12 December 2002

A Few Obligations...

I promised Aaron Gleeman almost a week ago that I would plug his breakdown of this year's Hall of Fame hopefuls, so there it is. I had hoped to do something like this myself, but frankly I don't have the time that Aaron seems to have to do this stuff, and I don't disagree with him on enough of his assertions to make it worth your time or mine (or his) debating them. However, if you are into debate, and/or have been living under a rock, check out the Don Mattingly arguments that John Perricone has posted on OBM. Start here and work your way up. Just like your tax return. I happen to come down squarely on the side of those who think that you cannot allow someone into the Hall of Fame based on would-coulda-shoulda-ifs. Don Mattingly was my hero, growing up in NJ, reading the Bergen Record, listening to Al Trautwig, Phil Rizzuto, Bobby Murcer and Bill White tell me how great Mattingly was. And he was, but not for long enough. It may not be his fault that he got hurt, but he got hurt. It's not the Hall of Talent, or the Hall of Potential, or the Hall of Four-Year Statistical Greatness. It's the Hall of Fame, a shrine to the best and brightest. Let's keep it that way.

And while you're there, check out all the stuff John has going on about the Pete Rose issue. I don't have time to read it all (the cross-links, not John's stuff) but it's pretty comprehensive in terms of providing the different viewpoints, even if John's view is the most dominantly represented. John and I have essentially agreed to disagree on this one, and it looks like I'll have to plead the same on Mattingly.

Also, newcomer Alex Belth of Bronx Banter has reproduced an email I sent him, along with some of his comments, about the fact that the Yankees have allowed Stanton and Mendoza to walk. In this case, it isn't just baseball, but also religion (my other favorite topic) and Alex, despite an initail bias, professes to have been open-minded enough to consider a different perspective, and to have had his mind changed a bit. As a writer, and as a person, that is the most I could ever ask.

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