Keidel: Hall Of Fame For Jorge Posada? No Way!

By Jason Keidel
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Ever have a supposedly splendid player on your favorite team whom you never quite clung to?

Well, Jorge Posada is mine. And now that he’s retiring, the verbal bouquets are being airdropped on his doorstep. And to call them overstated is an understatement of the highest order.

I respect the etiquette, the noble impulse to honor the old salt, particularly a cog in a former World Series machine. Posada was a very good player on some great teams. But this tone-deaf chorus, drooling odes to an old catcher who couldn’t catch when he was young, is a grotesque exaggeration of his distinguished but hardly legendary period in pinstripes.

He was often clutch, but could never catch. Indeed, the closest Posada ever came to a Gold Glove was squatting in the dugout next to Tex. How many of you have winced while he heaved hand grenades to second base? How many times have we gasped when a low fastball skidded by him or a one-hop curve squirted under his mitt?

And Posada was hardly Mike Piazza with the stick, batting over .300 just once, driving in 100 runs just once, but striking out over 90 times in a season a whopping 12 times. Piazza reached 90 strikeouts once. Each played roughly 16 seasons, and Piazza’s career batting average was 35-points higher, had nearly 500 more hits, nearly 200 more homers, and nearly 300 more RBI. (Piazza finished his career with about 600 more plate appearances.)

We understand that the standards are relaxed for demanding positions like catcher, but either you catch like Johnny Bench or hit like Piazza. Posada did neither.

Yet over the last 72 hours I read at least five columns from otherwise logical, prominent columnists who argue that Posada is a legitimate candidate for Cooperstown. I still haven’t discovered why. Nothing he did on the field warrants the Hall of Fame.

One of the more noxious notions sprouting from the cognoscenti is that Posada’s retirement is perfect, that he not only had the prescience to leave with the right team, but at the right time. Sure. It just happened to coincide with the final year of his contract.

If Posada had any spiritual dexterity, he would have retired before last season, when he knew he wouldn’t be a regular anymore, when Jesus Montero commanded more bold ink than a normal farm hand. When the Yanks signed Russell Martin, Posada was demoted to Class A Palookaville. All the signs were there: Posada hit just .248 in 2010, with more strikeouts (99) than hits (95).

If he had a startlingly good sense of timing, Posada would have excused himself before his tightrope act on the Mendoza Line in 2011, batting a buck-ninety for so long (and finishing the season at .235, including .092 against lefties) that we all had to feel some shame for his eroding game. But alas, he had $13 million reasons to stay, and Yankee Pride wasn’t one of them.

And there’s another delicious proposition swirling in cyberspace: Posada is leaving cash, cachet, or a stack of contract offers on the table to be noble. Show me the S.W.A.T. team staked outside the Posada house, sliding offers under his door, cans of tear gas tumbling down his halls, smoking him out to sign another bloated deal. Who wants a moody graybeard who can occasionally hit in big spots, has no position to play, and runs like Wade Boggs on a wet beach?

More than anything, what bugged me about Posada was his obstinacy, his unbending conviction that he was always right. You might say it’s that kind of stubbornness that makes a player so good. Perhaps. But it doesn’t explain the infantile fit that led him to pull himself from a vital, nationally televised game against Boston because he didn’t approve of his place in the batting order.

In case you never heard it, Craig Carton turned the disaster into a fine parody, hosting a fake game show based on Posada’s historic gaffe. Making for much talk-show fodder, Posada compounded his fatal flaw with a three-pronged faux pas. It started with “I needed to clear my head,” and was followed by “My back was tight,” leading to the classic “I had to talk to my wife,” which was the third peg in the triple play of semantic blunders. Rather than tell the truth, he fumbled for excuses for the inexcusable. Silence was his best friend, but he didn’t listen.

“It’s just one game!” you shriek. “No big deal. It doesn’t erase all the good stuff he did.”

Well, if it’s not a big deal then why doesn’t anyone do it? Particularly on the Yankees, who, above any team in any sport, trades on its history and image of honor, on winning with dignity and expressing it in a quiet, corporate cadence. No, it doesn’t negate Posada’s largely noble career, but we have every right to mention it, just as Mets fans have the right to fight over Jose Reyes’ final move as a Met – pulling himself from a game rather than risk losing the batting title.

The guess here is that the public and the pundits are projecting unearned qualities on Posada because he represents the last dynasty not just in Yankees history, but baseball history. His prime was our prime, and mythology is almost as real as the game itself. And who among us wouldn’t want to revisit 1998?

But we can’t even be sure Posada cracks the top-five catchers in the history of his team, much less his sport. Start with Bill Dickey, drive left toward Yogi, hang a hard right at Elston Howard, and then park at Thurman Munson. And if I dig deep into the 20th Century landfill of Yankee catchers, into the pile of Wynegar, Cerone, and Hassey I just might find a fifth.

“He’s a member of the Core Four!” you retort.

Frankly, the beauty of that dynasty was that there was no Core Four. It’s a nouveaux handle hatched by someone with way too much time on his hands. Indeed, just the very term implies that each quarter of the quartet was equally essential, when we know that the Yankees would have won without Jorge Posada (who played just eight games in 1996, batted .268 in ’98 and .245 in ’99). Indeed, only Mariano Rivera was, is, and always will be indispensable. But facts are often blunted by hero worship.

Derek Jeter is Exhibit A. Jeter’s climb to 3,000 hits was chronicled as though mankind were landing on Mars – where they found Elvis, Jim, Jimi, and Janis recording a new album. You’d have thought no one had ever reached the mark, and that Ty Cobb, the Pope, the Dalai Lama and Barack Obama flew on Marine One, landed on the pitcher’s mound, climbed out and smooched Jeter’s ring in gratitude. The gratuitous homage was on endless loop, from vignettes to documentaries to posters to souvenirs to films to, well, anything that could be stamped and sold as an authentic spoke in the shortstop’s wheelhouse. No one doubts Jeter’s bona fides as an icon, but it’s hard to swallow such fatty, fawning tributes without getting a little indigestion.

We had a long, summer spat about Derek Jeter Dementia. I too suffered from a similar malady over Muhammad Ali. Everything “The Greatest” did was, well, the greatest. Only after meeting Joe Frazier, getting to know his manager, and opening my eyes led me to acknowledge Ali’s wretched treatment of Smokin’ Joe. (I still adore Ali, but I learned that the boxing superhero wasn’t always superhuman.)

And only in the warped altitude of Yankee Universe is a.273 hitter with 275 home runs qualified for the Hall of Fame. I’ve been a Yankees fan since 1977, so this isn’t some cloaked missive from a closet Mets fan. If Posada goes to Cooperstown, where does that leave Paul, Tino, and Bernie?

I know Posada is Jeter’s BFF, and Jeter is your BFF, so you’ll hate me for this. So be it. Sometimes, upon surveying a cocktail of characteristics, you say I just don’t like this guy. And nearly everything he does thereafter reinforces that coda.

Granted, the fusion of sports and adolescence is a perfect climate for mythmaking – particularly with baseball, where the source matter stretches back to the 1800s. But the beer goggles should come off when the Hall of Fame is mentioned.

To show I’m not entirely blinded by bias, I salute Posada for batting .429 in the 2011 ALDS. It was a proper ending to a noteworthy career. Somewhere in the endless archive of Yankee conquests, Posada should be mentioned – just far closer to the back page than the front.

Feel free to email me: keidel.jason@gmail.com

www.twitter.com/JasonKeidel

Do you disagree with Keidel and his take on Posada’s resume? Make your case in the comments below…

Comments

One Comment

  1. Vinnie S. says:

    Hey JK, here is a writer that is actually familiar with statistics. I suggest you read it:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/cliff_corcoran/01/11/jorge.posada/

  2. JGNY says:

    Hall of Fame……Gee. It seems there are so many players in there that did not deserve FAME status. In regard to Posada, nice guy. good player, not hall material. However, I could be wrong since so many others made it that should not have.

    1. Vinnie S. says:

      There are 13 catcher in the HOF. 2 got in because of friends on the veteran’s committee, and don’t belong.

  3. Vinnie S. says:

    OK. Since JK want to spread misinformation about me spamming his email (with 3 emails), and since he routinely wants to put Posada in Piazza’s defensive class, and says he has done nothing to merit consideration for Cooperstown, I will say it again. I figure that JK will censor me at some point, for stating facts.

    From baseball-reference.com

    Posada career dWAR -2.9
    Piazza career dWAR -8.3

    Posada’s rankings amongst all-time catchers:

    Jorge rankings amongst all-time catchers according to baseball-reference.com:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/share.cgi?id=RUqAb

    WAR – 11th
    H 16th
    2B 7th
    HR 8th
    RBI 11th
    BB 1st
    AVG 28th
    OBP 6th
    SLG 9th
    OPS 6th
    OPS+ 9th

    1. Vinnie S. says:

      BTW, for anyone that questions his 28th ranking on Hits, might want to see that he ranked 1st in BB. So my suggestion would be to add the two (which is essential OBP), which would put him in the top 10.

  4. Brian says:

    If you read my original post, I said I don’t feel he is worthy of the Hall of Fame. So it’s not a matter of disagreeing but rather being offended that someone would feel the need to tear someone down cause they didn’t like them. And repeatedly references that dislike throughout his column. When I clicked on the link, I was expecting an intelligent impartial argument. Was shocked WFAN would allow something so biased. Doesn’t really seem like “A smarter take on NY sports” to me but then again I’m a Kool Aid drinker who isn’t capable of understanding the higher order intellectual workings of Jason Keidel. Good luck with your pets.

  5. Marc M says:

    I’m a Mets fan who thinks Posada was a worthy warrior who represented all of the best, competitive spirits in the game. However, the numbers simply don’t point to Cooperstown. Perhaps someday the team will retire his number along with Mo, Derek and Andy – in honor of that great dynasty of the late 90’s. However, just as I feel about Barry Larkin, playing hard and being loyal (though admirable) are not the necessary qualifiers. There needs to be statistical distinction over the course of an entire career. I thionk Jorge is great and I hope the Yankees keep him in the organization, as I think he has a great deal to pass along. But I honestly believe there is a dividing line between great players and HOFers. Derek has his all-star appearances, his rings AND his 3K. Mo has simply been the greatest closer, period. Jorge just doesn’t have those milestones.

    1. Jonas Altman-Kurosaki says:

      I’m with you, Marc. I’m also a Mets fan, but above all, a baseball fan. I don’t mind Larkin’s acceptance into the Hall of Fame because, unlike Posada, he was the sole leader and heart and soul of those Reds teams for almost two decades. His career stats were consistent above all, and his .295 average shone brightly for a shortstop that started his career in the ’80s, when Ripken was the gold standard, before guys like Jeter, Nomar, Tejada and A-Rod came along.

      That said, merely looking at stats, if Larkin’s in, John Olerud had better be accepted one day. .295/.398/.465, 255 HR, 500 doubles and a **.995 FPCT.** If Larkin’s defense is lauded with his .975 career FPCT, then Olerud ought to have been in by now. But he didn’t have that “intangible” quality of being any one team’s leader for years and years, which is what put Larkin in a separate class.

  6. Kurt Spitzner says:

    I also agree with your analogy to Mike Piazza whom I whole heartily believe is not entitled to enshrinement either.Now if my own personal feelings came into play just as those blinded yankee fans do I would espouse the same thing but REALITY keeps me from doing so!And as far as his final playoff series play goes I commend him but one or two good series does not a H o F career make in my opinion.

    1. JK says:

      That’s interesting, Kurt. If Piazza was clean (though I have my suspicions) you say he doesn’t belong based on his stats? He’s the best hitting catcher who ever lived (with all due respect to Yogi).

      1. Kurt Spitzner says:

        As much as I used to watch him play I still think to be in the hall of fame you should be able to field well as well and don;t think he excelled enough at that to allow him entry.I also have certain suspicions although it is odd that when confronted by someone obviously caught up in roid rage he did not follow the profile and get into a brawl,but merely the opposite so I am not 100% convinced either way with regard to that subject.If he was a dh then I would say h of f all the way but that is not the case,but this is only my opinion!

  7. Kurt Spitzner says:

    He did alot of great things while a yankee but that alone does not entitle him to the hall of fame as that is supposed to be reserved for the cream of the entire crop!

    1. JK says:

      As Jonas said, being a Yankee doesn’t instantly imbue you with iconic qualities. The Yankees have ample representation in Cooperstown without Posada and others who don’t belong.

  8. JK says:

    It’s nice to see that Vinnie called his man cave co-tenant to echo his hopelessly inept argument.

    I’ll say it slowly, so that you and your BFF Vincent can understand it. I compared Posada to Piazza because each was woeful behind the plate. In the absence of great defense (that defined Ivan Rodriguez and Johnny Bench), a catcher must hit the baseball way better than his peers in order to reach the Hall of Fame.

    Your answer to my point is to compare Posada’s fielding to Piazza’s, which means you miss the point entirely. Mike Piazza had the batting bona fides to qualify for Cooperstown, whereas Posada doesn’t come close.

    Does this make sense? Or do you need me to repeat it?

    Of course, you continue to comment on columns and comments you deem unworthy of your time, which only adds to your childish contradictions. Feel free to waste your time on another column. We’ll miss you, but we’ll somehow survive.

    1. Vinnie S. says:

      Go to Baseball-Reference.com, and see that Piazza was woeful, and Posada may have been bad. He was nowhere near Piazza in bad defense.

      But you know, with the internet, I can simply post this article’s link to everyone in your profession. It is mushnick-esqe.

  9. Not a Yankee fan but a baseball fan says:

    1) You need to stop using words like terrible to talk about Posada’s defense-as was mentioned already he threw twice as many runners as Piazza if not more and handled pitching staffs much better than Piazza. Heck he was Pettitte’s personal catcher.
    2) You like to argue like a child bringing up Piazza time time and again and comparing his offense to Jorge. Yes of course Piazza’s offensive numbers are better, but he was no catcher. That’s like putting Mcgwire at catcher and comparing his numbers to other catchers. Ask anyone who knows anything about baseball what would you rather have at catcher offense or defense(which includes handling a rotation).
    3) http://thesteroidera.blogspot.com/2006/08/list-of-steroid-hgh-users-in-baseball.html –now continue comparing Posada to Piazza. Considering his prime was during the steroid era(and he was undoubtedly clean) Posada’s numbers are better than most CLEAN players let alone catchers.
    4) Posada wouldn’t make your top 15 catchers . You are so dumb its funny. No need to argue this Vinnie already gave his all-time rankings among catchers.

    This article is pure nonsense.

    1. Jonas Altman-Kurosaki says:

      Are you saying that just because Piazza was an awful defensive catcher that he didn’t sustain the same wear-and-tear behind the plate that Posada did? I must have missed that part of Piazza’s career when he caught from the first base bag. Or was it that McGwire played first base behind the plate?

      You make a fair point on the whole Piazza-steroid thing, but that really doesn’t make Posada’s numbers much better – and his prime was NOT really during the steroid era at all! Posada’s best years were from ’00-’09, with his best year coming in 2007. The “steroid era” ended around ’04. So, you know, draw your own conclusions, but my numbers work out that 2007 did not come before 2004. I could be wrong, though.

      P.S. If you want to call someone “so dumb its funny,” just remember that “it’s” has an apostrophe when used as a contraction.

      1. Jonas Altman-Kurosaki says:

        Mea culpa – Posada’s best *home run* year did come in 2003. That doesn’t help your argument much, though. 2007 was his best batting average year (.338) by 51 points.

      2. Not a Yankee fan but a baseball fan says:

        Wow you combed my entire POST for one missing apostrophe. I’m surprised you didn’t take points off for not capitalizing the “G” in McGwire. YOU ARE A CHILD! By the way, “much better – and his prime was NOT really during the steroid era at all!” you shouldn’t have a space before and after a dash and that is not the way one uses an exclamation point.

        P.S. What date exactly in 2004 did the “steroid era” come to an end? When did McGwire and Bonds retire? When was NL MVP get suspended for 50 games?

        P.P.S. For those “baseball illiterate” people out there the NL MVP is Ryan Braun.

        Sorry if there are any grammatical mistakes I usually don’t proofread posts.

        Don’t worry I’ll stop making you look stupid.
        I won’t respond to these childish posts anymore.

        1. Not a Yankee fan but a baseball fan says:

          *When was the NL MVP suspended for 50 games?

          Dang! See I don’t proofread

        2. Jonas Altman-Kurosaki says:

          McGwire retired in 2001. Bonds never officially retired, but he’s been out of baseball since 2007. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but since testing was introduced in 2004 and then again in 2007, there have hardly been any cases of Major League players being suspended for taking PEDs. Those who have tested positive (Ryan Braun aside), like A-Rod, Palmeiro, Sosa, etc., all allegedly used it prior to 2004. My idea of “The Steroid Era” is roughly the ’90s into the early ’00s, when the baseball landscape was dominated by ‘roided up guys like McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro, A-Rod, Barry Bonds, Glenallen Hill, Lenny Dykstra, Jose Canseco, Roger Clemens, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera…

          As for your hyphen comment, using spaces before and after a hyphen is widely done – unless, of course, you know better than most newspapers, magazines and other such publications. Also, if you know a more correct place to use an exclamation point – say, perhaps, in the middle of a sentence – please let me know, and I will change my ways forthwith. Or maybe it was that I didn’t write a word in all capital letters first.

          1. Jonas Altman-Kurosaki says:

            Whoops, I left out a part of my comment. The phrase “then again in 2007” should read “then again in 2007, with the release of the Mitchell Report.”

            1. JK says:

              Beyond their disregard for proper spelling, punctuation and grammar, Jonas, you’ll find their fallback position is always to insult first, find facts later (if ever).

              We could talk to these geniuses for eternity and it would be one, wasteful loop. I provide my personal email address because someone occasionally makes a cogent, compelling argument, which results in a robust dialogue.

              Guys like “Not a Yankee fan” – who always hide behind handles, sniping from the comfort of their cubicle – only speak to people with whom they agree. And once you disagree with them, you’re an idiot. It’s a great way to live. Really broadens their horizons.

    2. Vinnie S. says:

      JK cannot comprehend the game in the form of factual stats. He cannot comprehend that Posada ranked 11th all-time in WAR, and that Posada’s career dWAR of -2.9, is not in the stratosphere of the Piazza -8.3 dWAR.

      Man, qualifications for sportswriters these days, have gone completely in the toilet.

  10. JK says:

    I’m not sure what a “bafoon” is, Alex, but if you need spelling or writing lessons, I won’t charge beyond your budget.

    Also, you entirely misunderstand my argument. I wasn’t comparing Piazza and Posada as catchers, because each was awful. My point was – and still is – that if you don’t possess Pudge’s or Bench’s catching skills, you’d better smack the seams off the ball to be considered Hall of Fame material.

    Please tell me what Posada did to qualify for Cooperstown. We all eagerly await your cogent, cutting analysis. I’ll try not to be a “bafoon” anymore.

    1. Jonas Altman-Kurosaki says:

      If my lack of research is not incorrect, I believe a bafoon is a cross between a baboon and a buffoon. I haven’t look up the countless number of published articles on the topic, but I think Alex discovered it.

      Piazza was an awful defensive catcher, but he was also the best offensive catcher of all time. Posada was mediocre defensively and, like Piazza, managed to stick around at the position long enough to become downright incompetent. Compared to Piazza, though, Posada was merely decent offensively. Had Posada played any other position except probably second base, his numbers would still be considered good, not great. Had Piazza played any other position, he still would’ve been considered a monster at the plate. Very few things were more intimidating than when he stepped into the batters box and, mustache and all, stared at that pitcher like a lion at an unsuspecting antelope.

    2. Vinnie S. says:

      Posada has a career dWAR of -2.9. Piazza had a dWAR of -8.3. To put both in the same sentence for defense is comical. Piazza dWAR was so bad, he was essentially a DH in a catcher’s clothing.

      As far as Posada and what he did:

      Jorge rankings amongst all-time catchers according to baseball-reference.com:

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/share.cgi?id=RUqAb

      WAR – 11th
      H 16th
      2B 7th
      HR 8th
      RBI 11th
      BB 1st
      AVG 28th
      OBP 6th
      SLG 9th
      OPS 6th
      OPS+ 9th

  11. Alex says:

    Keidel is a bafoon if he is serious about this article…first of all it is ridiculous to compare Piazza to Posada becuase Piazza was maybe the most flawed catcher in the big leagues. While Piazza was a great hitter he was probably the worst defensive catcher of his time. Oh by the way Posada’s percentages when throwing out runners is about twice that of Piazza. While jorge was not a great defensive backstop lets consider for a minute the pitchers who he was catching! The list of pitchers includes some of the most diffiocult pitchers to catch in the history of the game from David Cone and Roger Clemens to CC Sabathia & AJ Burnett. All of these pitchers are great but have crazy good pitches which sometimes come in at many different angles and drop off the table at times. Also Posada was tremendously clutch. Just becuase he probably does not have Hall of Fame #’s does not mean he was not a top catcher in his time. Find me a list of 5 catchers who were better in his time and you can write this article with as clear conscience otherwise consider if you are even the 5th best writer in your high school homeroom class!

  12. Robert S. says:

    Ouch! Sure you’re not a Met fan????
    And yes, Jorge is not a Hall of Famer but he had a very good career.

    1. JK says:

      Yes, sir, I promise. Been a Bombers fan since ”77. I agree that he had a good career and I’m jaded because I don’t like him personally, but any objective observer would say he’s not a Hall-of-Famer.

      Thanks for reading and responding, Robert…

  13. Hank says:

    The whole idea a Hall of Fame is a joke. I mean, what is it? What function does it hold? It’s a place where a bunch of miserable old sportswriters hang memorabilia from their favorite players. This none sense where they split hairs about OBP and ERA is really boring. Stats are boring, it’s what’s killing baseball. In the end baseball is just entertainment, nothing more. If you really need to have a “Hall of Fame”, shouldn’t you put in everyone who was entertaining? It’s the reason thirty years later we are still talking about Reggie, Billy and George. John Rocker was a hell of of a lot more entertaining than Jack Morris I say put him in.

    1. JK says:

      I respect your view, Hank, but are you saying Jack Morris doesn’t belong? I think he does.

      Thanks for reading and responding, sir…

    2. Jonas Altman-Kurosaki says:

      You DO realize that the main reason those guys were entertaining is because they were outstanding in their fields, right? Being a nutjob is one thing. Being good is another thing. Only when you’re good does being a wacko become entertainment (early Manny) instead of an intolerable nuisance (late Manny).

      1. JK says:

        And then there’s the whole PED thing. Who knows how many homers Manny gets without the juice. His numbers were astonishing; a shame we don’t know if any of them were clean.

    3. Lisa says:

      Right, because Rocker making racist comments about New Yorkers was really “entertaining.” Good grief.

  14. Steven Fahey says:

    I totally agree with your take Jason. Never thought Posada was THAT good, even in his prime. He did have one great season, of course, his contract year four seasons ago.

    He was a terrible catcher, and a decent hitter. He was definitely better than Matt Nokes, Rick Cerone and Butch Wyneger.

    1. JK says:

      Thanks, Steven. I mentined Cerone and Wynegar just to irk the Posada worshippers. And, based on responses and emails, I succeeded.

      Thanks for reading and responding, sir…

      1. Vinnie S. says:

        Splendid journalism and damage control, JK. But that is totally BS. Let the backtracking commence.

      2. Scott H. says:

        If you’re intention is to “irk” people by presenting certain arguments in your article rather than express your true point of view, don’t be surprised when people start to question your analysis.

        Posing thoughts in your articles that you yourself don’t believe only diminishes your credibility. It certainly makes a nice escape hatch when you don’t want to own up to something you have written.

        As a reader, I guess I will assume that the stuff I agree with you meant but the things I disagree with are meant to incite.

  15. Byron Mason says:

    Here’s a question Yankee Fans: Does Posada make an all-time Yankee team at his position? In today’s game that would be the top 15 position players. But just to be fair (there are a ton of great players) we’ll expand that to the top 25. Does He make the cut?

    1. KPMc says:

      Yogi Berra, Bill Dic – key, Thurman Munson, Elston Howard…

      Uhhh… NO

      P.S. CBS. Absolutely ridiculous that I have to break up Bill Dic – Keys name. Political correctness and oversensitive censorship strikes again.

      1. JK says:

        I’d say no, Byron. And I’m sorry about the idiosyncrasies of the semantic filter system, KPMc.

        Thanks to you both for chiming in…

  16. Jonas Altman-Kurosaki says:

    There is no denying that for ten years, injuries aside, Posada was one of the better catchers at his position. Even Jason can attest to that, I’m sure – the stats don’t lie. But Mark Grace had more hits than anyone else in the ’90s, and he’s not in the Hall of Fame yet. It takes more than consistency to get into the Hall.

    1. Vinnie S. says:

      Mark Grace? Are you kidding me? Have you looked at the HOF 1B? Why are you comparing a catcher and a 1B?

      1. Jonas Altman-Kurosaki says:

        I’m not – I’m saying that Grace led all PLAYERS in total hits during the ’90s. That is impressive. He was also one of the best fielders in the game, but that is beside the point. What I was saying was that Posada was one of the best at his position from ’00-’09. So then was Grace. But it takes more than consistency to make it into the Hall, clearly.

  17. Master Shake says:

    I think the HOF should be reserved for the truly the best of the best. Players who changed the game. Players that other teams fans will tell their grandkids about. Not just any anybody who stuck around for a while and had a good career.

    1. Vinnie S. says:

      He did not have a good career *for a catcher*. He had a great career for a catcher.

  18. Vinnie S. says:

    You Keidel kool-aid drinkers should get a clue about baseball. There is enough information and stats on the web that places Jorge near the top 10 catchers in the history of baseball, certainly in the top 15. Will little research, you could easily find it yourself. instead, you believe this buffoon that thinks he is in the Wynegar, Hassey, Cerone class. He should at the very least get serious consideration.

    1. Jonas Altman-Kurosaki says:

      Top 10 to top 15 in each offensive category *at his position*? That’s not as impressive as you want it to be. Top 10 or top 15 in each offensive category of all time regardless of position – now that is impressive. There aren’t even 15 catchers in the Hall of Fame right now. He will get more serious consideration than he ought to solely based on his team, but he’s not a Hall of Famer.

      1. Vinnie S. says:

        He was 11th all-time in WAR. That is combined offense and defense. The reason there are not more catchers in the HOF, is because of the underlying though that their numbers have to approach numbers of other positions. Catchers are unique.

        If you are near the top 10, and certainly top 15 at your position, in a sport that has a 150 year history, you deserve serious consideration.

        1. Jonas Altman-Kurosaki says:

          I agree that catchers are unique, but the flip-side of that coin is that longevity can play into a catcher’s overall stats. Posada certainly deserves some commendation for staying a catcher for as long as he did. He deserves some consideration, and he will get it because he is a Yankee, but if he had been, say, a Cub, he would certainly not garner nearly enough fanfare.

          1. JK says:

            Thanks, Jonas. You’ll have to excuse Vinnie. He tried spamming my email with endless insults, so when I stopped responding he figured he’d do it here.

            Only a Posada family member would say Posada belongs in the HOF. Considering how dreadful he was behind the plate, he needed transcendent hitting achievements. Just check his stats next to Piazza’s. It’s as though Piazza played in a different league. He had ten seasons better than Posada’s best.

  19. Jonas Altman-Kurosaki says:

    Boom! A wonderful piece, Jason. Folks, this is what is called “baseball realism.” Does it make him less of a Yankees fan? No. It makes him a logical baseball writer in a sea of blind praise. If Posada had been a mainstay on the not-Yankees, rather than the Yankees, there would have hardly been one article celebrating his potential announcement of retirement, rather than smorgasbord of them.

    I don’t really have much to add to what was already written. I definitely agree on your assessment of the “Core Four” – it was a term that seemingly popped up only over the past two or three years to describe the four Yankees players that were still around who had come up through the Yankees system. Which is silly, because Andy Pettitte, one of those four, didn’t even stick with the Yankees the whole time. I agree that, of the Yankees’ starting nine during that dynasty, Posada was certainly one of the more expendable ones.

    But Posada was clutch, and he was a Yankee, and he was a lifelong Yankee, which makes him a Bronx icon, which makes him a baseball icon. Don’t ask me why; that’s just how the media works these days. However, he really has no career “milestones” to even point to as Hall-worthy other than perhaps a forced longevity. Like Jason pointed out, it’s hard to commend him for retiring at “the right time,” as there were clamors for him to retire all season long (and some in 2010 as well), and those clamors and controversies followed him right out that clubhouse door one final time. Tony La Russa picked the right time to retire. Jorge Posada didn’t pick it – for him, it arrived.

    1. Lisa says:

      The other Core Four — Bernie Williams, Paul O’Neill, David Cone, and Tino Martinez — have been basically airbrushed out of the dynasty years in favor of a player who wasn’t even the No. 1 catcher until towards the end of the Four Rings. It’s ridiculous.

  20. Raul Velasquez says:

    Saying that you don’t like the guy jsut says that this article is very subjective. If you want numbers here: top in 10 all-time for catchers HR, 2B, OBP, SLG, OPS and 1st in BB. Ok he migt not be a HOFer but don’t bash the guy! He was a good Yankee so don’t be a hater.

    1. Jonas Altman-Kurosaki says:

      He was a good Yankee. No questions asked. But, as you pointed out, he’s not a Hall of Famer – being in the top ten in those categories isn’t nearly as impressive as being in the top five, especially at a position like catcher, when just pure longevity can get you there.

      1. Vinnie S. says:

        There are 13 catchers in the HOF. There are at least 2 on this list that he is better than. maybe more:

        http://www.baseball-almanac.com/hof/hofstca.shtml

        1. Jonas Altman-Kurosaki says:

          Bill Mazeroski is in the Hall of Fame, so by that regards, so should many who are not. But, as it stands, those like Maz or Ray Schalk (to name a catcher) are the exception, not the rule, when it comes to Hall of Fame voting. I don’t know if you saw this Monday’s HOF results, but even Bernie Williams only got 9.6% of votes, and if he’s that far off, Posada certainly doesn’t have a chance.

          1. Vinnie S. says:

            Mazeroski’s election was a sham. That is why after his election, they changed the Veteran Committee voting after that.

            You want a Bernie comparison? Bernie got 9.6% of a 1st ballot vote, and Kirby Puckett got a 82% first ballot vote. Now go look at their stats. You can make a case that Bernie was a better player than Puckett. Yet, one gets in with 82% first ballot, and the other cannot crack 10%.

            What is the problem? Are they that far apart in stats? No. The problem is that the writers should not have a vote. Just for reasons like that.

    2. JK says:

      Raul, I’m the first to say my piece is subjective as it relates to Posada the person, but I think I also make the statistical case that he doesn’t belong in the HOF. You’re more than welcome to disagree, of course.

      Thanks for reading and responding…

  21. Scott H. says:

    Comparing catchers offense to a corner outfielder….

    I hope you have another career in your back pocket because you obviously don’t understand baseball.

    1. JK says:

      Mike Piazza was a corner outfielder? Did I miss something? Perhaps you are responding to one of the comments, not my column.

      1. Scott H. says:

        “And only in the warped altitude of Yankee Universe is a.273 hitter with 275 home runs qualified for the Hall of Fame. I’ve been a Yankees fan since 1977, so this isn’t some cloaked missive from a closet Mets fan. If Posada goes to Cooperstown, where does that leave Paul, Tino, and Bernie?”

        I don’t see what one’s candidacy has to do with the other. I understand you’re talking in reference to the “Core Four” and who had greater impact on the championship seasons, but when comparing candidacy of players, you have to consider their positions and what’s expected from that position first and foremost.

  22. Vinnie S. says:

    Jorge rankings amongst all-time catchers according to baseball-reference.com:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/share.cgi?id=RUqAb

    WAR – 11th
    H 16th
    2B 7th
    HR 8th
    RBI 11th
    BB 1st
    AVG 28th
    OBP 6th
    SLG 9th
    OPS 6th
    OPS+ 9th

    And you lump him in with Hassey, Wynegar, and Cerone? You are an embarrassment to your profession.

  23. Angel Gonzalez says:

    “A normal farm hand” Really? You ignorant prick

    1. Jonas Altman-Kurosaki says:

      No, clearly you are the ignorant one. If you even knew how to read that sentence, you’d have realized that he wasn’t calling Posada a normal farm hand, or anyone in particular a normal farm hand, for that matter. He was pointing out that Jesus Montero “Jesus Montero commanded more bold ink than a normal farm hand” – i.e. (it means “that is” for those who read) that Montero was making waves in the Minor Leagues.

      1. JK says:

        I had him censored earlier, Jonas. I’ll get this remark removed, too, if you like. He’s too childish to make an intelligent argument. Gratuitous insults are his idea of great logic.

  24. Alex says:

    Thank God, sanity!~

    1. JK says:

      Who’s sane, Alex? Are you agreeing with my column or the Kool-Aid Posada apologists?

  25. Brian says:

    Some Yankees fan you are. Can’t you write an objective article celebrating Posada’s career than an article diminishing his career cause you didn’t take to him? He hasn’t even officially retired yet and he is not eligible for the Hall yet, so why are you even writing about this? I think Posada was a great Yankee but no, he is not a Hall of Famer.

    1. JK says:

      By definition, Brian, a column is an expression of an opinion. You’re more than welcome to disagree with mine, of course. But I think I both stated that I’m partial because I dislike Posada personally and also made the statistical case that he doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame. Surely there are players – even Yankees, heaven forbid! – whom you didn’t particularly like.

      Thanks for reading and responding, sir…

      1. Brian says:

        I know I’m not a columnist, but I surely wouldn’t take the time to tear down someone cause I didn’t like them. Seems kind of childish and lame especially when you exagerate his defensive liabilities and fail to speak about his leadership on the field and in the clubhouse. Stats can be twisted anyway you want. This is just another example why writters should not be allowed to vote for Hall of Famers. Everything is so subjective and arbitrary. There should be a statistically determined number of entrants per decade and the top statistical people for their league and position should can entry. Perhaps one day sanity will be brought to the process than letting wannabe players/disgruntled people who weren’t good enough to play MLB who harbor dislike for people because maybe the weren’t granted an interview or qoute.

        Not to mention its a different game now. Everyone needs to stop comparing current players to past greats, some of who have mythical legends. Compare them to people in their decade. 1 person in this year is a joke.

        1. Jonas Altman-Kurosaki says:

          Why is it a joke that only one person got in this year? Surely more people from the ballot will get in next year. That’s why players have many years/tries to get into the Hall. Baseball’s rich history is a huge part of what makes the game so great. Players are already compared to their contemporaries when being considered for the Hall; however, it extends beyond that in order to achieve enshrinement. Why isn’t Dwight Gooden in the Hall of Fame? He was perhaps the best pitcher of the ’80s, with his 1985 season perhaps the most dominant since the mound was lowered (24-4, 1.53 ERA, 268 K, 0.97 WHIP). But his overall career numbers post-drugs yield a 3.51 ERA to go with his 194 wins, and the drugs themselves cast a shadow over his once surefire Hall-worthy career.

          Who of the past greats have “mythical legends” that have put them into the Hall as opposed to actually great careers? Did Babe Ruth NOT actually hit 714 home runs? Did Nolan Ryan NOT actually strike out 5714 batters? Sure, there are myths surrounding some of those greats, like Ruth’s called shot – but last I checked, those anecdotes didn’t factor into their Hall admittance.

          1. Brian says:

            You just made my point. We shouldn’t be comparing todays players to past greats in my opinion. Only compare them to to their peers when they played. I heard one guy say Jack Morris shouldn’t get in because if he did he would have the highest ERA of any Hall of Fame pitcher. That should have no bearing! Was he not an extremely talented pitcher who went deep into games that lead 3 teams to World Series titles? Someone has to have the highest ERA. Was he not one of the most dominant pitchers in MLB for an extended period? I just think its sad that this 38yr olds generation that a lot of really good guys who dominated their generation aren’t worthy so yes having only 1 get in seems like an insult. And I think the 1st ballot, 2nd ballot, 3rd ballot stuff is nonsense. You’re not good enough one year but then you all of a sudden you are 3 or 4 years later??? What a spoof. Then when someone dies they then somehow get in years later. Either you’re good enough and deserving or you’re not. I still believe that they should come up with a more scientific/statistical way that takes into account the number of teams/players playing and calculate a rough number for which to abide by.

          2. JK says:

            I tried to reason with him, Jonas, but it’s impossible. I told Brian he’s more than welcome to disagree with me, and thanked him for reading my column.

            His response? I’m “lame” and “childish.” You know I welcome robust, intelligent disagreement, but it seems most humans are incapable of it. As soon as you disagree with the Kool Aid drinkers, you’re a fool. Might as well speak to my pets about Posada.

            1. Vinnie S. says:

              http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/share.cgi?id=RUqAb

              WAR – 11th
              H 16th
              2B 7th
              HR 8th
              RBI 11th
              BB 1st
              AVG 28th
              OBP 6th
              SLG 9th
              OPS 6th
              OPS+ 9th

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