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DON MATTINGLY: NO
Nobody enjoyed the cheesy 'stache and Bird-esque Indiana roots more than me, and nobody sympathizes with someone suffering from a bad back more than me ... but I can't imagine how Donnie Baseball makes it, not when his career tailed off in the late-'80s faster than Anthony Michael Hall and Andrew McCarthy combined. He's not even remotely close, and that's before we even mention the obvious Ewing Theory ramifications here -- the Yanks promptly rolled off four championships after he retired, then gave us The Greatest Choke In Sports History during his first season back as hitting coach.
(Of course, every Yankees fan believes that Mattingly was a Level 4 Hall of Famer. You haven't really lived until you argued about the Hit Man's Hall of Fame credentials at a bar with a bunch of Yankees fans. It's like arguing about the existence of dinosaurs with Carl Everett -- relevant facts, statistics and evidence simply don't matter. I'm afraid to even make fun of them about this; I never had a car bomb put under my car, and I'd kind of like to keep it that way.)
ocmusicjunkie wrote:Puckett is in with his numbers because of the rings and the way he contributed to winning them, and also because his career was shortened due to medical reasons. There is no question he would have played longer and put up better numbers otherwise, and the voters know this.
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