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But with the arrival of Joe Torre in 1996, and with the debuts of players like Jeter, Rivera, and Bernie Williams, it wasn’t quite so easy to “hate” this franchise.
It is the same place where Mantle, unbeknownst to the fans, had his last time at-bat. Yup, the same date—September 28.
Bern Baby Bern had been on the team for half a decade by the time the sainted Torre got there.
Even Boston fans came to admire and like Jeter and Rivera especially
I think I was alive but not old enough to know what a "Met" was. Graig Nettles has a chapter about that in his autobiography, though. Not a fun season, evidently.
It wasn't really until the signing of Clemens touched off the era of superstar free agent gluttony that the old level of Yankee hatred resumed its normal pace.
But every Yankee fan to this day swears the acquisition of Clemens was perfectly legit as they did trade David Wells for him.
(Never mind that they simply re-signed Wells himself too two years later.)
Plus Shea was a UAB**
Money can be exchanged for a player's services, *even if a player has previously played for that team and been traded away*.
Like Jeter, Mantle was admired and respected wherever he went. He was the most popular player of his era.
Regardless of how the Clemens trade/signing/power move/betrayal was viewed, the point is that this pre-1999 offseason event was what got the old fashioned Yankee hatred back on its normal track. It wasn't running on nearly that level between 1996 and 1998.
Isn't this revisionist? I thought Mantle wasn't even universally loved by Yankees fans, many of whom saw him as a poor facsimile of DiMaggio who struck out too much.
Jeter: Final Season OPS+ 86
Mantle: Final Season OPS+ 143
You're partly right, but from 1961 on Mantle more or less took over the Dimaggio role among that segment of Yankee fandom, while Mantle's former role was assumed by Roger Maris.
Mantle was admired by Yankee fans and bar owners.
Even Boston fans came to admire and like Jeter and Rivera especially, because of the way they played the game—with professionalism and respect.
Wagner had 9640 PA)
Sure, there was a contingent of old farts who booed him at home early in his career, and that might have had something to do with residual DiMaggio fanboyism, but, really, that's overblown.
In BBRef's database, Mantle has the highest OPS+ of any player with 9700+ PA and 50% of his games at CF. Jeter has the highest OPS+ of any player with 9700+ PA and 50% of his games at SS (Wagner had 9640 PA). Mantle's last season was 26 points off of his career OPS+. Jeter's season so far is 27 points off of his career OPS+.
Also, I believe Mantle had ###### a secretary named Jeter and Jeter has ###### a secretary named Mantle.
To this day I'm still baffled by their response, all I really have is that for some fans the "right" way to play is literally revealed wisdom in a religious sense, pointing out contradictions in their baseball beliefs is like pointing out textual contradictions in the Bible to Christian fundamentalists
Mantle was admired by Yankee fans and bar owners. The dichotomy got particularly embarrassing late in life, when the Mick finally realized how much horrific damage he had done to other people -- wife, children, friends -- and begged everyone to understand how unheroic a life he had led. The reaction of the Costas/Christal sycophants? "Oh my God, what a hero!"
All this Derek Jeter talk overlooks one important fact: he's the all-time leader in WAR among players whose first and last names contain only one vowel.
What was really odd to me was that that the very same people who most vocally disdained hitters who struck out too much- thought that pitcher Ks were meaningless, that pitchers who tried for Ks were bad, that good pitchers learned to pitch to contact and relied upon their fielders- and yes the inherent contradiction would be pointed out to them, and their response would be total bafflement
He was also charged with 15 errors in 1968, almost twice as much as in any other year in his career. That would certainly have added to the impression that he was done. BBRef is also hard on his defense that year. -2.3 dWAR at 1B.
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