochrane: 128
        Bench: 126
        Hartnett: 126
        Lombardi: 126
        Yogi: 125
        Campy: 123
        Posada: 123
        Fisk: 117
        Carter: 115
        Ivan; 107
        Dickey: 101

        In well over 100 years of MLB, there are only 13 (non negro league) Catchers in the Hall….. or about one per decade. Piazza is going in. Ivan should be there. Mauer should end up there. Will the fact that there have been so many quality Catchers post 1990 hurt Po’s chances?

        There is no doubt that Posada’s bat plays HOF.
        The only question is how much his D will hurt him is what is thought of as a primarily Defensive position.
        I think he is certainly borderline.
        Maybe he has a great year in 2011 (even a the DH), and that puts him over the top.

  • Ben Vinutti

    I think JoPo is a borderline case. Ivan absolutely dominated the game from both sides of the plate during his run – but PED suspicions are likely to block his entry. Likewise, Piazza faces PED scrutiny as well as a reputation for horrendous defense. I think if Gary Carter can get into the hall, JoPo certainly is worthy of consideration, even though he is kind of a blend of Piazza and Ivan – not great but not terrible D until very recently and not great but very good production at the plate for a sustained period. Posada’s got plenty of hardware, i.e., rings, ASG appearances and Silver Sluggers but no MVP’s. I would vote for him but outside of the northeast he might not get any support.

    • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

      I agree that Posada is a borderline case but that’s mostly about playing time/career length.

      Beyond that two things:

      1) Ivan Rodriguez won an MVP where he didn’t get the most first place votes and was a horrible choice anyway.
      2) Posada has certainly provided great production at the plate for a catcher and actually pretty much great for any position outside of 1B.

    • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

      Judging HoF worthiness by ASG appearances and silver sluggers seems silly, to be honest. Also Jorge’s numbers may seem underwhelming when you compare him to the elite hitters of the years he played in, but you have to consider he’s been putting them up at a position where it’s incredibly hard to get good, consistent offense from and that he’s been amazingly durable.

      Even these days where his health has deteriorated, his offense has still been great considering his age.

  • This Year

    Rodriguez was “Pudge” only because he was the most obvious juicer of them all. Even more so than the Big Boys. The year they started testing is the year he loses what, 40 pounds, and is a shell of his former self. Jorge’s offensive stats are close as it is, and Jorge was no juicer. I do not understand why more there is not more talk about this very obvious fact. He seems to get a pass for some bizarre reason.

    • steve (different one)

      I think in regards to Pudge, it IS talked about quite a bit and I think he’ll get some of the “Bagwell” treatment.

      As far as Posada goes, as much as I love the guy, we can’t really say he was “no juicer” (is urine a “juice”?). I wouldn’t be remotely surprised if it came out that he did something sketchy. This goes for almost any player from 1995-2005.

  • Gonzo

    So this is definitely #arbitraryendpoints, but from 26-35 ages seasons, JoPo out-fWAR’d Carlton Fisk 44.9 to 40.1. I know catcher defense is still sketchy and Fisk was awesome, and Fisk had other amazing seasons outside of those years including a sick 5.2 at age 42(!), but that’s pretty dark good againt one of the greats.

    That’s 10 years of prime baseball playing head to head. Not bad.

    • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

      5.2 fWAR from a catcher, at age 42?

      Hmmmm, fishy.

      • Gonzo

        I almost said something too. HAH.

        • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

          Best two HR rates of his career came at ages 40 and 37.

          • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

            Hank Aaron hit a home run every 11.63 plate appearances (9.8 at bats) at age 39.

            • FIPster Doofus

              Then he must have been on steroids. Let’s persecute him despite a complete lack of evidence.

      • Gonzo

        His age 41 season was Sosa’s first year with the White Sox! That’s too funny. You could play this game with anyone though.

        • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

          You could play this game with anyone though.

          Which is why speculation on who did what based on it is idiotic. Doesn’t stop people though.

          • Gonzo

            Um, I am not sure what you are aiming at. My original post was about JoPo vs. Fisk during prime years.

            I made a joke. Calm down. I am neither a journalist nor a reporter. I can make that joke because I am neither.

            • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

              I wasn’t referring to you. I was wholly agreeing with your point that you can play that game with anyone, therefore sanctimonious sportswriters should stop doing it and pretending it means something.

              I apologize if you thought I was attacking you there, I wasn’t.

              • Gonzo

                My bad. Peace pipe?

  • NoPoHOF

    Posada vs. Pudge: Posada’s offensive numbers were never better than Pudge’s and his defensive skills are JV-level compared to Pudge.

    Posada vs.Piazza: Equally awful on defense but Posada was not even close to Piazza as a hitter.

    As for “the juice,” how can anyone say Piazza has to be suspected but Posada does not. This is not a knock against the Yankees because it happened to every team, but the Yankees have had quite a few players later found to be taking PEDs over the course of Posada’s career. I don’t think you need the list but if you say Piazza is suspect I think you have to at least admit the possibility that Posada took something as well.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Posada’s offensive numbers were never better than Pudge’s

      They’ve been better than Pudge’s every year since 2005, at least. This isn’t a question of who was better at their peak, but who was best from 2000-2009.

    • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

      Posada vs. Pudge: Posada’s offensive numbers were never better than Pudge’s and his defensive skills are JV-level compared to Pudge.


      Pudge’s career: .298/.334/.466/.800/107 OPS+/.344 wOBA/108 wRC+
      Posada’s Career: .275/.377/.479/.856/123 OPS+/.369 wOBA/127 wRC+

      Yeah, Posada’s numbers were “never better than Pudge’s” if “never” means “always.”

      • whozat

        But you have to compare WHAT I REMEMBER of Pudge to WHAT I REMEMBER of Posada. Clearly, Pudge’s peak was better than what I remember of Jorge last year, so Pudge was light-years better than Jorge. QED, bitches.

      • OldYanksFan

        Thank you. NoPoHOF… stop making shit up!

      • JAG

        Ah, but 23 points of BA will make all the difference. Pudge is almost a .300 hitter!

      • NoPoHOF

        Comparing career numbers? Can we consider that Pudge did it for 7 or 8 years longer while providing stellar defense? Not to mention that if Pudge sticks around for 2 more years he likely reaches 3000 hits (first catcher) but that is beside the point, Pudge is a HOFer.

        Posada is a classic example of Yankees fans thinking every Yankee they love should make the HOF. He reminds me of Mattingly who I’m sure sparked this same conversation. Posada (and Mattingly) had a solid decade but that decade was his entire career. A good decade generally does not translate into a HOF career (of course there are examples where that is not true).

        • JAG

          While I understand your point that Posada is a borderline HOFer and not a slam dunk like Pudge, this post is responding to yours above that Pudge always had better numbers than Posada. That is quite blatantly not true. I don’t know how you can argue otherwise.

          Their careers are clearly different, but to say that “Posada’s offensive numbers were never better than Pudge’s” is clearly false. The actual numbers play this out. Their HOF cases are obviously going to be different (Pudge does get credit for being 80-85% of Posada offensively while being 150+% of him defensively), but to claim that Pudge was better on offense is simply wrong.

    • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S.

      Whatever happened to O:S?

      • The Real JobaWockeeZ

        Since when has that been used effectively at all? Has any post been O:S’ed WITHOUT any subsequent posts making fun of the troll?

        I don’t think it ever happened.

  • Monteroisdinero

    This thread will be useful if Montero starts slowly. He has 6-7 years to get hot!

  • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

    If you run the WAR web from 2006-2010, Posada comes in fouth with 18 WAR, behind Mauer (28), McCann (23), and Victor Martinez (19).

    Mauer was age 23-27 and is Joe Freaking Mauer, McCann was age 22-26 and is incredibly underrated (most of Mauer’s production for 15% of Mauer’s price), Martinez was age 27-31 and routinely played at least 20 games at first base (nearly splitting his time between catcher and first base in 2009).

    Posada was age 34-38, and lost pretty much the entire 2008 season, and still finished just 1 WAR behind VMmart.

  • Rams Bladder Cup

    Always like to point this out. Although it seems that Jorge has always been considered an “awful” defenisve catcher, in the fielding bible awards which are voted on by a who’s who of sabermetricians, Jorge was ranked the 7th best defensive catcher as recent as 2006. That’s as far back as the voting goes., that I can see anyway.


    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      I think he was not incredibly horrible until after his shoulder surgery. Not good, yeah, but not awful like he is now.

      • Rams Bladder Cup

        Exactly, but the fact that he’s not good now has become that he was never any good. And he was never great and probably not more than good, but until recently he was always, as they say, servicable.

        • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

          But really, how many catchers in history were great defenders AND great hitters? Furthermore, how many maintained both for 10+ years?

  • Mike Myers

    I will always love posada for the dirty looks he gives to pitchers on the way to the dugout after they strike him out.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      If anyone has the Yankeeography of 2009, they show, toward the beginning when they’re talking about the new FAs they got, AJ striking Posada out when AJ was on the Blue Jays. Posada turns around and very clearly says “Go fuck yourself.” It’s fantastic.

      • Mike HC

        And we wonder (or maybe just I wonder) why there has always been a little something between Posada and AJ.

  • bpdelia

    Posada is a borderliner for sure.

    THe thing with ROdriguez is he was unarguably an elite defender and thrower in his prime.

    Piazza is the greatest offensive catcher in the history of the game period.

    Posada in his prime was a decent thrower but anyone who watched him knows he was always terrible at the things that don’t show up sabermetircally. He WOULD not block the plate. He was terrible at recieving throws. He tagged poorly.

    That being said Posada was and is a borderline case because his offensive production was excellent and sustained.

    Now that OBP has at least begun to be valued by the mainstream writers Posada has a real shot.

    Especially because Posada doesn’t yet have PED taint. (Though I’m with the other poster who said we can never know.)

    In my opinion I’m going with the idea that everyone did it and thats fine with me.

    The Posada issue is I will be upset if he makes it and Piazza doesn’t because of PED suspicion.

    • jramey

      I know this is one case and SSS…

      But what about that tag on Jeremy Giambi in the 2001 ALDS?

  • Big Apple

    great thread…I agree with those that think Jorge is the most underrated yankee of the last 20 yrs. i think everyone focuses on hid defensive shortcomings from the last few years and just think he’s not that good. Jorge’s defense was never great, but he always made up for any shortcomings with his offense.

    the bottom line is that there are very few catchers in history that are both great at offense and defense.

  • Januz

    I think Posada was a well above average catcher, but NOT a Hall Of Famer (Very much like Paul O’Neill & Bernie Williams who also were well above average for their positions, but do not belong in Cooperstown).
    Ivan Rodriguez is a different case, ordinarily he would be a lock (Primarily because of his Gold Gloves (Since Catching is a defense FIRST position)), but I do not think he will be elected either, because of the steroid and HGH allegations. Mike Piazza is another person, who likely will NOT be elected due to the steroid implications. thesteroidera.blogspot.com/…/mitchell-report-reaction-clemens.html – If anyone thinks I am overestimating this, ask Jeff Bagwell, who is NOT on any list (Implicated, Mitchell, or Suspended) and was not elected, because of suspicions).
    There will be three Yankees from the great Yankee Teams who will be elected (Torre, Rivera & Jeter). From the current roster, Sabathia & Teixeira also have a decent shot at Cooperstown if they keep their numbers up. Sorry to say, Posada, is not going to make it.

    • Total Dominication

      Your out of your mind. Plus,Bagwell probably will be elected. He got a tooooon of votes considering it was his first ballot.

    • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S.

      From the current roster?
      A-Rod’s a shoe-in; And if Cano continues this kind of production, then he’s certainly got a chance.

  • FIPster Doofus

    Posada should be a Hall of Famer; he probably won’t be, though, considering who gets elected to Cooperstown is in the hands of a cadre of idiots.

  • Big Apple

    does anyone out there really think the players of this era care about the HOF? they make so much damn money that I don’t think they do…or at least it doesn’t mean what it used to players from other era.

    just like the heisman in football…i don’t think reggie bush gives a rats ass about having to return it because he’s too busy counting his hundreds….or i should say thousands..

    • Januz

      MOST players care VERY MUCH about the Hall Of Fame and winning (Look at how much of an effort MILLIONAIRE actors, put out trying to win an Oscar (That includes working for LESS $$$$$$$$ if they think certain scripts are “Oscar Worthy”)). Another example is Alex Rodriguez. This guy is by no means my favorite athlete, but he was willing to switch positions, just to get out of Texas. He knew he felt not win in Texas (And of course, he was right).

      • Big Apple

        i agree with wanting to win, but not so much the HOF…i think they want to get in, but if a guy like arod never makes it in b/c of PED use he can make himself feel better by looking at his financial situation.

        guys that paid before these ridiculous salaries had to find work after their careers to live. not the case any more.

        • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

          I think with guys like ARod, Bonds, Clemens, etc, who might not make it cause of steroids, it’s just like fuck it. Hall of Fame or not, everyone knows they were the best players of the era and people four generations from now will know it too, regardless of whether they’re in the HOF or not. For guys like Raines, I think it means something cause he’s not a brand name, but ARod doesn’t need a bunch of writers to tell him he was one of the best ever, he knows it, the fans know it, the players know it.

          • Big Apple

            agree…good point on Raines…guys that played before 95 are more like him, except for Bonds, of course.

          • Mike HC

            People like Shoeless Joe Jackson and Rose are actually more famous and talked about than most people actually in the HOF. Granted, much of it is negative fame, but if it is purely recognition they are looking for, getting banned could actually be more of a “fame maker.”

            • Big Apple

              you could say the same for Bonds/Clemens…all of the legal stuff is negative, but, by gollly, their still in the headlines 4 yrs after leaving the game and will be for many years to come.

              a lot of HOFs go away until they get the election and then, once they are in they disappear.

  • Mike HC

    I’m definitely guilty of underrating Posada at times as well. The guy has really been an all time great.

  • bpdelia

    In reality I think Posada is the only one of the dynasty yankess aside form the two locks who should make it. (As long as you don’t count Clemens Boggs and Raines as “Yankees”)

    In my opinion Pettite really shouldn’t be considered (no dominant run, and not nearly enough of a compiler in anything.)

    WIlliams is way down on the list of players from the era he played in.

    Oneill isn’t even close.

    Knoblauch WOULD have been a HOFer is he hadn’t suddenly become insane.

    Pobably after Jeter, Mo, Posada the only other player who has a decent argument would be Tino Martinez but obviuosly that won’t happen.

    • Mike HC

      Pettitte has the playoff argument. He has made his mark on the MLB playoffs and WS right up there with anybody.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Pettitte has a much better Cooperstown case than Tino. I don’t think Pettitte should get in, though.

    • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

      Agreed. I think Mo, Jeter and Po are HOFers and as much as I love the man, Pettitte is in the Hall of Very Good.

      And I’m assuming you’re not counting Moose as a “dynasty Yankee,” but he is definitely a HOFer.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      None of Pettitte, O’Neill, or Williams is a HOFer, but they all have a better argument than Tino Martinez.

    • Chris

      I think Pettitte deserves to be in. The standard that the current voters apply to pitchers is completely out of whack with the production of the top pitchers, and is creating an incredibly hitter heavy HOF. (Another one that deserves to be in is Kevin Brown, but he didn’t even get 5% of the vote…)

  • steve (different one)

    I think Posada is worthy, but I wonder how much his case will hinge on his ability to hang on at DH and pad his counting stats to some arbitrary milestones.

    If he gets to 300 HRs, does that push him in?

    Or will the electorate, extrapolating from the shift in thinking with regards to awards voting over the last 2 years, have changed so much that all of the things Jorge did will be properly valued?? I think it’s possible.

    Think about it, Jorge could still be on the ballot in 2025. that’s a LOOOONG time from now. Who knows what those voters will look for?

  • AJ

    What’s Posada’s fantasy value this year if he qualifies at catcher?

  • virginia yankee

    IF the three stooges – STEINCASHSTJOEGIRARDI (although not Jumpitty Joey’s decision) had not STOLEN 2.5 years of George’s production we wouldn’t need the conversation — Shoe-in –

    Hurt the last 3 years has made the numbers chase difficult to close but hopefully both he and pettit get recognized — bad enough hurts stole Donnie Baseball’s opportunity

    ALSO IT MIGHT BE GOOD TO REMEMBER WHAT A TOTAL ASSES St Joe and Steinbrenner were was about rookies and young players — Fenandez was to Jeter as Pipp was to Gehrig
    Tony Fernandez was THE YANKEE SS — only the broken shoulder gave Jeter the chance to play every day with no Womackian nonsense — JEETS would probably be 2 years short of 2000 hits and have missed staring roles in 2 of the 1st 4 championships — we might have seen him traded a la Montero for whomever the Lee was at the time –

    • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

      I…I’m not even mad, I’m impressed.

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

        I think this is the most sense virginia yankee has ever made. And it’s still partially crazycakes.

    • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S.

      Because the role of a GM is to make a player look good, not to win five World Series’.

    • steve (different one)

      Uhhh, do you think Posada would still be putting up the same numbers in his mid to late 30′s if he caught 150 games/year in those seasons??

      You can’t have it both ways.

      Posada is probably still around and productive b/c he had a lighter workload earlier in his career.

      Now, would he have a better HOF case b/c he’d have a better peak? I don’t know, maybe. But we can’t just add on whatever we think he lost in those years to his career totals.

  • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

    In my opinion, Posada is not a borderline HOFer, he’s a HOFer. But he will probably wind up being borderline. While Posada has never been a good defensive catcher, he never had the reputation for being as bad as Piazza. By 35, Pudge was a shell of his former self (and half the size he was five years earlier, although I’m sure that was natural). Look at Posada. Sure, he’s not the player he was 5 years ago, but he’s a still a passable major league catcher with above-average offense at the age of 39. Assuming he can maintain his level of offensive production as a DH this year (and maybe in 2012 as well), he’ll go out “on top.” I think people underestimate just how amazing it is for a 38/9-year-old to be a starting catcher on a playoff team, while OPSing over .800.
    Unfortunately, Posada got sandwiched in there because when you think of great catchers of the 90s, you think Pudge and Piazza and when you think of the 00s, you think Mauer. But let’s see if Mauer is still catching and hitting like he does not when he’s 38. I doubt it.

  • Pat D

    I’ve said it before but Posada just isn’t going to make the HOF. He will be thought of behind Piazza and IRod, and those two might not make it in due to PED whispers. Also, as some others have said, the perception will be that Piazza was always a better hitter and IRod was always a better defender and at least equal a hitter to Posada.

    The other thing is that I can’t see that in 7-8 years, when Posada first appears on the ballot, that the electorate will have smartened up enough to use stats like WAR as defining points. They’ll focus on how, assuming 2011 is his last year, he’ll have only around 900 runs scored and 1700 hits, how he doesn’t have 300 HR’s, how he only received MVP votes in 2 years, and how he was only ever the 4th or 5th best player on his team (falling behind Jeter, River, ARod, Bernie, Clemens, Pettitte, O’Neill, Tino, Giambi, Soriano, Teix, Cano in any given year).

    What I hope is that he doesn’t get Ted Simmons’d off the ballot in one year. Hopefully the “played in NY” factor will help keep him on the ballot at least.

    • steve (different one)

      The other thing is that I can’t see that in 7-8 years, when Posada first appears on the ballot, that the electorate will have smartened up enough to use stats like WAR as defining points.

      3 years ago would you imagine a pitcher that went 13-12 won the CY?

      • Pat D

        Good point.

        But you’re also comparing a pool of 28 voters to a pool of over 500, maybe over 600 by that time, and where you have to get 75% of a “Yes” to be inducted, not just outpoll the other guys.

  • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S.

    Someone already said this, but the Yankees have a classic tradition of great catchers. Keep in mind that on most teams catchers are a fielding no-hit position, usually playing back of the order; on a decent number teams, actually, the catching position is just a revolving door of mediocrity (which will happen to the Red Sox now, the bastards).

    The Yankees have had

    Montero: The Second Coming: Coming to a stadium near you (hopefully).
    Sanchez: The Second Coming Part II: Coming 2014.

    • Stan the Man

      You forgot Matt Nokes…

  • http://slidingintohome.blogspot.com Domenic

    Posada ranks 13th all-time among catchers in WAR. You could probably bump him up to twelfth, as Torre spent a fair amount of time at other positions, for what it’s worth. He’s also in the top-ten among catchers in OPS+ and HR.

    I feel like Posada’s a Hall of Famer.

    • Stan the Man

      There aren’t many hall of fame catchers so it would be tough to use those made up stats to bump Posada into Johnny Bench territory.

  • Poopy Pants

    I don’t see the widespread hate towards Posada among fans.
    It IS frustrating to see him swing at the first 3 pitches (out of the strike zone) after a pitcher walks 2 people on 8 pitches. It’s also frustrating to see Jeter GIDP all the time and I see MUCH more hatred towards him.

    • Pat D

      You’re also forgetting taking two down the middle pitches and never being able to hit the down and in breaking ball.

      • Stan the Man

        touche` that is incredibly frustrating to watch!

  • Dalelama

    I think as it currently stands Jorge will have to accumulate more stats. I think his case is hurt because he is the greatest bonehead to play in the 47 years i have watched baseball. Bill James did an analytical thing that proved by the numbers he was the second worse baserunner in baseball from 2000 to 2008 unsurprisingly right behind Piazza. I would have trouble voting for someone who seems to do something stupid every game. But a great hitting catcher he has been.

    • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

      He is a bad baserunner because he is super slow and qualifies as second-worst because of how much he plays. He is unable to do things like go 1->3rd on a single or score on a double that people who are not turtles are able to do. That has nothing to do with him being “boneheaded”.

      • dalelama

        Sorry if I wasn’t clear but I don’t even take slowness into consideration when I refer to being a bonehead. By any chance do you watch many Yankee games? I swear Posada does something boneheaded or more politely expressed “fundamentally poor” every game. I forget which big game it was, perhaps a Phillies WS game, where he failed to give himself up in a rundown and caused a double play at third on which the umpire fortunately blew the call. How many times in the last year did he forget the count or number of outs? I specifically remember at least four in one month, I believe it was September, alone. I am not even go into all the times he failed to block the plate, held the ball improperly during a tag, allowed a passed ball, called a bad pitch, or failed to run the bases properly. It is something I have noticed his entire career because I was a no power, speedy, great defensive catcher who had a ex-professional catcher as a coach for six years and had to learn the fundamentals to survive. Be on the lookout for it when you watch the games and you will say, “damn that guy was right.” It is something that doesn’t always show up in the stats.

        • Andy in NYC

          I CANNOT believe who I am agreeing with here, but Po has made some •awesomely• bone-headed baserunning mistakes over the years.

          • dalelama

            See that didn’t hurt…ROFL

  • Taj

    Was Jorge ever an elite player? He has ben solid throughout his career. Below average defensively, above average offensively for a catcher. Very Similar to Bernie Williams minus the gold gloves, batting title and post season statistics. I’d be shocked if either got in to the HOF.

    • Not Buying It

      Posada is not a Hall of Famer. He’s a product of playing year-in and year-out in a powerhouse line-up. He is poor defensively, a hideous baserunner, never hit for average, and has below average postseason statistics. So, he’s a HOFer based on HR totals and other bloated Yankee offensive stats? Just not buying it. Good catcher in an era of pretty good catchers.

      All this talk and not one mention of Kendall (in the comments section)? If you want to focus on a prime decade, I think Kendall’s matches up just as well. Mind you, he played in baseball No-Man’s Land, had zero offensive support, played a different style than Posada (speed and hit for average) and from all accounts, is better defensively/game calling. Kendall lacks the sexy stats and falls shorter on Posada in WRP, BURP and TWRP, but shows up nicely in a career comparison (to date).

  • Not Buying It

    Well, it’s been two weeks since my last comment and no posts. I can’t help but take that as a compliment, and assume no one disagrees with me.

  • j’s kid

    Yah, Jorge is my favorite Yankee – make that PLAYER IN MLB. Thanks for the article, Joe – it’s so rare to see anything good written about Jorge these past few years. He’s definitely underrated. Baseball is so much more than just stats and wins – any true baseball lover knows that. Jorge’s got that “thing” that makes a great ballplayer – incredible drive, ability to see the big picture easily, can call a smart game, 100% passion. I’d take a guy like that with an unpredictable arm over an uncharismatic robo-tron any day.