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Columnist proposes waiving the five-year rule so Jeter, Rivera can go into the Hall together

Feb 14, 2014, 8:33 AM EDT

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Yesterday Deadspin wrote a piece making light of sportswriters mourning Derek Jeter‘s retirement announcement. The conceit was that these guys were writing as if Jeter had died. One of the jokes was “you can expect a column shortly on how the Hall of Fame ought to invoke the Roberto Clemente precedent so that he can be elected next winter.”
Not quite, but we’re close! Here’s Dan Pietrafesa of the Poughkeepsie Journal, advocating for a Hall of Fame rules change:

This is a plea to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America to bend the rules. It’s been done before, so do it again.

Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera deserve to be inducted together into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2019.

It’s the right thing to do.

And it gets better:

So why not bend the rules? It’s been done before and for Yankee greats. Lou Gehrig — the only player on a special ballot — was elected in a special vote at the 1939 Winter Meetings because it was uncertain how much longer Gehrig would live with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — now also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Because it’s exactly the same sort of situation.

Dear lord.

103 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 14, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    Can’t we just rename the town of Cooperstown to “Jeterstown” and make him king of Jeterstown and make a golden throne for him to sit on that rests on the buttocks of supermodels and have birds and angels sit on his shoulders and sprinkle rainbows on the ground where he walks? I mean, that would all be a bit less effusive than some of the stuff I have read this past week

    • billybawl - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:21 PM

      There is absolutely zero chance the HOF or Cooperstown would pass up this opportunity to host Yankee fans for two consecutive summers. The shops in town already cater heavily to Yankee fans, and they will make mint when Rivera and then Jeter are inducted.

      • eglooney - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:35 AM

        It would be a waste of an opportunity to have Yankee greats on the podium two years running.

        Jete will be there, anyway, when Mariano gets inducted and I would assume the return the following year will be true with Rivera there for Jeter.

        And, I hate Yankees. Mariano is truly deserving, but I still can’t get past the niggling feeling that Jeter is a concoction of the Madison Avenue / MLB PR Machine extraordinaire… Gold Gloves? Seriously? With his lack of range?

        Still, it’s a Hall of FAME and Derek is nothing if not FAMous. Looking forward to seeing both there.

    • 18thstreet - Feb 14, 2014 at 2:16 PM

      I’ve always named a particular play after him: when a shortstop tags a runner trying to steal second and the shortstop then shows the glove to the umpire, I call that “The Jeter.”

      I love it. I mean, I bash the Yankees all the time. But I love love love (no sarcasm at all) that Jeter figured out that showing his glove somehow has relevance to whether the tag happened. I swear no one did this before Jeter. I would put it on his Hall of Fame plaque. (With sarcasm, I love the way that when he steps out of the batters’ box to fix his batting gloves or whatever, he keeps the one hand up the whole time as if to say, “I’ll let you know when I’m ready. You just sit tight, okay?)

      • evanpenn - Feb 15, 2014 at 5:30 AM

        When a shortstop doesn’t actually tag the 2nd base bag before throwing to 1st for a double play, it used to be called “in the vicinity”. But now its called the “within 10 feet Jeter rule”.

      • 18thstreet - Feb 15, 2014 at 11:31 AM

        I’m talking about something different — the ‘show-the-glove.’

        “See? I’m holding the ball right now! He’s obviously out.”

      • evanpenn - Feb 15, 2014 at 2:00 PM

        Yep, I know what you’re saying dude, and its true, he does do that.

    • mmeyer3387 - Feb 14, 2014 at 8:53 PM

      Jeter has been a very good player and I have enjoyed watching him over the past years. Additionally, I think and probably like most that he is a class act and deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. But I know that this is just starting, and its already getting deep for most of us fans,The media needs to be very careful about being seen as being to over joyed about Jeter. Despite all of the wonderful things that he has accomplished playing, he needs to be treated just like all of the other great players. You guys that are over reacting and risk turning fans off. Clearly, Jeter does not deserve that.

    • chinahand11 - Feb 17, 2014 at 11:00 PM

      This article was written by someone in Poughkeepsie. Didn’t anyone see the Poughkeepsie Tapes? He should be more worried about that serial killer than Derek Jeter’s coronation. But if they didn’t do it for Joe D., they shouldn’t do it for Derek.

  2. frank35sox - Feb 14, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    Look at Derek Jeter’s Baseball-Reference page. Closest comparable hitters include Craig Biggio, Roberto Alomar, and Robin Yount. Nice players? Yes. Hall of Fame caliber? Yes. Much better defensive players? Yes. Inner circle Hall of Famers? No.

    This is how it has always been with Derek Jeter. This is how it will always be.

    • frank35sox - Feb 14, 2014 at 11:48 AM

      But the leadership, man. I know, I know. We all know.

    • ireportyoudecide - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:03 PM

      But he’s so clutch!
      Yes he is
      Career regular season OPS .828
      Career ALCS OPS .751
      Career world series OPS .832

      But he made some great defensive plays in the playoffs.
      Yes he did, when you play SS and you play 158 postseason games you better.

      But he played in New York, he deserves extra credit for that.
      OK, because Craig Biggio would have just fallen apart in NY?

      Derek Jeter a truly great player, but is he better then Adrian Beltre, Craig Biggio, Alan Trammel.
      I would say he’s about the same.

      • Old Gator - Feb 14, 2014 at 7:06 PM

        All these folks who try to reduce Jeter to stats are like salmon swimming up a waterfall with a bear waiting at the top.

      • frank35sox - Feb 15, 2014 at 10:49 AM

        Why? Because the vast majority of the salmon succeed, but the bear is the one who gets the attention because he’s larger and louder than everyone else? Sounds about right.

      • dstark9 - Feb 16, 2014 at 7:00 AM

        Jeter is much better than Beltre, Biggio, and Trammell. Just because baseball compares Jeter to those players does not make it real. Jeter was a Hell of a Lot better! Beltre? LOL

  3. jonrox - Feb 14, 2014 at 11:42 AM

    If they’re going to do a special ballot, they should have one that has Lou Whitaker back on the list. After all, he has a higher career bWAR than does Jeter.

  4. tysonpunchinguterus - Feb 14, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    I’m a huge Jeter fan and the suggestion of letting him be voted in a year early is asinine. For what? So he and a friend can be inducted together? Who gives a crap what year a player gets in? Let Rivera have his day. I’m sure he won’t be the only guy inducted that year, so why clog the ballot by adding 1 more player to the list?

    • kevinbnyc - Feb 14, 2014 at 3:39 PM

      Better yet, why even put him on the ballot? Just include him among the inductees Mariano’s year.

  5. jeffa43 - Feb 14, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    How about waiving the entire process, and bring clear thinking to the process,
    And put Biggio & Bagwell in together.

    • stex52 - Feb 14, 2014 at 4:03 PM

      You nailed it, Jeff. Let’s see Biggio and Bagwell go in together. Then we can talk about Rivera and Jeter.

      I know, I know, How dare we talk about players who didn’t play in the AL East?

  6. johnnysoda - Feb 14, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    Oh brother.

    Do you think Jeter and Mo- or anyone besides this guy- cares if they’re not elected in the same year? Does it matter at all?

    • 18thstreet - Feb 14, 2014 at 2:06 PM

      I remember someone observing that Bird and Magic were going to wind up going into the Basketball Hall of Fame together (Magic un-retired, so it didn’t work out that way), so, yeah, I think people would have cared if it worked out. But no one proposed changing the rules.

      Hockey inducted Wayne Gretsky *before* his retirement, I think. (As in, it was on the last day of his regular-season career.) That was weird to me. They also retired No. 99 from the league. (Can someone who knows what s/he’s talking about correct me, if needed?)

      Make no mistake: I’d never argue he wasn’t the greatest hockey player ever (though some other people actually do this). But I thought that really overdid it. I can’t imagine that MLB will outdo for Jeter what the NHL did for Gretsky.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Feb 14, 2014 at 5:10 PM

        Actually, I thought they SHOULD have announced Gretzky’s Hall of Fame induction the day he retired, but they did not. They did retire his number 99 that day. He was voted into the Hall a few months later and inducted that year, and the Hall announced he’d be the last one honored before their usual 3 year wait. Of course, they are free to change their minds later if a clear case presents itself. Also, while Wayne’s numbers are other-worldly, I too would suggest Bobby Orr and Mario Lemieux belong in the same sentence.

      • 18thstreet - Feb 14, 2014 at 8:25 PM

        Being the best ever seems like a weird reason to take his number out of circulation. But, then again, I also don’t really support MLB retiring number 42 to honor Jackie Robinson. Seems to me that lots of players were honoring him by choosing to wear it.

      • ti6er - Feb 15, 2014 at 2:10 AM

        Gretzky was voted into the HoF right after he retired because he deserved that tribute just as he redefined how Hockey is played and he set some of the most important record in Hockey that will never be broken as long as Hockey exist such as career points 2857, most points and 200 points four different time (no one has even score 200 points), and the list goes on…How many record does Jeter hold?

  7. yankeesfanlen - Feb 14, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    Is this some attempt at a Pulitzer for The Poughkeepsie Journal? Maybe a resume-building piece for Lupica’s job.

  8. ajsjr40 - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    Stupid idea.

  9. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    Good god, this entire thing only happened a few days ago and I’m already sick of it. Do we really need to have another year long farewell tour? When the hell did this become the standard? I miss the days when a player just played the game, and when he was done, walked away quietly. Now we have to do a whole thing with good byes at each stadium, gifts, a party by the commissioners office, etc. Don’t forget the Derek Jeter All-Star game. We’ll need a sponsor and a special surprise guest. And of course ridiculous asinine articles like this. ESPN will do a Jeter countdown and they can interrupt the president to show us his final at home at bat against the Red Sox.

    • 14thinningstretch - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:49 PM

      Oh, God. Can you imagine what would happen if Jeter comes up for his last at bat with the score 15-0 or something and the pitcher decides to just groove one to him so he can hit a homer? ESPN would never, ever stop talking about it, and sportswriters would fall all over themselves trying to imitate Updike’s piece about Williams.

    • mybrunoblog - Feb 14, 2014 at 5:20 PM

      You speak gospel. I’m a Yankee fan and a huge Jeter guy and I’m sooooooooo sick of this already. By October I’ll be glad to see him go just so I don’t have to read and hear about his retirement anymore.

  10. jobber33 - Feb 14, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    Really???????? If this guy played for any other team, this would never be brought up. Will he make it one day, probably. You only make exceptions for the greatest playrs of the sport. Gretzky was allowed in early, and i can’t remember if Jordan had to wait the full amount or they let him in early. I’m pretty sure he had to wait. the only other thing that comes close is all the years Rodriguez played in NY they allowed his PED use, but now that the Yankees want out of the contract the league suspends him and the Yankees get to use that 25 mill on others.

  11. professor59 - Feb 14, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    That same reporter has also petitioned the Pope to reduce the “miracles” requirement so Jeter can become a saint.

    • Youknowimright - Feb 14, 2014 at 2:33 PM

      This is fantastic news. The hall and sainthood in the same year. Unbelievable. Thanks for breaking the story. I heard his Mr. November HR is going to count as his first miracle.

    • cogitobaseballergosum - Feb 14, 2014 at 3:35 PM

      Why would he need to reduce the miracles requirement? Everyone knows Jeter is the all-time career leader in MAR (Miracles Above Replacement).

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Feb 14, 2014 at 5:16 PM

      My uncle who lived in NYC died in 1985, but he phoned me yesterday, saying my prayers invoking the names of Jeter and Rivera had prompted him to get in touch. Does that count?

  12. andreweac - Feb 14, 2014 at 5:27 PM

    I propose waiving the rule to place Mike Trout in the Hall now.

  13. musketmaniac - Feb 14, 2014 at 6:29 PM

    steroid puppies both of them

  14. nobody78 - Feb 14, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    Yes, Pietrafesa’s being a bit silly. But really – it’s in the Poughkeepsie Journal. Someone had to dig pretty deep to find this one.

    Also, it was a lot funnier than that unspeakably lame Deadspin article.

  15. evanpenn - Feb 15, 2014 at 5:47 AM

    New York City’s buildings should be rearranged so that they will look like Jeter’s face, when seen from space. That way aliens will know who our ruler is when they arrive.

  16. evanpenn - Feb 15, 2014 at 5:56 AM

    By the way, the hype only seems bad because you guys read this column and other columns all day. Casual fans will hardly be cognizant of the “tour” until the season nears its end. Yankee fans who regularly watch Yankee games on tv will be made aware relentlessly, but I doubt they will mind much.

  17. kimbrktty - Feb 15, 2014 at 10:32 PM

    Jeter was Never the best player in the game, Though i thought he god screwed out of the MVP in 06-07 when they gave it to Morneau because of the HRs and RBIs, instead of Jeter who was Easily the best all around player in AL that year, ANYWAYS… He was never the best player in all of MLB in any season.. but he was a great great player, 5 Championships, as clutch a hitter as i can ever remember seeing hit, one of the better leaders by example in sports history, and a nice guy ….but like someone already said, all the writers are doing is making people tired of hearing about him, and maybe dislike him a little, through no offense of his.

  18. danpedrazabronxlsw - Feb 16, 2014 at 5:59 AM

    When i see stories like this its pathetic. Lou Gherig is a legendary figue for all baseball fans Clemente also was legendary The circumstances behind their quick vote is the stuff of legends. Lou Gherigs disease and in the case of Clemente, he dies after collecting hit 3000 and was killed on a cargo plane headed to Nicaragua delivering releif supplies. Only reason he was on that plane is because he heard releif supplies were being stolen and not reaching the people. As much as Jeter and Mariano have accomplished it pales in comparison to the Humanity of Gherig and Clemente.

  19. retief1954 - Feb 16, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    Nonsense. NYY can live by the same rules as everyone else.

  20. extavernmouse - Feb 19, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    Heck, isn’t there still time to get him in this year? The first active player in the HOF?

  21. mpzz - Feb 20, 2014 at 9:54 PM

    I’m a lot more worried that we’ll have to go through another MLB-wide circle jerk in every ballpark the Yankees play in this season as every team tries to outdo all the others in showering gifts and adulation on Jeter.

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