Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Which Numbers to Retire from The Dynasty?

Brian Cashman recently mentioned that the Yanks are going to come up with set parameters for determining whose numbers to retire going forward. In response, let's take a look at the dynasty years and which numbers should be retired.

2 - Jeter
An easy one. Not only will Jeet be the last to wear #2 for the Yanks, but he is a first ballot Hall of Famer.

6 - Torre
Objectively this one is a no brainer as well, though subjectively I have reservations. When you compare Joe to the other retired managers his inclusion looks obvious. For some reason, though, I have never been a huge Torre fan. In fairness to Joe T, though, 6 will be retired.

20 - Posada
Jorge has been an underappreciated major part of all the success the Yanks have had the last 12 years. 5 Silver Sluggers, 2 top 6 MVPs and continually improving defense behind the plate make for one hell of a career. As only the 5th catcher in MLB history to hit 300 or more HR, it would be wrong if Jorge gets into the Hall but not monument park. #20 is off the market.

21 - O'Neill
A much more emotional case can be made for Paulie. His double and slide into second in '97, his catch of Polonia's line drive with a bum hammy, all of the O'Neill bulls-eyes in the right field stands, and all of the clutch hits and passion for the game make O'Neill someone Yankees fans adore. Compared to other retired numbers, however, Paulie's .288 lifetime average, 281 HR and 1269 RBI fall short of retired number status.

51 - Bernie
Ah, Bernie - my favorite Yankee. His lifetime numbers are not all that different from O'Neill's - .297 BA, 287 HR, 1257 RBI. Where Bernie sets himself apart is in the postseason. Included in his .275 lifetime avg in the postseason is utter dominance in the ALCS. .321 avg, .413 OBP and .549 SLG; a .962 OPS against the best pitching in the AL is certainly a factor.

Bernie almost single-handedly beat Baltimore in '96 with a .474 BA, .583 OBP, and .947 SLG (DAMN!) and Seattle in 2000 .435 avg, .481 OBP, .609 SLG. He posted a .400 avg, .429 OBP and .720 SLG vs Florida in 2003 and ranks either 1st or second in postseason history in the following catagories: games, at bats, runs, hits, total bases, doubles, HR, RBI, walks and extra base hits.

Also setting Bernie apart from O'Neill is the fact that Bernie is a career Yankee. Paulie's 17 years were split 8 with the Reds, 9 with the Yanks. Bernie obviously played all 16 season with the Yanks. 4 Gold Gloves, a silver slugger, 5 All-Star games and 6 top 20 appearances for MVP and Bernie's #51 belongs in Monumnet Park.

46- Andy Pettitte
This one would be soooo much easier if only Andy hadn't defected for 3 years. While there is still time for more great moments and numbers, Andy is among the most successful home-grown pitchers in the illustrious Yankee history. #46 is off the market.

24- Tino Martinez
Another of the most beloved Yankee figures of the time. Who can forget Tino's grannie off Mark Langston game 1 1998 (after taking what should have been strike 3)? Again, I and Yankees fans in general, love Tino, but the numbers and years with the Yanks are just not there. Tex gets 24 next year. 42- Retired by all of baseball to honor Jackie Robinson, number 42 would never have been worn again anyway. Quite possibly the first HOF'er elected unanimously, Mo is not only the greatest reliever, but also greatest postseason pitcher in history.

22- Roger Clemens
While he only pitched for the Yanks for 6 years, Roger could choose to enter the Hall with a Yankees cap on. Should he do this there is no way the Yanks won't give him a day and plaque.

So Bernie, Andy, Jorge, Torre, Jeter, Mo and maybe Rocket get plaques in monument park, and O'Neill and Tino don't.


Old Goat said...

I think they will wait and see what happens with the Steroid allegations from the Mitchell report first, then decide what to do with Clemens.

That is, of course, unless the Yankees owner already promised Clemens his plaque and number on the wall this past season.

Anonymous said...

there is no way clemens gets a plaque and o'neil doesnt. thats just absurd.

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