See, this is what I don't get. Why does any opinion writer believe that they have a say in what the New York Yankees do with Monument Park? I don't get it. It's not like the Yankee management has to do what the fans say when it comes to who enters their sacred Monument Park. It's ultimately about what they want the legacy to be. Some... people like Jason Keidel of CBS Sports thinks his opinion's relevant. It's really not... neither is mine by the way, but here we go anyway...
Now first, I say that with affection, because I admire Keidel and what he does, but he's plain wrong. It's not his decision, it's not mine, not yours and not Derek Jeter's either. It's up to what the Yankees want to do to honor past "great" Yankees. I put "great" in quotes because it will debated for forever who stays and who goes, but keep that to the water cooler. Like I wrote in PEOPLE HAVE TO STOP OVERTHINKING MONUMENT PARK, well, they do...they have to stop overthinking it.
I wrote then, "The Yankees have had great players over the years. The best part of these great players is, when the time comes each year, the Yankees will sit down and decide who gets honored. When they do that, and a name pops up you love, you will once again, pay money to go see them get honored. The Yankees are a machine. This idea was strategic... don't over think it. The best part is, these players come back to the stadium, they get a proper honoring and then if they are worthy, they also get a plaque. It's the new Yankees. Sure, the retired numbers are running out, but that's not what this is about. This is about giving the nod to other great Yankees... just not great enough to have their number retired. It's an acknowledgment. It's a "Thank you"..."
It makes perfect sense to me, as you can see, but Keidel writes of Tino:
"...it’s hard to assert that Tino Martinez is a bedrock member of Yankees royalty. When you’re not even the best or second-best first baseman in franchise history, it’s hard to declare that you belong in Monument Park – the most sacred soil south of Cooperstown.Well, that's all fine and good and Keidel, as usual is right about several points, but I have an opinion on that too... not that you care, but maybe you do...
Martinez is a true Yankee, but not an all-time Yankee.
He never hit .300, in any uniform. He never scored 100 runs. Never hit 40 doubles. Never amassed 200 hits in a season. In fact, his best season came in 1997, the one year the Yanks didn’t reach the Fall Classic during the dynasty. Martinez was even benched by Joe Torre during a World Series for Cecil Fielder, who was hardly Keith Hernandez in the field."
It's about the "moments" he made during that Yankee run that made Tino worthy. Don't you think? I mean, I had written in BE PROUD OF OUR YANKEES. DON'T MOCK THEM,
" Tino Martinez had 192 home runs in New York and 4 championships to boot. Paul O'Neill was right there with him in the championship department and compiled not only the nickname "the Warrior", but had 185 home runs and a .303 average in 9 years."And at the end of the day, that's what it's all about. It's about "moments of greatness" and if that means a bunch of championships and no .300 average, so be it. While he was in pinstripes, Tino did great things, gave up great memories and that's what the Yankees went with. There is no retired number, Tino doesn't deserve that, but a plaque and a "Thank you" seems like a nice thing.
Keidel's trying to be provocative, I get that, and he and I agree on 1 thing; Tino isn't our favorite first basemen in pinstripes. No way. But Tino had a nice run, a nicer run than others and he deserves the honor if you think the way the Yankees are thinking.
On a side note, I'd love to see the "Keidel Monument Park"... I'm sure it's full of perfect players like Don Mattingly, Babe Ruth and NOT Tino Martinez... and that's OK, it really is, but I just don't know why people care so much about the Yankees' Monument Park.
As long as the Yankees keep honoring greats by their scale, Yankee fans will keep spending money and coming on in... and that's what it's truly all about for them.
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