Viewer Mail 2.5.2011

Hall Of Fame, Hot Stove

Norm writes RE Mike Francesa, the Wilpons and Bernie Madoff:

Listening to Francesa’s newfound financial ‘expertise’ re. Madoff, ponzi schemes, the SEC etc, I cannot help but think that he should next tackle the Egypt crisis. He is quite versatile.

Btw, I find it amazing that no one at the Fan or in Franceca’s family (for example his little kids) have told Mike that he should stop talking about certain matters because he just reveals his ignorance and idiocy. I.e. anything involving basic mathematics—Mike should probably stop trying to do basic math on air.

I haven’t listened to him all that much regarding the Madoff thing but from what I did hear, I have to provide him with a lukewarm defense in that he was expressing his lack of knowledge regarding the investment machinations.

Of course, knowing him, it was a reaction to the backlash against his pompous and omnipotent “I know everything about everything” tone that he exhibits about, well, everything.

It’s quite odd to me when someone openly admits they just “give the money to their financial guy and tell them to do whatever”; this is how these Ponzi schemes and lost fortunes happen in the first place.

Francesa clings to things—it’s what he does. It might be a fervent belief in what he thinks; or, more likely, it’s a desperate attempt at being seen as “right”.

The smart, credibility-accumulating maneuver would’ve been for him to say, “I thought the idea that they owed a billion dollars was ridiculous and I said so; we won’t know ’til the details come out, but it might be a billion dollars!”

Then he could’ve deferred to financial people who can explain it succinctly; he has so many listeners especially in New York and in the financial arena, it would’ve been easy to find someone to teach it like a college professor and tell everyone what the case against the Wilpons entails.

Again, I’ve listened to him briefly, so he might have done that already.

Francesa wants credit. It’s an egomania that’s fed with accolades whether they’re valid or not.

In the battle of credit vs credibility, I always prefer credibility. It takes longer to build, but it’s more worthwhile in the long run.

Two comments from Jeff at Red State Blue State relating to the Yankees, Bartolo Colon and Andy Pettitte:

I think Bartolo Colon is worth signing for that ridiculous haircut alone.

Personally, I’m glad this story is over. I’m a bit tired — no, make that EXTREMELY tired — of hearing the whining from Yankees fans. In fact, the pleading and whining and crying they’ve been doing this offseason was starting to make them sound like Red Sox fans.

I’m still trying to get past Colon’s listed weight of 185 lbs. I’m 185 lbs!!!

As I said earlier this week, I have no issue with them signing Colon or Freddy Garcia—both have proven relatively recently that they can possibly be of some use; the Mark Prior signing was worth a gamble; but now they’ve signed Eric Chavez.

This is a colossal waste of time because he is not going to stay healthy—no way, no how and it literally makes no sense even as a shrugging, “let’s have a look” move.

With Pettitte, it really was enough in every conceivable sense. Saluting a baseball-related warrior is one thing; going on and on endlessly with whimpering as if the man died is another. And the tributes? How long is this going to go on?

It is refreshing to see the Yankees not get everything they want as a matter of course; naturally you see some ignorant fans take their frustrations out—like an abusive older sibling—on the Mets; this is more of a reflection on them and their rampant insecurities than anything else.

Pattie writes RE Andy Pettitte:

“Pettitte has been as clean off the field as he was gutty on it; he wasn’t going to wilt in the spotlight; Knowing someone’s going to be there and not cower in the face of danger is a valuable asset; always consistent; durable and money in the playoffs; he’s the guy you want protecting you. If he lost, it wasn’t due to a lack of conviction or courage; it was because he got beat; he won five championships; he behaved professionally and with class; he made a lot of money; and he told the truth” That’s out of your own mouth. He’s also been in the top 10 Cy Young voting 5 times; he’s the second-winningest active pitcher in baseball (240 wins), and the winningest postseason pitcher (19 wins) of all-time; best pickoff move in baseball. All this isn’t great? I usually agree with you, but come on, your lordship, give the man his due!

“Greatness” is a subjective term and you can make a case for Pettitte being a better pitcher than other pitchers who are perceived as “great” because he was able to perform amid all the pressures of New York and in the playoffs.

The Cy Young voting, many times, is based on competition more than individual performance. He won all those post-season games because the playoffs added a third tier right when Pettitte broke into the big leagues and he was on teams that made the playoffs every year.

In order to truly determine his worthiness for the term “great”, all of these things must be taken into account.

Calling me “your lordship” is a good way to get me to see your side of the argument though!

Jane Heller at Confessions of a She-Fan writes RE Andy Pettitte:

Good summary of Andy and his career. There’s nothing like having a pitcher you can always count on to give you 100%. Andy did that and more.

It’s hard to be cynical when he sounded so sincere in that his passion wasn’t there and his refusal to sign on if he wasn’t all in; this is in spite of people calling him, begging and telling him how much they needed him and, especially, that his family was on-board for another season.

The $12-15 million is another factor that is hard to fathom turning down.

Joe writes RE the Yankees and Pettitte:

Good post. I agree that Pettitte isn’t a HOF. And even though I hate the Yankees, I believe Clemens, Jeter, Rivera, and maybe even Posada are HOF’s. Unsure about Posada though.

As a catcher on five championship teams with those offensive numbers and dealing with an eclectic group of pitchers in both mood and stuff, Jorge Posada is a Hall of Famer. More so than a Barry Larkin-type and definitely more than Tim Raines.

In fairness, I have to eventually do as I did with John Smoltz and Bert Blyleven and examine Pettitte’s career from beginning to end—gamelogs, competition, other pitchers in the league in comparison—and truly decide whether he has a case for the Hall of Fame. At first glance, it’s a clear “no”; but it was the first glance that kept Blyleven out for so long. Perhaps Pettitte has a legitimate case for serious consideration.

I’ll withhold judgment….for now.

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