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Monday, August 22, 2022

New York Yankees retire Paul O’Neill’s No. 21; GM Brian Cashman, owner Hal Steinbrenner booed by fans

Eight years ago, Paul O’Neill was thanked by the New York Yankees for his contributions to their dynasty with a plaque in Monument Park.

On Sunday, the Yankees retired his No. 21—making him the 23rd player or manager in the franchise’s history honored in such a way.

The ceremony was drastically different from others, not only because O’Neill isn’t vaccinated against COVID-19 but also because the Yankees entered Sunday with 14 losses in their past 18 games. Frustrations are high to the point that there were noticeable boos for managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner and general manager Brian Cashman during the 33-minute ceremony.

New York’s first jersey retirement ceremony since 2017, when Derek Jeter’s No. 2 was honored, had the usual video tributes and messages, gifts and an acceptance speech.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 22, 2022 at 08:48 AM | 137 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: paul o'neill, yankees

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   1. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: August 22, 2022 at 09:56 AM (#6092565)
LaTroy Hawkins should still wear no. 21 on Old Timer's Day.
   2. Howie Menckel Posted: August 22, 2022 at 10:06 AM (#6092568)
the 33-minute ceremony.

lol
   3. Traderdave Posted: August 22, 2022 at 10:08 AM (#6092569)
If Cooperstown ever gets a crybaby wing, O'Neill will be its first inductee.
   4. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: August 22, 2022 at 11:44 AM (#6092578)
I saw that Paul O'Neil has been absent from Yankees' broadcasts because he is and remains unvaccinated.

Makes me wonder what Jeff Kent's vaccination status is.
   5. John Northey Posted: August 22, 2022 at 12:35 PM (#6092588)
How crazy silly imo. O'Neill was a solid player, very good at times, but not remotely close to a HOF level and imo the standard for number retirement should be HOF level or something very big for the local team (IE: died, was core to major events, etc.) - O'Neill was a key part of those championship teams but they seem determined to retire everyone's number from those teams - Jeter, Mo (both automatic), Posada, Pettitte, Bernie Williams and now O'Neill. Who is next? Mike Mussina? Roger Clemens? Tino Martinez? Once you retire numbers of guys who spend about half of a not close to HOF career there the door is wide open.
   6. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 22, 2022 at 12:41 PM (#6092589)
Makes me wonder what Jeff Kent's vaccination status is.
He vaccinated his truck.
   7. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 22, 2022 at 01:06 PM (#6092592)
How crazy silly imo. O'Neill was a solid player, very good at times, but not remotely close to a HOF level and imo the standard for number retirement should be HOF level or something very big for the local team (IE: died, was core to major events, etc.) - O'Neill was a key part of those championship teams but they seem determined to retire everyone's number from those teams - Jeter, Mo (both automatic), Posada, Pettitte, Bernie Williams and now O'Neill. Who is next? Mike Mussina? Roger Clemens? Tino Martinez? Once you retire numbers of guys who spend about half of a not close to HOF career there the door is wide open.

This isn't the HoF, let alone the Hall of Merit. Very few Yankees fans beyond the statistically obsessed objected to O'Neill's number being retired. Intangible factors often play a part, and for Yankees fans the intangibles were all in O'Neill's favor. It's the same reason Roger Maris's #9 got retired instead of Graig Nettles', whose Yankees career was quite a bit more valuable.

   8. Howie Menckel Posted: August 22, 2022 at 01:16 PM (#6092594)
was curious about Lou Gehrig Day ceremonies, and it is said to have taken "over 40 minutes - so a little longer than O'Neill's !

"Arguably the most cherished item Gehrig was given was a trophy from his 1939 Yankees teammates. Presented by Yankees manager Joe McCarthy, the 21 ½-inch-tall silver trophy with wood base features an eagle perched atop a baseball supported by six bats. On one side of the trophy were the names of all his current teammates; on the other side a poem written by New York Times sports columnist John Kieran:

To LOU GEHRIG

We’ve been to the wars together;
We took our foes as they came:
And always you were the leader,
And ever you played the game.

Idol of cheering millions:
Records are yours by sheaves:
Iron of frame they hailed you,
Decked you with laurel leaves.

But higher than that we hold you,
We who have known you best;
Knowing the way you came through
Every human test.

Let this be a silent token
Of lasting friendship’s gleam
And all that we’ve left unspoken.
Your Pals of the Yankee Team."
   9. SoSH U at work Posted: August 22, 2022 at 01:17 PM (#6092595)
It's the same reason Roger Maris's #9 got retired instead of Graig Nettles', whose Yankees career was quite a bit more valuable.


Those intangibles being ol' George felt a pang of guilt. At least Yankee fans legitimately (though ridiculously) balked at someone else wearing No. 21, whereas they never for a second thought that Maris number was somehow sacred until it suddenly was.

   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 22, 2022 at 01:26 PM (#6092597)
but not remotely close to a HOF level and imo the standard for number retirement should be HOF level or something very big for the local team

If you make number retirement based mostly on the HoF, then it's nothing. It simply repeats another honor.
   11. . Posted: August 22, 2022 at 01:29 PM (#6092599)
Paul O'Neill's number retired unjustly. Anthony Fauci retired.

I feel as though I'm going to need a safe space just to be able to make it through the day. Does anyone have some chicken soup they can spare?
   12. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 22, 2022 at 01:30 PM (#6092600)
I saw that Paul O'Neil has been absent from Yankees' broadcasts because he is and remains unvaccinated.
O’Neill’s been working a normal schedule, but participating remotely.
   13. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 22, 2022 at 01:54 PM (#6092605)
It's the same reason Roger Maris's #9 got retired instead of Graig Nettles', whose Yankees career was quite a bit more valuable.

Those intangibles being ol' George felt a pang of guilt.


Yeah, even though when Maris was being given the bum's rush, Steinbrenner was still a Cleveland nobody. The other reason it was an exclusive ceremony was that when Maris' #9 was retired, Nettles was still very much active with the Padres. And IIRC it was known, at least among the Yankee brass, that Maris was in a state of advanced cancer. He died a little more than a year later.

At least Yankee fans legitimately (though ridiculously) balked at someone else wearing No. 21, whereas they never for a second thought that Maris number was somehow sacred until it suddenly was.

Objectively Maris' number shouldn't have been retired, but as you say, intangibles played a big part in it. Maris's was the 2nd/3rd retired number that wasn't of a HoFer, along with the late Elston Howard. The first was Thurmon Munson, and obviously intangibles also had a lot to do with those other two.
   14. JimMusComp misses old primer... Posted: August 22, 2022 at 02:33 PM (#6092607)
Cool, now the Angels can retire the numbers of Brenden Donnelly, Sean Wooten, and Benji Gil for their contributions to that great 2002 team. :-)

But really, O’Neil doesn’t pass the smell test when compared to other MFY’s with retired numbers.
   15. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 22, 2022 at 03:10 PM (#6092610)
Maybe there's just a wee bit of difference between a team with 27 World Championships and a team with 1.

Non-HoFer WAR during their years with the Yankees, for Yankees with their numbers retired, not counting managers other than Billy Martin, whose prime playing years were as a Yankee:


Bernie Williams 49.6

Thurman Munson 46.1

Jorge Posada 42.7

Don Mattingly 42.4

Andy Pettitte 29.8

Elston Howard 27.7

Paul O'Neill 26.7

Roger Maris 26.3

Ron Guidry 26.3

Billy Martin 5.9

Plus a few others not honored:

Roy White (#6) 46.8

Graig Nettles (#9) 44.4

Allie Reynolds 25.7

And then there's Roger Clemens (21.2) and Mike Mussina (35.1) both of whose numbers have been, or should be retired by teams other than the Yankees.

Looking at the above list, it's clear that all those players had at least one thing in common: They were all beloved by Yankees fans, and with one exception (Mattingly) were integral parts of championship teams. Objectively speaking, there's not much to distinguish O'Neill from Pettitte, Howard, Maris or Guidry.

















   16. Ithaca2323 Posted: August 22, 2022 at 03:15 PM (#6092611)
This isn't the HoF, let alone the Hall of Merit. Very few Yankees fans beyond the statistically obsessed objected to O'Neill's number being retired. Intangible factors often play a part, and for Yankees fans the intangibles were all in O'Neill's favor.


But that doesn't address the larger point in #5. We're all aware that this is about True Yankee Status and The Importance of the 90s Dynasty.

But then why not Tino Martinez? He was just as much a part of the dynasty as O'Neill. In fact, I'd argue his role was more important, given the shoes he was expected to fill. What box did O'Neill check that Martinez doesn't? Tino was so beloved, he got an ovation after homering against the Yankees for crying out loud.

Why not David Cone, who

1. Dragged the 1995 Yankees across the postseason finish line, giving Don Mattingly his only playoff appearance, then tried to drag them to the ALCS on like, 150 pitches in Game 5 of the ALDS, because the Yankees trusted pretty much no one else on the staff.
2. Was the best pitcher on the eventual 1996 World Series winning team, suffered an aneurysm in the regular season, came back from it, and then turned around the 1996 World Series in Game 3
3. Was the best pitcher on the 1999 World Series winning team

Heck, a washed up Cone was called out of the bullpen in 2000 to get out Mike freaking Piazza in the 5th-inning of a 1-run WS game. And did, naturally.

The reason the stats should matter is that when you have a dynasty like the Yankees did, a whole bunch of dudes were major contributors. And if that's only qualification is being one of those dudes, it just becomes more pointless with each passing one.

   17. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 22, 2022 at 03:26 PM (#6092613)
Obviously, the Yankees have chosen to apply a more generous standard for retiring numbers during the Steinbrenner era, especially for participants in the Yankee Renaissance that saw 4 World Series Championship in 5 years. Cone & Martinez may eventually be similarly honored, although it would probably be mote likely if they spend 20 years in the Yankees broadcast booth like O’Neill.
   18. Ithaca2323 Posted: August 22, 2022 at 03:30 PM (#6092614)
A simpler solution would be for the Yankees to create some sort of other display or exhibit dedicated to the 1990s Dynasty, rather than continuing on this path. Because there's no way it ends with O'Neill.

He's the only Yankee ever to get his number retired after getting his plaque. Likely, because the Yankees figured (correctly) that if they wanted to honor O'Neill, a plaque was the appropriate way to do so.

But then, just two weeks after he got his plaque, the non-Rivera number retirements from that era started rolling in. Posada, Torre, Williams, and Pettitte all within a year. Then Jeter, obviously. So everyone starts pining for O'Neill, and 8 years later, here we are. The drumbeat is going to start for Martinez next.
   19. Walt Davis Posted: August 22, 2022 at 03:31 PM (#6092615)
When will they get to ARod's number?

If you guys keep this up, you're gonna run out of real numbers and have to start handing out numbers like 99.
   20. Ithaca2323 Posted: August 22, 2022 at 03:31 PM (#6092616)
Cone & Martinez may eventually be similarly honored, although it would probably be mote likely if they spend 20 years in the Yankees broadcast booth like O’Neill.


Cone's halfway there, is he not?
   21. mex4173 Posted: August 22, 2022 at 03:32 PM (#6092618)
Maybe there's just a wee bit of difference between a team with 27 World Championships and a team with 1.


I don't care what jerseys the Yankees retire but I'm not sure what championships in the 30s and 50s have to do with Paul O'Neill.
   22. SoSH U at work Posted: August 22, 2022 at 03:41 PM (#6092619)
Andy Pettitte 29.8

Paul O'Neill 26.7

Ron Guidry 26.3


O'Neill definitely looks better if you compare his WAR against Pettitte and Guidry's WAA.

ALso left off the left off list: Willie Randolph, who had 54 WAR with the Yanks then spent several years as a coach on those World Series teams from which every minor player has to get his day.
   23. Ithaca2323 Posted: August 22, 2022 at 04:36 PM (#6092628)
ALso left off the left off list: Willie Randolph, who had 54 WAR with the Yanks then spent several years as a coach on those World Series teams from which every minor player has to get his day.


Agreed completely. I've recently just come around to the fact that the Yankees have gone overboard with retired numbers, but man, if there's one person who does deserve it, Randolph is the guy.
   24. JRVJ Posted: August 22, 2022 at 04:48 PM (#6092631)
This is one of the strangest threads I've read on BTF in a while.

Yankees numbers (and the numbers for all other MLB teams) are retired for the simple reason that management thinks, at the time of the retirement, that it would look to retire that number (be it because the player was much loved in that organization, because the player has died or whichever other reason).

So if the Yankees wanted to retire Ron Guidry's number, as an hommage to his 1978 (plus other) pitching season(s), they are welcome to it. It's their brand and it's their fanbase.

Ditto for O'Neill.
   25. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 22, 2022 at 05:01 PM (#6092641)
ALso left off the left off list: Willie Randolph, who had 54 WAR with the Yanks

Right, don't know how I missed that, but it'd probably have to be a joint retirement with Mel Stottlemyre.

But then why not Tino Martinez?

Tino's WAR with the Yankees: 14.4. Robby Cano had triple that while with the Yankees, while wearing the same #24.

Why not David Cone,

Cone's WAR with the Yankees: 20.3. He'd be a bit more marginal, but I can see it happening at some point.

Maybe there's just a wee bit of difference between a team with 27 World Championships and a team with 1.

I don't care what jerseys the Yankees retire but I'm not sure what championships in the 30s and 50s have to do with Paul O'Neill.


Because those earlier championships radically expand the number of potential numbers to retire.

When will they get to ARod's number?

Probably when he comes back and breaks Barry Bonds' career HR record.
   26. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 22, 2022 at 06:28 PM (#6092656)
Not a Yankee fan. NOT an O'Neill fan. But hey, if NY wants to retire his number, then that's their business. I like that teams have their favourites retired and HOF or Hall of WAR is not a requirement. It makes it unique to each team.

And yes, Willie Randolph should definitely be considered, just a really good player for a long time and jokes aside, one of those "true Yankees" that Clapper or someone is always prattling on about(though I had no idea he had a 4.3WAR season in 1991 with the Brewers; does anyone honestly remember that?)
   27. SoSH U at work Posted: August 22, 2022 at 06:39 PM (#6092659)
24, 26. So the only standard teams should employ when determining uniform retirements is what the current ownership thinks? Quality of play, consistency, etc. don’t matter, just ownership whims? That’s an interesting take.
   28. BDC Posted: August 22, 2022 at 07:14 PM (#6092664)
I think it's fine, whatever a local franchise wants to do wrt retiring numbers; it's just a game.

It's also a little silly that the Yankees will soon run out of two-digit numbers for their current players and have to go either to three digits or Greek letters or Special Symbols :)
   29. . Posted: August 22, 2022 at 07:23 PM (#6092665)
I commented in the Will Clark thread that the team Walls of Fame and retired numbers have actually become cooler than the HOF because the fuddy-duddys and old farts hadn't ruined them with their fussiness and their "standards" and their comparisons and their pedantry and all the rest -- and we see that now, to the fullest effect.
   30. HBO disappeared Oscar Posted: August 22, 2022 at 07:30 PM (#6092667)
The Brewers Walk of Fame gets pretty lame pretty fast. Geoff Jenkins. Pat Listasch. Jeromy Burnitz

But no Ben Sheets
   31. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: August 22, 2022 at 07:36 PM (#6092669)
(though I had no idea he had a 4.3WAR season in 1991 with the Brewers; does anyone honestly remember that?)


I do. Randolph was always a favorite of mine, and I was thrilled to see him have a late career magical season.
   32. Walt Davis Posted: August 22, 2022 at 07:45 PM (#6092671)
though I had no idea he had a 4.3WAR season in 1991 with the Brewers; does anyone honestly remember that?

A clear sign he was not a true Yankee.
   33. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 22, 2022 at 07:48 PM (#6092672)
I can’t help noticing that the ‘high standards’ crowd has not commented on the Twins enshrinement of Dan Gladden (5.7 WAR in 5 seasons), despite the opportunity to do so in two threads. It’s almost like such standards are only selectively applied, eh?
He's the only Yankee ever to get his number retired after getting his plaque. Likely, because the Yankees figured (correctly) that if they wanted to honor O'Neill, a plaque was the appropriate way to do so.
The fans may have had something to with that, booing any player that naively wore #21 before the Yankees stopped attempting to recycle it. If they can’t use it, they might as well retire it and make folks happy.
   34. Howie Menckel Posted: August 22, 2022 at 07:56 PM (#6092674)
This is one of the strangest threads I've read on BTF in a while.

what's strange about it?

Yankees fans are happy about the ceremony. It's their brand and their fan base, as you say.

some others find the choice a bit silly - and would find it sillier still if and when Luis Sojo gets honored for those excuse-me postseason hits of his.
;)

c'est le vie. or is something the Yankees do (or any team does) immune from possible skepticism?

now THAT would be strange.
   35. HBO disappeared Oscar Posted: August 22, 2022 at 07:58 PM (#6092676)
That 1991 by Randolph is amazing. Only 17 extra base hits out of 141 but drove in 54 runs. OBP of .424. Walked 75 times only 38 strikeouts. And apparently still a decent defensive player at age 36.
   36. NaOH Posted: August 22, 2022 at 08:11 PM (#6092680)
I think it's fine, whatever a local franchise wants to do wrt retiring numbers; it's just a game.


Same. What I find funny about the Yankees' retired numbers is that those thinking in terms of standards are ignoring/not realizing that the weakest contribution from someone whose only contribution was as a player for the team (e.g., wasn't also an announcer or manager) is Reggie Jackson—5 years and 17.2 bWAR. No other player whose number NY retired has fewer years or WAR. Closest is Maris with 7 years and 26.3 WAR.
   37. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: August 22, 2022 at 08:15 PM (#6092683)
How wild was it when the Yankees and Dodgers exchanged second basemen following the 1988 season, albeit via free agency, not a trade?
   38. JRVJ Posted: August 22, 2022 at 08:22 PM (#6092684)
27, I have not expressed my opinion or preference in regards number retirements. Don't confuse my reading of the situation with what I would prefer the world to look like.

34, As above.
   39. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 22, 2022 at 08:52 PM (#6092694)
All who wore #21 for the Yankees:
LaTroy Hawkins (2008)
Morgan Ensberg (2008)
Paul O'Neill (1993-2001)
Scott Sanderson (1991-1992)
Deion Sanders (1990)
Kevin Maas (1990)
Mike Blowers (1990)
Hal Morris (1989)
Ken Phelps (1988-1989)
Jose Cruz (1988)
Jack Clark (1988)
Dan Pasqua (1985-1987)
Steve Kemp (1983-1984)
Eric Soderholm (1980)
Jay Johnstone (1978)
Rusty Torres (1971-1972)
Frank Tepedino (1969-1971)
Jim Lyttle (1969)
Nate Oliver (1969)
Roy White (1968)
Tex Clevenger (1962)
Virgil Trucks (1958)
Sal Maglie (1957-1958)
Ralph Terry (1956-1957)
Sonny Dixon (1956)
Jim Konstanty (1954-1956)
Bob Kuzava (1951-1954)
Fred Sanford (1949-1951)
Cuddles Marshall (1948)
Spud Chandler (1938-1947)
Bill Bevens (1944-1945)
Johnny Cooney (1944)
Pat Malone (1935-1937)
Johnny Broaca (1934)
Joe Sewell (1932-1933)
Gordon Rhodes (1929-1931)
Red Ruffing (1930)
George Burns (1929)

Red Ruffing & Roy White had more WAR, but their timing wasn’t as good as O’Neill’s.
   40. SoSH U at work Posted: August 22, 2022 at 09:13 PM (#6092703)
I can’t help noticing that the ‘high standards’ crowd has not commented on the Twins enshrinement of Dan Gladden (5.7 WAR in 5 seasons), despite the opportunity to do so in two threads. It’s almost like such standards are only selectively applied, eh?


Or, as is actually the case, I had no idea the Twins had decided to retire Dan Gladden's number. You're projecting again. But yes, that's certainly worse than anything the Yankees have done.

I have not expressed my opinion or preference in regards number retirements.


You said, "So if the Yankees wanted to retire Ron Guidry's number, as an hommage to his 1978 (plus other) pitching season(s), they are welcome to it. It's their brand and it's their fanbase."

That would seem to indicate that the only standard you believe in is what the Yankees' ownership wants to do (not that Guidry is a poor choice by any means).

Same. What I find funny about the Yankees' retired numbers is that those thinking in terms of standards are ignoring/not realizing that the weakest contribution from someone whose only contribution was as a player for the team (e.g., wasn't also an announcer or manager) is Reggie Jackson—5 years and 17.2 bWAR. No other player whose number NY retired has fewer years or WAR. Closest is Maris with 7 years and 26.3 WAR.


I wasn't thinking that at all.

I'm with snapper in 10. Team honors should not be outsourced to the BBWAA, and they should be based on their contributions to the club. I think Reggie is a very weak choice to have his number retired in NY.

In contrast, non HoFers Don Mattingly, Ron Guidry and Bernie Williams are all perfectly reasonable selections.

As a long-time Red Sox fan, the No. 3 choice on my list of deserved number retirements behind 9 and 8 is No. 6 for Johnny Pesky, though there are many guys who had greater playing careers. Similarly, I find the Blue Jays' decision to retire the numbers of Roberto Alomar and Roy Halladay because of a decision by the BBWAA, but won't do the same for the greatest player in the franchise's history, Dave Stieb, is moronic.

My objection to the Yankees' practice is the simple fact that there's nothing coherent to it, and I think for number retirements*, you should have some coherence. Even ignoring the number of long-dead Hall of Famers who have been overlooked, you still have this situation where Roger Maris and Goose Gossage and Paul O'Neill earn the distinction but much better and more deserving (and living) candidates such as Willie Randolph and Graig Nettles and Roy White are ignored because of the whims of the dead owner and his kids. And I'm routinely surprised that so many people have no problem with that.

* When it comes to Walls of Honor or Rings of Glory or Hexagons of Distinction, I don't care a whole lot how many players you want to honor. There's no significant cost to recognizing Jim Gantner or Jeff Blauser or Scott Brosius by adding their names to a long string of contributors, but when you take a number out of circulation for eternity, it comes with several costs.
   41. JRVJ Posted: August 22, 2022 at 09:19 PM (#6092706)
That would seem to indicate that the only standard you believe in is what the Yankees' ownership wants to do (not that Guidry is a poor choice by any means).



As above, baseball clubs are the ones which choose, for whatever reason, whose number they retire and whose number they don't retire.

I don't "believe" in anything regarding baseball numbers and their retirement. I'm pretty agnostic on the matter.
   42. Ithaca2323 Posted: August 22, 2022 at 09:33 PM (#6092708)
Very few Yankees fans beyond the statistically obsessed objected to O'Neill's number being retired. Intangible factors often play a part, and for Yankees fans the intangibles were all in O'Neill's favor




Tino's WAR with the Yankees: 14.4. Robby Cano had triple that while with the Yankees, while wearing the same #24.

Cone's WAR with the Yankees: 20.3. He'd be a bit more marginal, but I can see it happening at some point.


So O'Neill gets in on intangibles, but Tino and Cone's fates rely on their statistical accomplishments?

If the argument for O'Neill is that he was some tough as nails dude who played a key role on a bunch of WS winning teams — and that's literally the only justifiable argument for him, considering he's ... checks notes... 51st in Yankees' history in bWAR — then Cone and Martinez fit that description to a T.

So I ask again, why not them?
   43. Ithaca2323 Posted: August 22, 2022 at 09:50 PM (#6092710)
My objection to the Yankees' practice is the simple fact that there's nothing coherent to it, and I think for number retirements*, you should have some coherence.


This. Establish whatever standard you want. But apply it consistently.

The Blue Jays have a standard, that, IMO, is too reliant on the BBWAA. They retired the number of Roberto Alomar — who played less than 1/3 of his games in Toronto — and not the number of Dave Stieb who leads the franchise in nearly every pitching significant category there is, because Alomar is in the Hall of Fame, and Stieb is not.

But the Jays are consistent with that standard, bad as it is, IMO. The Yankees are not.

   44. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 22, 2022 at 10:05 PM (#6092715)
Establish whatever standard you want. But apply it consistently.
For a long time, the Yankees retired number standard was higher than that for the Hall of Fame (Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle) then they decided to change and have increasingly liberalized the criteria. Simple as that. There’s no requirement to do everything as Jacob Ruppert might have done.
   45. SoSH U at work Posted: August 22, 2022 at 10:15 PM (#6092717)
For a long time, the Yankees retired number standard was higher than that for the Hall of Fame (Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle) then they decided to change and have increasingly liberalized the criteria.


That would be fine if it were true. But as mentioned and largely ignored by you, they honored Roger, Reggie, Billy and Paul, but not Willie, Graig and Roy. That's not a case of strictly liberalized criteria, but scattershot criteria.
   46. NaOH Posted: August 22, 2022 at 10:31 PM (#6092724)
Outside of Hall induction, I can't ascertain any standards by any team.

Full list of MLB Retired Numbers
   47. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 22, 2022 at 10:40 PM (#6092728)
This. Establish whatever standard you want. But apply it consistently.

Why? The point is to entertain the fans. If the fans loved O'Neill and didn't give a rat's ass about Martinez, give the fans what they want.
   48. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 22, 2022 at 10:57 PM (#6092730)
So O'Neill gets in on intangibles, but Tino and Cone's fates rely on their statistical accomplishments?

If the argument for O'Neill is that he was some tough as nails dude who played a key role on a bunch of WS winning teams — and that's literally the only justifiable argument for him, considering he's ... checks notes... 51st in Yankees' history in bWAR — then Cone and Martinez fit that description to a T.

So I ask again, why not them?

Tino's aura as a TY largely rests on two home runs** and a beanball attempt by Armando Benitez. And as I said, if you're going to retire #24, he'd have to get in line behind Cano, a much more valuable player.

I'm not arguing against Cone, and it wouldn't surprise me if his #36 made it to the Monument Wall.

---------

That would be fine if it were true. But as mentioned and largely ignored by you, they honored Roger, Reggie, Billy and Paul, but not Willie, Graig and Roy. That's not a case of strictly liberalized criteria, but scattershot criteria.

They didn't really go whole hog until they started on the 1995-2000 Torre run. Before that, most of their scattershot retirements were for players who had either died young or were about to die: Roger, Thurman and Ellie.

Randolph is inexplicable, but then they weren't (and aren't) going to retire #30 and leave out Mel Stottlemyre. Nettles got left out because #9 was retired when Nettles was an active Padre. And White wore the same number 6 as Torre. There was a method to the scattershot, even if the end results made little sense.

** 1998 WS Game 1, 2001 WS Game 4
   49. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: August 22, 2022 at 11:02 PM (#6092731)
And as I said, if you're going to retire #24, he'd have to get in line behind Cano, a much more valuable player.


Maris, Nettles.
   50. John Northey Posted: August 23, 2022 at 12:41 AM (#6092744)
I suspect at some point teams will start 'unretiring' numbers if this keeps up. I suspect the Jays would like to do that to Alomar's. I like team HOF's or as the Jays do it a 'level of excellence' (names on the upper ring of the dome). A way to keep the past and fan favorites recognized but leaving number retirements to the best of the best. I could see the Jays opening that up a tiny bit to retire Stieb's number as he should be in the HOF, and obviously they aren't retiring Phil Niekro's number even though he is in the HOF (pitched 3 games as a Jay), or Dave Winfield's (key part of the 1992 WS champion team - Winfield wants noise became a rally cry for the fan base that year).

No team has a history like the Yankees, thus the Yankees should have a higher standard than, say, the Twins. But putting in O'Neill is what I'd expect from a team with 1 or 2 WS titles, not a team with 27.
   51. Howie Menckel Posted: August 23, 2022 at 12:49 AM (#6092745)
As above, baseball clubs are the ones which choose, for whatever reason, whose number they retire and whose number they don't retire.

I don't "believe" in anything regarding baseball numbers and their retirement. I'm pretty agnostic on the matter.


so what IS it, then, that you consider "strange" about this thread, given how agnostic you are yourself?

a team retires a flotilla of numbers and not necessarily the most sensible ones (as I have learned in this thread), and there is a lot of feedback on it.

you seem to be saying that you are above caring what any team does, which is fine.

but why "strange" to describe different reactions? at least a few of us are confused.
   52. Walt Davis Posted: August 23, 2022 at 01:51 AM (#6092748)
Although I understand you might not want to do it to avoid putting pressure on a young player, I think I'd rather see teams honor a guy by creating a tradition around his number. At one point I thought the Cubs might be trying this around Fergie's #31 ... giving it to Maddux in 86, giving it to the next young "phenom" Kevin Foster in 94. (There were some unmpressive #31s between Fergie and Maddux and between Foster and Maddux's return so clearly that wasn't the Cubs' plan.) Take Mantle's 7 and keep it reserved until you think you have another really good CF (or at least OF). Heck, wait a couple of years to make sure the young guy cuts the mustard if you want. Judge wearing Mantle's "traditional" #7 or Ruth's #3 would be cooler than #99. Handing out #8 to Munson probably would have meant the world to Munson.

Obviously things go awry when you hand out #7 to Bobby Murcer and hopefully nobody's silly enough to give Ron Blomberg #4 (though if you're gonna retire a number...) but then they put a lot of "the next Mantle" pressure on Murcer anyway ... and if you have the tradition then handing Murcer #17 would be an explicit statement of "relax son, you don't need to be the next Mantle."
   53. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: August 23, 2022 at 02:07 AM (#6092752)
I cannot understand why they haven't honored Willie Randolph. He won one WS with them and was on the losing end of two more while wearing pinstripes, and played the vast majority of his career with them. The only argument I can see is that he played a year and a half with the hated Dodgers.
   54. geonose Posted: August 23, 2022 at 02:47 AM (#6092754)
I don't think the Twins have retired Dan Gladden's number, or have plans to do so. At least I can't find any evidence of it. They DID put him in their HOF, but many teams have Halls of Fame for beloved and/or semi-great players without retiring the numbers for all of them.

As for "unretiring" numbers, when they moved to Washington the Nationals "unretired" all uniform numbers that the Expos had previously retired while in Montreal. I think there may be other instances.
   55. . Posted: August 23, 2022 at 06:46 AM (#6092759)
Why?


Because they have no ability whatsoever to comprehend the sport other than through lists and spreadsheets.(*) Before computers, lists and spreadsheets and rankings were boring one-offs in the baseball narrative typically concocted as filler by mediocre writers. They're silly exercises, really -- the baseball representation of our curated-through-algorithms lives. Roger Angell didn't spend his time making lists.

Roy White isn't "in" because he was boring as hell, played primarily on nothingburger teams, and no one for posterity's sake gives a #### about his walks and his park effects.(*) (This proper difference between contemporary spreadsheet "value" and posterity/reputation has also been explained numerous times.) We aren't going to honor and get all misty over your quiet, plucky, "misunderstood" guys.

(*) See, at HOF level, people like Bobby Grich.


   56. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 23, 2022 at 07:42 AM (#6092760)
No team has a history like the Yankees, thus the Yankees should have a higher standard than, say, the Twins. But putting in O'Neill is what I'd expect from a team with 1 or 2 WS titles, not a team with 27.

What you and others fail to understand is that number retirement ceremonies are also a marketing strategy. The 1996-2000 run may be small potatoes in light of the other 23 championships, but those championships were (1) to a great extent made up of home grown players, and (2) other than 2009, they're the only ones that the great majority of Yankees fans would have living memories of. To have much memory of the 1977-78 teams you'd have to be in your mid-50's or older.

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

Although I understand you might not want to do it to avoid putting pressure on a young player, I think I'd rather see teams honor a guy by creating a tradition around his number. At one point I thought the Cubs might be trying this around Fergie's #31 ... giving it to Maddux in 86, giving it to the next young "phenom" Kevin Foster in 94. (There were some unmpressive #31s between Fergie and Maddux and between Foster and Maddux's return so clearly that wasn't the Cubs' plan.) Take Mantle's 7 and keep it reserved until you think you have another really good CF (or at least OF). Heck, wait a couple of years to make sure the young guy cuts the mustard if you want. Judge wearing Mantle's "traditional" #7 or Ruth's #3 would be cooler than #99. Handing out #8 to Munson probably would have meant the world to Munson.

I think that in most cases that would put too much pressure on the recipient of the number, especially in the case of true icons like Lou and the Babe.** What I would like to see, however, is for #42 to be given to players who best represent the spirit of Jackie Robinson, not his numbers. In that case the pressure would involve performing community service and outreach rather than having a HoF career.

** Although in fact Ruth's road jersey #3 was worn by Cliff Mapes on the day after Babe Ruth died! Hard to believe, but I've got the game day program to prove it.
   57. SoSH U at work Posted: August 23, 2022 at 08:05 AM (#6092761)
I cannot understand why they haven't honored Willie Randolph. He won one WS with them and was on the losing end of two more while wearing pinstripes, and played the vast majority of his career with them. The only argument I can see is that he played a year and a half with the hated Dodgers.


He won two WS as a player, plus two additional pennants, then was a coach for four more WS titles and another two pennants. But, you know, Sugar Bear said he isn't exciting, or something equally dumb.
   58. . Posted: August 23, 2022 at 08:30 AM (#6092764)
Willie Randolph has a big-ass plaque in Monument Park. Honored in 2015.
   59. Mike A Posted: August 23, 2022 at 08:31 AM (#6092765)
I tried to find out the players with the lowest bWAR for teams which have retired their numbers. This doesn't include unusual circumstances (poor Jim Umbricht) or managers/owners/fans etc. Probably missed someone, but here goes:

Carew +17.4 Angels
Eckersley +16.0 A's
Ryan +15.2 Rangers
Manush +12.7 Tigers
Fingers +12.1 A's
Fingers +7.9 Brewers
Sutter +6.3 Cardinals
Garvey +1.4 Padres
Boggs +1.2 Rays
Aaron +0.5 Brewers

So, mostly relief pitchers and great players who played for other teams towards/at the end of their careers. Heinie Manush started his career with the Tigers, but only played there five seasons before being traded.

I'd bet the Padres would like a do-over on Steve Garvey, the only one on the list not in the Hall among other...stuff.
   60. SandyRiver Posted: August 23, 2022 at 08:39 AM (#6092767)
I think Reggie is a very weak choice to have his number retired in NY.

Obviously, Reggie's final 3 swings of the 1977 season, and the nickname thus generated, trump the weak numbers.
   61. SoSH U at work Posted: August 23, 2022 at 08:43 AM (#6092768)

Willie Randolph has a big-ass plaque in Monument Park. Honored in 2015.


So does Paul O'Neill. Since O'Neill also has his number set aside for posterity, Willie's a lesser Yankee.
   62. . Posted: August 23, 2022 at 08:47 AM (#6092771)
So does Paul O'Neill. Since O'Neill also has his number set aside for posterity, Willie's a lesser Yankee.


Your jumping off point was "I cannot understand why they haven't honored Willie Randolph," and they have. He has a big-ass plaque at Monument Park, one of like maybe three-dozen players/managers to have one in the entire history of the franchise. They had a big ceremony when they honored him.
   63. SoSH U at work Posted: August 23, 2022 at 08:53 AM (#6092772)
Your jumping off point was "I cannot understand why they haven't honored Willie Randolph," and they have. He has a big-ass plaque at Monument Park, one of like maybe three-dozen players/managers to have one in the entire history of the franchise. They had a big ceremony when they honored him.


No, that wasn't my jumping off point.

They have retired a whole bunch of numbers. Many of those numbers have been retired for players who really didn't accomplish a whole lot in NY, while at the same time not doing it for guys who had vastly better careers there. That's dumb. Not surprising, since that's dumb, you're a big fan of it.

   64. . Posted: August 23, 2022 at 08:55 AM (#6092773)
As the centuries turned to the 21st, the NY Rangers had two retired numbers on the Garden rafters -- Ed Giacomin (who I'm pretty sure wasn't even all that good), and Rod Gilbert (who was).

They now have 11. As others have noted, this is mostly a marketing thing at this point, a way to bond the franchise and the generations and the fanbase. It's also evidence of the cultural need we now have to bind up history as nostalgia and sell and remember it as such, effectively another example of what I noted in the Vin Scully tribute thread on the development of the "Curse" from basically nothing in Vin's 1986 Series broadcast, to a big huge multi-tentacle beast engulfing one and all within a few short years after.
   65. . Posted: August 23, 2022 at 08:56 AM (#6092774)
Many of those numbers have been retired for players who really didn't accomplish a whole lot in NY, while at the same time not doing it for guys who had vastly better careers there. That's dumb.


All you've done there is make an assertion.

And it was your jumping off point. It was the first sentence, the thesis sentence, in the paragraph you quoted.
   66. SoSH U at work Posted: August 23, 2022 at 09:01 AM (#6092775)
All you've done there is make an assertion.


Really, you of all people is going with "All you've done is make an assertion."

And it was your jumping off point. It was the first sentence, the thesis sentence, in the paragraph you quoted.


Just repeating this idiocy doesn't make it so.
   67. villageidiom Posted: August 23, 2022 at 09:21 AM (#6092777)
The Yankees should have retired O'Neill's number because he, for reasons some folks not affiliated with the team don't accept, meant something special to the team and its fans. It's really that simple. Yeah he's a redass crybaby, and few of us want redass crybaby behavior to be rewarded. But that doesn't matter. Fans want their team's players to care about the team winning, and O'Neill was the least transparent player about it during his tenure.

I think it's hilarious that Cashman and Steinbrenner got booed at the ceremony. Yankees fans have become Jets fans. That's perfect.
   68. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: August 23, 2022 at 09:37 AM (#6092779)
This doesn't include unusual circumstances (poor Jim Umbricht) or managers/owners/fans etc. Probably missed someone, but here goes:


Aaron qualifies as an unusual circumstance.
   69. . Posted: August 23, 2022 at 10:01 AM (#6092783)
Really, you of all people is going with "All you've done is make an assertion."


Is it seriously your position that at all times and in all places, the only criteria for whether a number should be retired is the "quality" -- whatever that means -- of the career with the retiring franchise? (*)

Why is that your position, and why is any other position, in your words, "dumb"?

That's what I mean about it being merely an assertion. There's nothing explanatory behind it. No definition of terms, no effort to justify the position.

(*) Putting aside early deaths, tragedies, and the like.



   70. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: August 23, 2022 at 10:03 AM (#6092785)
Yankees fans have become Jets fans.
Perhaps that's because so many of them are Jets fans?

On a related note, it's always amusing to hear folks from outside the Northeast assume that Yankees fans must root for the Giants and Mets fans love the Jets.
   71. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 23, 2022 at 10:18 AM (#6092789)
The Yankees should have retired O'Neill's number because he, for reasons some folks not affiliated with the team don't accept, meant something special to the team and its fans. It's really that simple. Yeah he's a redass crybaby, and few of us want redass crybaby behavior to be rewarded. But that doesn't matter. Fans want their team's players to care about the team winning, and O'Neill was the least transparent player about it during his tenure.

This. 100% this.

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

On a related note, it's always amusing to hear folks from outside the Northeast assume that Yankees fans must root for the Giants and Mets fans love the Jets.

I don't know whether that's true today, but for a long time there was a big correlation between Mets fans and Namath era Jets fans. Both teams embodied the counter-cultural / anti-"establishment" ethos of the 60's, and it was also helped by the fact that the late 60's / early 70's Yankees and Giants teams were among the worst in those franchises' history.
   72. SoSH U at work Posted: August 23, 2022 at 10:22 AM (#6092791)
Is it seriously your position that at all times and in all places, the only criteria for whether a number should be retired is the "quality" -- whatever that means -- of the career with the retiring franchise? (*)


The criteria should be contribution to the organization. Obviously, it's not a strict WAR contest or whether a guy made the Hall, and there's obviously a subjective component to it. But that's the general framework, which is why Johnny Pesky is an obvious choice for the Red Sox even if his on-field production was dwarfed by others (his NY counterpart would be Scooter, who deserves the honor from the Yankees much more than some of the club's more accomplished players).

The Yankees have had such a scattershot number retirement policy (not by necessity, but by choice) driven entirely by the whims of the owners such that you end up in a situation where a popular, Hall-caliber player who was involved with six world series and 10 pennants in a Yankee uniform, who was still wearing that uniform long after many of these questionable number retirements took place (thereby refuting the whole it's a recent development thing), is left on the outside and relative mediocrities have been honored.
   73. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: August 23, 2022 at 10:22 AM (#6092792)
I don't know whether that's true today, but for a long time there was a big correlation between Mets fans and Namath era Jets fans. Both teams embodied the counter-cultural / anti-"establishment" ethos of the 60's, and it was also helped by the fact that the late 60's / early 70's Yankees and Giants teams were among the worst in those franchises' history.
Sure, Andy, but that was more than a half-century ago. A few more generations of fans have popped up since.
   74. SoSH U at work Posted: August 23, 2022 at 10:24 AM (#6092793)
I don't know whether that's true today, but for a long time there was a big correlation between Mets fans and Namath era Jets fans. Both teams embodied the counter-cultural / anti-"establishment" ethos of the 60's, and it was also helped by the fact that the late 60's / early 70's Yankees and Giants teams were among the worst in those franchises' history.


Wouldn't it also have been helped by the fact the Mets/Jets and Giants/Yanks shared homes?
   75. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: August 23, 2022 at 10:32 AM (#6092795)
On a lighter note:

Maybe they haven't retired Willie Randolph's number because he eventually settled in New Jersey, so rightly he should have his number retired by the Jets.
   76. Mike A Posted: August 23, 2022 at 10:43 AM (#6092796)
Aaron qualifies as an unusual circumstance.
That's probably fair. I was thinking more along the lines of the aforementioned Umricht and Jackie Robinson.

However, it's legitimate to consider Aaron's ties to Milwaukee (if not the Brewers themselves). Incidentally, Hank was the first MLB player to have his number retired by two different teams.

One could argue that Boggs's number being retired by Tampa was also because he was a hometown hero, though that one is a little dicier. It is kinda funny the Rays gave Boggs the honor 16 years before the Red Sox got around to it.

No real defense for Garvey, seems that one was more of a publicity stunt because of his one big Padre HR.
   77. . Posted: August 23, 2022 at 10:43 AM (#6092797)
It's totally a "recent development." I quoted the Rangers numbers already. For Monument Park, 17 of the 38 are 21st century inductees.

The Mets' fanbase b!tched for years and years and years that the team "didn't respect its history enough," and now they've started retiring a bunch more numbers -- Keith Hernandez a few weeks ago -- and putting up statutes -- Tom Seaver, fairly recently.

Yes, teams retired numbers and had "rings of honor" or "walls of fame" and the like prior to the 21stC. The trend has clearly accelerated as mass consciousness of "history," and with it nostalgia, has accelerated. To the extent an institution is seen to have a meaningful "history," loyalty and a sense of timelessness and heft are built.
   78. Ithaca2323 Posted: August 23, 2022 at 11:22 AM (#6092803)
Why? The point is to entertain the fans. If the fans loved O'Neill and didn't give a rat's ass about Martinez, give the fans what they want.


Fans loved lots of guys whose numbers weren't retired.
   79. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: August 23, 2022 at 11:24 AM (#6092804)
The White Sox retired Harold Baines' number in the middle of his career, after trading him to the Rangers. He came back to the Sox 2 more times after that.
   80. villageidiom Posted: August 23, 2022 at 11:35 AM (#6092806)
On a related note, it's always amusing to hear folks from outside the Northeast assume that Yankees fans must root for the Giants and Mets fans love the Jets.
FTR, I'm in CT and have made no such assumption. I wasn't aware anyone ever made such an assumption (which says more about me than the veracity of your observation).

In central CT there is a parallel between Yankees/Giants and Mets/Jets, in that nobody here ever admits to being a fan of the Mets or Jets. But most Yankees fans I know around here are Giants fans, and vice-versa. You get quite a few Yankees/Patriots alignments, and occasionally an inexplicable one (like my son's friend, who is Yankees/Chargers). If there are Yankees/Jets alignments I wouldn't know because nobody admits to being a Jets fan around here.
   81. Ithaca2323 Posted: August 23, 2022 at 11:38 AM (#6092808)
The 1996-2000 run may be small potatoes in light of the other 23 championships, but those championships were (1) to a great extent made up of home grown players
.

This is factually incorrect and downright laughable. The 1996 Yankees most used players at each position, by plate appearances

C- Joe Girardi
1B - Tino Martinez
2B - Mariano Duncan
3B- Wade Boggs
SS- Derek Jeter
LF- Gerald Williams (traded, replaced by Tim Raines)
CF - Bernie Williams
RF - Paul O'Neill
DH- Rueben Sierra, (traded, replaced by Cecil Fielder

Just three of the nine players were homegrown, and one of those three was traded before the postseason began

Their top 10 pitchers, by innings

Andy Pettitte
David Cone
Jimmy Key
Dwight Gooden
Kenny Rogers
Mariano Rivera
Ramiro Mendoza
Bob Wickman (Traded, replaced by Lloyd)
Jeff Nelson
John Wetteland

Just 4 of the 10, one of which was traded

So in conclusion, of the 19 most used Yankees in 1996, just 7 of the them were homegrown. And two of those seven were traded in season. Homegrown indeed
   82. Nasty Nate Posted: August 23, 2022 at 11:41 AM (#6092809)
In central CT ... You get quite a few Yankees/Patriots alignments
I didn't know such a person existed. I know that, historically, Red Sox/Giants alignments were somewhat common.

Do the Yankees/Patriots fans tend to be on the younger side?
   83. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 23, 2022 at 11:42 AM (#6092810)
I don't know whether that's true today, but for a long time there was a big correlation between Mets fans and Namath era Jets fans. Both teams embodied the counter-cultural / anti-"establishment" ethos of the 60's, and it was also helped by the fact that the late 60's / early 70's Yankees and Giants teams were among the worst in those franchises' history.

Wouldn't it also have been helped by the fact the Mets/Jets and Giants/Yanks shared homes?


Yeah, that too. Converging forces and all that. But I think the more important factor was that the Yankees and the Giants had gotten old and decrepit at roughly the same time, along with the original Yankee Stadium. The Giants collapsed in 1964 and the Yankees followed suit just a year later. And you can't underrate the Namath factor along with the countercultural aspect of the Mets' fan base.

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

The Yankees have had such a scattershot number retirement policy (not by necessity, but by choice) driven entirely by the whims of the owners such that you end up in a situation where a popular, Hall-caliber player who was involved with six world series and 10 pennants in a Yankee uniform, who was still wearing that uniform long after many of these questionable number retirements took place (thereby refuting the whole it's a recent development thing), is left on the outside and relative mediocrities have been honored.

The only problem with that is that there are two players who wore that number #30 with great distinction, and during the Torre years they were both on the Yankees' coaching staff. Randolph was a slightly better player, but Stottlemyre could've benefited from a prolonged illness bonus. If they were going to retire #30 at this point, it should be a double retirement a la Dickey and Yogi.
   84. . Posted: August 23, 2022 at 11:46 AM (#6092811)
Stottlemyre and Willie got their monuments and monument ceremonies the same day in June 2015. Both seemed quite touched and honored by the whole thing, but I guess the better reaction would have been to ##### and piss and moan about being relegated to "lesser Yankee" status.

   85. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 23, 2022 at 11:57 AM (#6092814)
The 1996-2000 run may be small potatoes in light of the other 23 championships, but those championships were (1) to a great extent made up of home grown players.

This is factually incorrect and downright laughable. The 1996 Yankees most used players at each position, by plate appearances ...

So in conclusion, of the 19 most used Yankees in 1996, just 7 of the them were homegrown. And two of those seven were traded in season. Homegrown indeed


Talk about missing the forest for the trees. The "core five" players on those Torre championship teams (Jeter, Bernie, Posada, Mo and Pettitte) combined for a total of 87 years in pinstripes, and O'Neill tacked on another 9. There's a reason that Yankees fans became attached to those players above and beyond the 12 postseason appearances, 6 pennants and 4 World's Championships. They weren't just temporary rentals, with the exception of O'Neill (and Pettitte for all of two years) they were Yankees from start to finish.
   86. Ithaca2323 Posted: August 23, 2022 at 12:21 PM (#6092818)
Talk about missing the forest for the trees


No one is missing anything. Your exact words were that those teams were "to a great extent made up of home grown players". They weren't. A majority of those players were in fact, not home grown. Several of them — like O'Neill and Martinez — came on board at the expense of home grown players

You've just moved the goalposts to talk about cumulative years spent in pinstripes, whatever that means.

If you want to say that the 1990s Yankees were Very Special Boys and give them what is rapidly becoming the Yankees' version of a Dynasty Participation Trophy, go ahead. The rest of us don't need to labor under that delusion.
   87. Ithaca2323 Posted: August 23, 2022 at 12:23 PM (#6092819)
Stottlemyre and Willie got their monuments and monument ceremonies the same day in June 2015. Both seemed quite touched and honored by the whole thing, but I guess the better reaction would have been to ##### and piss and moan about being relegated to "lesser Yankee" status.


In other words, what people have spent the 8 years since O'Neill got his plaque doing?
   88. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 23, 2022 at 12:45 PM (#6092824)
No one is missing anything. Your exact words were that those teams were "to a great extent made up of home grown players". They weren't. A majority of those players were in fact, not home grown. Several of them — like O'Neill and Martinez — came on board at the expense of home grown players

You've just moved the goalposts to talk about cumulative years spent in pinstripes, whatever that means.


I see the forest is still eluding you, and quite deliberately. When Yankees fans think of those Torre years, the players who first come to mind are the ones who were with them for significant stretches, with a bonus for being a farm system product. Not that they don't appreciate the contributions of the Wettelands and the Boggses, but they're more of a "yeah, them, too" afterthought. Turnover is commonplace among mini-dynasties like Torre's, but how many other such mini-dynasties have had 6 players with 96 total years in that mini-dynasty's uniform, especially in the free agent era? I think you know the answer to that one.

If you want to say that the 1990s Yankees were Very Special Boys and give them what is rapidly becoming the Yankees' version of a Dynasty Participation Trophy, go ahead. The rest of us don't need to labor under that delusion.

Fair enough, since "the rest of us" clearly implies you're not a Yankees fan, and are incapable of viewing this through a Yankees' fan's eyes. It's an all too human failing.
   89. villageidiom Posted: August 23, 2022 at 01:27 PM (#6092832)
Do the Yankees/Patriots fans tend to be on the younger side?
They tend to be on the front-running side.

Although that doesn't explain the Yankees thing.
   90. Yclept Posted: August 23, 2022 at 02:05 PM (#6092839)
It's also a little silly that the Yankees will soon run out of two-digit numbers for their current players and have to go either to three digits or Greek letters or Special Symbols :


I'm all in for symbols, numbers are boring. Which would you rather see--#88 and #99 having their numbers retired, or : (colon) and ; (semicolon) retired? And how about @ (ampersand)? or emoticons? The possibilities are vast.
   91. . Posted: August 23, 2022 at 02:11 PM (#6092841)
Jeter was the Alpha and the Omega, so those would have to be retired.
   92. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 23, 2022 at 02:26 PM (#6092846)
I'm all in for symbols, numbers are boring. Which would you rather see--#88 and #99 having their numbers retired, or : (colon) and ; (semicolon) retired? And how about @ (ampersand)? or emoticons? The possibilities are vast.

And if you let your imagination go a little, what about Judge's #99 being replaced by this? Or this for O'Neill's 21?
   93. SandyRiver Posted: August 23, 2022 at 02:55 PM (#6092850)
I don't know whether that's true today, but for a long time there was a big correlation between Mets fans and Namath era Jets fans. Both teams embodied the counter-cultural / anti-"establishment" ethos of the 60's, and it was also helped by the fact that the late 60's / early 70's Yankees and Giants teams were among the worst in those franchises' history.

And in 1968-69 there was the NY > Baltimore sequence, starting with the Willis Reed Knicks (the "establishment" NBA team) kicking the (then) Baltimore Bullets out of the playoffs. Then came the Miracle Mets followed by Broadway Joe. Maybe it was good that the Baltimore Clippers were in the AHL.

As the centuries turned to the 21st, the NY Rangers had two retired numbers on the Garden rafters -- Ed Giacomin (who I'm pretty sure wasn't even all that good), and Rod Gilbert (who was).

Eddie Giacomin wasn't the greatest goalie (don't know that he ever bagged a Vezina) but he was entertaining, in the way he'd skate way out of the crease against a breakaway. Saw him go almost to the blue line against Bobby Hull (of whom he was terrified). Also, I'm a bit surprised that Andy Bathgate wasn't an early honoree.
   94. NaOH Posted: August 23, 2022 at 03:00 PM (#6092851)
The criteria should be contribution to the organization. Obviously, it's not a strict WAR contest or whether a guy made the Hall, and there's obviously a subjective component to it. But that's the general framework….


How about someone who disagrees with the vagaries of teams’ decisions on retiring numbers try to delineate a policy, something that would actually be a usable framework instead of the vagueness of what’s quoted above.

I mean, some here are saying Reggie was a weak choice for the Yankees, while at least one other person says three swings of his bat and a nickname are enough. Even with Billy Martin’s (unremarkable) playing career in NY to go along with his tenures as manager, he has nothing on Joe Torre’s contributions to the team. A-Rod brought more measurable value to the franchise than, say, Posada, and it’s not like he came in and like a firecracker and said, “I’m the straw that stirs the drink. Jeter can only stir it bad.”

Imagine the next franchise, the Memphis Manfreds, have hired you as a consultant to document how the organization handles this. Lay out some specifics, so any future marketing department for the team will face no uncertainty (which, now that I think of it, I’d find banal since I don’t want to know if a player has met some predetermined criteria and now must have his number retired).
   95. SoSH U at work Posted: August 23, 2022 at 03:45 PM (#6092856)
How about someone who disagrees with the vagaries of teams’ decisions on retiring numbers try to delineate a policy, something that would actually be a usable framework instead of the vagueness of what’s quoted above.


I don't think you can create a formula, if that's what you're asking. I don't know why you'd want to do one.

But let me ask you this. You seem to be a Yankee fan. Do you think a system that's resulted in the number retirements of Billy Martin, Roger Maris, Reggie Jackson and Paul O'Neill but not Willie Randolph or Graig Nettles is a system that's operating well?

   96. NaOH Posted: August 23, 2022 at 04:21 PM (#6092863)
Do you think a system that's resulted in the number retirements of Billy Martin, Roger Maris, Reggie Jackson and Paul O'Neill but not Willie Randolph or Graig Nettles is a system that's operating well?


I won't defend whatever logic the team has used other than saying they've used marketing and branding purposes with many of their honorees. Certainly, in this regard the team has shown no logic or consistency, but on a marketing or branding level any numbers retired are the team digging into the boilerplate branding ideas of history and tradition. Those ideas tend to work even if there's no discernible process to who/what is honored. In that sense, to directly answer your question, the system is working well, if not ideally or consistently.

But like I said in #46, I can't discern much reason in any team's number retirements, whether that's examples like you just cited (both omissions and honorees), Garvey with the Padres, no Dewey for Boston, etc., etc., etc., though some teams have track records of high-quality players across the board (e.g., Orioles or Pirates).

Ultimately, then, if there's no systems in place that teams are using, and it's just a marketing and branding effort, there's no real criticism I can make, unless there's some egregious contradiction to the prior marketing/branding, despite how awful as some choices may seem (like Sutter with the Cards or Randy Jones with the Padres who is clearly more of a local institution than an on-field honoree).
   97. Walt Davis Posted: August 23, 2022 at 04:22 PM (#6092864)
Bobby Hull (of whom he was terrified)

Imagine baseball was a game where the ball is on a tee but you only score if you hit it right back through the middle. Now imagine you're the fielder standing on the pitcher's mound. Now imagine Aaron Judge is coming to the plate.

Giacomin did win the 1971 Vezina with teammate Gilles Villemure (it was a team trophy in those days). In this case very much shared as Eddie got 45 games and Villeneuve 34. Giacomin made 5 AS teams. (Statistically I don't really see any differences between the two but Villemure never made an AS team.)
   98. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 23, 2022 at 04:28 PM (#6092865)
And in 1968-69 there was the NY > Baltimore sequence, starting with the Willis Reed Knicks (the "establishment" NBA team) kicking the (then) Baltimore Bullets out of the playoffs. Then came the Miracle Mets followed by Broadway Joe. Maybe it was good that the Baltimore Clippers were in the AHL

One thing I would've loved to have seen would've been the 1972-73 champion Knicks** meeting up with the 1973-74 ABA champion Nets, when the Doctor was at his most spectacular. By the Doc's rookie year the Knicks were already on the way down, so a little time traveling would've been necessary to make it ideal, but that's a matchup that might've rivaled the Subway Series for intensity.

Pretty sure the Knicks would've won, but that series would've gotten the attention of the New York market like nothing before or since.

** Who disposed of the Chamberlain-led Lakers in a 5 game finals.
   99. . Posted: August 23, 2022 at 04:33 PM (#6092867)
I'm not a Yankee fan, but I obviously know of the Yankees and their history and their players, so I want to comment.

First, the entire enterprise runs aground when it's referred to as a "system." There's no system under any serious definition of that term. Which is to say, there are no upfront criteria, either explicit or implicit, no mandatory periodic or ad hoc consideration points, etc. There are instead a series of independent decisions, essentially unrelated to each other, made by different people at different times in the middle of a process of managing an entertainment business and appealing to customers.

Now, clearly there's a yearning in the souls of many baseball fans of a certain type that there be some explicit "system" -- and those yearnings tend to stem from psychic places that have little to do with baseball. This yearning, understandable to a degree, tends to detest what appear to be "arbitrary" judgments that take into account such things as popularity, charisma, performance in big moments, personality, appeal, etc.(*) (Thus the bile hurled in my direction -- perfectly fine -- in 57). This type of fan yearns for a world in which those factors are eliminated or virtually eliminated, in favor of rote, systematized, objective decision-making in which the person who scores "better" on this objective scale is rewarded in lieu of the person who scores "worse." My strong guess, at this point a virtual certainty, is that they have that preference for baseball evaluation because that's the way they want the world outside of baseball to work. (**)

This phenomenon in large measure has driven the mass analytics movement in baseball and has won it so many adherents. It explains WAR; it explains the desire to reduce baseball to a running WAR chart.

As to the substance, I personally can easily see Martin, Maris, Jackson, and O'Neill having their numbers retired by the Yankees while Randolph and Nettles haven't. That's one of those things that's hard to explain, though, to people. It's a lot like explaining a joke or a painting. At some level, the ability to conceptualize it isn't really a matter of explanation. I've tried to explain it, or related points to it, any number of times. It doesn't seem to have taken in this forum, while probably still being the dominant, mainstream interpretation of baseball and its history. IOW, I don't see any indication at all that the various factions outside the analytics devotees that make up the tapestry of baseball have any problem with that state of affairs.

(*) It takes some level of psychic injury to explain the vociferous reaction to something like Jack Morris in the baseball Hall of Fame. The reaction isn't even comprehensible without reference to something personal that has nothing to do with baseball.

(**) And that in turn is likely because they think a world that works that way would work better for them. Thus the close identification with the Roy Whites and the Bobby Grichs of the baseball world. At some not insignificant level, Bobby Grich's "value" is "misunderstood" in much the same way many of them think their "value" is "misunderstood."
   100. John DiFool2 Posted: August 23, 2022 at 05:29 PM (#6092877)
Nettles' case is strange because of the defensive show he put on during the 1978 World Series. As Bill James once commented, for some odd reason this left little lasting impression on anyone, as contrasted with Brooks Robinson's wizardry in the 1970 WS.
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