Baseball Wiseguys

Monday, January 03, 2005

Donnie Baseball



Finally a decent article on Page 2 today...

Exhibit A in "Why I hate the Hall of Fame" (he received just 65 votes last year and is in real danger of slipping off the ballot entirely). More important than a ticket to the Hall is the quality of a man's game, from eye-black to eight straight games with a home run, from inside-out doubles to flawless picks off the infield dirt, and from sun-up to sundown. I know it makes me a bad scientist and a bit of a romantic, but Mattingly was an idea to me, he was the idea of baseball, in something like its pure Platonic form. (Bill James writes in the "Historical Baseball Abstract": "100% ballplayer, 0% bulls---")." Hit for average? Yes, sir. Hit for power? Done. Play stellar defense? Check. Do it all so well that you're universally recognized as the gold standard, not for a week, or a month, or a season, but for three straight years? Got that right. Forget the Hall, forget the Hall's fascination with longevity, put Mattingly in the Pantheon.

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