HOF Class of 2019: Mariano Rivera

HOF Class of 2019: Mariano Rivera

There was little doubt that Marino Rivera would get the call to the Hall as soon as he was eligible and, as is often the case with superior players like Mo, the conversation has often been about whether or not he will be the first player voted in unanimously. All it would take is one person who doesn’t think a closer deserves to be in Cooperstown or that saves are overrated (apparently enough to discount any other pertinent statistics, such as a 205 ERA+) to keep it from being unanimous. Luckily, that was not the case as Mo became the first player to get 100% of the vote.

On May 23, 1995, Rivera made his MLB debut and he threw his final pitch on September 26, 2013. Since baseball is a game that is about the numbers, arguably more than any other sport, let’s get the numbers out of the way, especially those controversial saves. Rivera collected 652 of them over his nineteen years in the Majors and regardless of how highly you view them, that is an impressive feat. He has 51 more than Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman and the next three players on the saves list don’t even crack 500.

Rivera’s 1115 appearances is fourth all-time for a pitcher (behind Jesse Orosco, Mike Stanton, and John Franco). His 2.21 ERA is in the top twenty all-time and the best for closers. He was a thirteen time All-Star, picking up four saves in All-Star games. Over his entire career, Mo had a 8.22 K/9, a 2.01 BB/9, and a 0.50 HR/9. He held opposing batters to a .209 average. His postseason numbers are even more insane. These are all good reasons for why Rivera is joining the rest of the greats in Cooperstown, but these aren’t the only reasons fans love him.

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Hall-of-Fame Reaction: Mike Mussina

Hall-of-Fame Reaction: Mike Mussina

Baseball’s Hall of Fame and the process through which players gain entry into this elite fraternity has garnered significant scrutiny in recent years due to a flawed voting process that has provoked some head-scratching results, both in favor of some seemingly undeserving players while leaving out players who deserved to be first-ballot Hall-of-Famers.  With the selection of Mike “Moose” Mussina, one such error has been rectified.

Moose has steadily picked up votes during each of his 6 years on the ballot.  It seems that many voters did not view Mussina as an “inner-circle” Hall of Fame player.  While the voters have now voted Moose in, I think that both statistics and the eye test indicate that voters waited 6 years to give Mussina the honor of enshrinement in Cooperstown.

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Yankees Pitchers Mariano Rivera and Mike Mussina Elected to the Hall of Fame!

Yankees Pitchers Mariano Rivera and Mike Mussina Elected to the Hall of Fame!

Jeff Idelson, the President of the Baseball Hall of Fame, made the official announcement of the 2019 Hall of Fame induction class earlier today on MLBNetwork. This year, the Today’s Game Veterans Committee and the BBWAA have elected 6 players to forever be remembered in the annals of Major League Baseball History. Joining them, will be two great Yankees pitchers, with their inductions into the halls of Cooperstown, NY.

These two amazing Yankees pitchers will join 26 other Yankees players, executives, and managers in Cooperstown this summer.

The first Yankee announced to be joining the 2019 Hall of Fame class, who will spur much debate about what cap he will be wearing in Cooperstown, with 76.7% of the vote, starting pitcher: Mike Mussina.

In his 18-Year Career, Mussina collected 83.0 WAR, pitched to an ERA of 3.86, and a WHIP of 1.192 over 3562.2 innings while pitching exclusively in the AL East. Even with his 5 All-Star Games, and 7 Gold Glove awards, Mussina’s case for the Hall of Fame had been greatly debated.

The second Yankee announced to be joining the 2019 Hall of Fame class, and the first ever player to be elected unanimously by the BBWAA, with 100% of the vote, and is- without a doubt- the greatest relief pitcher in baseball history: Mariano Rivera.

In his 19-Year Career, Mariano collected 56.2 WAR, set the career record for Saves with 652, and pitched to an ERA of 2.21, and a WHIP of 1.000 over 1283.2 innings. In addition to his 13 All-Star Games, and 5 World Series Rings, Rivera’s advanced stats also paint the picture an amazing pitcher.

Mariano Rivera and Mike Mussina join fellow BBWAA 2019 Hall of Fame Inductee’s: Roy Halladay (RHP) and Edgar Martinez (DH/3B); alongside Veteran’s Committee Inductee’s: Lee Smith (RHP) and Harold Baines (DH/OF).

Congratulations to all the players above on Baseball Immortality and Welcome to Cooperstown!

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Tweet of the Day: It's Hall-of-Fame Day!

Thinking about baseball and the Hall-of-Fame sure helps chase away the cold of winter…

Yankees Baseball Card Trivia at Noon: Yankees Relief Pitchers

Yankees Baseball Card Trivia at Noon: Yankees Relief Pitchers

ProfRobert here.  SSTN has kindly permitted me to curate this week's baseball card trivia contests.  As today is it overwhelming likely that Mariano Rivera will be elected to the Hall of Fame, this week, in his honor, we'll be covering some of the Yankees' past star relievers.

Let’s get to it…

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Yankees Sign RHP's Danny Farquhar and David Hale to Minor League Deals

Yankees Sign RHP's Danny Farquhar and David Hale to Minor League Deals

After the news broke about the Yankees trading away one RHP to the Cincinnati Reds yesterday, Brian Cashman and Co. quickly turned around and signed two others on minor league deals with expected invitations for each to join the club for Spring Training.

The two right-handed pitchers are Danny Farquhar, who most recently pitched for the Chicago White Sox, and David Hale, who most recently pitched for the Hanwha Eagles of the KBO League in South Korea.

Both pitchers have had very short stints with playing in the Yankees organization, for Farquhar, he pitched in 7 games for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders and Trenton Thunder for a combined 17.0 innings back in 2012, before being traded with RHP D.J. Mitchell to the Seattle Mariners for Ichiro Suzuki.

And for David Hale, he has pitched a total 14 games over two stints with the Yankees- with a trip and single game pitched for the Minnesota Twins in-between- and the Railriders, all during the 2018 season, before signing with the Hanwha Eagles for the remainder of the 2018 season.

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