SocraticGadfly: Ted Williams and Yaz are Red Sox nonpersons

January 26, 2022

Ted Williams and Yaz are Red Sox nonpersons

Who would say such an Orwellian thing?

Well, the president and CEO of the Boston Red Sox, Sam Kennedy, that's who:

"David Ortiz is the most important player to ever wear a Red Sox uniform."

There you go.

First, as I blogged late last year, when the BBWAA ballots officially came out, David Ortiz is NOT a Hall of Famer. Certainly not a first-ballot one. And, it goes beyond whether the roided or not. Park-inflated stats at Fenway is why we have things like OPS+ and WAR. His 141 career OPS+ is good but not great for a 1B/DH type. (Albert Pujols is still at 144 after a much longer career and decline and Miguel Cabrera is at 145.)

But, let's go to the "nonpersons" and that statement.

Note who's missing? Well, obviously, Teddy Ballgame, Ted Williams, the Kid, the Splinter. Two-time Triple Crown winner. Arguably the best batter who ever played the game of baseball.

Boston legend in so many ways.

Best player to ever wear that uniform. And, yes, that at least arguably includes two very prominent other players, one entirely from the deadball era and the other with baseball's best career WAR. Certainly the best with the Sox alone.

And Carl Yastrzemski, last guy to post a 12-WAR season. (Ortiz never had a single 7-WAR season, another reason I don't consider him a Hall of Famer.)

Who else is being forgotten?

Well, it's not the uni he's most famous for, but?

Babe Ruth.

Others who didn't play only with Boston, but neither did Ortiz?

Pedro Martinez.

Roger Clemens.

Wade Boggs.

Those, at a minimum, rank higher.

Cy Young.

Tris Speaker.

All of them, in my book, are both better and more important. Well, the importance factor is arguable with Boggs and Speaker, but otherwise? Babe? Important to the history of baseball, the history of the Sawks, and focus of "the curse of the Bambino." Pedro injected new fuel into the Sox-Yankees rivalry. Clemens? Important for injecting other things. Cy Young? Just has an award named after him. 

Could probably even slip the likes of a Dwight Evans in there on the better side, whether or not more important. Maybe even Fred Lynn? That's a maybe because he's behind Papi on WAR, but on importance? He was Rookie of the Year and MVP the same season, and that was WS year 1975.

The noxious Curt Schilling, bloody sock and all. Surely more important. And better.

No comments: