Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Steinbrenner, Martin shouldn't make the Hall

George Steinbrenner and Billy Martin could be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame next month, but I don't think either of them should be.

I think Steinbrenner has a better shot due to his recent passing, with the good stories shared by those who worked for, played for and even tussled with him all fresh in peoples' minds. Steinbrenner also will receive a lot of credit (or blame) for the way he forever changed the game, with his spending habits and hands-on ownership leaving a permanent mark. Even Bud Selig, in an uncharacteristic move for the commissioner of baseball, endorsed Steinbrenner's Hall of Fame candidacy, which means a lot when you consider that he's been reluctant to even consider allowing Pete Rose into the Hall (as Selig should be since Rose agreed to the lifetime ban and finally admitted he bet on baseball).

Working against Steinbrenner will be his two suspensions as well as the stomach-turning stories about his bullying treatment of his players and employees and his disdain for baseball's hierarchy. There will also be a lot of resentment toward Steinbrenner for the way he forever changed the business of the sport, forcing other teams to pay top dollar or risk losing their star players to the New York Yankees.

As for Martin, he was a solid player on the Yankees during their championship years in the 1950s. But he is probably most well-known for his tumultuous relationship with Steinbrenner, who hired and fired him five times. He was a good manager in his own right, leading several teams to division titles and capturing a World Series title as a manager in 1977. But his hard-partying ways and propensity for physical brawls with his own players make it impossible to appreciate him.

Even though I wouldn't vote for him, I think Steinbrenner will make it into the Hall, but I don't think his old frenemy Martin will join him.


  1. I think you underestimate Martin as a manager. His record is superb.

    I certainly appreciate him despite his physical brawls. He was a troubled guy, and it would be tought to defend a lot of what he did off the field, but watching the Yankees when he was managing was exciting. His teams played good, fun baseball. He got the most out of all his teams, except maybe when he had to take on Steinbrenner.

    But then, managing was different in those days. Managers were expected to manage the playing of the game, not just the clubhouse. It's a different world today.

  2. You make an excellent point about how different managing was in those days. Perhaps the veteran's committee can put aside his bad behavior and focus on his managing career. If the committee members can do that, his odds of making it vastly improve.