Thursday, January 7, 2010

Active Yankees have better shots at Hall

Yesterday I wrote a post about the problems retired Yankees such as Don Mattingly and Tim Raines are having getting serious consideration for the Baseball Hall of Fame. But the current New York Yankees have at least two players destined for the Hall, probably on the first ballot (although with this group of writers you never know), and maybe more.

Let's take a look at the surefire Hall of Famers first. If Mariano Rivera never saves another game (extremely unlikely), he goes into the Hall, no question. If his 526 regular season saves aren't enough, he has those extra 39 from pitching the Yanks to five World Series titles to polish his resume. His career postseason ERA is 0.74, which is amazing when you consider that he only pitches against the best teams in the playoffs.

Derek Jeter is another sure thing. He doesn't even have to reach the magic 3,000 hit mark, but he will. The Captain already has the most hits by a shortstop in baseball history and most hits by a Yankee. But like Mo, it's his postseason accomplishments that really solidify his Hall of Fame status: 175 hits, .313 batting average, the 20 home runs that always happen in key spots.
But after that it gets dicey. Alex Rodriguez certainly has a Hall of Fame resume with 583 home runs and three Most Valuable Player awards. But he wouldn't get my vote. I think any player caught using steroids should not be allowed into the Hall. I think there are many writers who feel this way and that means trouble for ARod. Look at the problems Mark McGwire is having, only getting 23.7% in the latest balloting. Granted, ARod is a far superior all-around player than McGwire. But you can't keep McGwire out for something you think he did and let players such as ARod and Manny Ramirez in for something you know they did.
For me, Andy Pettitte gets disqualified for the same reason. He has 229 regular season wins and a record 18 postseason victories. His 3.91 career ERA is high for the Hall. In comparison, Jack Morris was a dominating pitcher with more wins, a similar career ERA and one less World Series ring than Pettitte. But he's had trouble getting into the Hall although he received more votes this year at 52.3% than ever. But for me, the human growth hormone use earns Pettitte a ban. I give him a lot of credit for owning up to it, unlike his ex-pal Roger Clemens, but he falls into that category of players that shouldn't be rewarded for making bad decisions.
Jorge Posada will get some votes because he is one of the best hitting catchers of his generation and he has five World Series rings. But his numbers aren't Hall of Fame-worthy: .277 batting average, 243 homers and a solid 964 ribbies. He only had one 30 home run, 100 RBI season and he is notorious for his defensive problems.
It's too early to tell for younger players such as Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia, but they may have legitimate shots at the Hall as their careers continue to blossom. He's not yet 30 and Tex already has 242 homers and nearly 800 ribbies. CC has 136 wins and counting at age 29, but his 3.62 ERA could be better. He has time to work on it.
The rest of the current team is either too young or don't have the resumes for the Hall, but the Yankees will undoubtedly add to their presence in Cooperstown with this group.
Thanks to Anc516 via en.Wikipedia for the photo.

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