Yankees to retire Paul O’Neill’s number

pokey_reese

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Yeah, this feels a little aggressive, but maybe I'm the one who is off-base here. From a Sox perspective, Paul O'Neill felt like the answer to the question 'what could Trot Nixon have been if he had stayed healthy?' Or perhaps, 'what if Dewey had been worse at baseball?' Solid contributor with some very good years, but not necessarily a franchise cornerstone. Also, I didn't realize how long he was with the Reds.
 

AlNipper49

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There needs to be a hologram that comes out of it that complains the the ump after every single called strike.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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As a Sox fan I hated when that guy was at bat. Foul ball. Foul ball. Spitting on tough pitches just outside the zone.

His Red Sox splits are better than his career splits by a modest but not insignificant margin, but I was actually surprised they weren't higher. It just felt that way.

I don't care who the Yankees honor or don't, but O'Neill is one of those very few Yankees who I didn't completely hate and kind of grudgingly respected.
 

Hoya81

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If MLB adopted something like the Ring of Honor concept from the NFL, that seems more appropriate for a player like O’Neill.
 

Ale Xander

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But Scott Brosius is definitely next
Edit: dammit, Dewey, too fast
 
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trotsplits

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I spent a weekend on the RF porch at the old Tiger Stadium heckling O'Neill. It's strange now to think how much I hated the Yankees.
 

jon abbey

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Yeah, not a fan of this, mostly because they are running out of numbers.
 

Rudy's Curve

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WAR is imperfect, yada yada, but he only had 26.7 as a Yankee. Dewey was obviously a far superior player with twice as much service to the franchises in question, but even if it's just about guys on multiple championship teams Wakefield had 34.5 with the Sox, Varitek had 24.2 and they'll never be retired. Pedroia was a far superior player with multiple titles and unless he makes the HOF or they make an exemption he's not getting retired either. If it's all about championships, why is Mattingly in?
 

Murderer's Crow

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On numbers alone, not retire-worthy. On personality, association to the team, and fan love...it's an easy decision. O'neill will probably be around the team until he dies.
 

Leather

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I think the better analogue would be Kevin Youkilis' number being retired by Boston.
 

Murderer's Crow

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I think the better analogue would be Kevin Youkilis' number being retired by Boston.
A significant number of Yankees fans still say Paul is their favorite Yankee. Every Yankees fan can playback memories of him crying in the outfield, playing after his dad passed, breaking coolers, gunning down runners. Paul is an absolute Yankees legend. I'm not a Sox fan so I can't answer for you, but is that how Sox fans think of Kevin?
 

Murderer's Crow

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and for the record, I think the Yankees brass can make this decision because it's not easy to see any other numbers getting retired for awhile.

Gardner isn't happening, Judge isn't happening unless he wins a few championships...Plus Judge is 99.
 

Leather

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A significant number of Yankees fans still say Paul is their favorite Yankee. Every Yankees fan can playback memories of him crying in the outfield, playing after his dad passed, breaking coolers, gunning down runners. Paul is an absolute Yankees legend. I'm not a Sox fan so I can't answer for you, but is that how Sox fans think of Kevin?
I said it was a better analogue (than, say, Trot Nixon). Not that it was exact.

Important player during multiple championships, known as a grinder, bit of a temper, not a star, had some moments.

I think the other one that comes to mind is Pedroia, but Pedroia has a significantly better case for retirement than O'Neill, IMO. (home grown, personal accolades, higher peak performance, more of a team leader...)
 

Ale Xander

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The Celtics aren't exactly the right comp when wanting to tease the Yankees about retired number overkill
Important player during multiple championships, known as a grinder, bit of a temper, not a star, had some moments.
So I guess the comp is Cornbread. (Because the rest, other than Reggie, are NBA HOF'ers, and CM had 2 years of team announcing at time of retirement)

But, Paul O'Neill wasn't as good as Cornbread in either role.
 

brs3

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Paul O'Neill epitomizes the height of my Yankee hate. You look at their three-peat and the rosters they had. In '99 alone, nobody hit more than 28 homers, David Cone was the only starter with a sub 4.00 ERA. Bernie Williams & Jetes anchored the offense, surrounded by a bunch of league average to slightly above average guys. Paul O'Neill is the perfect monument park addition, and a perfect reason to roll out those annoyingly successful teams that were the anti-ARod Yankee era. My Yankee fan friends will gleefully enjoy this as it harkens back to an era of success with a ton of likeable players in their eyes.

I do wish monument park inductees were tethered to their monument via ball and chain like zoo animals.
 

Ale Xander

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Actually maybe there is indeed a lot of same intentions to have number retired as Cornbread. Team with a long and storied history has a double digit year Championship drought and this is their way of playing nice with the analyst so they don’t complain about how bad the current team is.

well that’s my theory anyway
 

Deweys New Stance

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No. But people were speaking about him in the same breath as Miguel Cairo.
My comment was tongue in cheek, but I was acknowledging that Brosius was remembered fondly in the Bronx for a few big postseason moments that had earned him the gritty True Yankee (TM) designation. He was kind of a mimeographed version of O’Neill. So as long as the Yanks are continuing down the path of dubious number retirements Brosius seems to be the next step.

As far as O’Neill goes, seems weird to see his # retired ahead of folks like Tony Lazzeri, Allie Reynolds, Eddie Lopat, and (hate to say it) Sparky Lyle. But whatever.
 

dynomite

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WAR is imperfect, yada yada, but he only had 26.7 as a Yankee. Dewey was obviously a far superior player with twice as much service to the franchises in question, but even if it's just about guys on multiple championship teams Wakefield had 34.5 with the Sox, Varitek had 24.2 and they'll never be retired. Pedroia was a far superior player with multiple titles and unless he makes the HOF or they make an exemption he's not getting retired either. If it's all about championships, why is Mattingly in?
I've posted this before, but it brings up a bit of a conundrum for me. I think some of the recent Yankee number retirements are a little silly... but I also think the Red Sox are too stingy about number retirements by limiting it to induction into the Hall of Fame. I know drawing bright lines is important, and I think the Yankees have cheapened number their number retirements by being overly inclusive, but I also think the whole "number retirement" genre does best when teams honor the players who were most important to their team and their fans, not purely the best players to ever wear the uniform.

Pedroia and Varitek are actually the perfect example of a small number of modern players who will never make the Hall of Fame, but whose Red Sox careers to me are worth memorializing through number retirements, especially because they won't get that same acknowledgement in Cooperstown. I'd also add Dewey Evans and there are other debatable ones (Jerry Remy, Tony C, etc.).

Take Varitek: 1,500 games in a Red Sox uniform, team captain, 2 World Series rings, entire ML career with the Red Sox, punched ARod. He'll never be the best catcher in Red Sox history because of Fisk, but I think he's worthy of a permanent place of honor within Fenway.

Again, I recognize it's a slippery slope, but the Yankees have retired I believe 21 numbers while the Red Sox have only retired 10 by my count (not counting Jackie Robinson). I don't mind somewhat formalizing a Hall of Very Good.

I said it was a better analogue (than, say, Trot Nixon). Not that it was exact.

Important player during multiple championships, known as a grinder, bit of a temper, not a star, had some moments.
I actually think Youk is a good comp, apart from not having played elsewhere for his entire 20s. He was never the best player on the Red Sox, but was always a fan favorite with a distinctive nickname. 3 All Stars and a Gold Glove vs. Paul's 4 All Stars for the Yankees, etc.
 
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E5 Yaz

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I've posted this before, but it brings up a bit of a conundrum for me. I think some of the recent Yankee number retirements are a little silly... but I also think the Red Sox are too stingy about number retirements by limiting it to induction into the Hall of Fame.
The Red Sox have a team Hall of Fame, which is a fine place to recognize players whose status doesn't reach the iconic nature of those whose numbers are retired. Few on this site are bigger Ted boosters than I am, and I still think he falls short of having the number up there. I'm on the fence about Pedroia, though; I could see that one eventually.

I suggest if you want to continue this sidetrack, let's move it to its own thread on the Red Sox mainboard
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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If you aren't generating interest by winning, might as well retire a number, I guess...
 

pedro1918

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The Red Sox have a team Hall of Fame, which is a fine place to recognize players whose status doesn't reach the iconic nature of those whose numbers are retired. Few on this site are bigger Ted boosters than I am, and I still think he falls short of having the number up there. I'm on the fence about Pedroia, though; I could see that one eventually.

I suggest if you want to continue this sidetrack, let's move it to its own thread on the Red Sox mainboard

You mean Tek, right?