Great for Keith who deserves all the accolades and belongs in the HOF. What a statement it is too that this happened under Steve Cohen’s watch instead of the Wilpon’s. Now they need to do Gary Carter next.
One rewriting of baseball’s record books began in earnest in 1986. That year, a fireballing right-hander in Boston won 24 games en route to the AL Cy Young and the AL MVP. Meanwhile, a wiry 21-year-old with a familiar name reached the big leagues in Pittsburgh.
Across the 22 years their careers would overlap, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens earned 17% of all the MVP and Cy Young Awards handed out. They each claimed their occupation’s top honor seven times, obliterating the all-time marks. They each had two careers worth of Hall of Fame dominance — with peaks in the 1990s and 2000s matching or eclipsing their most fearsome contemporaries.
Bonds and Clemens should’ve both been elected, but hey Bonds didn’t get along with the media and since he never actually failed a drug test, there can’t be any other reason why he isn’t in. On the other hand, Clemens was just aloof so who knows what the deal really is there. Yet, David Ortiz has always been well-liked by everybody so do the math.
While reflecting on his career, which earned him a number retirement from the Mets and a congratulatory press conference on Wednesday, Keith Hernandez also came face-to-face with his own mortality.
Specifically, when the topic shifted to his chances of making the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the 68-year-old Hernandez said that if he does earn an induction, he’d like for it to happen while he’s still around to appreciate it. “It’s out of my hands,” Hernandez said. “I’ve been out of the game for a long time. Hopefully I’ve got another 15, 16, 17, 18 years of life. Maybe it’ll happen before I kick the bucket.”
I’m not into the analytics stuff, so I went old-school and counted 9 Hall of Fame-ish seasons for Hernandez during his career. Add to that an MVP in ’79, two World Series championships and 11 Gold Gloves and to me, Hernandez should be in there. Of course, the biggest knock will be the lack power for a 1st baseman (only 162 HRs in a 17-year career), but in his prime Keith was pretty consistent run producer with a guarantee of around 90 per year and an OBP that was always high. That said, the fact that Hernandez never got better than 10.8% in a Hall of Fame vote when he was on the ballot is mind-boggling. Time for the Veterans Committee to make up for that mistake.
And this is coming from someone who can’t stand the Yankees (but then, any true Mets fan hates the Yankees as well as every other team in the NL East). But really, what could be the reason one sole writer wouldn’t vote Jeter into the Hall of Fame other than for the attention? Even if you’re one of these new-age, WAR-obsessed ass-clowns who thought Jeter was an overrated shortstop who only got the immense attention he got because he played for the Yankees or just an extreme Yankee-hater who couldn’t stand the idea of Jeter going in unanimously one year after Mariano Rivera was the first to do it, not voting Jeter in the HOF is just sacrilegious. What, 5 World Series titles, 3.465 career hits, 14 All-Star games and 5 Golden Gloves wasn’t enough for you? Then clearly your standards are so high that you’d have a hard time voting Sandy Koufax in. And with the rules protecting your identity, not are you getting the attention you so desperately wanted, but you get to hide too…coward.