Joe Torre should have made the Hall of Fame as a player

15 12 2013

Catching up on off-season Yankee news:

Joe Torre is a Hall of Famer — finally

I actually intended to write a post sometime this year making the case for Joe Torre‘s election to the Hall of Fame. But the Expansion Era Committee chose Torre to enter the Hall of Fame this year, along with his managing peers Tony LaRussa and Bobby Cox.

All three managers are clear Hall of Famers, ranking third (LaRussa), fourth (Cox) and fifth (Torre) on the all-time wins list for managers.

Torre was a strong candidate for the Hall of Fame as a player and probably should have been chosen on that basis, regardless of his performance as a manager. He and Elston Howard were the best catchers of the 1960s and most people who were best of their era at a position are in Cooperstown. He was a nine-time All-Star and most eligible players who’ve made that many All-Star teams are in the Hall. He also was MVP in 1971 (after moving to third base), leading the league in batting, RBI and hits.

No Hall of Fame catcher topped Torre’s career figures in all of the triple-crown categories (.297, 252 HR, 1185 RBI) as well as his 2,342 hits, and each of those figures ranks in the top half of all Hall of Fame catchers. Among third basemen, only George Brett topped Torre in all four categories, and his totals again measure up as a Hall of Famer compared to the third basemen in Cooperstown. And he won a Gold Glove as a catcher, so he wasn’t being kept out of Cooperstown because of defensive deficiencies (though he wasn’t good defensively at third). Read the rest of this entry »

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 »