Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A Weak-Chinned Bust in the Hall?

I know it sounds crazy, but Jorge Posada may well be building a Hall of Fame worthy resume. He may end up being one of those unlikely cases, ala Dennis Eckersley, where nobody even thought about him being a Hall of Famer until his late thirties. I have watched Posada play for 11 years and until this summer I had never given a second thought to his potential HOF candidacy. He still has some work to do to be a deserving candidate, but at this point I do not think it's implausible that he gets it done. Here is my case for Jorge Posada: Future Hall of Famer...
1) Unless he soon goes down Thurman Munson style, he will undoubtedly be remembered as the 3rd best catcher to make his Major League debut between 1975 and 2000. Don't argue with me dickhead, I did the research. Between the Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk, Thurman Munson, and Gary Carter era and the Pudge Rodriguez, Mike Piazza, and Jorge Posada era, seventeen years passed between the debuts of a catcher as good as Posada. Lance Parrish is really the only guy for whom a case could be made. Yes his prime was better than Posada's, but he didn't have a great year after the age of 30. Posada is in the midst of his best season at 35. With three more merely mediocre seasons, Jorge Posada will have easily left Parrish in his wake.
If you're clearly one of the three best players at your position over a 25 year span, you at least deserve some consideration.
2) If Posada continues his torrid pace this year, he will finally have his signature season. Until this year, he has always been in the .260s to .280s in BA, high .300s to low .400s in OBP and high .400s to low .500s in slugging. He has posted consistently excellent numbers for a catcher, but this year he is off the charts. If the Yankees make the playoffs in squeaker and A-Rod falls off a bit, Posada is a serious MVP candidate. That hardware would bolster his case in the eyes of the voters.
3) Even the greatest catchers in baseball history have historically been shot by 35. Posada just keeps improving. Of course, I don't expect Posada won't replicate this season again. However if he can put up his '04 through '06 numbers in '08 through '10, he will be approaching 2000 hits and 300 HRs. (I will grant you that this is a tall order as he approaches 40. But he has defied normal aging patterns thus far. Perhaps he is the exception to the rule.) Only six catchers in history have hit 300 homers. I suppose a few more have gotten 2000 hits, but I don't feel like looking it up.
4) I don't want to sound like every sports writers in the country, but shouldn't he get just one bonus point for being a significant part of 4 championship teams.
Tomorrow I will attempt to construct a Hall of Fame argument for Mike Mussina, another rarely discussed HOF candidate.

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