• Joel

    Slade Heathcott swings like Brett Gardner. Is it too late to make an adjustment to a two hand no motion stroke?

  • Joel

    Do teams fear making the Yankees stronger through trades and prefer to deal with other teams first?

  • Dr. Grenaldine

    Maybe somebody else can answer me this question:

    Kirby Puckett and Don Mattingly’s careers and numbers are pretty similar. How was Puckett an immediate Hall of Famer while Mattingly will never be?

    • mitch

      Puckett had a lot more hits than Mattingly if you include women

    • WhittakerWalt

      I answered this in a comment thread a couple of weeks ago, but I’d be happy to do it again.

      Kirby Puckett was still really good when he was forced to retire from glaucoma. He had a 130 OPS+ in 1995 (his final season) with a triple slash line of .314/23/99. He was still an excellent player, so his career is viewed as one that was tragically cut short. A healthy Kirby Puckett would have undoubtedly reached all the necessary milestones to make his HOF career a no-brainer.

      Don Mattingly, on the other hand, was completely finished as a hitter when he retired. He’d not been any kind of impact player for several years before that. He retired because he stunk. Puckett retired because he couldn’t see anymore.

      In addition, Puckett played centerfield while Mattingly played first base. They both played elite defense, and had almost the same career offensive stats, as you said. But those same offensive numbers look much, much better when it’s a Gold Glove centerfielder getting them. A first baseman with 200 homeruns and 1000 career RBIs is just nothing to write home about.

      We all loved Mattingly but he just wasn’t good enough for long enough to be a Hall of Famer.

      • Bavarian Yankee

        “They both played elite defense…”

        the stats don’t agree.

        • WhittakerWalt

          Puckett did win 6 GGs. Whether he was really that good, I don’t really know. If Jeter can win a GG, anyone can.
          Still, it seems almost fashionable these days to go back and say that all those guys with a good defensive reputation were actually terrible. I’ve seen SABR articles that say Roberto Alomar was below average, and that just blows my mind

      • nyyankfan_7

        “A healthy Kirby Puckett would have undoubtedly reached all the necessary milestones to make his HOF career a no-brainer.”

        He was 35 when he retired – not exactly the prime of his career. Just say he would have made it to 38. He would have needed 700 hits in 3 years to reach 3000 and/or 93 hrs (he only hit 30+ 1 time) to reach 300 HRS…which isn’t exactly a Herculean amount.

        Puckett was an above average player; but I don’t think he would have been a no-brainer regardless if his career was cut short by 2-3 years.

        • WhittakerWalt

          Well, he’d have gotten pretty damn close at any rate. Much closer than did Mattingly, who as we’ve said was totally washed-up for years.

          • nyyankfan_7

            Pretty damn close doesn’t equal sure fire hall of fame numbers. It’s a selection process made by a majority of guys who have never played an inning of baseball above the little league level – When you have morons who refuse to vote for someone just so they don’t have a 100% voting record is an obvious big glaring neon sign that those who are in charge are idiots.

            And I’m not arguing that Mattingly should be in the hall – he shouldn’t. Neither should Puckett. And Neither should Ozzie Smith; I don’t care if he is the greatest defensive SS in history, his bat sucked and the Hall of Fame should not be for 1 tool players or for good but not great players. Do you let in Matt Stairs because he is one of the greatest pinch hitters in history? Are you letting Omar Vizquel in? His defensive was amazing and his hitting numbers are probably as good if not better than Ozzie. Where do we draw the line on 1 category greatness in allowing people in?

            • WhittakerWalt

              Why are you arguing with me? I’m just explaining why they voted for him, not saying he deserved it. I don’t like the Ozzie Smith thing, either.

      • bubbah

        the HOF looks at a career ending injury (puckett, campinella) differently than an injury (mattingly’s back) that basically turned him into a slighltly above average player (donnie couldn’t hit enough to be an AL first basement in 1995, but he actually was decent in 1994 and 1995 when he started walking more, hit for an o.k. average and had moderate pop).

        of course, munson didn’t get this benefit of the doubt, but an argument could be made that he was in his decline stage when he died and wouldn’t have put together enough numbers to make the hof anyway

    • Bavarian Yankee

      Puckett was a CF, Mattingly a 1B. Those numbers are WAY more valuable if you’re a CF. Puckett was an average to slightly below average defender while Mattingly was a slightly below average defender. Obviously an average to slightly below average defender in CF is >>>>> slightly below average defender at 1B.

      Mattingly never had an OPS above .830 in his final 8 seasons, while Puckett was consistent throughout his career and even had an OPS of almost .900 in his final year at age 35.

      Mattingly was slightly better in his prime but take out his age 23 to age 26 seasons and you have an average 1B. Those 4 great years he had don’t make him a HOFer. Puckett was an above average to elite player throughout his career while Mattingly was not. Mattingly just had too many average years.

      • RetroRob

        Actually, Mattingly was and still is regarded by most evaluators as an excellent defensive first baseman. Even the stats-oriented guys, such as Keith Law, believe Mattingly was most likely a plus defender, but won’t go too far in rating him since in Law’s case he played prior to when he was an evaluator.

        Defensive metrics on 1B have improved over the years, yet along with catcher is regarded as the most problematic. During Mattingly’s time they were close to useless, and retroactively trying to take today’s more advanced ratings and retroactively apply them is impossible.

        To the overall question though, as you and others note, WAR rates CF more valuably than 1B, so even a plus-defensive 1Bman will rate lower than an average defensive CFer. Now Mattingly at peak was a better hitter than Puckett, and Puckett was also greatly helped by his home park. Mattingly did get some HR boost from Yankee Stadium, but his home/road splits suggest he was equally good no matter where he was hitting. Puckett away from the Metrodome was nowhere near the hitter he was at home. If Mattingly played his career in Minnesota and Puckett in NY, I hightly doubt Puckett would have been elected to the HOF.

        • Bavarian Yankee

          about the defense: you may very well be right about that. Aside of a game here and there I never had the chance to see either Mattingly or Puckett play in the field. All I know about their defense is what the stats tell me.

          So if I’m wrong (and I’m always able to admit that) I blame the stats :D

          • WhittakerWalt

            You can take those stats and throw them in the East River.

            • Bavarian Yankee

              man, I’d have to travel a long way to do this. I’ll tell you a small lil secret but don’t tell it anybody else: I’ll shut down the internet later, so nobody will ever see these stats again :D

          • bubbah

            these metrics saying mattingly was not a good defender are just nuts, at least before he hurt his back. i honestly don’t think he was worse after he hurt his back, but maybe there is subtle stuff we didn’t appreciate at the time. this was not a case of a guy winning gold gloves like jeter due to popularity, he was a wizard at first, second only to hernandez in that era. true, being a wizard at first does not get you much extra WAR, but such is life.

    • nyyankfan_7

      Same reason Ozzie Smith is a Hall of Famer – sometimes the perception of how good someone was is much greater than the actual numbers they put up.

      • RetroRob

        Ozzie is in the HOF because he is regarded as the greatest defensive SS ever. The numbers back it up.

  • JC

    Is it just me or did Mike seem a bit grouchy today in the chat?

    • Dr. Grenaldine

      Only a doctor has enough knowledge to host a chat about baseball. I say we vote out Mr. Grouch and vote in the Doc!

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      A bit. It’s really fucking cold out.

  • cashjr

    Both were really good, but neither belongs in the hall in my opinion as it should be for truly elite, not just very popular and also very good (but not great) players. For sure writers loved Kirby as a person/ambassador and I think the combination of getting the sympathy vote because of the glaucoma and his two rings was enough to get him in.

    • WhittakerWalt

      It’s like this: the day before Puckett had to retire he was considered a sure-fire future Hall of Famer. The day before Mattingly retired he was considered a guy who really just needed to retire already.

      It’s a perception thing. Everyone figured if Puckett could have still played he’d rack up the necessary counting stats. No amount of extra playing time would have helped Mattingly.

  • RobO

    just in case you skim yesterday’s mail..

    Loved this logic “Th qualifying offer is substantial and if the player’s market is slow because no one wants to give up a pick, too bad. It was their choice to become a free agent”. I never thought os the QO like that but agree with it now.

    Dodgers $7b TV deal much, much bigger than Yankees. I don’t know why that is but it is. YES was valued at around $3b 2 years ago (49% stake to Murdoch for $1.5m) and, on top of that Yankees only own a 25% stake. I know it’s unfathomable to think, but seeing that the Steinbrenners do only a bit better than breaking even on the club alone, I’d like to know where their riches come from, assuming those riches exist and $189 is illogical. Personally I believe the Cali teams are richer.

    Couple of other things I could argue:
    Sadaharu Oh has a strong case and Cano will be booed mightily.

  • KyleLitke

    Cano is going to get booed. Should he? I don’t think so, but he will. He’s perceived as a mercenary who abandoned the team for money. That’s not really fair, but he’ll get booed I suspect.

    Hall of Fame: I actually think the commenter who alluded to more pressure on the electorate has a point. I think someone is going to get in with 100% soon (unless one of the voters is taking some stupid moral stand and refusing to put any names on the ballot). The writers who are doing things like refusing to vote for Bagwell and Piazza because “like I totally think they did something” or voting for Morris over guys like Mussina because “screw you I don’t have to explain myself” or not voting for Biggio because “you’re all just jealous you don’t have a vote” are trying to frame themselves as heroes who made well thought out picks that just happen to be different than everyone else. It’s hard to do so if they’re leaving off complete no brainers with no honest argument against them, whether going by sabermetrics or “old school” stuff (like Maddux). I’m not sure Maddux gets in 100% (although I think the possibility is slightly larger than no chance whatsoever), but I think sooner rather than later, someone is. We are not living in the same world we once did. Writers are being forced to explain themselves a lot more than they used to, and they’re getting a lot more crap from people than they used to. I’m not saying they’re all going to convert to sabermetricians or change their tune on even the “eye test” crap, but it’s going to be a lot harder for them to leave off a complete and total no brainer, because it makes it far more difficult for them to defend their other crappy choices.

  • bubbah

    maddux may not get 100% because some voters figure he’s a lock and they don’t need to vote for him while they would like to vote for some guys in peril like morris or trammel or the crime dog or mussina or kent who are in peril of falling off the ballot along with the the usual suspects. it might be disingenous, but it makes sense. maddux doesn’t need all these votes, he WILL get 75% (unless everyone does this analysis, which won’t happen) whereas some other guys really do.