Monday, June 23, 2014

Please welcome back...who?

If the whole YES/Yankee propaganda complex was a dartboard, the outer ring would be the Yankee Classics, the inner ring would be most of the commentators in general (except for Kenny and maybe David Cone,) and the bullseye would probably be that once-a-year party that I compare to some kid's 5th birthday party where most of the guests are the parents' friends and co-workers who barely know the kid. This event is known as...Old Timer's Day.

I grew up with Monument Park being a sacred place; our grandparents thought that Babe, Gehrig and Dimaggio were buried under their monuments. It was a testament to only the greatest players in the top-tier franchise in baseball history. Then they started throwing plaques out there, the latest two being Tino Martinez and Goose Gossage. They were nice players in their era, but give me a break! Tino wasn't even the best player on that team; how doesn't Bernie have a plaque by now?! Batting champion, a ton of gold gloves and a lifetime .297 average. Tino never even batted .300 in a single season! I'm shocked, considering teams don't like controversy, that the Yankees didn't completely shy away from him after the allegations as Marlins hitting coach last year.

Goose...yes he was a great multi-inning asset, but if you think about his career, it's more known for the agony of defeat than the thrill of victory: 1980 ALCS home run to Brett, the Pine Tar Game and not walking Kirk Gibson. He doesn't even have the second-most saves as a Yankee (we all know Mo's the leader.) You know who does? DAVE RIGHETTI! Yeah, '81 Rookie of the Year, no-hitter against the Sox, and led the league with 46 saves in 1986. He was Eckersley before Eckersley! My cousin Richie couldn't stand that he took Sparky Lyle's job.

Yankees, speak to us like adults, we know it's not gonna happen again for a few years, stop pretending like it's 1998 where the Yankees are 30 games up in first and Dimaggio's still alive.

One more thing, and this is where the earlier comparison comes in. You ever notice that you have no idea who the first 10-11 Old Timer's are, or if you do they're so irrelevant in the course of the long, illustrious history of the team? (Andy Phillips was there.) Seriously, the Yankees have dulled down players accomplishments to just simply wearing the pinstripes! The first introduction usually goes like this:

"This next Yankee was called up at the end of the 1951 season. In 2 at-bats in the 1951 World Series against the Giants, he struck out and popped up, but Alvin Dark ALMOST dropped the pop-up, which would've been his first hit in pinstripes. He then spent 3 years in the minors before retiring as a rodeo clown. He has a faded Yankee tattoo on his right bicep; please welcome back, Joe "Double-Day" Horowitz!"

Daddy, who's dat guy? Exactly.

Neil Dwyer @neildwyer1993


  1. Good work, Neil. I completely agree that the Yankees are not very selective at all with things like this.

  2. I still don't mind old timers day. It's a fun event for ex-players to attend, superstar or not

  3. You have to keep in mind that they had to eventually start watering it down.

    1. This is true. The team doesn't have the former players to fill the Old Timers roster that they used to.

      I think my biggest problem is giving away plaques to "iffy" candidates. I love Tino, but being put along with names like Ruth, Mantle, DiMaggio, etc.? I don't know. Perhaps if he was a life-long Yankee, but that's not the case either.

  4. Neil Dwyer
    That is the best yet!
    This younger generation has no idea what those monuments were meant to represent at all!
    It was for some of the greatest players (Manager) the Yankees ever produced. Not only were they great Yankee players, they were Dominate MLB players!
    The Monuments that were there when I first saw it in person as a kid were; Miller Huggins, Lou Gehrig and Jacob Ruppert.
    Now we have six in monument park; George Steinbrenner, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Miller Huggins...all of whom deserve to be there!
    As for the Placks the same six should be there and a few others; Dave Righetti, Whitey Ford, Yogi, Guidry, Dickey, Munson, Mattingly and Mo.
    They were the players that helped the team win by what they did on the field...records are ok but what good are the records if they don't produce runs or save runs etc. Rocky Colavito was a guy that hit many HRs, but not when they counted. Walk-off hits, clutch hits count more than the amount of hits one gets.
    Bottom line is; it is the DOMINACE of your game, more so than the amount of your hits or Home Runs in games.

  5. One must remember this is a business, baseball, Yankee Stadium, Monument Park, etc. Tickets were selling like hotcakes for Tino Day and for Old Timers Day. They don't even sell out anymore when Boston comes to town.

    Tino may not have deserved a plaque when you compare him to the Ruth's, DiMaggio's, Mantle's etc but who compares to them? Nobody.

    1. That is the point, nobody compares to them! So why give players a monument that don't measure up?
      I'll buy into the plaque (thanks for showing me how to spell it) thing, as you said business. But not anymore monuments! The only dominant players we have had in 50/65 years is Mo and the guy that plays 3rd base next year....?! And to be honest, I don't count him because, except for one year with us...he tanked in the play-offs etc.

  6. I dunno maybe I'm not as old school as most, I have no problem honoring huge parts of the dynasty years. If we start giving plaques to Ramiro Mendoza, sure, but Tino, O'Neill, etc I don't have as big of an issue with.

    1. Plaques for guys that have done something, ok, like you said Business!
      But Monuments are only for the most Dominant players over a few years and only Mo is in the class with those out there now!

    2. Agreed. It's too bad this sin't George's team anymore.


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