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The Yankees found a plaque’s worth of accomplishments for Tino Martinez

Jun 21, 2014, 1:38 PM EST

While Tino Martinez was a fine major leaguer for most of his 16 years, he’s also now easily the weakest performer to receive a plaque in Yankee Stadium’s Monument Park. The former first baseman was given his day today as the first of four additions to the Park this year, joining Joe Torre, Goose Gossage and Paul O’Neill. Gossage’s day will come tomorrow. Bernie Williams is expected to be added next year.

Tino’s plaque focuses more on two singular events than his career numbers in seven seasons with the Yankees and leaves out the other nine years altogether, though that’s typical for the Yankee plaques.

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Martinez drove in 100 runs in five of his seven seasons with the Yankees, but it was the late 90’s… everyone drove in 100 runs. In 1999, he was one of four Yankees to do so. His only season in the top 10 in the AL in OPS was 1997, when he finished second in the MVP balloting on the strength of his 141 RBI on a first-place team. But he never finished in the top 10 in WAR, he never won a Gold Glove (or deserved to) for all of his “superlative defense” and he was just a lifetime .233/.321/.351 hitter in 99 postseason games.

So, yeah, fine player. And the Yankees are free to do what they want with their park. It just doesn’t seem quite right that Martinez is in and Willie Randolph and Graig Nettles aren’t, not to mention some of the deceased Hall of Famers also not included.

 

  1. johnnysoda - Jun 21, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    I can’t believe Tino got in before Bernie.

    • miguelcairo - Jun 22, 2014 at 2:13 AM

      Maybe it has something to do with Williams still not having officially “retired.”

  2. bigharold - Jun 21, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    “And the Yankees are free to do what they want with their park.”

    Yeah, so give it a rest already.

    Martinez replaced Mattingly, not an easy task, and did it with class. He played great defense and had huge hits for the Yankees. He was an integral part of four championship teams including the 1998 that is arguably the best team ever.

    There is no concrete criteria for the way the Yankees induct player into monument park. The whole monument park thing is a Yankee thing for Yankee fans. So it really doesn’t matter what non-Yankee fans think. I expect a RS or Jays fan to snicker at it but it’s a bit unseemly and useless for HBT to offer up an opinion. But hey, feel free your entitled to your opinion no matter how wrong you are.

    • clydeserra - Jun 21, 2014 at 2:43 PM

      unseemly?

      Has no one explained to you how blogging works?

      • bigharold - Jun 21, 2014 at 4:09 PM

        Yes, but I don’t expect t that from the people running it.

      • psunick - Jun 21, 2014 at 6:35 PM

        Actually, nobody ever has. How does blogging work?

    • tfbuckfutter - Jun 21, 2014 at 3:01 PM

      I was wondering how long it would take for someone to cite “class” as a contributing factor.

      Thank you for not making me ponder it too long.

      • bigharold - Jun 21, 2014 at 4:12 PM

        Well thinking has shown to challenge you so I didn’t want you to overload.

    • tfbuckfutter - Jun 21, 2014 at 3:15 PM

      Here’s a mock-up of their next monument.

  3. luz56 - Jun 21, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    I watched him play in Calgary with the Canons along with Edgar Martinez and ARod … Pretty good triple A teams

    • mikhelb - Jun 22, 2014 at 4:49 AM

      Liar:

      ARod was 14 years old when Edgar played in Calgary, Tino and Edgar never played together in Calgary. The three of them never played together in Calgary. Alex played 5 years after Edgar had played in Calgary, Tino a year after Edgar last played there in 1989.

  4. banksatdixie - Jun 21, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    Pouliot must be an unhappy individual.

  5. yahmule - Jun 21, 2014 at 2:42 PM

    To paraphrase Yogi Berra, “I want to thank everybody who made this day unnecessary.”

    • ezthinking - Jun 21, 2014 at 10:37 PM

      To directly quote Yogi, “I never said most of the things I said.”

  6. Al - Jun 21, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    Wow it’s as if everyone’s forgotten he was the 1997 Home Run Derby champ!

    • yahmule - Jun 21, 2014 at 2:49 PM

      Is it too late to commission a statue?

  7. yahmule - Jun 21, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    I hope they finished the ceremony before another torrent of Vidal Nuno’s rocket launched offerings assailed the area.

    15 homers allowed in 65 IP, which seems a bit excessive.

    • djpostl - Jun 21, 2014 at 6:05 PM

      13 in 37 IP at the Stadium yet somehow Cashman and Clueless Joe think he’s a viable option in the rotation lol.

      • 4cornersfan - Jun 22, 2014 at 11:24 AM

        After losing most of the rotation to injury he surfaced as the only option, unfortunately. If there was anybody at all ready in the minors he wouldn’t be in there. The starters at AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre have a combined ERA of about 5.00, so no help there.

    • mikhelb - Jun 22, 2014 at 4:51 AM

      He’s doing his best to impersonate Marco Estrada :/

      Vidal plainly sucks in the Stadium, lots of comfortable waist high fastballs at 90-92 mph.

  8. sportsfan18 - Jun 21, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    Fine player who had several good moments…

    Not even close to deserving of a monument…

    Guess the bigs are becoming like little league where everyone gets a ribbon or a trophy…

    • mybrunoblog - Jun 21, 2014 at 4:41 PM

      “Not even close to deserving of a monument”
      Yes thats right that’s why he was given a plaque not a monument. Only 6 monuments honoring Yankees players, a manager and an owner (the seventh is the 9/11 monument) in the park.
      If you took time to read any story about today’s event or did some research before you post perhaps next time you won’t look so uninformed.
      Congrats Tino and thanks for the memories.

      • ezthinking - Jun 21, 2014 at 10:40 PM

        “If you took time to read any story about today’s event or did some research before you post perhaps next time you won’t look so uninformed.”

        Maybe Matt will do the same. I guess he’s still looking for the Twins’ monument park. It’s probably under the Metrodome.

      • 4cornersfan - Jun 22, 2014 at 11:39 AM

        Exactly! That was my first thought when I read the article. Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, manager Miller Huggins, and owner George Steinbrenner have monuments, the rest are plaques. Their monuments were all erected posthumously. You don’t necessarily have to be a baseball player to receive a plaque. There are plaques for Mel Allen and stadium announcer Bob Sheppard.

  9. tjrover - Jun 21, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    This article is such a joke I’m not sure where to start. First off, the Yankees were a second place team in 1997, at least do some fact checking. Anyone who says Tino never deserved a GG never saw him play. How about that one year Tino got robbed of the GG losing to Palmeiro who had more games at DH that year, now that was a joke.

    • dan1111 - Jun 21, 2014 at 4:25 PM

      Yep, Palmeiro won the 1999 gold glove despite starting 128 games at DH. And yet, people still think gold gloves are a legitimate thing.

      At least one measure–total zone runs–does rate Martinez as an elite defensive 1B, though dWAR thinks he was pedestrian.

    • clydeserra - Jun 21, 2014 at 5:16 PM

      I saw him play.

      He didn’t deserve a gold glove.

      But then, neither did Jeter, so you have a point.

  10. tjrover - Jun 21, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    Also love the WAR argument that always shows what kind of nitwit writer you’re dealing with. Now he just needs to throw out some BS about UZR. There’s plenty of legit counter points to putting Tino in monument park, this writer makes none of them however.

    • tfbuckfutter - Jun 21, 2014 at 3:08 PM

      Umm….

      Were you going to make any of them?

      • tjrover - Jun 21, 2014 at 3:22 PM

        Not my job. I didn’t write the uninformed blog post with glaring factual errors.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jun 21, 2014 at 3:24 PM

        I’m going to guess that whatever IS your job….you probably are terrible at.

      • tjrover - Jun 21, 2014 at 3:33 PM

        Have fun at the unemployment line on Monday with all the other white trash lmao

      • tfbuckfutter - Jun 21, 2014 at 3:35 PM

        Is that your job?

        Laughing at your own dumb jokes?

      • tjrover - Jun 21, 2014 at 3:40 PM

        Nope but trolling blogs from your mom’s basement is obviously yours

      • historiophiliac - Jun 21, 2014 at 10:56 PM

        He got you there, honkey.

    • tedwest - Jun 21, 2014 at 3:18 PM

      Would that be the lunch or rental car variety of points?

  11. Caught Looking - Jun 21, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    They’re going to have to move in the fences to create more room for all these monuments.

    • yahmule - Jun 21, 2014 at 3:29 PM

      I’m tired of these lame excuses to avoid honoring Scott Brosius.

  12. sabresfanallday - Jun 21, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    Pouliot must be a soxs fan. Goof

    • mikhelb - Jun 22, 2014 at 5:00 AM

      Isn’t he a Royals fan? Which is the biggest rivalry the Yankees have had since the Royals appeared in the major leagues, even bigger than the redsox, because with Boston the rivalry didn’t exist for many years until the late 90s (98-99) and early 2000’s when ESPN needed an excuse to promote their yanks-bosox telecasts.

      Royals fans, on the other hand, hate with all their selfs the Yankees since those hate fueled playoff encounters. Chambliss anyone?

  13. earpaniac - Jun 21, 2014 at 3:51 PM

    I’m not a Yankee fan, but I’m kinda shocked that Willie Randolph isn’t in there.

  14. Jeremy T - Jun 21, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    By what he did on the field, Tino is out of place in monument park, but for whatever reason he’s been a huge fan favorite in NY for years.

  15. whatacrocker - Jun 21, 2014 at 4:47 PM

    As I said yesterday, the Yankees have become a joke of a franchise. I’m an Angels fan, and 6 years of above-average-but-not-elite production wouldn’t be enough to get a monument at OUR stadium. It sure as heck shouldn’t be good enough for a team whose history includes Ruth. Gehrig, and Mantle.

    It’s also an an embarrassment, by the way, that they keep trotting Derek Jeter out there. Captain or not, if you’re not good enough to play, you shouldn’t play.

    • mybrunoblog - Jun 21, 2014 at 5:03 PM

      Quick. Call your doctor and get back on your meds. You’re delusional dude.

    • dan1111 - Jun 21, 2014 at 5:49 PM

      Jeter may not be setting the world on fire, but he is holding down the shortstop position just fine. He is playing better than any of his replacements could be expected to.

      Honoring Martinez with a plaque is a questionable choice, “a joke of a franchise”? Really? You are seriously overrating the importance of the plaque-assigning part of a baseball team’s management. Plaques are actually even less significant than RBIs and pitcher wins, believe it or not.

    • djpostl - Jun 21, 2014 at 6:02 PM

      Bold words coming from the franchise that gave Gary Mathews Jr. a huge deal, traded for Vernon Wells when he had zero production and a huge price tag, then followed it up with crappy long-term deals for Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols (heavily back-loaded no less lol).

      Oh yeah… we have Francis Albert Sinatra while you have what seems like a mentally challenged simean.

      As for this season, the franchise that is a “joke” to you is 4-2 vs your team and the “old, washed up embarrassment” of a SS is neck and neck in AVG, OBP, RF/9/ RF/G and dWAR with your starter.

      D’oh!

      • mikhelb - Jun 22, 2014 at 5:02 AM

        ANd is still paying Vernon Wells $12 millions this year for doing… nothing!!

    • mikhelb - Jun 22, 2014 at 5:08 AM

      “6 years of above-average-but-not-elite production wouldn’t be enough to get a monument at OUR stadium.”

      But there are no monuments in your park, the Angels only have a big assed A and a big synthetic rock in CF. I wonder if it was so hard to find a big rock and they chose to build one for 100x the cost of transporting a basaltic or granite rock…. from which there are A LOT here in California.

  16. Trevor_P - Jun 21, 2014 at 5:12 PM

    I think we’re all missing why this plaque is worthwhile: because “Constantino” is, objectively speaking, an awesome name.

  17. 1998yanks - Jun 21, 2014 at 5:43 PM

    Whatacroker, as a Yankee fan who was born and raised 20 minutes from Angel Stadium, I have been to countless games. Every time the Yankees come in to town, ticket prices rise and it a sell out. Every seat. There are almost more Yankee fans, so I know that is why you are whining about them. If your team actually won more than 1 World Series, maybe there would be a monument park in the outfield instead of a big rock. Just saying.

  18. djpostl - Jun 21, 2014 at 5:49 PM

    A. it’s their park so they can do what they want
    B. Lol, you used Gold Glove’s as a measurement for one’s defense
    and C. you point to Randolph (had an even lower slash line than Tino in the post-season and didn’t have multiple late inning WS heroics via the HR) and Nettles (one great post-season series and about 8 crappy Mendoza-line ones) as if they stood out even more than Tino did… but they didn’t.

    I’d personally have loved to have seen Bernie get a plaque before Tino but as a lifelong Yankees fan I have zero issue with this. And I’m the target audience.

  19. bigdaddystyle - Jun 21, 2014 at 5:59 PM

    Monument park was ruined when they put in that monstrosity for George.

    • mikhelb - Jun 22, 2014 at 5:04 AM

      Not at all, he is the main reason the Yankees had a ressurgence in the mid 1970s until the early to mid 1990’s. His way of conducting and managing the baseball business is what inspired many to copy his style.

      • bigjimatch - Jun 23, 2014 at 5:33 PM

        The fact that Steinbrenner was suspended and couldn’t trade away Jeter, Bernie, Mo, Andy, Petite and Posada for aging and expensive superstars was the reason they won in the 90s. Notice how the Yankees built their 90s dynasty in a very unSteinbrenner like fashion – homegrown players and effective, but not flashy players.

        And I don’t know what your description of resurgence is, but that is not how I would describe the 80s Yankees.

        Also, many current fans may not know this, but the Yankee franchise existed (and was pretty good) before Steinbrenner owned the team.

  20. go4two - Jun 21, 2014 at 6:15 PM

    Can’t believe Joe has a Plaque !!

  21. wpjohnson - Jun 21, 2014 at 6:29 PM

    This is ridiculous. Monument park has lost all credibility.

  22. miguelcairo - Jun 22, 2014 at 2:19 AM

    Why can’t the Yankees put in whoever they want? Because the internet peoples disagree? Ah.

  23. nbjays - Jun 22, 2014 at 7:12 AM

    If hitting big postseason home runs is the defining criterion for a plaque, I can hardly wait for the ceremonies for Aaron Boone and Bucky Effing Dent.

  24. bigjimatch - Jun 22, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    since they built the new park, “Monument Park” has become nothing more than a marketing ploy aimed at 30 – 40 year old Yankee fans who think the franchise started in 1998 (the same year they likely became Yankee fans).

    Next up, Raul Mondesi.

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