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Friday, December 03, 2010

Mariano Rivera to sign two-year deal with New York Yankees worth $30 million

Yankee fans rejoice: “Enter Sandman” will blissfully be heard for two more years in the Bronx.

According to a source familiar with the negotiations between the Yankees and future Hall of Fame closer Mariano Rivera, the 41-year-old will sign a two-year deal believed to be worth $30 million by Friday night.

While the Yankee winter has been dominated by the negotiations between Yankee captain Derek Jeter and the club’s front office, Rivera’s free agent status went quietly under the radar, although his importance is immeasurable.

Thanks to Inning Eater.

Repoz Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:06 AM | 100 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, yankees

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   1. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:17 AM (#3701415)
Who?
   2. 1k5v3L Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:24 AM (#3701421)
First Rivera steals Jeter's glove, now he steals Jeter's thunder.
   3. rr Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:38 AM (#3701432)
Good move by both parties.

I still think it would have been cool if the Red Sox had made Rivera a serious offer.
   4. Ignatius J. Reilly Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:40 AM (#3701435)
He did get a three year offer for more $$$ from a "rival team". . .
   5. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:41 AM (#3701436)
Thank you Mariano. Thank you Mr. Cashman.
   6. Dan Posted: December 03, 2010 at 06:38 AM (#3701470)
Link doesn't work. I think its length exceeded the max allowed, so you'd need to use tinyurl or something similar.
   7. Tripon Posted: December 03, 2010 at 07:15 AM (#3701490)
50 years from now, who's the bigger star among Yankees fans and nationwide?
   8. RollingWave Posted: December 03, 2010 at 07:35 AM (#3701500)
50 years from now, who's the bigger star among Yankees fans and nationwide?

A-rod (runs)
   9. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: December 03, 2010 at 07:49 AM (#3701503)
Babe Ruth.
   10. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 03, 2010 at 07:49 AM (#3701504)
Stephen Strasburg Jr.
   11. Chris in Wicker Park Posted: December 03, 2010 at 09:44 AM (#3701529)
his importance is immeasurable


I would measure it at somewhere around $30mm
   12. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: December 03, 2010 at 10:01 AM (#3701531)
He did get a three year offer for more $$$ from a "rival team". . .


Lord Haw Haw tweeted that three teams offered 3 years, including the Red Sox and the Angels.
   13. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 03, 2010 at 10:49 AM (#3701537)
I wouldn't want the team I root for giving Rivera any more than what the Yankees gave him but it's funny that it seems between Jeter/Rivera, the one with legitimate leverage gives a discount and the one without is playing hardball and seems to be getting concessions. Have to imagine Rivera could have gotten either an extra year or an extra $4 or 5 million annually if he held out.
   14. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 03, 2010 at 01:08 PM (#3701550)
Hooray!
   15. Greg Goosen at 30 Posted: December 03, 2010 at 01:20 PM (#3701555)
His ERA+ has declined for the last two years to a microscopic 238.
   16. bob gee Posted: December 03, 2010 at 02:04 PM (#3701572)
try this link:

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/2010/12/02/2010-12-02_closer_mariano_rivera_to_sign_twoyear_deal_with_new_york_yankees_worth_30_millio.html
   17. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 03, 2010 at 02:16 PM (#3701580)
Awesome, I will take that.

50 years from now, who's the bigger star among Yankees fans and nationwide?

I have to think it will be Mo. When people look back at BBRef 50 years from now, Jeter's stat page will look pretty darn good. 3,000 hits, a lot of offense for a SS and a pretty good postseason career. Mo's numbers will look ridiculous, especially his postseason numbers. At the end of this deal, he'll have 1300 innings of ERA+ around 200 and another 160 IP in the postseason with a ridiculously low ERA, I have to think his numbers will jump out more.

And there will be thousands of analysts trying to debunk Jeter's greatness over the next 50 years. I don't see that happening with Mo.
   18. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: December 03, 2010 at 02:46 PM (#3701588)
I wish the Sox had gotten him. The most likable ballplayer (non-Manny/Pedro division) of the last 30 years, and one of the best. PLUS we could have finally gotten rid of Papelbon once and for all.
   19. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: December 03, 2010 at 02:46 PM (#3701589)
never saw him negotiate
   20. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 03, 2010 at 02:56 PM (#3701598)
50 years from now, who's the bigger star among Yankees fans and nationwide?

I have to think it will be Mo.
This is a silly thing to argue about, but we wouldn't be on the internet if we didn't like arguing about silly things.

Derek Jeter was the face of the most successful franchise of his era. He played the most important defensive position and he racked up 3000 hits (well, he will.) The fact that a tiny subset of baseball fans will still be debating ZR vs. FRAA fifty years from now won't have any meaningful effect on Jeter's perception among fans.

And even among saber-fans, I'd bet if you polled just BTF posters, you'd find that a large majority of them consider Jeter the greater player. Saber fans may be skeptical of Captain Calm Eyes and his disappearing range factor, but they're all the more skeptical of 60-inning closers.
   21. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 03, 2010 at 03:01 PM (#3701601)
50 years from now, who's the bigger star among Yankees fans and nationwide?


I think Jeter will be the "face" of this Yankee era but Rivera will be more highly regarded. I wouldn't be surprised if in 50 years Rivera is STILL considered the best closer ever (with a much larger sample to compare against).
   22. Darren Posted: December 03, 2010 at 03:05 PM (#3701603)
The most likable ballplayer (non-Manny/Pedro division) of the last 30 years


Manny and Pedro are not universally loved or even liked by non-Red Sox fans. Mariano, on the other hand, is someone who even Red Sox fans can't hate. Especially after his handling of opening day 2005. I still laugh thinking about that.

None of them measure up to that lovable scamp Papelbon, though.
   23. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 03, 2010 at 03:29 PM (#3701619)
And even among saber-fans, I'd bet if you polled just BTF posters, you'd find that a large majority of them consider Jeter the greater player. Saber fans may be skeptical of Captain Calm Eyes and his disappearing range factor, but they're all the more skeptical of 60-inning closers.

Here are some more random reasons I think it will be Mo:

I don't think it will have much to do with who is the greater player. Mo is simply a more legendary character IMO. He's quiet, emotionless, age-less, and he's always on the mound when the Yanks win the World Series. I don't see anyone seriously suggesting that Jeter is a robot, and I think that's a reason Mo's legend will endure better.

Mo's post-season performance is clearly a step up from his regular season performance while Jeter's is right in line with his regular season performance. I would imagine the Jeter is super-clutch storyline will fade a bit in 50 years while Mo's will stay as strong as ever simply because the numbers will be there to support it after all the sportswriters are dead.

Mo is the best reliever of all time. Jeter is not the best SS of all time and he's not going to be in the conversation. He's somewhere behind A-rod and Ripken, right around where Larkin is. I feel like Yankee fans cherish their players most when they are the at least seriously in the discussion as the best of all time at their position. Guys like Ruth, Gehrig, Dimaggio (when he retired he was in the discussion), and Mantle are the most honored Yankee legends. Guys like Yogi, who is pretty close in value to Jeter, has more rings than Jeter, and is way more endearing than Jeter, isn't considered a legend to the same degree as those other guys (at least that's my impression). Mo didn't provide the same kind of value as Mantle et al., but he is considered the greatest, or one of the greatest relief pitchers of all time.

There is also a matter of room in the Pantheon of Yankee greats. There are many legendary Yankee hitters, there is one legendary Yankee pitcher.

And Mo's career is almost bereft of failure, which I think is a legendary achievement of a ballplayer. He rarely blows saves, he rarely loses games and he even more rarely loses big games. Jeter makes outs 62% of the time, Mo fails like two or three times a season. His WHIP is a 1.003. He gives up a HR every 18 innings. Mo is the closest thing baseball has had to a guy who can do no wrong since I've been watching. Yeah, his value is limited and his greatness is magnified by his role and his limited opportunities, but I don't think that diminishes his accomplishments.

Mo's got his cutter, which will be talked about until long after his joints rust. Jeter has a few signature moments and he can inside out the ball, but he doesn't have any one aspect of his game or trademark quality that is as legendary as Mo's cutter.

And I bet Mo ends his career when he's still a good pitcher. I'm not sure Jeter will going out on a similar high note.

And a lot of people hate Jeter now, even among Yankee fans (spend five minutes at RLYW), nobody hates Mo.
   24. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 03, 2010 at 03:37 PM (#3701622)
I disagree with CP, I think the bigger star in people's minds will be Jeter, but I think a large part of that is because Jeter will want it to be him, whereas Rivera doesn't really seem to care. This isn't to say Mo doesn't care at all about his legacy, but its always struck me that Jeter is way more into the "Yankee Legend" stuff than Rivera. I don't think either of them is wrong, but I just can't see Mo being a constant post-career presence in the way I imagine Jeter will be.
   25. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 03, 2010 at 03:58 PM (#3701639)
50 years from now, who's the bigger star among Yankees fans and nationwide?

I think it'll largely depend on what Jeter does going forward, particularly in these contract negotiations.

If he re-ups and doesn't fall off the cliff over the course of his new contract, and retires as a Yankee, he's going to be seen as the defining Yankee of the Torre-Girardi years.

And the reason for that is simple: Jeter's out there every day, not just for 79 innings a year.

Even if Jeter re-ups and then falls into a precipitous decline, I don't think that it would necessarily hurt his long-term reputation among Yankee fans. Those last 5 years of Cal Ripken's and Brooks Robinson's careers sure didn't seem to do much damage to their standing in Baltimore, and I don't see why Jeter would be much different.

OTOH if Jeter holds out for more than the Yankees' already-generous offer, and signs with another team, then I think it's much more of a wild card. You can't know for sure just how much the bad taste in the fans' mouth would carry on to future generations, but it wouldn't go away overnight. And Mo The Lifelong Yankee would benefit from that.
   26. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 03, 2010 at 03:59 PM (#3701640)

And Mo's career is almost bereft of failure, which I think is a legendary achievement of a ballplayer. He rarely blows saves, he rarely loses games and he even more rarely loses big games.


This isn't true: 2001, 1997, 2004. Part of what makes Mo great is that he has experienced crushing defeat...but came back in March, better than before.

Mo's got his cutter, which will be talked about until long after his joints rust. Jeter has a few signature moments and he can inside out the ball, but he doesn't have any one aspect of his game or trademark quality that is as legendary as Mo's cutter.

While I think Mo's cutter is obviously more famous, and is up there in the Pantheon of Pitches along with Carlton's slider, Hubbell's scroogie, and Koufax's curve, I think Jeter's inside-out swing is pretty freakin' memorable. Which current position player's style is -more- distinctive than Jeter flicking singles over the 2B's head? Ichiro, I guess...but that's about it.
   27. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 03, 2010 at 04:07 PM (#3701651)
This isn't true: 2001, 1997, 2004.

I'm pretty sure three times in a 15 year career loaded with big games counts as rarely.
   28. Repoz Posted: December 03, 2010 at 04:12 PM (#3701657)
Yeah, his value is limited and his greatness is magnified by his role and his limited opportunities,

Manny Mota says hi!
   29. Darren Posted: December 03, 2010 at 04:21 PM (#3701667)
What if Jeter leaves and the Yankees don't win another championship for, say, a decade? I would think that the pubilc perception would shift even further in his favor then, even if he's not very good for the rest of his career.
   30. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 03, 2010 at 04:41 PM (#3701687)
I'm pretty sure three times in a 15 year career loaded with big games counts as rarely.


Well, let me put it this way:

Out of the elimination games in which Rivera has pitched, what percentage have the Yankees lost?

Off the top of my head, its a pretty substantial minority.
   31. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 03, 2010 at 04:53 PM (#3701705)
I just can't think of any great team where the face of the franchise didn't remain the face of that team over time. You've got Maddux/Glavine on the 90s Braves, Morgan on the 70s Reds, Jackson on the 70s A's, Koufax on the 60s Dodgers, and so on. Once you're the franchise tag, it sticks.
   32. Randy Jones Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:05 PM (#3701720)
I feel like Yankee fans cherish their players most when they are the at least seriously in the discussion as the best of all time at their position. Guys like Ruth, Gehrig, Dimaggio (when he retired he was in the discussion), and Mantle are the most honored Yankee legends. Guys like Yogi, who is pretty close in value to Jeter, has more rings than Jeter, and is way more endearing than Jeter, isn't considered a legend to the same degree as those other guys (at least that's my impression). Mo didn't provide the same kind of value as Mantle et al., but he is considered the greatest, or one of the greatest relief pitchers of all time.


One, you're crazy, and Two, Yogi has a better argument as the best ever at his position than Mantle or DiMaggio do.
   33. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:23 PM (#3701743)
The most likable ballplayer (non-Manny/Pedro division) of the last 30 years


Maybe Mariano will go on a steroid-fueled rage and assault a geriatric clubhouse attendant before it's all said and done, and you'll have to call it a tie!
   34. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:32 PM (#3701750)
One, you're crazy

There was a poll about this and there was basically a 50/50 split on who Yankee fans thought was more important within the last year. Posnanski wrote about it because he was surprised that Mo would stack up so evenly with Jeter since Jeter was the more valuable player. I highly doubt I'm the only one who feels this way.

Yogi has a better argument as the best ever at his position than Mantle or DiMaggio do.

I seriously doubt Yogi has a better argument than Mantle and I qualified my statement about DiMaggio.
   35. Randy Jones Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:34 PM (#3701754)
I meant you're crazy to say that Yogi isn't considered a legend like the others.
   36. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:38 PM (#3701760)
I just can't think of any great team where the face of the franchise didn't remain the face of that team over time. You've got Maddux/Glavine on the 90s Braves, Morgan on the 70s Reds, Jackson on the 70s A's, Koufax on the 60s Dodgers, and so on.

But that's all relative.

Maddux / Glavine stuck around Atlanta for the great bulk of their careers. And anyway, 50 years from now I'm pretty sure they'd still be eclipsed by a certain # 44.

Morgan is only the face of the 70's Reds franchise because Rose disgraced himself, and in any case he shares that Facebook page with Bench and Perez.

Jackson's only the face of the A's because Oakland has never had a HoF career lifer. All the great Oakland players have skipped down as soon as they could. So Reggie wins that one by default only.

And that leaves Koufax, a lifetime Dodger. But he's the only one of your names who'd fit the current Jeter / Mariano model.
   37. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:43 PM (#3701765)
I meant you're crazy to say that Yogi isn't considered a legend like the others.

It seems to me that his greatness as a person has overshadowed his greatness as a person, but I'm perfectly willing to acknowledge that I could be wrong about that. I'm hardly in tune with the other Yankee fans.
   38. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:50 PM (#3701770)
Andy - I wasn't clear, but I meant the face of that particular team - ie, Maddux/Glavine are the face of the 90s Braves, not the face of the entire Braves franchise over its history.
   39. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:53 PM (#3701774)
Andy - I wasn't clear, but I meant the face of that particular team - ie, Maddux/Glavine are the face of the 90s Braves, not the face of the entire Braves franchise over its history.

Got it.
   40. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:53 PM (#3701775)
It seems to me that his greatness as a person has overshadowed his greatness as a person

I think it's pretty even.
   41. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:57 PM (#3701781)
Maddux/Glavine are the face of the 90s Braves, not the face of the entire Braves franchise over its history.


No, that would be Chief Knock-a-Homa, or whatever his name is.
   42. bads85 Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:59 PM (#3701782)
Morgan on the 70s Reds,


I don't think Morgan was the face of the Reds -- Bench or Rose were.
   43. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 03, 2010 at 06:06 PM (#3701791)
Out of the elimination games in which Rivera has pitched, what percentage have the Yankees lost?

Off the top of my head, its a pretty substantial minority.


As far as I can tell, the Yankees went 6-6 in elimination games in which Rivera pitched (only one of those losses was his blown save). They've gone 7-10 in elimination games in which he hasn't pitched.

What's astounding is that a team that won five world series, reached two others and made the playoffs all but one year only played in 17 elimination games in that time frame.
   44. TDF, situational idiot Posted: December 03, 2010 at 06:11 PM (#3701796)
I just can't think of any great team where the face of the franchise didn't remain the face of that team over time. You've got Maddux/Glavine on the 90s Braves, Morgan on the 70s Reds, Jackson on the 70s A's, Koufax on the 60s Dodgers, and so on.

Morgan is only the face of the 70's Reds franchise because Rose disgraced himself, and in any case he shares that Facebook page with Bench and Perez
Joe Morgan never was, and never will be, the face of the Reds.

At the time, Rose was #1, there was no #2, and Bench was #3 - remember, Morgan played for Houston through the '71 season and if not for an injury in '68 would have played more games there than in Cinci.

Today, I'd say Larkin is the title holder. We still revere Rose for what he did on the field (shockingly, some people are able to separate a player's play from his off-field behavior) and begrudgingly respect Bench. Morgan was great and all, but he spent less than half of his career in Cinci, and thus doesn't get the adulation those other 3 do.
   45. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 03, 2010 at 06:20 PM (#3701806)
Joe Morgan never was, and never will be, the face of the Reds.

At the time, Rose was #1, there was no #2, and Bench was #3


What, did Rose threaten to make a phone call if someone was seen lurking around that #2 spot?

We still revere Rose for what he did on the field (shockingly, some people are able to separate a player's play from his off-field behavior) and begrudgingly respect Bench.

No problem with that first part, but why the "begrudgingly" about Bench? He's arguably the greatest catcher of all time, was a well-known clutch hitter in many great postseason moments, and he played his entire career in Cincinnati. What's to begrudge about any of that?
   46. Mayor Blomberg Posted: December 03, 2010 at 06:29 PM (#3701813)
why the "begrudgingly" about Bench?

Apparently, some people had problems with those Krylon commercials.
   47. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: December 03, 2010 at 06:30 PM (#3701814)
I think it'll be Jeter. There's video of these Yankee teams, and when future sports enthusiasts look towards baseball teams from our era, I think they'll find video and still pics from Jeter. He was on the field and had more opportunities for things like "the shovel pass" and "the faceplant". They make for great ten-second clips. Rivera's artistry, since there are less opportunities, has to be appreciated over a longer term.
   48. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 03, 2010 at 06:38 PM (#3701824)
Apparently, some people had problems with those Krylon commercials.


I understand that drips, runs, and error were noted.
   49. APNY Posted: December 03, 2010 at 06:41 PM (#3701827)
(only one of those losses was his blown save)

Elimination games go both ways right?

Game 4 Cle 97
Game 7 Ari 01
Games 4,5 Bos 04
   50. toratoratora Posted: December 03, 2010 at 06:45 PM (#3701829)
I seriously doubt Yogi has a better argument than Mantle and I qualified my statement about DiMaggio.


Are you kidding? Who other than Yogi could have been in the discussion for best catcher ever when Yogi retired?
Gibson admittedly, but the sportswriters of the 50's wouldn't have considered him. That leaves Cochrane and that's about it. Not a long list of competitors.
Heck-Berra is still in the argument for best catcher ever. He's at least as close as Mantle to being considered best all time at his position.
   51. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 03, 2010 at 06:47 PM (#3701831)
Joe Morgan never was, and never will be, the face of the Reds.

At the time, Rose was #1, there was no #2, and Bench was #3


As someone who had a "Johnny Bench Batter Up" as a kid, my take:

It was Rose 1, Bench (VERY CLOSE #2), no number 3, Morgan #4, Tony Perez #5
   52. DCW3 Posted: December 03, 2010 at 06:49 PM (#3701834)
As Matt says, this is a silly thing to argue about, I expect that Jeter will be thought of as a much bigger star in 50 years. I'll get killed for this, but I think that once Rivera fades from the public memory, people will wonder why fans got so worked up over any reliever, even the best closer ever.
   53. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: December 03, 2010 at 06:57 PM (#3701841)
As someone who had a "Johnny Bench Batter Up" as a kid, my take:

It was Rose 1, Bench (VERY CLOSE #2), no number 3, Morgan #4, Tony Perez #5




OK, I've got no dog in this fight (sorry for the Vick-ism) but how the heck do you not have a #3 AND have a #4 and #5?

Don't Morgan and Perez get moved up by default? This is really driving me crazy. Two of you did this now and my head is getting ready to explode.

Please explain so I can go about my day!
   54. scotto Posted: December 03, 2010 at 07:03 PM (#3701844)
Both Mo and Jeter have memorable moments that will forever keep them in the mind of the casual fan. Mo will be forever remembered for all of those post-season saves, but beyond an endless stream of exultant fist pumps when victorious I can't think of a single image that will stick.

On the other hand no baseball highlight film will be complete without the image of Jeter backhanding the ball from the 1b foul ground to get the lesser Giambi, or going face-first into the stands to get a pop foul while Nomar pulled an Achilles.

They're immortals.
   55. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: December 03, 2010 at 07:08 PM (#3701847)
I'll get killed for this, but I think that once Rivera fades from the public memory, people will wonder why fans got so worked up over any reliever, even the best closer ever.

It's hard to say. Rivera is sui generis. Other HOF relievers were itinerant, and never really forged an identity with any one team. Rivera, on the other hand, has only ever been a Yankee, and during almost all of his career, the Yankees have been a good to great team, so he's been in the mix for a long run of success.

That's not to say that he'll be better-remembered than Jeter, but I don't think you can compare Rivera to other relievers.
   56. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 03, 2010 at 07:16 PM (#3701854)
I seriously doubt Yogi has a better argument than Mantle and I qualified my statement about DiMaggio.


Are you kidding? Who other than Yogi could have been in the discussion for best catcher ever when Yogi retired?

Gibson admittedly, but the sportswriters of the 50's wouldn't have considered him. That leaves Cochrane and that's about it. Not a long list of competitors.


In fact many people at the time of Berra's retirement still considered Dickey to be the greatest catcher ever. I know that's hard to believe now, but this was before Bench came along, and before Bill James turned a lot of the sabr crowd against him.

Heck-Berra is still in the argument for best catcher ever. He's at least as close as Mantle to being considered best all time at his position.

That's a lot closer to the truth than that other statement, even though I doubt if Mantle would get many votes for #1 outside of Yankee Nation and the "Peak Over Career and Ignore the League Strength Difference" crowd. And I don't think that too many non-Yankee diehards would ever put Berra over Bench, and possibly even Piazza.
   57. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 03, 2010 at 07:19 PM (#3701857)
I'll get killed for this, but I think that once Rivera fades from the public memory, people will wonder why fans got so worked up over any reliever, even the best closer ever.

I think Mo's gonna be one of those ballplayers who capture the imagination of fans in a way that will exceed his value on the field (much like he does now). Being less than an inner-circle HOFer hasn't hurt Nolan Ryan or Koufax or Dizzy Dean in terms of the public remembering them. I think best closer ever with one of the best pitches ever will be enough to secure his immortality even if people don't think much of closers.

People will wonder how the hell Trevor Hoffman got in though (I'll start wondering the day after he gets elected myself).
   58. Lars6788 Posted: December 03, 2010 at 07:24 PM (#3701860)
That was Mo's cousin, the immortal Ruben Rivera -

2. The Kids Are Enright (1k5v3L) 
Posted: December 02, 2010 at 11:24 PM (#3701421)




First Rivera steals Jeter's glove, now he steals Jeter's thunder.
   59. TDF, situational idiot Posted: December 03, 2010 at 07:28 PM (#3701864)
What, did Rose threaten to make a phone call if someone was seen lurking around that #2 spot?
Cute. If it wasn't clear, Rose was adored so much that no one else was even close.
No problem with that first part, but why the "begrudgingly" about Bench? He's arguably the greatest catcher of all time, was a well-known clutch hitter in many great postseason moments, and he played his entire career in Cincinnati. What's to begrudge about any of that?
When they were players, fans loved Rose not just for his play but for his persona. Bench, rightly or wrongly, was seen as a jerk off the field and hasn't done anything since to change that opinion.

There's no doubt that fans appreciated Bench (and still do) for his play; at least in my neck of Ohio, no one worshipped him the way everyone worshipped Rose.
   60. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 03, 2010 at 07:34 PM (#3701867)
Elimination games go both ways right?


Sure, but I took dzop's comment to mean games where the Yankees could be eliminated. If you factor in all the games the other team was on the brink of elimination, that's a hell of a lot more games in the sample size and a whole lot more Yankee wins.
   61. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 03, 2010 at 07:37 PM (#3701868)
That's a lot closer to the truth than that other statement, even though I doubt if Mantle would get many votes for #1 outside of Yankee Nation and the "Peak Over Career and Ignore the League Strength Difference" crowd. And I don't think that too many non-Yankee diehards would ever put Berra over Bench, and possibly even Piazza.

Really Andy?

There is absolutely nothing to elevate Bench over Berra. Offensively, they are twins: Bench 8669 PA, 130 wRC+, 126 OPS+, Berra 8364 PAs, 130 wRC+, 125 OPS+.

I've looked at the available defensive stats (SB%, PB, WP, and rates relative to peers), and Berra hangs even with Bench. He certainly caught some great pitching staffs, and guys that weren't great before joining the Yanks.

Berra and Bench are as close to a tie for greatest player at a position as you're going to get, and that's how I assume most people view them, a flat-footed tie.

I certainly wouldn't trade a 130 wRC+ with consensus excellent defense (either Berra or Bench) for a 143 wRC+ with lousy throwing and questionable other defense.

CF is a huge dog-fight among Mantle, Mays, Cobb, Speaker and DiMaggio. Depending on your view of era, career vs. peak, park effects, war credit, and by far most importantly, how you rate the respective defense, I'd imagine you could make a reasonable case for any of the five.

I can't imagine we are certain enough about defense to pick one of those guys out definitively.
   62. Jeff R., P***y Mainlander Posted: December 03, 2010 at 07:40 PM (#3701874)

I think Mo's gonna be one of those ballplayers who capture the imagination of fans in a way that will exceed his value on the field (much like he does now). Being less than an inner-circle HOFer hasn't hurt Nolan Ryan or Koufax or Dizzy Dean in terms of the public remembering them. I think best closer ever with one of the best pitches ever will be enough to secure his immortality even if people don't think much of closers.


Do fans who grew up in the 90's/00's marvel at Eckersley's 0.61 ERA season? Frankly, I think Eckersley's relief dominance was more amazing than Rivera's. Everyone can see that Mariano's cutter is just a sick, sick pitch, but Eckersley had some monster years just kind of side-arm flinging the ball up to the plate, never walking anybody. Every year or two there's somebody who saves 50+ games with an awesome ERA and boatload of strikeouts. I don't think any pitcher, even one as great as Rivera, can pitch 70 innings a year and be looked at with historical awe.
   63. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 03, 2010 at 07:43 PM (#3701879)
There is absolutely nothing to elevate Bench over Berra.


League strength?
   64. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 03, 2010 at 07:48 PM (#3701883)
League strength?

Wasn't that much more a 60's phenomena than late 40's and 50's?
   65. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 03, 2010 at 07:49 PM (#3701885)
Frankly, I think Eckersley's relief dominance was more amazing than Rivera's. Everyone can see that Mariano's cutter is just a sick, sick pitch, but Eckersley had some monster years just kind of side-arm flinging the ball up to the plate, never walking anybody.

Eckersly only did that for roughly 5 seasons though. And his most memorable postseason moment is hanging his head after Gibson took him yard. I think those things are significant distinctions.

Every year or two there's somebody who saves 50+ games with an awesome ERA and boatload of strikeouts.

But in the 20 years since that has been happening, no one has turned in top notch seasons every year for 15 years except Mariano. There's always an Urbina or a Gagne or or a Lidge or a Papelbon for a few years, but none of them last long enough to meaningfully compare to Mo.
   66. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: December 03, 2010 at 07:52 PM (#3701888)
Wasn't that much more a 60's phenomena than late 40's and 50's?

The non-Yankee American League was pretty bad throughout most of Berra's career.
   67. Bob Evans Posted: December 03, 2010 at 07:53 PM (#3701889)
shockingly, some people are able to separate a player's play from his off-field behavior

These the same people that hold Bench's personality against him?
   68. toratoratora Posted: December 03, 2010 at 07:57 PM (#3701892)
In fact many people at the time of Berra's retirement still considered Dickey to be the greatest catcher ever. I know that's hard to believe now, but this was before Bench came along, and before Bill James turned a lot of the sabr crowd against him.



Doop- Slaps head.
I knew I was forgetting someone.
2 points
1-I grew up in the Seventies and it was the general consensus then that Bench was the best ever. But for my Dad's generation, Berra was considered neck and neck with Dickey. He had the 3 MVP's, he had the rings, he had the Stengal quote about the secret of his success being Berra.
2-With hindsight,from a SABR standpoint, my statement remains germane.Excepting Gibson,who else could be considered the best catcher ever when Berra retired?

Having given the matter some thought though, I think that the face of the 50's Yankees may actually have not been a player, but been Stengal.
   69. Greg Goosen at 30 Posted: December 03, 2010 at 07:59 PM (#3701894)
I'd guess Jeter will be regarded as the face of the franchise in the year 2060. Position players generally get more recognized than pitchers and Rivera is a closer.

As far as face of the franchise changing, I'm not sure who was regarded as the face of the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 19590s. Jackie Robinson gets the publicity nowadays but Roy Campanella won more MVPs. Plus growing up in the 1960s/70s you would see Campanella at Old Timer's Days, World Series games and everyone would be reminded of his car accident that left him paralyzed but undaunted. Robinson largely kept away because of baseball's poor record in hiring blacks although Bowie Kuhn got him for the 1972 World Series by promising to get blacks hired for managers.

I think that Jeter is far more likely to become a corporate spokesman like his counterpart in temperament and respect, Joe DiMaggio. The clip of him diving into the stands against the Red Sox or the flip against Oakland will be like Bobby Orr's goal against St Louis.
   70. scotto Posted: December 03, 2010 at 08:00 PM (#3701895)
Do fans who grew up in the 90's/00's marvel at Eckersley's 0.61 ERA season?


Do people marvel at Pedro's 1999 and 2000? I'm not sure that they do in either case, either being Eck, Pedro or Mo. I think Mo will be better remembered because it's the Yankees, it's all the rings, and the amount of time he was truly dominant.

It seems to me that it's more difficult to capture a singular moment for pitchers rather than fielders/batters in the television era.
   71. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 03, 2010 at 08:01 PM (#3701896)
The non-Yankee American League was pretty bad throughout most of Berra's career.


"They weren't nobodies, I made 'em look like nobodies."
- Roy Jones Juicer
   72. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 03, 2010 at 08:03 PM (#3701904)
Sure, but I took dzop's comment to mean games where the Yankees could be eliminated.

That's what I meant. In a sense, the respect for Rivera is even more impressive when you consider that he's had some very visible failures in big games. But people recognize his greatness in spite of that.
   73. GregD Posted: December 03, 2010 at 08:04 PM (#3701906)
There is absolutely nothing to elevate Bench over Berra.


I can see the tie claim, but can't see it this categorically. Defensive stats are tough; defensive stats for catchers are tougher. Berra was a respected and probably still underrated defender. But many, many people thought Bench was the greatest defensive catcher they ever saw. Now, 1) opinions are like a-holes, 2) Bench had the advantage of showcasing his abilities in an era where everyone was running, which caused people to pay more attention to his cannon arm, 3) once the game changed, different types of guys came along who were probably even with and maybe better than Bench--Sundberg, maybe Carter, and 4) I'm not sure how long Bench's reputation reflected reality--until 77 or 78, at the latest?

But if you grant that they're equals offensively (I think you can actually make a case for Berra at the plate), then I think you have to at least hold open the possibility that Bench's defense elevates him. I don't see how it can be as categorical as "absolutely nothing."
   74. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 03, 2010 at 08:13 PM (#3701910)
But if you grant that they're equals offensively (I think you can actually make a case for Berra at the plate), then I think you have to at least hold open the possibility that Bench's defense elevates him. I don't see how it can be as categorical as "absolutely nothing."

Possibility, sure. I mean nothing concrete.

By the same token, Berra might have been better than Bench defensively, but we can't see it b/c of the limited SBs in the 50's and the fact we can't measure game calling. Or, Berra might really have been a 135 wRC+ hitter if the park effect of Yankee Stadium I on RHB were better calculated.

When I say "absolutely nothing" separates them, it's nothing concrete in either direction.
   75. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 03, 2010 at 08:15 PM (#3701913)
50 years from now, who's the bigger star among Yankees fans and nationwide?

Probably Jeter, just for the huge difference in games/innings played, but the two will be forever linked as the keys to the Yankee Renaissance of the mid-1990s that continues (in some fashion) to this day. They were the Big Two of the Core Four. Their presence marks an era, and it will be intersting to see how their (eventual) departure affects Yankee fortunes.

It is possible that Rivera's stature will continue to grow after retirement once he establishes a multi-decade streak of entering the game to get the last out in the Old Timers Day Game.
   76. Greg Goosen at 30 Posted: December 03, 2010 at 08:24 PM (#3701918)
Toratoratora: In 1969, four years after Yogi retired, baseball voted for two all-time teams: greatest and living. I'm not sure who exactly did the voting but Cochrane was named greatest catcher ever and Dickey the greatest living. I'm not sure why Dickey was regarded higher than Yogi..perhaps voters placed a higher emphasis on batting average. Or perhaps all those jokes about Yogi's poor grammar hid the fact as to how great he was.

This was the same vote that named Joe DiMaggio as greatest living player and he insisted on being referred as such for the rest of his life.
   77. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 03, 2010 at 08:33 PM (#3701923)
That's a lot closer to the truth than that other statement, even though I doubt if Mantle would get many votes for #1 outside of Yankee Nation and the "Peak Over Career and Ignore the League Strength Difference" crowd. And I don't think that too many non-Yankee diehards would ever put Berra over Bench, and possibly even Piazza.

Really Andy?

There is absolutely nothing to elevate Bench over Berra. Offensively, they are twins: Bench 8669 PA, 130 wRC+, 126 OPS+, Berra 8364 PAs, 130 wRC+, 125 OPS+.

I've looked at the available defensive stats (SB%, PB, WP, and rates relative to peers), and Berra hangs even with Bench. He certainly caught some great pitching staffs, and guys that weren't great before joining the Yanks.


As a Yankee fan I wish I could agree, but both league strength and defense put Bench clearly above Berra in my book. Defensive statistics are notoriously suspect, but anyone who watched both of them over the years would tell you without a bit of hesitation that Bench was a much better catcher for all eras. Berra didn't have that much of an arm, and the only reason that didn't show up that much was that there were no real base stealing threats in the AL of his time other than Aparicio. Berra was good at handling pitchers, no question about that, but no more so than Bench. But put Berra in the NL of Bench's era and the difference would immediately show up.

League strength?


Wasn't that much more a 60's phenomena than late 40's and 50's?

It's hard to say precisely when the AL became noticeably inferior, but by 1954 there already were articles with titles such as "Is the AL a Minor League?" The NL won 7 of the 11 All-Star games in the 50's and a solid majority of exhibition games**, as well as having the overwhelming majority of superstars in their primes during that period. The only counter-fact to that was the Yankees' World Series success, but that was mostly in the early Stengel era. In the two years of the 50's that other AL teams were in the Series, the 111-43 Indians of 1954 were swept by the Giants (after having also lost a clear majority of their Spring training games in March), and the 1959 White Sox were beaten by a Dodgers team that was arguably one of the weakest World Series winners in history, if not the weakest relative to its era.

**I don't have the exact numbers on this, but anyone who backs their skepticism with $100 or more, pre-posted, will get me digging to get them.
   78. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 03, 2010 at 08:36 PM (#3701924)
By the same token, Berra might have been better than Bench defensively

snapper, I probably shouldn't belabor this point, but I doubt you could find a single baseball person who was actively watching games between the late 40's and the early 80's who would ever make a statement like that.
   79. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 03, 2010 at 08:56 PM (#3701943)
snapper, I probably shouldn't belabor this point, but I doubt you could find a single baseball person who was actively watching games between the late 40's and the early 80's who would ever make a statement like that.

Well, that's fine. But, given that for the most important part of catching (game calling) we have no reliable stats, and you can learn virtually nothing by mere observation, I don't think that really matters. Heck, outside of CS%, WP and PB we don't know who are the good defensive catchers playing right now. On the things we can count, Berra was Bench's equal.

Where is the actual evidence for Bench being better?

If anything, the fact that Yogi's pitching staffs were always excellent, and Bench's spotty, would be a huge mark in Yogi's favor as a catcher. Maybe Yogi was the reason all those journeymen came to the Yankees and had great years.
   80. JRVJ (formerly Delta Socrates) Posted: December 03, 2010 at 09:04 PM (#3701951)
My two bits: 1. Jeter may be the No. 1 face of the Yankees of the Torre-Girardi era, but Mariano is face 1A, no doubt about it, and I don't think the difference in perception is that great.

2. Jeter may get press because of commmercial endorsements and his shtupping of starlets, but really, anybody whose had even a passing interest in baseball in the last 15 years (even if only to know whose palying and/or wins the WS) HAS TO BE VERY AWARE of Mariano Rivera.

3. Mariano is almost certainly the least controversial amd most respected Latin American athlete of his generation in U.S./Canadian sports (and perhaps of all time), and that goes a long way.

That's obviously a very subjective opinion (and I'm a Panamanian, so I'm biased towards Mariano), but I can't really think of a Lat Am athlete who is less controversial and well respected than Mariano in U.S./Canadian sports.
   81. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 03, 2010 at 09:20 PM (#3701962)
Eddes is reporting on ESPN.com that the Red Sox had also made a 2 yr/30M offer to Rivera, and planned to non-tender Papelbon if Mo accepted.
   82. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: December 03, 2010 at 09:30 PM (#3701966)
As a thirty-something, I can't think of many players where I haven't heard, or heard of somebody declaring their dislike or hatred towards. Mariano is one of them. Robin Yount another. Not many others w/o detractors. Even w/ Ripken there were some who would nitpick at him, mostly due to the games played business.
   83. GregD Posted: December 03, 2010 at 09:44 PM (#3701977)
As a thirty-something, I can't think of many players where I haven't heard, or heard of somebody declaring their dislike or hatred towards. Mariano is one of them. Robin Yount another. Not many others w/o detractors.
I essentially agree but suspect the club is small but slightly bigger. Tony Gwynn, for instance. Don Mattingly was always hugely respected. Larkin (except for injuries, which is why the HOF diss is so strange.) And be cautious--Kirby Puckett once would have been exhibit A here!
   84. TDF, situational idiot Posted: December 03, 2010 at 09:49 PM (#3701982)
shockingly, some people are able to separate a player's play from his off-field behavior

These the same people that hold Bench's personality against him?
Rose is seen as a jerk; Bench was/is seen as a jerk towards fans.
   85. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 03, 2010 at 09:50 PM (#3701983)
Eddes is reporting on ESPN.com that the Red Sox had also made a 2 yr/30M offer to Rivera, and planned to non-tender Papelbon if Mo accepted.

Haven't watched many Sox games the past 2 years, but my impression is that RSN has turned on Papelbon- I suppose it's similar to the Mets Fans turning on Armando a couple of years ago (which was justified imho- I don't know if the recent disdain for Papelbon is)
   86. Ron Johnson Posted: December 03, 2010 at 09:54 PM (#3701986)
#61 Berra doesn't really hang with Bench defensively. For one thing, Berra was very raw at the start of his career (quite literally run out of the 1947 World Series for instance. And Vic Raschi complained publicly about Berra only calling fastballs with runners on)

I'd be wary of attaching too much significance to it, but Bench's playoff SB/CS against is 6/13 -- and that included a 4-0 in 1979 -- when he was no longer a top notch defensive player. 23/14 for Berra (despite the fact that teams ran a lot less in Berra's day than Bench's)

Bench has really impressive CS numbers but what's really remarkable is the way he cut down on attempts.
   87. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 03, 2010 at 10:12 PM (#3701998)
snapper, I probably shouldn't belabor this point, but I doubt you could find a single baseball person who was actively watching games between the late 40's and the early 80's who would ever make a statement like that.

Well, that's fine. But, given that for the most important part of catching (game calling) we have no reliable stats, and you can learn virtually nothing by mere observation, I don't think that really matters. Heck, outside of CS%, WP and PB we don't know who are the good defensive catchers playing right now. On the things we can count, Berra was Bench's equal.

Where is the actual evidence for Bench being better?


Perhaps there isn't any, if you choose to disregard the opinion of Bench's contemporaries, a great number of whom were perfectly aware of Berra, and not one of whom ever claimed that as a defensive catcher, Berra was Bench's equal. And if you also choose to disregard the fact that Berra played in a league made up almost exclusively of non-base stealers, while Bench played in a league where base stealing was a major weapon, and controlled it like no one else.

If anything, the fact that Yogi's pitching staffs were always excellent, and Bench's spotty, would be a huge mark in Yogi's favor as a catcher. Maybe Yogi was the reason all those journeymen came to the Yankees and had great years.

The Big Three of Raschi, Reynolds and Lopat indeed gave credit to Berra for their success, but it's also true that it wasn't until Berra's 5th year in the league that they even let him call their pitches. And by the late 50's, Berra's arm had grown noticeably weaker.

That said, I'm certainly not knocking Berra as a defensive catcher, even though at the time he was considered distinctly below Jim Hegan of the Indians, and Roy Campanella in the NL. But whether or not to take that with a grain of salt, those roughly equal CS percentages of Berra and Bench have to be taken with a mountain of salt, since there's zero comparison between the baserunning abilities of their respective leagues and eras.

The AL during Berra's career saw as few as .22 SB/G, with a success rate of as little as 52%. Between 1949 and 1958, the AL SB leader stole between 15 and 31 bases.

By contrast, the NL during Bench's career had as many as .95 SB/G, with a success rate around 70%. Between 1968 and 1983, the NL leader stole between 53 and 118 bases, and usually well over 70.

To concentrate only on the raw percentages of caught stealing gives you an extremely distorted view of what Berra and Bench were up against. Those contemporary observers who said Bench was the best they'd ever seen behind the plate weren't just pulling their opinions out of their hats.
   88. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 03, 2010 at 10:15 PM (#3702002)
Don't Morgan and Perez get moved up by default? This is really driving me crazy. Two of you did this now and my head is getting ready to explode.


Ok, my number 3 would be Sparky
   89. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 03, 2010 at 10:33 PM (#3702010)
To concentrate only on the raw percentages of caught stealing gives you an extremely distorted view of what Berra and Bench were up against.


Berra gave up 329 and caught 330 in 1699 games, a league average rate in 1699 games would have been 516/371

Bench gave up 610 and caught 471, a league average rate in his games would have been 1065/564
   90. gay guy in cut-offs smoking the objective pipe Posted: December 03, 2010 at 11:07 PM (#3702020)
Haven't watched many Sox games the past 2 years, but my impression is that RSN has turned on Papelbon- I suppose it's similar to the Mets Fans turning on Armando a couple of years ago (which was justified imho- I don't know if the recent disdain for Papelbon is)

I think it's more complicated than that -- it's not that they've "turned" on Papelbon per se, it's just that they no longer feel he's reliable enough to be worth the kind of huge money he wants to be paid. Actually, it's probably a little bit like the Jeter situation.
   91. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: December 03, 2010 at 11:25 PM (#3702035)
I don't know if there's enough statistical evidence to pick with certainty between Bench and Berra.
I'd go with Berra because I really think he made his teams better -- both pitching staff performance, and general attitude. If you're baseball-smart enough to get props from Casey Stengel, AND hit and field like Yogi Berra, you can definitely start on my all-time team.
   92. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 03, 2010 at 11:49 PM (#3702048)
Berra gave up 329 and caught 330 in 1699 games, a league average rate in 1699 games would have been 516/371

Just for the record, according to BB-ref, Berra gave up 428 and caught 384, a 47% rate. I'm not sure where you got those other Berra numbers from. We agree on Bench's.

But the more important point, which so far nobody else has seemed to notice (or take into consideration), is the quality of the baserunners who were trying to steal against him. One league was loaded with speedsters, the other was loaded with leadfoots. I'm sorry that there's no BB-ref column for 30-yard dash times, but just the fact of relative integration should give you a pretty good idea of the enormous contrast in how hard it was for Bench to maintain a 44% CS rate (which was as high as 57% in his prime, before his knees started to give), and how relatively easy it was for Berra to throw out that 47%.

You can arguably say that Berra's overall value was greater than Bench's, but to do that you're going to have to place an enormous amount of emphasis on leadership and other intangibles, and then you're going to have to show where Bench was lacking in those qualities. You're not going to be able to make much of a case for Berra in any other way, unless you want to keep ignoring the quality of competition and get into ring counting.
   93. rr Posted: December 04, 2010 at 12:01 AM (#3702054)
Ok, my number 3 would be Sparky


Yep.

Faces of the BRM:

1. Rose
1A. Bench
3. Anderson
4. Morgan
5. Perez
   94. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 04, 2010 at 12:16 AM (#3702066)
Faces of the BRM:

1. Rose
1A. Bench
3. Anderson
4. Morgan
5. Perez


And yet within the Reds' clubhouse wasn't Perez usually considered # 1?
   95. rr Posted: December 04, 2010 at 12:51 AM (#3702095)
And yet within the Reds' clubhouse wasn't Perez usually considered # 1?


Well, I don't know, really, but the key was, supposedly, that Perez was the only guy among the big four that everyone on and around the team actually liked. As I have said, I was gifted earlier this year with the whole 75 WS on DVD--original broadcasts. Marty Brennaman calls Perez the "most popular guy on the team" at one point during Game 3 and Posnanski amplifies that in his book. In terms of the character/personalities of those guys, Rose we know about, although many of his teammates apparently liked a lot of things about him. Supposedly, Bench was and is extremely arrogant; Morgan was and may still be cold, arrogant, and distant. Perez was the only guy who combined star status with being a nice guy who kept people loose, or so it is said, and that made him in some respects the team leader--in spite of his not being a native speaker of English.
   96. dlf Posted: December 04, 2010 at 01:12 AM (#3702107)
The Big Three of Raschi, Reynolds and Lopat indeed gave credit to Berra for their success, but it's also true that it wasn't until Berra's 5th year in the league that they even let him call their pitches. ... That said, I'm certainly not knocking Berra as a defensive catcher, even though at the time he was considered distinctly below ... Roy Campanella in the NL.


For what its worth, Campy, by reputation, was also very raw in his early professional years catching in the NeL. There are plenty of stories of him working with, IIRC, Biz Mackey, to learn how to call a game or throw out a runner.
   97. asdf1234 Posted: December 04, 2010 at 01:28 AM (#3702121)
I essentially agree but suspect the club is small but slightly bigger. Tony Gwynn, for instance.


One of my favorite Tony Gwynn stories transpires in the late 90s. Gwynn is playing long toss in the outfield prior to the game when a fan begins howling at him for an autograph. After a while, Gwynn shouts back that he has a game to play and will sign autographs for fans afterward.

After Gwynn returns to long toss, the fan launches a ball into the outfield; it bounces a couple of times and strikes Gwynn on the heel. Tony snatches up the ball and marches toward the stands: "Who threw it?" After the friar faithful identify the jackass, Tony sternly warns him that he could've hurt someone and needs to be more careful. He then signs the ball, tosses it to the fan, and returns to his game of catch.
   98. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 04, 2010 at 02:35 AM (#3702167)
The Big Three of Raschi, Reynolds and Lopat indeed gave credit to Berra for their success, but it's also true that it wasn't until Berra's 5th year in the league that they even let him call their pitches. ... That said, I'm certainly not knocking Berra as a defensive catcher, even though at the time he was considered distinctly below ... Roy Campanella in the NL.

For what its worth, Campy, by reputation, was also very raw in his early professional years catching in the NeL. There are plenty of stories of him working with, IIRC, Biz Mackey, to learn how to call a game or throw out a runner.


Yeah, and the fact that Campy was generally considered a better defensive catcher in the early 50's may well have to do with the fact that he was four years older than Berra and had more pre-ML experience. AFAIK Campy played ball all during WWII, whereas Berra spent 1944-45 in the Navy, and was brought up to the Yanks at 21. Campy was 26 when he first played for the Dodgers.
   99. My Grate Friend Peason's pants are rankled Posted: December 04, 2010 at 02:40 AM (#3702171)
37. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 03, 2010 at 11:43 AM (#3701765)
I meant you're crazy to say that Yogi isn't considered a legend like the others.

It seems to me that his greatness as a person has overshadowed his greatness as a person


If this was an intentional Yogism, well done.
   100. joeysdadjoe Posted: December 04, 2010 at 04:50 AM (#3702212)
James historical abstract has Yogi 1 Bench 2.

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