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Several items from the Yankees 27th Championship are on display now at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.  Although mlb.com reports more memorabilia may be arriving in Cooperstown in a few weeks, there are quite a few things on display currently:

1.) Hideki Matsui’s Game 6 Bat – This bat was used to drive in a record-tying 6 runs to clinch the Yankees’ Championship and earn Matsui the MVP honors.

2.) Mariano Rivera’s Postseason Cap – Rivera was, in my opinion, the MVP of the Yankees postseason.  Rivera had a 0.56 ERA and was 5 for 5 in save opportunities.  He ended up preserving 5 of the Yankees 11 wins.

3.) Johnny Damon’s Cleats from Game 4 – The game turned in favor of the Yankees when Damon got on base and stole second and third on the same play.  The Game 4 win gave the Bombers a 3-1 advantage in the series.

Plus, the HoF received several other notable items, including the catching masks of Jorge Posada and Jose Molina, Andy Pettitte’s World Series Cap, and the first ball to come out of play at Yankee Stadium, which was the first ball ever used in a World Series Game at the new stadium.

The Hall also received the scorecard used by WCBS announcer Suzyn Waldman – who became the first woman to broadcast a World Series game along with longtime Yankees play-by-play man John Sterling, and one of the bats used by Chase Utley, who tied Reggie Jackson with 5 home runs in one World Series.

I’m going to wait a few weeks for more stuff to arrive, but I am going to have to figure out a way to drag Chris up from Maryland and get up to the Hall.  I’d love to see the new memorabilia and it’s been a long time since I’ve been to the Hall anyways…

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Hey, yo, the Hall of Fame wants you!

hendersonRay Stubblebine/Reuters

Better run over to Cooperstown, man!

Its been pretty slow the last couple of days in the Yankee world.  Here’s a quick rundown of the baseball world this weekend.

  • As if the last four years weren’t painful enough, Carl Pavano opened his fat mouth to MLB.com on Friday and had some really “interesting” things to say.   “When you’re down, you expect your organization to pick you up, not kick you when you’re down,” Pavano said. “I’ve had to pick myself up quite a few times the last four years.”  Carl…are you joking?  Of course you had to!  When your teammates feel disgusted enough with you to blast you in the media for not working hard enough rehabbing from your injuries, you are doing something wrong.  When you play 26 games in 4 years for $40 Million, you are doing something wrong.  Can’t wait to see him lose to the Yankees during the first series at the new stadium.
  • Earlier in the week, I posted some info about Mark Teixeira and how he is excited to be a Yankee and how he looked up to Donnie Baseball when he was younger.   Kevin Kernan found out that Mattingly is a fan of Teixeira, as well.    “Teixeira’s a great player, there’s no question about that and I appreciate the way he plays and I think the Yankee fans are going to enjoy him,” Donnie Baseball said. “I had lunch with him a few years back, so I knew he was a fan. He seemed like a really good kid.”  Mattingly will again be Joe Torre’s hitting coach in 2009.
  • Bill Ladson from MLB.com is reporting that the Washington Nationals have shown interest in Xavier Nady and Nick Swisher.  The Nationals currently have an opening in right field, since Elijah Dukes should be playing center and an opening at first base, since current 1B Nick Johnson is injury prone.  Its not clear who they would be willing to give the Yankees in return.  I’d like to see the Yankees maintain a strong bench going into ’09.
  • The Red Sox have added another old, injury prone pitcher that the pro-Boston media is calling a “low-risk, high reward gamble.”  Instead, I refer to the recent additions as  “the push to finish 3rd in the AL East.”  The Sox added relief pitcher Takashi Saito, who played for the LA Dodgers the last three seasons as their closer.  He was injured part way through the season and lost his spot in the bullpen.  The Dodgers opted not to offer him a new deal this offseason.  This addition comes on the heels of the announced signing of John Smoltz, a great pitcher a few years ago, but injured and somewhat ineffective the last couple.  Bill Madden is calling it “A tale of two stoves.”  While the Yankees shop in the high-end stores and are breaking the bank; the Sox are shopping in the bargain bin, picking up players that might be good, but we’ll see how they hold up.
  • Finally, Jason at Heartland Pinstripes has another great post about the problems with the BBWAA and voting for Hall of Famers.  Apparently, some writers are leaving Hall of Fame Lock Rickey Henderson off their ballots for seemingly ridiculous reasons.  For some reason, the last two years have demonstrated to me there is a problem with the voting of Hall of Famers by the BBWAA.  Apparently, many writers vote without knowledge of the players and situations and, in many cases, make stupid votes based on politics and misinformation.  I think there needs to be a change in the voting qualifications.  Anyways, the Hall of Fame class will be announced on Monday.

This post is in honor of our sister’s birthday. Rock on, Melanie!

  • The Red Sox are close to announcing a deal for Rocco Baldelli and John Smoltz. Both could be announced shortly, maybe as soon as this weekend.
  • Shelly Duncan has been DFA’ed. I’ll always remember two things from him: his forearm bump and his hard slide into the Ray’s Aki Iwamura. He’s a good guy, but not a good fit for the Yankees. A victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, I suppose.
  • Peter Gammons continues to be one of the writers on my “Idiots” list.
  • The G-Man is back in the Bay Area. Good for him. He’ll become the second part of Bash Brothers II with Matt Holliday. Honor thy thong!
  • There are new Stadium photos. Hat tip to Greg Cohen. I can’t wait!
  • Jon Heyman says the Yankees are shopping Nady, Swisher and Matsui. But not Damon.
  • Jason at Heartland Pinstripes has this excellent post on the J.C. Romero suspension. It’s an excellent read into what transpired between Romero, the Phillies, MLB, and MLBPAA. It’s a bit long, but worth it if you have a few extra minutes.
  • Lastly, with the Hall of Fame 2009 list to be announced in a couple of days, some BBWAA members have already unveiled their selections. Some people have chosen…poorly. I will have more analysis later this week on what is going on with the BBWAA.

Have a great day, folks!

When it comes the time to cast a ballot for Mariano Rivera, he’s sure to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

But with only five relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame, and three voted in the last several years, where is the bar? Is it 300 saves? 400? 500?

The Padres’ Trevor Hoffman is the only closer with over 500 saves (554 to be exact). Rivera is close, and will probably break 500 this year. He has 482 saves.

Both Rivera and Hoffman are first-ballot Hall of Famers and both should be measured as the ultimate plateau — similar to a 600 home-run player. There are other players, such as Lee Smith, with his 478 saves, deserves to be in the Hall. His highest voting tally was 45% in 2006.

Now begins the debate whether players like Billy Wagner should be in the Hall as well. Dennis Eckersley is one of the relievers in the Hall, and is worthy of the honor. Wagner has 385 saves, 5 behind Eckersley’s total. What about Eric Gagne? Nah, just because he converted 84 straight saves doesn’t mean he immediately gets enshrined. Same for K-Rod. His 62 single season saves set the new “modern” bar, and got him a new contract with the Yankee’s crosstown rivals, but one season supremacy doesn’t signify Hall-worthiness.

This is a debate that BBWAA will have to have in the years to come.

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