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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Could Yankees retire the numbers of Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada in 2014?

Jumpin Jerzembecks! Paul O’Neill? (kicks menu)

By the end of 2014, could the Yankees have retired more than Joe Torre’s No. 6?

Hal Steinbrenner has hinted at the possibility.

Toree’s number likely will be retired sometime this season. The longtime Yankees manager was voted into the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in Decemebr. He’ll be inducted in July.

Torre “may not be the only one” not see his Yankees number retired, though, Steinbrenner told the New York Post’s Ken Davidoff. “We haven’t gotten into it yet.”

The most obvious candidates:

...Paul O’Neill: Only one person has worn No. 21 since O’Neill hung it up in 2001. That was LaTroy Hawkins in 2008. Hawkins heard loud boos and eventually changed his number that season.

Repoz Posted: January 18, 2014 at 05:19 PM | 98 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   1. Anonymous Observer Posted: January 18, 2014 at 05:37 PM (#4641653)
Could Yankees retire the numbers of Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada in 2014?


This kind of headline drives me crazy. Of course they COULD. There's nothing stopping them from doing so.

"Will the Yankees retire the numbers of Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada in 2014?" is a better question to ask, in my opinion.
   2. God Posted: January 18, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4641664)
It's kind of amazing how low the Yankees standards are for number retirement, considering their history. I would expect them to be the team with the toughest standards. Instead that's probably the Cubs or Red Sox or Dodgers.
   3. GregD Posted: January 18, 2014 at 06:42 PM (#4641671)
I am no fan of the Yankees or these two but these are guys who spent long and honorable hovg careers on very successful teams. Why retire numbers at all if you aren't going to retire theirs?
   4. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 18, 2014 at 06:49 PM (#4641674)
It's kind of amazing how low the Yankees standards are for number retirement, considering their history. I would expect them to be the team with the toughest standards. Instead that's probably the Cubs or Red Sox or Dodgers.


Once Jeter retires, no Yankee will ever have a single digit number again. #9 is retired for Roger Maris, and there have been 2, arguably 3 long term Yankees to wear #9 who were better, though admittedly, none as famous. On the flip side, last year there were three players on the Yankees who once wore #12 for the Yankees.
   5. Chris Fluit Posted: January 18, 2014 at 06:55 PM (#4641676)
I am no fan of the Yankees or these two but these are guys who spent long and honorable hovg careers on very successful teams. Why retire numbers at all if you aren't going to retire theirs?


I would agree with you if this were another franchise. But the Yankees have had enough players spend long and honorable hof careers with them that they don't really need to add the hovg guys.
   6. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 18, 2014 at 06:56 PM (#4641677)
George Steinbrenner was an old softie at heart who retired numbers at a brisker pace than his predecessors. Before George, the standard was as high as any team - Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle & Berra/Dickey. No Ruffing, Gomez, Hoyt, Pennock or Lazzeri - Hall of Famers all, or career Yankees like Tommy Henrich or Frankie Crosetti. I don't have a problem with either approach, although I believe teams with a strict formula (e.g., Hall of Famers only) are over thinking the issue and missing the opportunity to honor beloved players, even if for sentimental reasons.
   7. john_halfz Posted: January 18, 2014 at 07:00 PM (#4641679)
Should be:

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 15, 16, 23

O'Neill, Posada, and the rest of that bunch could get some sort of plaque or poster to displace the Darth Maul George Steinbrenner obscenity that now dominates Memorial Park.
   8. ptodd Posted: January 18, 2014 at 07:08 PM (#4641681)
If the Yankees don't sign Tanaka, Drew and Balfour they are going to need someway to fill all the empty seats since they won't be much more than a 500 team
   9. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 18, 2014 at 07:12 PM (#4641683)
But now the guy's gotta come up with Bud's money every week, no matter what. Business bad? \"#### you, pay me." Oh, you had a fire? \"#### you, pay me." Place got hit by lightning, huh? \"#### you, pay me."
   10. jdennis Posted: January 18, 2014 at 07:15 PM (#4641685)
I'd have a huge problem with them retiring O'Neill's number, he wasn't even a Yankee lifer. Williams and Posada I would be much more receptive to.
   11. john_halfz Posted: January 18, 2014 at 07:22 PM (#4641688)
They could do fine by O'Neill by just playing this clip regularly. Back from when it was a lot more fun to watch games in the Bronx (and, not incidentally, to root for the team)
   12. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 18, 2014 at 07:25 PM (#4641691)
2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 15, 16, 23


Like Hitler, that list was good in the beginning but it went too far. That last number really doesn't fit with the prior ones (15 gets the special dying in Pinstripes exception). I'd sub 42 for it (they're already doing a time share with 8, so they can figure out a way for Mo to join Jackie).

Oh, and some of you should be prepared for Andy's wrath. He doesn't like it when you question the Bombers' number retirement policy.

   13. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: January 18, 2014 at 07:40 PM (#4641693)
If this keeps up, the Yankees will have to start putting fractions on the backs of their uniforms.
   14. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: January 18, 2014 at 08:37 PM (#4641710)
I'd have a huge problem with them retiring O'Neill's number, he wasn't even a Yankee lifer.
By that measure, you get rid of nearly half of the retirees, including Babe Ruth and Yogi Berra. Seems like an overzealous requirement.

I don't really see why anybody would be upset with the Yankees retiring several relatively recent numbers - Mo, Jeter (when he's retired), Bernie, Jorge, O'Neill, Pettitte. They were all long-term, excellent players who contributed greatly to an amazing dynasty, and who were beloved by the fans. So some of them aren't HOF material? And some of them weren't Yankees for their entire careers? So what?
   15.   Posted: January 18, 2014 at 08:44 PM (#4641713)
Retiring numbers is dumb.
   16. bobm Posted: January 18, 2014 at 09:13 PM (#4641718)
It's kind of amazing how low the Yankees standards are for number retirement, considering their history. I would expect them to be the team with the toughest standards. Instead that's probably the Cubs or Red Sox or Dodgers.

I don't know if I would call it "standards", but the Mets could stand to retire a few more players' numbers.
   17. JE (Jason) Posted: January 18, 2014 at 09:46 PM (#4641723)
It's kind of amazing how low the Yankees standards are for number retirement, considering their history. I would expect them to be the team with the toughest standards. Instead that's probably the Cubs or Red Sox or Dodgers.

Not only have the Dodgers kept Hodges' no. 14 active, they let even scrubby middle infielders wear the jersey. What a shanda.
Retiring numbers is dumb.

Soccer appears to take the opposite approach.
   18. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 18, 2014 at 10:05 PM (#4641732)
I don't really see why anybody would be upset with the Yankees retiring several relatively recent numbers - Mo, Jeter (when he's retired), Bernie, Jorge, O'Neill, Pettitte.


Mo and Jeter are no-brainers. definitely. Bernie, Jorge and Pettitte are arguable choices.

Retiring Paul O'Neill's number would be ridiculous.

I agree with the idea that they don't have to be HoFers or lifelong team members to merit team honors, but you've got to have some standards, and Paulie is laughably short on any reasonable count.
   19. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 18, 2014 at 10:09 PM (#4641733)
Different teams take different approaches. What of it? I'm fine with the Yanks' retiring Bernie's, Posada's and O'Neill's numbers. They were all key members of multiple championship teams, and they're all held in high regard by the Yankee fan base. Nobody's forcing any other team to adopt a similar standard.

And so what if they run out of single digits after Jeter retires? It's not as if they're going to run out of numbers.
   20. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: January 18, 2014 at 11:02 PM (#4641739)
you've got to have some standards, and Paulie is laughably short on any reasonable count.
Oh, nonsense. He was, as I said, a long-term Yankee who performed excellently for them, who was an integral part of an amazing dynasty, and who is beloved by Yankee fans in general. Those are reasonable counts, and I find it genuinely difficult to believe that you honestly think that characterization of him is laughable.

You must be objecting to the "excellent" part, because it's virtually impossible to believe that you disagree with any of the other parts. Disregarding the tail years of his career, his Yankee OPS+ were: 136, 177, 137, 123, 137, 130. Those are, what, "best hitter on a team" numbers? For typical teams? Or at the very least close to it. I think that either:

(1) You are conflating his career as a Red, or

(2) You were responding off the cuff without having really had a good feel for how good he was in his Yankee prime, or

(3) You disagree with the word "excellent" to describe those numbers,

in which case

(1) That's irrelevant, or

(2) Now you know, or

(3) Fine, use some positive word less strong than "excellent" if you want, and the point stands: He was a that-word player who was a long-term Yankee who contributed greatly to an amazing dynasty and who is beloved by the fans. To describe that as "laughable" is laughable.
   21. AJMcCringleberry Posted: January 18, 2014 at 11:09 PM (#4641740)
Mo and Jeter are no-brainers. definitely. Bernie, Jorge and Pettitte are arguable choices.

Retiring Paul O'Neill's number would be ridiculous.


Agree.
   22. Howie Menckel Posted: January 18, 2014 at 11:30 PM (#4641745)
"Disregarding the tail years of his career, his Yankee OPS+ were: 136, 177, 137, 123, 137, 130. Those are, what, "best hitter on a team" numbers? For typical teams?"

177 is spectacular, even though interestingly in only a 114-game strike season.

none of the others turn the dial for a corner OF, no.

all are good and none are great.

so one great season, the only top 10 OPS+ for league of his career. if that's the best hitter on your team in the other years, you may have a hard time.

but sure, teams can do what they want with retired numbers. Most franchises have to talk themselves into the idea that O'Neill's career was legendary - the Yankees have a couple of dozen genuine articles way beyond that.





   23. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 18, 2014 at 11:36 PM (#4641747)
Oh, nonsense. He was, as I said, a long-term Yankee who performed excellently for them, who was an integral part of an amazing dynasty, and who is beloved by Yankee fans in general. Those are reasonable counts, and I find it genuinely difficult to believe that you honestly think that characterization of him is laughable.


This is a list of long-term Yankees who performed excellently (by your definition) for them, who were integral parts of dynasties. I can't speak to the level of love fans have for them, but I'm going to guess that they were pretty highly thought of by the Bomber faithful when the guys wearing Lucifer's Pajamas were kicking the rest of the baseball world's ass.


Willie Randolph
Graig Nettles
Roy White
Hank Bauer
Gil McDougal
Joe Gordon
Frankie Crosetti
Charlie Keller
Red Ruffing
Tommy Heinrich
Red Rolfe
George Selkirk
Tony Lazzeri
Bob Meusel
Waite Hoyt
Herb Pennock

If you retire Paul O'Neill's number, then you can make a case for any of these gents, and a number of them have much better cases.

Like I said, you've got to have standards.


   24. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: January 18, 2014 at 11:39 PM (#4641748)
if that's the best hitter on your team in the other years, you may have a hard time.
Again, nonsense. Randomly taking his 137 in 1995 as typical, not the extreme 177 or the extreme 120, it would have been good for the highest OPS+ on virtually half of the 1995 AL teams, including (not coincidentally) the 1995 NY Yankees. Of those that it wouldn't have been the highest on, it would have been virtually the highest on two more (Baltimore's 145 and Boston's 144), and in all fourteen cases it was clearly one of the best on the team.
   25. God Posted: January 18, 2014 at 11:40 PM (#4641749)
If, say, the Dodgers were to retire the number of everyone at or above the accomplishment level of Paul O'Neill, they'd have to retire Gil Hodges, Pedro Guerrero, Mike Piazza, Orel Hershiser, Fernando Valenzuela, Willie Davis, Tommy Davis, Davey Lopes, Ron Cey, Steve Garvey, Carl Furillo, Frank Howard, Don Newcombe, Bob Welch, Johnny Podres, Dixie Walker, Babe Herman, Shawn Green, and Dolph Camilli, and that's just off the top of my head.

Paul O'Neill is probably most comparable to Carl Furillo on that list. They were both good right fielders who won one batting title, and in any given year were about the fourth- or fifth-best player on a juggernaut of a team. The main difference is Furillo played his whole career for the team and O'Neill did not.

I don't hear a lot of Dodger fans arguing for retiring Carl Furillo's number.
   26. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: January 18, 2014 at 11:49 PM (#4641752)
Oh please. You do realize that this list of people you're trying to use to convince me that "you need standards" contains several Hall of Famers? Presumably that should be a higher standard. And along with those HOFers, you're including a bizarre range of people, some who were clearly worse hitters than O'Neill, and some clearly better. On top of that, speaking as a fan of that era, no, I wouldn't mind Randolph, Nettles or White's numbers being retired in the least, though I'm well aware they weren't the greatest players. And I wouldn't begrudge other fans of other eras having similar players' numbers retired. I don't see why this would cause you any consternation at all, frankly.

Edit.. this was in response to SOSH's list, not God's. I have little opinion on the Dodgers. I will say that I don't really get why it would be so amazingly bad to have so honored that many people or more over the course of more than a century on a team that has been historically very successful.
   27. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 19, 2014 at 12:13 AM (#4641756)
O'Neill played 9 seasons with the Yankees (and 8 with the Reds).

Sorted by WAR, non-pitchers who played between 900 and 1350 games with the Yankees (100-150 games/season, 9 seasons), no HOF'ers:
                                             
Rk              Player WAR/pos    G From   To
1       Alex Rodriguez    52.5 1293 2004 2013
2       Charlie Keller    41.9 1066 1939 1952
3        Gil McDougald    40.7 1336 1951 1960
4        Tommy Henrich    35.7 1284 1937 1950
5    Roger Peckinpaugh    31.7 1219 1913 1921
6         Bobby Murcer    27.7 1256 1965 1983
7           Bob Meusel    27.7 1294 1920 1929
8          Paul ONeill    26.6 1254 1993 2001
9          Ben Chapman    25.2  910 1930 1936
10        Bill Skowron    23.9 1087 1954 1962


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 1/18/2014.

Sorted by oWAR, non-pitchers who played between 900 and 1350 games with the Yankees (100-150 games/season, 9 seasons), no HOF'ers:
                                          
Rk              Player oWAR    G From   To
1       Alex Rodriguez 51.4 1293 2004 2013
2       Charlie Keller 38.0 1066 1939 1952
3        Tommy Henrich 33.1 1284 1937 1950
4         Bobby Murcer 32.2 1256 1965 1983
5        Gil McDougald 31.0 1336 1951 1960
6          Paul ONeill 29.6 1254 1993 2001
7           Bob Meusel 26.5 1294 1920 1929
8    Roger Peckinpaugh 25.4 1219 1913 1921
9        Hideki Matsui 22.4  916 2003 2009
10           Tom Tresh 22.3 1098 1961 1969


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 1/18/2014.
   28. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 19, 2014 at 12:21 AM (#4641758)
Oh please. You do realize that this list of people you're trying to use to convince me that "you need standards" contains several Hall of Famers? Presumably that should be a higher standard.



Yes, there are several players on the list who would be much better choices. And none is being touted to receive such permanent distinction. The Yankees once had very high standards, such that simply qualifying for the Hall wasn't enough for this kind of treatment.

And along with those HOFers, you're including a bizarre range of people, some who were clearly worse hitters than O'Neill, and some clearly better.


These are all guys whose overall contributions are about equal to or better than Paul's, strictly as members of the Yankees. That seems a much better way of looking at it than strictly how they performed in the batter's box.

On top of that, speaking as a fan of that era, no, I wouldn't mind Randolph, Nettles or White's numbers being retired in the least, though I'm well aware they weren't the greatest players. And I wouldn't begrudge other fans of other eras having similar players' numbers retired. I don't see why this would cause you any consternation at all, frankly.


If you retire the number of every Yankee who was a nice part of the club when the team had great success, it's no longer much of an honor.

Paul O'Neill is probably the sixth most-valuable Yankee in their most recent dynasty (Jeter, Mo, Posada, Pettitte and Bernie all exceed him). Yes, he had some very nice years for them. Yes, they were excellent years as a team. But when you're the most successful franchise in North America, with a pick of some of the greatest players who have ever played the sport, you don't have to go plumbing for the Paul O'Neills to fill our your honor circle. And, to me, doing so makes it less of an honor for the guys who warrant it.

I will say this, if Paul O'Neill hangs around for a few more decades as a beloved member of the broadcast team, ala Scooter, then I'd be happy to re-evaluate. It's not all about accumulating value or whether one makes the Hall of Fame (from my own favorite club, I feel much more strongly that no one should ever wear Johnny Pesky's number again than I do about a Dewey Evans, Wade Boggs or Jim Rice). But nine seasons as a nice, but lesser cog, on some title winners? I don't know how that cuts it.

   29. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: January 19, 2014 at 12:25 AM (#4641759)
Blah blah blah. Good night.
   30. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 19, 2014 at 12:50 AM (#4641763)
But nine seasons as a nice, but lesser cog, on some title winners? I don't know how that cuts it.

Paul O'Neill is a bit of a special case. He arrived after a long drought that coincided with Steinbrenner's worst excesses. He hit .300 his first year, won the batting title the second, was on the playoff bound 1994 team thwarted by the work stoppage, and then was a key contributor to the Yankee Dynasty that won 4 World Series in 5 years, a record unmatched in the three-tier playoff era. All this was a bit of surprise considering O'Neill's tenure with the Reds. This made him both a fan favorite & one of George Steinbrenner's favorite players ("ONeill"s a warrior!") If O'Neill's number is retired, it will be at least partially because the Steinbrenner sons are carrying on their father's tradition of sentiment-based number retirements and applying it to one of his favorites, who still has a considerable presence on Yankee TV broadcasts. That doesn't mean they have to honor every other Yankee with more WAR.

I have some doubt that the Yankees are going to retire all these numbers in one year, rather than spreading it out a bit, but perhaps such a move would remind the fans of the good old days during what may be an uncertain season. Almost like a 2nd Old Timers Day.
   31. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 19, 2014 at 12:55 AM (#4641765)
Oh please. You do realize that this list of people you're trying to use to convince me that "you need standards" contains several Hall of Famers? Presumably that should be a higher standard. And along with those HOFers, you're including a bizarre range of people, some who were clearly worse hitters than O'Neill, and some clearly better. On top of that, speaking as a fan of that era, no, I wouldn't mind Randolph, Nettles or White's numbers being retired in the least, though I'm well aware they weren't the greatest players. And I wouldn't begrudge other fans of other eras having similar players' numbers retired. I don't see why this would cause you any consternation at all, frankly.

Now we've even got people implicitly trying to argue that sabermetrics should be the determinant of whether or not the Yankees retire a number. I guess this is sort of where reducto ad absurdum comes in, and Paul O'Neill is listed behind a player who never even wore a number!

-----------------------------------------------------------

Paul O'Neill is probably the sixth most-valuable Yankee in their most recent dynasty (Jeter, Mo, Posada, Pettitte and Bernie all exceed him). Yes, he had some very nice years for them. Yes, they were excellent years as a team. But when you're the most successful franchise in North America, with a pick of some of the greatest players who have ever played the sport, you don't have to go plumbing for the Paul O'Neills to fill our your honor circle. And, to me, doing so makes it less of an honor for the guys who warrant it.

Yes, I'm sure that Mo & Co. would be deeply humiliated if they were to see #21 up there with theirs.

("Goddammit, Jorge, did you know that Paulie's WAR with us was lower than Charlie Keller's and Roger Peckinpaugh's?"

"No, I didn't, Bernie, but you've sure given me food for thought. Let's check with the Dodgers fans on the Baseball Think Factory and see what they have to say.")


   32. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 19, 2014 at 12:56 AM (#4641767)
Paul O'Neill is a bit of a special case. He arrived after a long drought that coincided with Steinbrenner's worst excesses. He hit .300 his first year, won the batting title the second, was on the playoff bound 1994 team thwarted by the work stoppage, and then was a key contributor to the Yankee Dynasty that won 4 World Series in 5 years, a record unmatched in the three-tier playoff era. All this was a bit of surprise considering O'Neill's tenure with the Reds. This made him both a fan favorite & one of George Steinbrenner's favorite players ("ONeill"s a warrior!") If O'Neill's number is retired, it will be at least partially because the Steinbrenner sons are carrying on their father's tradition of sentiment-based number retirements and applying it to one of his favorites, who still has a considerable presence on Yankee TV broadcasts. That doesn't mean they have to honor every other Yankee with more WAR.

Bingo.
   33. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 19, 2014 at 02:11 AM (#4641780)
Paul O'Neill is a bit of a special case. He arrived after a long drought that coincided with Steinbrenner's worst excesses. He hit .300 his first year, won the batting title the second, was on the playoff bound 1994 team thwarted by the work stoppage, and then was a key contributor to the Yankee Dynasty that won 4 World Series in 5 years, a record unmatched in the three-tier playoff era.


You could say something very similar about Willie Randolph. He arrived after a long drought. He was an all-star his first season, when the Yankees reached the World Series for the first time in a dozen years. He was a key contributor to a Yankee dynasty that produced four pennants in six years, with two World Series titles.

The primary difference, of course, between Paul O'Neill and Willie Randolph is that Willie Randolph was actually much, much better, for longer, and a bigger contributor to the success of those Yankee teams (and, to top it off, was also a part of those O'Neill-era Yankee champions as a member of the coaching staff).

But I don't see any movements afoot to forever set aside Willie's 30 for all eternity. And there probably shouldn't be.

The only thing that O'Neill really has going for him is recency. And when you're looking at bestowing a permanent* honor, that particular trait has often produced some pretty questionable results.

This is not about the most WAR or whatever idiotic bullshit Andy wants to spew. I think it's perfectly right and just that no Yankee will ever wear Phil Rizzuto's number again, even if his on-field contributions don't measure up to some other Yankee greats forever destined to share their digits with future pinstripers. Scooter is legitimately a special case.

It's about placing Paul O'Neill in the proper historical context of the franchise. I think that should be the standard every team applies for a distinction that will be viewed and considered not just by the Yankee fans who suffered through the WS-less epoch of 1982-1995, inclusive, but Yankee fans for generations, many of whom will already wonder what the hell Roger Maris, Billy Martin and Ron Guidry are doing sharing wall space with messrs Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Berra, Mantle and Jeter.

* Permanent being a flexible term, if you're the Marlins.
   34. Howie Menckel Posted: January 19, 2014 at 02:17 AM (#4641781)

"Randomly taking his 137 in 1995 as typical, not the extreme 177 or the extreme 120, it would have been good for the highest OPS+ on virtually half of the 1995 AL teams"

I can think of no better barometer for retiring a uniform number than this, particularly for a franchise that may never had been so blessed by such an outlier before or since...

   35. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 19, 2014 at 02:45 AM (#4641783)
Now we've even got people implicitly trying to argue that sabermetrics should be the determinant of whether or not the Yankees retire a number. I guess this is sort of where reducto ad absurdum comes in, and Paul O'Neill is listed behind a player who never even wore a number!


I wasn't really stating anything with the WAR/oWAR list, since it was the result of me looking up two things:

1) How long DID O'Neill play for the Yankees, and was it more than what he played for the Reds?
2) Who else played that long for the Yankees, and isn't in the HOF?

Tommy Henrich seems like an overlooked Yankee, and might be more deserving than O'Neill.
- career Yankee
- higher OPS/OPS+ (vs O'Neill full or Yankee career)
- more grey/black ink
- war veteran (costing him 3 seasons in the middle of his Yankee career)
- four World Series rings

There is even an open number for him (#22 or #17, but not #7 or #15).

Sadly, he passed away in 2009 (at age 96).
   36. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: January 19, 2014 at 03:06 AM (#4641784)
I can think of no better barometer for retiring a uniform number than this, particularly for a franchise that may never had been so blessed by such an outlier before or since...
What a strange response. To remind you of how we got here, you disagreed with the notion that O'Neill's numbers in his Yankee prime were typical "best hitter on the team" numbers. I did not claim that they were "best hitter on any team ever" numbers, or anything near that; merely that they weren't atypical of a best hitter on a team, roughly speaking. You disagreed with that. Then I showed it was true. Then, apparently, you decided well that's not good enough, and moreover decided to be sarcastic about it. As if you had not been disputing the actual claim that has been shown to be true, and as if I were instead claiming something along the lines of "anyone who ever hits more or less like the best hitter on a typical team should obviously have their number retired."

Look, I get that you don't think O'Neill's number should be retired. It's fine with me that you don't think it should be retired, and in fact I wouldn't mind if it weren't. What I was responding to was the idea that it would be "laughable" for it to be retired. And I stand by that - he's beloved, he's long-term, he was important in an amazing dynasty, and he performed excellently (or very well, or admirably, or whatever you can bring yourself to say) for the Yankees. Why is it "laughable" that such a player should be so honored?

You and SOSH and whoever else can keep pretending that I'm arguing that Paul O'Neill was the greatest player of all time, or that if I don't think it's "laughable" for his number to be retired then I must necessarily full-throatedly defend the idea that Red Rolfe's number must be retired, or whatever other silly thing you want to pretend, but I must say you've been wholely unconvincing.
   37. bartap74 Posted: January 19, 2014 at 03:13 AM (#4641787)
I keep hoping they'll retire Dave Winfield's 31, but that seems increasingly unlikely.
   38. TerpNats Posted: January 19, 2014 at 04:42 AM (#4641791)
42 will be retired for Rivera (though technically that's kinda moot), though I hope at the ceremony Jerry Coleman is recognized as well, both as a member of several Yankee championship teams and for his distinguished service as a veteran of WWII and Korea. From what I gather about Mariano, he would have no problem with that.
   39. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: January 19, 2014 at 08:25 AM (#4641799)
The only thing that O'Neill really has going for him is recency. And when you're looking at bestowing a permanent* honor, that particular trait has often produced some pretty questionable results.


This sounds right. Yes, everybody knows how popular O'Neill was, him being a warrior and all that. But the man only spent nine years in pinstripes, and he was never the team's best player, or even close. He was never an MVP, or even close (his best WAR was 5.8 in 1998, a year in which the Yankees would've won the pennant if they had had an orangutan in right field).

I'm not knocking the guy, but for someone to receive the highest honour from the most successful franchise in sports history...well, you really need more than that. Let's revisit the situation in a decade or two, OK?
   40. Swedish Chef Posted: January 19, 2014 at 08:53 AM (#4641802)
You all act like the Yankees have to save a lot of numbers for future success. That seems unduly pessimistic.
   41. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 19, 2014 at 10:17 AM (#4641809)
Once Jeter retires, no Yankee will ever have a single digit number again.


Isn't #6 in the mix?

Anyway, O'Neill wasn't nearly the player that Tony Lazzeri or Joe Gordon or Earle Combs was. He wasn't The idea that his number should be retired is preposterous. He was a good but not remotely great player who spent half his career elsewhere. It's pure recency bias and vertigo to suggest he deserves that kind of honor.
   42. SoSH U at work Posted: January 19, 2014 at 10:24 AM (#4641810)
Isn't #6 in the mix?


The assumption is it will have already been set aside for Torre.

   43. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 19, 2014 at 10:54 AM (#4641818)
Anyway, O'Neill wasn't nearly the player that Tony Lazzeri or Joe Gordon or Earle Combs was. He wasn't The idea that his number should be retired is preposterous. He was a good but not remotely great player who spent half his career elsewhere. It's pure recency bias and vertigo to suggest he deserves that kind of honor.

Schools Brief for the apparently clueless:

---The choice to retire a player's number falls under the Marketing Division.

---Marketing decisions revolve around perceived success of the marketing ploy.

---Marketing ploys are aimed at the living, not the dead.

---You have to be in your mid-70's to have a living memory of Tommy Henrich or Charlie Keller. You'd have to be 80 to remember Joe Gordon in his prime as a Yankee. You'd have to be pushing 90 to remember seeing Earle Combs or Tony Lazzeri.

---You only have to be in your early 20's to have a living memory of Paul O'Neill.

---If you're a Yankees fan, those memories of O'Neill are going to be overwhelmingly positive. Memories and opinions of non-Yankee fans are completely beside the point.

---"Recency bias" is nothing but an acknowledgement of all of the above.

---The only real choice is whether to retire these numbers in clusters, or on separate days. Retiring Bernie's and Posada's numbers while not retiring O'Neill's is not going to be a serious option for the Yankees' marketing division. WAR numbers are about as relevant to number retirement as a player's astrological sign.
   44. donlock Posted: January 19, 2014 at 11:21 AM (#4641825)
What about this Rodriguez fellow, WAR of 52? Looks like a pretty good hitter. May not get all the media attention of some other Yanks...
   45. SoSH U at work Posted: January 19, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4641828)
Memories and opinions of non-Yankee fans are completely beside the point.


Ah, this old mindless staple. A favorite of Andy's when he's got no real argument (if I may summarize 43, if the Yankees retire Paul O'Neill's number, it will be the right thing to do because the Yankees retired his number).

So I'll give you a Paulie counterpart on my favorite team: Jason Varitek. Put up a similar amount of value in his time in Boston (and, obviously, only played in Boston, rather than half his career elsewhere). Well-loved by the local fanbase in part for his dirty doggedness, though probably, like Paul, quite the #######. Was one of the few Sox players who started on both the 2004 and 2007 series winners (and historically speaking, a Sox World Series win has got to have twice the franchise value of a similar accomplishment for a Yankee, so he easily matches O'Neill there).

And unless Varitek has a Pesky-like run with the Sox organization, his number should remain open for use.
   46. BDC Posted: January 19, 2014 at 12:16 PM (#4641837)
set aside for Torre

Yes, you'd have to figure nobody will wear 6 again. Certainly nobody's worn it since Torre departed, right?

I'm with those who have high standards for number retirement. To me, you have to have the sense that nobody would ever voulntarily wear that number again, a sign of respect and a bit of awe (at least in the context of a kids' game, for crying out loud :) Looking at the Cubs' retired numbers, for instance, nobody was ever given 14 after Ernie Banks retired, but a fair number of far lesser players wore 10 (Santo) and 26 (Williams), and notably 31 (Jenkins, which was eventually retired for both him and Greg Maddux, despite numerous nonentities wearing it between and after them). Ryne Sandberg was the last to wear the now-retired 23, in a later and more self-conscious era about such stuff.

If the clubhouse manager can't even remember that a number was special, then it shouldn't be "retired." Find some other nice way to honor the fellow.
   47. McCoy Posted: January 19, 2014 at 12:19 PM (#4641841)
I think plenty of people would have worn Babe's number or Ernie's or Stan's or Ted's if given the chance.
   48. BDC Posted: January 19, 2014 at 12:25 PM (#4641844)
Yeah, I guess I didn't quite express that right. They would, but it would have seemed gauche or presumptuous. If you're wearing 9 for Boston, you better be able to hit to back that up, and nobody can.

The 24 situation when Barry Bonds went to San Francisco is an example. It was OK with Mays (whose relation to Bonds was important), but it still seemed a bit tacky, and Bonds thought better of it (IIRC. Maybe Bud Selig vetoed it or something :)
   49. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 19, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4641846)
So I'll give you a Paulie counterpart on my favorite team: Jason Varitek. Put up a similar amount of value in his time in Boston (and, obviously, only played in Boston, rather than half his career elsewhere). Well-loved by the local fanbase in part for his dirty doggedness, though probably, like Paul, quite the #######. Was one of the few Sox players who started on both the 2004 and 2007 series winners (and historically speaking, a Sox World Series win has got to have twice the franchise value of a similar accomplishment for a Yankee, so he easily matches O'Neill there).


The Red Sox retired Fisk's number even though he spent less then 45% of his career with them and was part of 0 championships.

The Withe Sox retired Baines number, in mid career.
   50. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: January 19, 2014 at 12:33 PM (#4641849)
...Paul O’Neill: Only one person has worn No. 21 since O’Neill hung it up in 2001. That was LaTroy Hawkins in 2008. Hawkins heard loud boos and eventually changed his number that season.


I was in the stands for some of these games. The booing was NOT about the number on his back.
   51. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 19, 2014 at 12:54 PM (#4641864)
I booed Paul O'Neill for wearing Dan Pasqua's number.
   52. haggard Posted: January 19, 2014 at 12:57 PM (#4641869)
Why don't they just retire 666 and be done with the whole thing?
   53. J in the Slope Posted: January 19, 2014 at 01:16 PM (#4641883)
I don't know if I would call it "standards", but the Mets could stand to retire a few more players' numbers.


I'm not sure who else they could retire. Piazza should be retired. I suppose the next closest would be Strawberry. If the Mets weren't idiots/broke, Wright and Reyes should have been inducted together in 2025.

Beltran isn't appreciated by fans, Carter was an Expo, Hernandez was a Cardinal, Doc probably fizzled too quickly.
   54. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: January 19, 2014 at 01:49 PM (#4641895)
Are you arguing that the Mets should have extended Reyes? I don't think the facts bear that out.
   55. Bowling Baseball Fan Posted: January 19, 2014 at 02:11 PM (#4641903)
O'Neill should have a monument put up. A bronzed water cooler with four good dents in it.
   56. BDC Posted: January 19, 2014 at 02:47 PM (#4641912)
Ed Kranepool?

The Rangers have been very chary of retiring numbers (with good reason, most people would say). Johnny Oates (26) is in the Fred Hutchinson category: a good colleague who died too young. And 34, Nolan Ryan, why the heck not, at least it's a number people actually remember, like Banks 14 or Aaron 44. Ryan had a significant impact around here, not entirely symbolic – and since the number is a symbol anyway, one wouldn't object to the honor if his role had been entirely symbolic.

But they have retired no numbers simply because the guy was a good player here. And that pretty much fits the history of the franchise. They can retire #1 if and when Elvis hangs it up after 20 years in Arlington and five rings.
   57. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 19, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4641917)
Isn't #6 in the mix?


The assumption is it will have already been set aside for Torre.



And the brain says, "FART".
   58. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 19, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4641918)
Johnny Oates (26) is in the Fred Hutchinson category: a good colleague who died too young.


Hard to believe Johnny Oates was only 58 when he died. He looked like Jim Leyland's dad.
   59. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 19, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4641928)
I find it hard to imagine why any non-Yankee fan would care whose number they retired.

I mean, if the Red Sox decided to retire Jerry Remy's number, I wouldn't give two shits about it.
   60. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 19, 2014 at 04:29 PM (#4641954)
So I'll give you a Paulie counterpart on my favorite team: Jason Varitek. Put up a similar amount of value in his time in Boston (and, obviously, only played in Boston, rather than half his career elsewhere). Well-loved by the local fanbase in part for his dirty doggedness, though probably, like Paul, quite the #######. Was one of the few Sox players who started on both the 2004 and 2007 series winners (and historically speaking, a Sox World Series win has got to have twice the franchise value of a similar accomplishment for a Yankee, so he easily matches O'Neill there). And unless Varitek has a Pesky-like run with the Sox organization, his number should remain open for use.

The Red Sox can draw the line wherever they want on honoring their players. For some reason, they seem to prefer to disparage them on the way out of town, but whatever. :>)

Why would anyone else care if the Red Sox retired Varitek's number? He wasn't a Hall of Famer or as good as Posada, but that doesn't have to be where you draw the line. If he had been a Yankee, Harry Agganis would probably have had his number retired. Of course, with Boggs & Clemens still unrecognized, maybe the Red Sox don't want to address the retired number issue unless they absolutely have to.
   61. SoSH U at work Posted: January 19, 2014 at 04:31 PM (#4641956)
I find it hard to imagine why any non-Yankee fan would care whose number they retired.


If the Yankees opt to retire the number of Paul O'Neill, it won't have any affect on my life. So in that sense, I don't care.

OTOH, I don't think it's required to have an emotional investment in an outcome to have an opinion on its wisdom.

For some reason, they seem to prefer to disparage them on the way out of town, but whatever. :>)


That little dig from the Yankee side of the rivalry worked a lot better before the summer of 2013.

And of course the Red Sox (and Yankees) can draw the line wherever they want. I'm just surprised so many Yankee fans are cool with the rather low (and historically inconsistent) standards the club is now operating under when it comes to this particular honor.
   62. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: January 19, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4641968)
Did you just acknowledge that "The Kiss" is a thing?
   63. SoSH U at work Posted: January 19, 2014 at 05:24 PM (#4642001)
Did you just acknowledge that "The Kiss" is a thing?


I'm not sure what you're referring to. Is that the term used to describe the Red Sox treatment of the players as they leave town? I certainly acknowledge that is the perception that exists. Whether there really is a concerted and repeated effort to paint players on the team in a negative light by the members of the organization, a treatment that would have survived changes in ownership and management, rather than simply the cheap shots of a local media that is thoroughly capable of petty and unprofessional behavior without any prompting, I don't really have the proper insight to determine.

Regardless, when your club has spent the better part of 2013 and into 2014 openly disparaging a guy who's still in town, well glass houses and stones and all.

I have a question for snapper and Clapper, my rhymed friends. Rather than focus on the appropriateness of me having an opinion on all things Bronx Bomber, what are your opinions on the actual subject? You guys are the protectors of the pinstripes, defenders of the Aura and guardians of the Mystique. As Yankee fans, do you think Paul O'Neill merits this permanent tribue?
   64. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: January 19, 2014 at 05:31 PM (#4642003)
Whether there really is a concerted and repeated effort to paint players on the team in a negative light by the members of the organization, a treatment that would have survived changes in ownership and management, rather than simply the cheap shots of a local media that is thoroughly capable of petty and unprofessional behavior without any prompting, I don't really have the proper insight to determine.


Arguing about the past is a foolish thing to do. On the other hand, I'm bored today and we're living on an anonymous baseball chat board in January.

This practice did not begin and end with the media. There were enough tidbits when players would leave town that it was clear that it was leaked by members of the organization. Now the local media could have been more willing for this leaked information to see print because of a person leaving town, but this thing didn't happen independently of the organization.

   65. God Posted: January 19, 2014 at 05:39 PM (#4642006)
I'm not sure who else they could retire. Piazza should be retired.

This raises the question, how many guys are there whose number is retired by at least one team, but NOT by the team they played the best for? (We can use WAR to quantify this, although since there's some serious strawman beating going on in this thread, let me say preemptively that of course I don't think number retirement should be based on WAR; it's simply the best objective tool for this little exercise.)

Anyway, if Piazza's number gets retired by the Mets, he'll be on the list. He had 31% more WAR with the Dodgers than the Mets even though he played slightly more for the Mets. And the Dodgers won't be retiring his number unless he wears their cap on his plaque, which he won't.

Anyhow...

Mike Piazza (Probable retirement by Mets with 24.3 WAR. Not retired by Dodgers with 31.9 WAR.)
Steve Garvey (Retired by Padres with 1.3 WAR. Not retired by Dodgers with 36.3 WAR.)
Gil Hodges (Retired by Mets with 0.6 WAR. Not retired by Dodgers with 44.3 WAR. Somewhat of a special case obviously.)
Wade Boggs (Retired by Rays with 2.4 WAR. Not retired by Red Sox with 71.4 or Yankees with 18.3.)
Bruce Sutter (Retired by Cardinals with 6.4 WAR. Not retired by Cubs with 18.5 WAR.)

And that's it. Frank Robinson was on this list for 26 years but no longer is. Reggie Jackson was on it for 11 years.
   66. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 19, 2014 at 05:41 PM (#4642007)
Memories and opinions of non-Yankee fans are completely beside the point.

Ah, this old mindless staple. A favorite of Andy's when he's got no real argument (if I may summarize 43, if the Yankees retire Paul O'Neill's number, it will be the right thing to do because the Yankees retired his number).

So I'll give you a Paulie counterpart on my favorite team: Jason Varitek. Put up a similar amount of value in his time in Boston (and, obviously, only played in Boston, rather than half his career elsewhere). Well-loved by the local fanbase in part for his dirty doggedness, though probably, like Paul, quite the #######. Was one of the few Sox players who started on both the 2004 and 2007 series winners (and historically speaking, a Sox World Series win has got to have twice the franchise value of a similar accomplishment for a Yankee, so he easily matches O'Neill there).

And unless Varitek has a Pesky-like run with the Sox organization, his number should remain open for use.


As a Yankee fan, my memories of Varitek and my opinion on the question of retiring Varitek's number are no more relevant than a Red Sox fan's opinion on the question of retiring O'Neill's are to the Yankees. It not really that complicated.

EDIT: Belated coke to snapper and YC.
   67. God Posted: January 19, 2014 at 05:41 PM (#4642008)
But they have retired no numbers simply because the guy was a good player here. And that pretty much fits the history of the franchise. They can retire #1 if and when Elvis hangs it up after 20 years in Arlington and five rings.


What's wrong with Pudge?
   68. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 19, 2014 at 05:42 PM (#4642010)
As Yankee fans, do you think Paul O'Neill merits this permanent tribue?

Well, I think I've already acknowledged it would be somewhat of a sentiment-based tribute by the Steinbrenner sons toward their father's favorite player. That doesn't particularly outrage me, even if I might not do it if I owned the team. This is all hypothetical, no announcement has been made. Joe Torre seems a lock for retired number status, and his Hall of Fame year seems like a good time to do it. The Yankees could address the Torre-era players over an extended time, but perhaps they will elect to do all the retired players from that period at once. It would be quite a day at the Stadium if Torre, Bernie, Posada, O'Neill & Pettitte were celebrated one more time. Most Yankee fans thoroughly enjoy the various tributes to the team's accomplishments.

EDIT: To add Mariano Rivera to Retired Number Day. Thought they had retired his number as part of the farewell, but the Yankee website doesn't list him among the retired numbers.
   69. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 19, 2014 at 05:45 PM (#4642015)
Why don't they just retire 666 and be done with the whole thing?

Now that I like. I only wish it were still relevant, alas.
   70. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 19, 2014 at 05:47 PM (#4642016)
O'Neill should have a monument put up. A bronzed water cooler with four good dents in it.

Another good one that both O'Neill and any good Yankees fan would appreciate.
   71. God Posted: January 19, 2014 at 05:48 PM (#4642017)
I don't have any emotional investment in the Yankees, but if I did, the O'Neill thing would bug me simply because it shows an extreme lack of awareness of history, when the Yankees should be celebrating their history. There is simply no way that Paul O'Neill is more deserving of having his number retired than Charlie Keller or Tommy Henrich, both of whom (a) basically played the same position as O'Neill, (b) were FAR, FAR better players, and (c) won more championships. This is why I have to disagree with Jolly Old St. Nick. Even though I'm not a Yankee fan, I happen to know a hell of a lot more about their history than most Yankees fans do. I can see why St. Nick should have more input than I do. But I'm not sure why my opinion should be superseded by some meathead Yankee fan who goes to two games a year and has never heard of Hank Bauer or Bob Meusel.
   72. SoSH U at work Posted: January 19, 2014 at 05:49 PM (#4642019)
This practice did not begin and end with the media. There were enough tidbits when players would leave town that it was clear that it was leaked by members of the organization. Now the local media could have been more willing for this leaked information to see print because of a person leaving town, but this thing didn't happen independently of the organization.


OK. They surely were pissed at Manny, and made no secret of that. That one was somewhat understandable. The Terry Francona departure was a black mark on the organization, without question. I'm not sure what went down with Nomar, but there were plenty of hints (and signs) about his unhappiness before they shipped him out. Some others, like Pedro, exited without incident. Again, I don't really have any kind of strong handle on any of it.

I will say the practice, whatever its origins or level of activity, is shameful. I only wish it were the only past or ongoing activity from the organization that could be called that. Then again, I don't pretend that because the Red Sox do something, it must be the proper way to do things. In fact, as long as Lucky Larry has a big say in the club's operating procedure, I'm pretty sure the Sox way and the SoSH U way would diverge pretty sharply.

As a Yankee fan, my memories of Varitek and my opinion on the question of retiring Varitek's number are no more relevant than a Red Sox fan's opinion on the question of retiring O'Neill's are to the Yankees. It not really that complicated.


Oh go #### yourself Andy. This bullshit is beyond tiresome.

We are baseball fans. This is a baseball site where we discuss baseball things. I can have an opinion on whether the Yankees, or the Tigers or the Angels should do something without having an emotional stake in the decision. Now, I'd be a fool to think the Yankees or Tigers or Angels should give a #### what I think, but nowhere have I even hinted that they should.

Jason Varitek was used as an example because you're completely ignoring the points I'm making in favor of the ones you're more comfortable refuting. I believe Jason Varitek is about equally deserving of having his number retired by the Sox as Paul O'Neill is by the Yankees, which is to say neither is deserving at all. If you think Paulie really warrants such a distinction, make a ####### case for it, rather than telling me how unimportant my opinion on the matter is, or how it's not just about the WAR or the other crap you've posted in this thread.
   73. God Posted: January 19, 2014 at 05:53 PM (#4642024)
I wonder if that's had an effect on the Red Sox's trading ability. If you're the Dodgers trading for Manny or the Cubs trading for Nomar, do you want to give up as much knowing that the character of the player you're acquiring is going to be torn apart in the national media immediately after the trade is completed?
   74. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 19, 2014 at 06:33 PM (#4642064)
I wonder if that's had an effect on the Red Sox's trading ability.


It's pretty clear that it hasn't. The Red Sox have gotten plenty in return for plenty of players without much trouble.
   75. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 19, 2014 at 07:32 PM (#4642105)
I don't have any emotional investment in the Yankees, but if I did, the O'Neill thing would bug me simply because it shows an extreme lack of awareness of history, when the Yankees should be celebrating their history. There is simply no way that Paul O'Neill is more deserving of having his number retired than Charlie Keller or Tommy Henrich, both of whom (a) basically played the same position as O'Neill, (b) were FAR, FAR better players, and (c) won more championships. This is why I have to disagree with Jolly Old St. Nick. Even though I'm not a Yankee fan, I happen to know a hell of a lot more about their history than most Yankees fans do. I can see why St. Nick should have more input than I do. But I'm not sure why my opinion should be superseded by some meathead Yankee fan who goes to two games a year and has never heard of Hank Bauer or Bob Meusel.

I've got two sets of opinions on all this.

The first one I explained in #43. In real life, it's a marketing decision, and favoring O'Neill over Keller or Henrich is an easy decision from that POV.

Now from an historical / strictly meritocratic perspective, I can't say that you (or SoSH) are wrong. But to retire Charlie Keller's main number (#9), you'd have to piggyback him onto Roger Maris, whose Yankee career in turn is probably less deserving than both his predecessor #9 Hank Bauer and his down the road sucessor #9 Graig Nettles. And Tommy Henrich would have to piggyback onto both Thurman Munson and Mickey Mantle, since for the great bulk of his career he wore either #15 or #7.** I think you might run into a bit of a logistical problem if you tried going that far back in history.

**And if they'd honored Keller and Henrich while they were still alive and kicking, The Rajah wouldn't have been #9 to begin with, and The Mick would've had to have been known as something like "Number 12". You see where this could lead?
   76. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 19, 2014 at 07:36 PM (#4642110)
I have a question for snapper and Clapper, my rhymed friends. Rather than focus on the appropriateness of me having an opinion on all things Bronx Bomber, what are your opinions on the actual subject? You guys are the protectors of the pinstripes, defenders of the Aura and guardians of the Mystique. As Yankee fans, do you think Paul O'Neill merits this permanent tribue?

Why not? He was very good player on a legendary team. And yes, I'd also retire Randolph's #30, re-retire #9 for Nettles, and #6 for White, and hell, #14 for Piniella.
   77. SoSH U at work Posted: January 19, 2014 at 07:49 PM (#4642127)


**And if they'd honored Keller and Henrich while they were still alive and kicking, The Rajah wouldn't have been #9 to begin with, and The Mick would've had to have been known as something like "Number 12". You see where this could lead?


Yes, which is why you don't do it. Looking down to where things could lead is also the reason you don't retire the number of every complimentary piece on every title team, such as Paul F. O'Neill.


Why not? He was very good player on a legendary team. And yes, I'd also retire Randolph's #30, re-retire #9 for Nettles, and #6 for White, and hell, #14 for Piniella.


Well, I appreciate your answer, even if the response boggles my mind.



   78. God Posted: January 19, 2014 at 07:58 PM (#4642136)
Post 75 -- hat tip and point taken. Still don't think O'Neill is a good idea.
   79. BDC Posted: January 19, 2014 at 08:00 PM (#4642141)
What's wrong with Pudge?

Nothing's wrong with honoring Pudge, except that nobody gave a hoot about 7 after he left the club. David Murphy wore it here. In fact, that's a good test case for my principle: if a number is unsacrosanct enough to just assign it to the next guy who wanders in, it's clearly not a noteworthy number per se. (Several others wore it between Rodriguez and Murphy, too.)
   80. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 19, 2014 at 08:04 PM (#4642147)
Well, I appreciate your answer, even if the response boggles my mind.

Why? The point of retiring numbers is to honor guys who have been important to the team, and to make fans feel good about past success.

Why should anyone care what the "standard" is for a retired number? It's just fun nostalgia.
   81. BDC Posted: January 19, 2014 at 08:09 PM (#4642157)
An afterthought: the only reason I remember that Pudge wore 7 is that "The Magnificent Seven" was his Ballpark intro music :)

I'm trying to think of how many current Ranger numbers I even know. Andus is 1, that stands out. Profar is 13, ditto. Beltre is 29 because I have the T-shirt. Ian Kinsler was 5. Josh Hamilton was 32, because you still see Ranger fans wearing 32 circled with a line through it. Leonys Martin is 2, which I remember for accidental reasons. The heck if I remember any pitcher's number other than Nolan Ryan :-D
   82. SoSH U at work Posted: January 19, 2014 at 08:29 PM (#4642178)
Why? The point of retiring numbers is to honor guys who have been important to the team, and to make fans feel good about past success.


I think the point of retiring numbers is to identify the players who were so important/significant that no one should ever wear that number again. A true honor set aside for the greats, not the sport's equivalent of the 5-year service award.

There are ways to honor guys like Paul O'Neill (or Jason Varitek) that don't require taking their numbers out of service for eternity. Besides weakening what should be a truly significant honor by doling it out to every dude who spent a handful of productive years with a club during periods of great success, or being entirely inconsistent with the club's own unmatched history, it also strikes me as incredibly short-sighted. The Yankees are probably going to be around for awhile. If Paul O'Neill or, God forbid, Lou Piniella, becomes the floor for this kind of honor, it won't be long before regular season Yankee clubs resemble the weaker split squad during Spring Training.

   83. Jose Canusee Posted: January 19, 2014 at 08:32 PM (#4642180)
Yanks can retire more #s than others- not because of success and stars, but because without names on the back you tend to visualize players more by their #. But before this discussion I would have had to do a shout-out if I got asked his number on "Cash Cab". And I do recall Randolph and Winfield's numbers.
   84. God Posted: January 19, 2014 at 08:41 PM (#4642187)
There are ways to honor guys like Paul O'Neill (or Jason Varitek) that don't require taking their numbers out of service for eternity.

And the Yankees already have those ways -- the plaques in Monument Park. Which makes this O'Neill number retirement thing all the more bewildering.
   85. God Posted: January 19, 2014 at 08:42 PM (#4642189)
If Paul O'Neill or, God forbid, Lou Piniella, becomes the floor for this kind of honor


I do forbid this, if anyone's asking.
   86. Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch) Posted: January 19, 2014 at 10:37 PM (#4642352)
But before this discussion I would have had to do a shout-out if I got asked his number on "Cash Cab". And I do recall Randolph and Winfield's numbers.


I'd definitely say O'Neill falls below the standard of "It would be a travesty for any future Yankee to wear his number," but I do have no trouble remembering he wore #21--mostly because that's the reason Clemens had to change to #22. I remember at the time it was incongruous that a guy who was on track to be an inner-circle Hall of Famer was changing numbers to accommodate Paul O'Neill.
   87. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 19, 2014 at 11:16 PM (#4642423)
Yanks can retire more #s than others- not because of success and stars, but because without names on the back you tend to visualize players more by their #. But before this discussion I would have had to do a shout-out if I got asked his number on "Cash Cab". And I do recall Randolph and Winfield's numbers.

If A-Rod had stayed clean and had his #13 retired, Cliff Mapes would've had his number retired three times. He broke in with #13, was the last to wear Ruth's #3 before it was retired in 1948, and after that was the last one to wear #7 before Mickey Mantle took it over when he returned from Kansas City in mid-1951.**

And if Torre's #6 gets retired, that was also what The Mick wore for the first half of his rookie year.

**And when Mapes played for Kansas City in the 40's, he supposedly hit a 500+ ft. home run, according to The Sporting News. Don't know what number he was wearing then.
   88. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: January 19, 2014 at 11:40 PM (#4642432)
There are only so many numbers, guys. Will be fun to watch Yankees games in 50 years. Now batting, #102, Derek Jeter III.
   89. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:16 AM (#4642441)
The assumption is it will have already been set aside for Torre.
Cashman said they basically have already retired it, and just haven't done it officially yet.
   90. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:18 AM (#4642442)
And I think the Jeter/Bernie/Posada/O'Neill/Pettitte number retirements should be either in 2016 or 2018, as part of the anniversary celebrations of the '96 Yankees or '98 Yankees.
   91. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:26 AM (#4642446)
There are only so many numbers, guys. Will be fun to watch Yankees games in 50 years. Now batting, #102, Derek Jeter III.

That would still be in Bob Sheppard's voice, of course. That will be in the first paragraph of D-III's contract.
   92. vivaelpujols Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:34 AM (#4642449)
Rk Player WAR/pos G From To
1 Alex Rodriguez 52.5 1293 2004 2013
2 Charlie Keller 41.9 1066 1939 1952
3 Gil McDougald 40.7 1336 1951 1960
4 Tommy Henrich 35.7 1284 1937 1950
5 Roger Peckinpaugh 31.7 1219 1913 1921
6 Bobby Murcer 27.7 1256 1965 1983
7 Bob Meusel 27.7 1294 1920 1929
8 Paul ONeill 26.6 1254 1993 2001
9 Ben Chapman 25.2 910 1930 1936
10 Bill Skowron 23.9 1087 1954 1962


AROD!
   93. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:38 AM (#4642451)
There are only so many numbers, guys. Will be fun to watch Yankees games in 50 years. Now batting, #102, Derek Jeter III.

If continued success leads to so many retired numbers that there is a shortage of even two-digit numbers -- certainly a possibility -- the Yankees could always change the number color from midnight blue and start over with a new series of red numbers, or some other color. Or mix in a few Roman Numerals. Or just sign bigger players and use three-digit numbers.
   94. Jose Canusee Posted: January 20, 2014 at 08:05 AM (#4642488)
Also surprised no comments about "Toree’s number". A 5-time All-Star and 9-time Gold Glove winner like Mr. Hunter deserves more respect than to have his name misspelled by some Jersey paper. And retiring a high number like 48 shouldn't be a problem.
   95. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:42 PM (#4642610)
I'd definitely say O'Neill falls below the standard of "It would be a travesty for any future Yankee to wear his number," but I do have no trouble remembering he wore #21--mostly because that's the reason Clemens had to change to #22. I remember at the time it was incongruous that a guy who was on track to be an inner-circle Hall of Famer was changing numbers to accommodate Paul O'Neill.


Did you really expect a player of O'Neills stature to give up his number? We're not talking about a second year player who's just getting his feet wet, O'Neill was by 1999 a major player on a 3 time WS winning team.
In fact in retrospect, it was clearly the right thing to do considering Paulie is a bigger part of Yankee lore than Clemens.


edit: It was actually TWO WS titles entering 1999.
   96. Chris Fluit Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:44 PM (#4642612)
I'm amused by Yankee fans getting annoyed that anyone else could have an opinion on this topic. As if the recent Brewers' Hall of Fame thread had only Brewers fans posting in it.
   97. J in the Slope Posted: January 20, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4642712)
Are you arguing that the Mets should have extended Reyes? I don't think the facts bear that out.


Not to hijack the thread, but is the consensus here that the Mets should not have kept Reyes? Their two best SS prospects are in SS-A and the Rookie leagues and have not yet shown any hitting ability. Reyes has produced 6.3 WAR over two seasons and has been paid $20m so far. Most projections have him in the 3.5 WAR range.

He was a homegrown, well-liked player of a big-market team that was entering his age 29 year when he hit the market. I've always assumed not resigning him was more because the Mets were broke than for baseball reasons.
   98. GregD Posted: January 20, 2014 at 03:09 PM (#4642720)
He was a homegrown, well-liked player of a big-market team that was entering his age 29 year when he hit the market. I've always assumed not resigning him was more because the Mets were broke than for baseball reasons.
This sounds exactly right to me. Of course the Mets should have extended Reyes.

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