Tag Archives: Munson

Judge wins AL MVP overwhelmingly.

Over the past few weeks, I was getting a bit ticked at people saying that Shohei Ohtani deserved the MVP over Aaron Judge. For one thing, Ohtani’s Angels finished 33 games behind Houston. It reminded me of what happened when Ralph Kiner went into Branch Rickey’s office asking for a raise. Rickey replied to the future Hall-of-Famer, “We finished last with you, we can finish last without you!”

Taking nothing away from Ohtani or Kiner, but Ohtani didn’t play a meaningful game since what, mid-June? Meanwhile Judge carried his team, keeping them afloat as a 15 1/2 game lead shrunk to 3 1/2. I read something that from the All-Star Game until the end of the season, Judge, who was hitting a respectable .284 at the All-Star break, hit .349 the rest of the way. The rest of the Yankees hit .223. Now THAT is valuable. THAT is carrying a team. Without that, the Yankees may have suffered the worst collapse ever.

To those who say that what Ohtani does hasn’t been done since Babe Ruth, I get it. And I get that he does it so well. But just because he is a unicorn, doing what no one else does, is that alone reason to give him the award? For if that is the case, just retire the award from now on. I mean, if he hit .235 with 10 HR and went 5-6 with an ERA of 4.75, he’s still doing what no one else does, right? I like Ohtani. He’s a great player. But if he and Mike Trout (who finished 8th for the MVP this year) could not lift the Angels to sniffing distance of Houston, then how valuable were they? And Ohtani did have Trout. No other Yankee besides Judge got even so much as a tenth place vote this year.

The voters got it right. Judge got 28 of the 30 first-place votes, easily beating out Ohtani for the award., with the other two first place votes going to Ohtani. Judge led the majors in 8 different categories, and the AL in another, many by wide margins. He hit 16 more HR than the next best guy. His total bases were some 80 or so above the next best guy. His OPS+ of 211, well, it’s rare when someone is over 200. And as for those who think Judge was all HR, he almost won the Triple Crown, hitting .311. He stole 16 bases in 19 attempts, a ratio better than Ohtani’s, who was only 11 for 20. He made ZERO errors despite switching back and forth between CF (78 games) and RF (73 games). That switching back and forth may have cost Judge a deserved Gold Glove but may have made him more valuable. Ohtani may be a good fielder. But we don’t really know because when he isn’t pitching, Ohtani doesn’t play the field. He DH’s, a luxury the Babe never had.

With his MVP award joining his 2017 Rookie of the Year Award, Judge becomes only the second Yankee to win both awards, the other being Thurman Munson (1970 ROY and 1976 MVP). The ROY was first given out in 1947, which explains why Joe DiMaggio isn’t on that list.

Ohtani is a great player. But 2022 was Judge’s year, and the voters got it right.

The Yankees have made a new offer to Judge. There are no details. We can only imagine what it is. But hopefully a deal is done soon, and the newest Yankees’ MVP remains in the Bronx. Many years from now, we hope #99 joins numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 (twice), 9, 10, 15, 16, 20, 21, 23, 32, 37, 42, 44, 46, 49 and 51 in Monument Park.

Giants great Posey to retire.

In a surprising move, Giants’ great, C Buster Posey, still only 34, is announcing his retirement today. Posey hit .304-18-56 in 2021, with an OPS+ of an MVP-like 140 while making the All-Star Team.

Ranked the 14th best catcher of all-time on baseball-reference.com, Posey was a 7x All-Star who won 3 world series titles with the Giants. He won the Rookie of the Year award in 2010 and was NL MVP in 2012. He finished in the top 10 for MVP in two other seasons (getting MVP consideration 6 times in his career), won a batting title, a Gold Glove, and four Silver Slugger Awards. And that isn’t counting any awards/consideration he may get for this season.

If you take his stats and divide by 10, you get 137 games/season, about what a full-time catcher would have. .302-16-73, OPS+ 129.

In postseason play, he hit .252-5-25 in 68 games.

He was involved in a major collision at home plate early in his career which caused major injuries and forced rule changes as far as colliding into catchers to score a run.

Of the 13 catchers ranked above Posey for best all-time, only 3 are not in the Hall of Fame. Joe Mauer (not yet eligible), Thurman Munson, and Gene Tenace.

Being down on the continually disappointing Gary Sanchez, I was hoping that maybe the Yanks could swing a deal for the Reds’ Tucker Barnhart, a lefty-hitting catcher who has won two Gold Glove Awards. Not going to happen. The Reds traded Barnhart to Detroit yesterday.

Miller, Simmons make HOF. Munson, Mattingly and John come up short.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

It would have been nice to see two or even three Yankee captains entering the HOF on the same day but it won’t happen.

Thurman Munson and Don Mattingly were not elected to the HOF yesterday by a committee, so neither will be joining Derek Jeter (expected to get in, perhaps unanimously, by the writers) and Tommy John was not elected either.

Elected were Marvin Miller and Ted Simmons.

Miller, who died in 2012 at the age of 95, was a union leader who fought for players rights, such as free agency and against the reserve clause and as a result, player’s salaries skyrocketed.

Simmons, a switch-hitting C, played for St. Louis 1968-1980, Milwaukee 1981-1985, and Atlanta 1986-1988. He helped the Brewers win the 1982 AL Pennant. He got MVP consideration 7x, finished in the top 10 3x, and was an 8x All Star. His 162 g. average was .285-16-92 with an OPS+ of 118. He hit .186-3-8 in 17 postseason games. He had 2472 hits and 248 HR.

No Q.O. for Didi. John, Munson, Mattingly on Modern Baseball Era ballot for HOF consideration. Boone up for MOY.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees did not extend a qualifying offer of $17.8MM to Didi Gregorius. If he leaves as a free agent, the Yanks receive no compensation.

It could be that the Yanks want him back, but at less than that figure. But Didi now can talk to anyone.

Didi made $11.75MM last season, when he missed a significant amount of time recovering from TJ surgery. He played in 82 games, and despite hitting 16 HR and driving in 61 runs, only hit .238 with an OPS+ of 87. It was his worst OPS+ since his first year with the Yanks in 2015.

One other problem is that Didi didn’t walk much. His OBP was just .276.

As such, the Yanks probably didn’t think a raise from $11.75MM to $17.8MM was warranted or deserved. IF the Yanks want him back, it probably would be for less than $17.8MM.

Didi hopes to return. We will see.


From MLB.com:

Gregorius was one of seven Yankees to hit free agency on Halloween, following right-hander Dellin Betances, outfielder Brett Gardner, right-hander Cory Gearrin (who I don’t expect back), outfielder Cameron Maybin (questionable), catcher Austin Romine (would he come back as a backup or does he want to start elsewhere) and retired left-hander CC Sabathia.

As you know, the Yankees declined a $20 million option on first baseman Edwin Encarnacion, instead paying him a $5 million buyout.

Of that group, the Yankees seem most likely to pursue a reunion with Gardner, who could man center field in the wake of Aaron Hicks’ Tommy John surgery.

The Yankees announced the following roster moves on Monday:

• Reinstated 3B Miguel Andújar, 1B Greg Bird, OF Jacoby Ellsbury and RHP Jonathan Holder from the 60-day injured list.

• Reinstated RHP Jake Barrett from the 60-day IL and outrighted him to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

• LHP Tyler Lyons has elected free agency in lieu of accepting an outright assignment to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.


BBWAA awards:

Aaron Boone has been named as one of three finalists for AL Mgr. of the Year.

D.J. LeMahieu may get consideration for MVP, but he won’t be in the top 3. The top 3 are Bregman, Trout and Semien but the order won’t be revealed until Nov. 14.


Also from MLB.com:

The National Baseball Hall of Fame announced 10 candidates under consideration for induction as part of the 2020 Modern Baseball Era ballot: Dwight Evans, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Marvin Miller, Thurman Munson, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Ted Simmons and Lou Whitaker.

Is Jeter primed for a comeback season?

David Phelps says that Derek Jeter looks “amazing” in workouts so far.

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/fellow-yankee-captain-amazing-workouts-article-1.1603307

We’ll see if it translates to spring training and the regular season, because Yankees fans do have a right to be concerned. Jeter broke an ankle in Game 1 of the 2012 ALCS and was limited to 17 games and a .190 average last year. He turns 40 in June and well, you don’t see too many 40 year old shortstops.

In another story, when the Yanks were discussing catching needs, Gene Michael stated to get McCann, because he reminded Gene of Michael’s ex-teammate, Thurman Munson. High praise, indeed. When told that, Hal Steinbrenner’s response was “Go get him,” which the Yanks did at 5 years, $85MM.

You may recall that McCann blocked the plate last year when an opposing player went deep and then cursed at players while rounding the bases. You have to like that fire, intensity and commitment to playing the game right.

We’ve had too much snow and ice in the Northeast (where I live) lately. Bring on spring.

Happy b/day to Hank Aaron, who turned 80 yesterday. As for today, it was on this date that Babe Ruth was born in 1895.

A Catching Lineage.

As I mentioned in the previous post about Posada, NO team can match the Yankees’ catching lineage. NONE. Let’s briefly look at that lineage.

1) Bill Dickey. HOF. #8 retired by the Yanks. Yanks 1928-1943, 1946.
.313 BA. 202 HR. OPS+ 127. 5th, 5th, 2nd and 6th in MVP voting 1936-1939. 8th in 1943 (a WWII year) at the age of 36. (Yanks mgr. 1946).

2) Yogi Berra. HOF. #8 retired by the Yanks. Yanks 1947-1963, Mets 1965. Yanks mgr. 1964, 1984-1985. MVP 1951, 1954, 1955.
How about this run? 3rd, 1st, 4th, 2nd, 1st, 1st and 2nd in MVP voting from 1950-1956.
.285 BA. 358 HR. OPS+ 125.

3) Elston Howard. #32 retired, Yankees 1955-1967, Red Sox 1967-1968.
1963 MVP. Also 10th in MVP 1961, 3rd in 1964.
.274, 167 HR. OPS+ 108.
Had he not died at age 51, could he have become the first black manager of a NY team?

4) Thurman Munson. #15 retired. Yankees 1969-1979.
Untimely death at age 32.
Could he have become a Yankees mgr.?
.292, 113 HR, OPS+ 116; MVP in 1976. 7th in 1975 and 1977.

5) Jorge Posada. #20 (we’ll see). Yankees 1995-2011.
HOF? (We’ll see). Future Yankees Mgr.? (likewise).
.273, 275 HR, OPS+ 121.  3rd in MVP voting 2003, 6th in 2007.

SB by a catcher.

On the LoHud blog, it’s noted that Russell Martin’s 8th sb is the 3rd most by a Yankees catcher in the past 50 years.

Joe Girardi had 13 in 1996. Thurman Munson had 14 in 1976, but 11 were as as a catcher, 3 at other positions (LF, RF, DH). They only went back 50 years. Elston Howard was SLOW. 9 for 23 in his career. Yogi was 30 for 56 in his career. Bill Dickey was 36 for 68 in his career. I haven’t gone back in time, but 50 years? More like Martin is 3rd most by a Yankees catcher in at least 80 years.

Ridiculous assertions.

I see criticism because apparently no Yankee attended Bob Sheppard’s funeral.

That criticism, I think, is unjust. Maybe the Sheppard family wanted it that way to avoid a media circus.

Also,  the team wasn’t together. It happened over the All-Star break, and the players who didn’t go to Anaheim probably took the time to go home to their families. To the parents,  wives and children they see far too infrequently while they are flying around the country. Mariano, for instance, probably flew home to Panama. Maybe Jorge went home to Puerto Rico for a couple of days, I don’t know. The point is, those couple of days, for many, are a chance to reacquaint themselves with family. Or have we forgotten the reason Thurman Munson bought that plane?

Huh? Questions about the Lineup’s picks again…this time at 3B and next week—SS.

No, the lineup did choose the right guy for #1 at 3B–A-Rod.

It’s the four below him I question. They did pick Graig Nettles and Red Rolfe as I thought they should. It’s the other two I question.

Howard Johnson for the Mets? I wondered about that one myself and was tempted. I chose David Wright, however.

HoJo was with the Mets from 1985-1993. He hit 192 HR as a Met, but had just a .251 BA with them. 124 OPS+. His career 162 g. average was .249-24-80, OPS+ 117. Average not hot, but good OPS+. Good speed, too, as he went 30-30 three times for the Mets (1987, 1989 and 1991) and led the NL in HR in 1991 with 38. He also led the league in RBI that year. His OPS+ numbers with the Mets? 94, 118, 133, 124, 169, 106, 145, 91, 98.  10th in MVP voting in 1987, 5th in 1989 and 1991. Didn’t think the numbers were that good, do you? Four times did Johnson steal 30 or more. After turning 30, however, Johnson’s numbers dropped like a rock in water. 1987-1991 superb, but his numbers before and after weren’t. His postseason numbers make A-Rod’s previous struggles pale in comparison. 1 for 26 in the postseason. Not the greatest glove.

Wright had a tough year in adjusting to Citi Field. Just 10 HR last year. He has a long way to go, as he has only had five full seasons as a Met. In those years however, Wright has had two 30 HR seasons, one a 30/30, to HoJo’s three. His 162 g. average to date is .308-27-107, OPS+ 136. He has won two GG (two more than HoJo) and has finished in the top 10 for MVP voting 3x (same as HoJo). Maybe the panel didn’t feel like Wright has done enough yet to put him over HoJo. I disagree.

As for the other spot, Clete Boyer was selected. I was tempted to put Frank Baker there, but Home Run Baker’s dead ball era HOF stats were best with the Philadelphia A’s, not with the Yankees.

But here is my biggest gripe with the Lineup. How can they put Gary Carter—who only had two really good years in NY, and who was selected over Dickey and Munson—on the all-time NY team for catchers, but not put Wade Boggs on for 3B?

Yes, I know Boggs had his best years in Boston. But if you choose Carter over Dickey and Munson, how do you not then choose Boggs over Boyer?

Yes, I know Boyer had the better glove. He also couldn’t hit.

Boyer hit .241 as a Yankee, .242 in his career. His 162 g. average was .242-15-61, OPS+ just 87. A lot of Gold Gloves he could have won, he didn’t because of Brooks Robinson. Boyer was a full-time player from 1960-1966 with the Yankees. He hit .224 in 1961, .218 in 1964.

Boggs was with the Yankees for just five years, but hit .292 or better in each of those years. The .292 was the only year under .300. As a Yankee, Boggs hit .313. His 162 g. average for his career was .328-8-67 and his great eye for a walk led to a career OPS+ of 130 (111 as a Yankee). Over 3000 hits in his career. A HOF. Not the fielder Boyer was, but still 2 GG.

The OPS+ numbers for Boggs as a Yankee weren’t as good as in Boston, 104, 141, 119, 98 and 102, but they were still better than Boyer’s.

But I repeat…how can Carter (see a previous post on that) get on over Dickey and Munson when Carter had only two good NY years, but Boggs lose out to Boyer?

Next week? The SS. We know who’ll be #1…and he wears #2 (Jeter). One #1 will wind up one of the runnerups (Pee Wee Reese) along with Rizzuto. Who’ll be the other two?

UPDATE: Already I see a HUGE problem with the SS picks. No, not with Jeter, Scooter or Pee Wee, but with the other choices. I mean, WHERE IS ALVIN DARK? He is not even one of the choices that you can select….but Kevin Elster is? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Elster: .228 career hitter, OPS+ 83. .224 in seven years with the Mets. In 40 games with the Yankees, he went 2 for 37. Elster had three years in NY where he played in 100 or more games. Those years?

1988. .214-9-37. OPS+ 75
1989. .231-10-55 OPS+ 87
1991 .241-6-36 OPS+ 89

Alvin Dark. NYG 1950-1956. 1951 NL Pennant Giants, 1954 WS Champs.
Career .289 hitter with an OPS+ of 98.

23 HR in 1953, 20 in 1954. Not the glove of Elster, but a far better bat. 5th in MVP voting in 1954. .300 or better, 1951-1953.

Not only that, Dave Bancroft isn’t on the list. Only 4 years with the NYG, 1920-1923, but a HOF who hit .300 or better 1921-1923.

Elster on the list over Dark and Bancroft. You gotta be ****ing kidding me.     

But then, they’ll probably take .236 hitting Buddy Harrelson as one of their backups, while not even nominating Dark or Bancroft.

You gotta be kidding me.   
 

Time to get serious

I usually don’t pay too much attention to spring training results (wins/losses, that is) until about now. I do check out which guys are hot, who is not and which minor leaguers are impressing. As for the actual results, so many are determined by guys who won’t make the team that concentrating on a won-loss record is fruitless.

But now that guys have been cut, sent back to the minors, etc., you are basically left with the core. For example, LoHud presents us with tonight’s lineup.

YANKEES
Derek Jeter SS
Nick Johnson DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada C
Curtis Granderson CF
Nick Swisher RF
Brett Gardner LF

RHP Javier Vazquez   

Except for Javy, it sure looks like the Opening Night lineup (CC would go in the opener). Now I really get serious, as they most likely are.

You see Granderson listed in CF. The NY Post is reporting that what you see above is what it will be. Granderson in CF (the comfortability/adaptability factor weighs in here–let the newcomer get his feet wet without having to switch positions as well) and Gardner in LF. It’s easier this way for LF also. You don’t have to juggle as much should you want to get Winn or Thames time in LF and sit Brett “the Road Runner” against some lefties.

The Post also is reporting that Hughes will get the #5 spot. Nothing official (Hughes or Granderson) has been announced by Girardi.

On the Road again, (sing it, Willie)… the Texas stay for Edwar Ramirez didn’t last long. I guess he was too thin to wear one of those 10-gallon hats. The Rangers dealt Edwar to the A’s today.

Doc Gooden got into more trouble. DUI, and apparently a) the influence was a drug, not alcohol, b) there was a child in the car and c) he left the scene of an accident. Between him and Straw, what could have been.

MSG had their first installment of the Lineup last night. The catchers. The Lineup chooses the best from among the Yanks, Mets, Brooklyn Dodgers and NY Giants. Yogi was #1 catcher with the four runners-up being Campy, Piazza, Posada and Carter. It’s not what my vote would have been. I had Yogi #1, and yes, did have Campanella and Piazza as two of my four runnerups. No offense to Posada, but how can you exclude Bill Dickey? Dickey is a HOF catcher with a .313 career batting average who was the main catcher on SEVEN WS Championship Teams.

I also had Munson as my runnerup over Carter. Why, you may ask? Here is my answer. This is about the best of NY. Not Montreal. Carter’s best years did NOT come as a Met, they came as an Expo. Let’s look at Carter’s METS numbers:

1985 .281-32-100  OPS+ 138; All Star, 6th in MVP, Silver Slugger
1986 .255-24-105  OPS+ 115; All Star, 3rd in MVP, Silver Slugger, Mets won WS
1987 .235-20-83    OPS+ 83; All Star  ….   um, see some serious slippage here?
1988 .242-11-46    OPS+ 93  All Star; Mets won NL East, lost in NLCS; more slippage.
1989  .183-2-15     OPS+ 51   Just 50 games.

Carter had just TWO seasons in NY that were really something. TWO. You are going to put those TWO good NY seasons over Dickey’s career? or Munson’s?

If you are talking who had the better career, Carter or Munson, ok…Carter. But who had the better NEW YORK career? C’mon.

The next episode will be on the first basemen. If anyone besides Gehrig comes out on top there should be a revolution! But there are many good runnersup candidates. Terry, Kelly, Merkle, Hodges, Camilli, Moose, Mattingly, Tino, Giambi, Hernandez … You can go onto The Lineup and make your selections now. 10 pm on 3/30, the panel will unveil their answers.