Jorge Posada has been better than most Hall of Fame catchers

19 10 2011

The opening night of the World Series seems like a good time to consider Jorge Posada‘s case for his election to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Posada, starting catcher for four World Series champions, belongs in the Hall of Fame, but I don’t think he will get there. As Yankee catchers go, he doesn’t have as strong a case as Thurman Munson. Just as the baseball writers kept Munson out, they will keep Posada out.

Of the “core four” Yankees from Posada’s time, Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter are automatic Hall of Famers whose credentials are so strong they overcome the anti-Yankee bias. Posada is more like Andy Pettitte, worthy of the Hall of Fame, but likely to fall short.

Posada has not retired yet, but it’s likely we’ve seen most, if not all, of his outstanding years, so I think we can evaluate him as a Hall of Fame contender.

For catchers, you have to throw out the milestones that play into consideration for players at other positions. No catcher has hit 500 homers or 3,000 hits. (You can’t count Craig Biggio, who moved to second base before he had 500 hits). So it’s more an assessment of the total package that matters. You really have to measure a catcher against his contemporaries and/or against other Hall of Famers.

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Great pitchers (Justin Verlander, Ron Guidry) really are the most valuable players

3 10 2011

As strong as my pro-Yankee bias is, I think Justin Verlander should be the American League Most Valuable Player this year.

Yankees Curtis Granderson and Robinson Canó had outstanding years that merit MVP consideration. So did some non-Yankee position players: José Bautista, Miguel CabreraJacoby Ellsbury and Adrián González.

When baseball writers (MVP voters) discuss the MVP contenders, you hear one of the dumbest statements and one of the strongest biases in baseball, almost as strong as the anti-Yankee bias: Pitchers shouldn’t be considered for the MVP.

That notion — and the fact that it persists so strongly — reveals why baseball writers as a group are too stupid and too biased to decide anything meaningful. Read the rest of this entry »