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January 25, 2024 58 mins

The Book of Joe Podcast with hosts Tom Verducci and Joe Maddon begins with the story of amateur golfer Nick Dunlap, who won a PGA Tour event at the age of 20.  Joe compares Dunlap's story to the young players coming into baseball and being expected to perform.  Onto the Hall of Fame and the Class of Beltre, Mauer, and Helton.  Tom talks about his process of voting and how he evaluates a player for the HOF.  We find out what Joe and Tom believe made each player worthy of being enshrined. 

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Speaker 1 (00:04):
The Book of Joe Podcast is a production of iHeartRadio.

Speaker 2 (00:14):
Hey Daron, Welcome.

Speaker 1 (00:15):
Back to the latest episode of the Book of Joe
Podcast with me, Tom Verducci and Joe Madden. And Joe,
this is going to be our Hall of Fame edition
of the Book of Joe Podcast. A lot to dive into,
but before we get there, you and I are both
fans of playing and watching golf, and I just wanted

(00:36):
to touch on the incredible achievement of a young man
named Nick Dunlap who won on the PGA Tour the
American Express event last week. He's a twenty year old
sophomore and amateur at the University of Alabama. He's the
first amateur to win a PGA Tour event in thirty
three years. Phil Mickelson was the last to do it.

(01:00):
And Joe, I want to get your take on this
because you have seen young men get to the major
leagues like a Hobby Baiez, who just have that it factor,
who look like they belong, like there's no break in period,
there's no awe. I'm watching this kid going up to
the eighteenth hole and he's playing with Sam Burns and
Justin Thomas two guys who have won on the PGA Tour,

(01:21):
who are veterans of the PGA Tour, and he owned
the place.

Speaker 2 (01:27):
I mean, I was just incredible.

Speaker 1 (01:28):
So for you, Joe, when you see guys at a
precocious age, you know, hold their own without experience, what
is it that allows people like that to succeed without experience?

Speaker 3 (01:43):
Well, obviously self confidence, So where's that derived from? And
the fact that you know, I think naturally when you're
at that age, you do come with blinders attached. I mean,
you're not seeing the whole picture. You don't process everything,
which is a good thing. So there's a point where
you think maybe the youth should be a detriment, but
by the same time, it could be something positive. But

(02:04):
that's I think it's rare. I mean, but I still
think that that's a possibility, and I think that's part
of what you're seeing. My best example I can give
you of all that you talked about, Hobby whatever, But
nineteen eighty five, maybe eighty fortty five, Wally Joiner Wallace
Keith actually was a scout that drafted Wally into the
Angel organization. So we were pretty closely still are, and

(02:24):
I remember in spring training the one he walked up
to me. We're taking VP down at the cages and
he said, I'm going to take I'm going to take
Caru's spot dish. I'm going to sub plant Rodney. I'm
going to be the first basement. I said, no, you're not.
But I said, you know what, it's great that you
believe that, and that's wonderful and yes you will eventually,
but not yet. So there's that really taught me a lesson. There,

(02:46):
he who had, you know, Wally Byu out of Maria
to Georgia, a nice player, went down to the third round.
People were often because they thought his power was low
below but his glove and everything else were good. But
what they did measure with Wallace Keith was the self
confidence level is like, I didn't know it was that great.

(03:06):
Actually as a signing scut either, I can't admit to that.
But that was the big thing that propelled him. He's good,
He was really good. But man, he had this inner
thing about him that he was able to keep the
blinders on. He thought he was the best. He went
and played like he was the best, and he believed that.
He bill long there. That's the level three we talk
about five levels of being a professional. Level one happy

(03:26):
to be here at level two survival, I like to
I want to stay here, and you want to get
the guy to level three. I belonger. I can do
this as quickly as possible. When a guy like Dunlap
just jumps right into level three, Wallace Keith jumped right
into level three, there's guys that are like that, and
there's this strong sense of belief in themselves, and it's

(03:48):
just normally needs to be nurtured. And when it already
comes kind of like equipped with it, that he already
got that bells and that bell and whistle already attached
to him, that's pretty solid. So that's how I see
it's not normal. But then again I could see it
and my god, I mean, what he did is ridiculous.
I'm just I think there's going to be a resurgence

(04:09):
in Dunlap golf equipment after that.

Speaker 2 (04:13):
That's a name from the past.

Speaker 1 (04:16):
I'm glad you brought up sort of nurtured because for
the most part, I think with a lot of these guys,
it is nature, it's innate, and a lot of these
people who just are wired that way. But I believe
Joe that what we're saying with Nick Dunlap and what
we're seeing with some major league players now because there
were more players twenty three and under last year who
had twenty three home runs and ever before in the

(04:37):
history game. I do think the sort of nurture part
of it now is greater. In other words, and sort
of amateur baseball, social media, whatever you want to call it.
People now are playing under microscopes and under a lot
more attention as they come up through the ranks than
they did when you were on the mean streets of Hazelton, PA. Right,

(04:57):
you get exposed to a lot more, and I think
the idea of experience in the major leagues, well, it's wonderful.
I think the lack of it now is overrated when
it comes to a player's ability to get his feet
on the ground and to belong to the major leagues.
I just think the preparation to get there now exposes
these players to so much in terms of a high competition,

(05:19):
bright lights, three deck, stadium, critical media, you name it, expectations.
They're not babes in the woods anymore when they get
the big leagues of twenty twenty one.

Speaker 2 (05:30):
What's your take on that?

Speaker 3 (05:31):
Yeah. I mean I've listened to interviews sometimes. Are these
really young guys doing interviews that's exactly what you're talking about,
And I say to myself, damn, I could have I
would never have been able to express myself as well
as that kid did at twenty two, twenty three, twenty four.
I think it is a product of the way media
is handled today, in social media in particular, where these
guys are constantly exposed to like being interviewed at earlier ages,

(05:56):
or they're constantly in front of the camera on a
cell phone even and they're performing in front of the
cell phone comfortably, they get to this particular level of
you know, actually it's a real camera, a real interviewer,
a real major league situation. It's not as daunting or
as intimidating as it once had been. I mean, growing
up with us, we didn't see the games all the time,

(06:18):
we didn't get the ballparks all the time. We didn't
know what a big league player look like all the
time except for occasionally maybe once a week on TV.
So there was more of a being in awe of
these people like they were otherworldly, they were superhuman. They
did not put their pants on one leg at a time,
we thought all that stuff. So when you came in
contact with them, my god was it was as larger

(06:41):
than life, way larger than life. I don't think that
happens anymore, based on the way media is presented today
and how ubiquitous it is, and how these kids can
get out there and actually rehearse in a way that
we never rehearsed in the past. From my perspective where
I grew up with my parents and my mom, especially
if you thought I was getting a little bit too

(07:01):
you know, big for my breches, you get put down
pretty quickly. And I'm not saying that I was necessarily,
but it was just a perception, and I don't think
that's the truth of the case anymore. The way, you know,
parents and travel teams and the way they're spending all
this money on their kids have promote them either to
be a professional player or at least get them in
a college. I mean, my god, my dad could never

(07:23):
have afforded that method for me back in the day,
to expose me to where it's higher level of ball,
travel teams, whatever you want to call. So they're just
they're being bred in a different way. Good batter indifferent.
I don't know, but I'm just saying I think all
of this preps them to be able to deal with
this as well as they're dealing with it at an

(07:44):
early age today.

Speaker 1 (07:45):
And that brings us to the Hall of Fame voting
results that were announced this week and the path to
Cooperstown for the three people who did exceed the seventy
five percent threshold for induction to the Hall of Fame,
Adrian Beltray, Todd Hilton, Joe Mauer. I think about Adrian Beltray. Obviously,
he signed out of the Dominican Republic. His father was

(08:06):
a baseball player. He knew at an early age he
was going to be a baseball player. His one and
only love was baseball. Dedicated himself to that, and he
said he knew by the time he was about thirteen
years old he was going to make a living playing baseball.
And then there's Todd Helton and Joe Mauer, kind of
the old school Joe and that. You know, they were
three sport athletes. Joe Mauer was the number one rated

(08:27):
high school quarterback in Minnesota across the country, had a
scholarship offer to play for Bobby Bowden at Florida State,
was an All Metro point guard for the basketball team.
Of course, he was just All World as a catcher
for his high school team, and Todd Helton wound up
playing both sports at.

Speaker 2 (08:43):
The University of Tennessee.

Speaker 1 (08:44):
In fact, started a quarterback ahead of Peyton Manning, although
as Todd Helton said himself, there were days during football
practice where he'd leave early and go hit in the cage.
He knew his future was in baseball and not in football.
But one of those. Two of those guys have backgrounds
that we don't see a lot of the multi sport athlete.
First of all, Joe, your quick take in the class
of twenty twenty four, Adrian Beltray, Todd Hilton, Joe Mauer.

Speaker 3 (09:08):
Oh deserving, obviously. I mean bel Tray beat us up
when he was with Texas with the Rays, he had
that three home run game and one of the playoff
games down at the trop His His career was kind
of unique in the sense that he got off to
kind of a really good start, then he kind of
like faded and you didn't know what was going to
happen with him, and then eventually he reappeared in blossomed
and became a force defensively as good as it gets.

(09:33):
He was so good and accurate with that strong arm,
with that that throw and stroke that he would kind
of demonstrate to show off offensively, hit the ball from
the right center field gap to the left center field
gap extremely well. Play with a lot of pinache and enthusiasm.
So yeah, that that's an easy makes sense to me.
Joe Mauer. I mean, I've read some different things Joe Mauer.

(09:56):
When he was at the top of his game, I
thought this guy was going to be like one of
the maybe the best catcher ever if he was able
to continue to play not get it hurt. He threw
really well at a great release, very accurate. It could
not really run against him. Had to be careful, a
very good behind the plate, blocking the ball everything in
his bat. I mean, the dude was such a tough

(10:17):
out lining the line kind of a hitter. He did
not want to see him in a big moment because
the ball was going to be moved and it was
going to be good at bat given. So I've always
been a big fan, but I don't even know that
he gets talked about enough as a catcher because it
was that good and Helton. I saw a little bit,
not a lot. But when I you know this guy,
I mean everybody's talking about, you know, hitting in Denver

(10:37):
as a post anywhere else. The guy could just hit.
I don't care where he would hit. He would hit.
He had a great approach at the plate. He's just
one of those quiet, kind of a baseball assassin kind
of dudes. It's like, very focused and directed and didn't
make mistakes. Probably the training of his quarterback days also
at Tennessee. But all three, yeah, three of the three

(11:00):
of those guys easily the best of the generation of
players that they grew up with. As an opponent, man,
you did not want to see any one of them
in a crucial moment because they're just they're just going
to put out a good at bat. And for me,
like I said, Mauer took away the running game. We
with the Rays, we could run and you had to
be very careful. You really had to work to get

(11:22):
a picture that was slow to play because this guy
was that good with his arm.

Speaker 1 (11:25):
Well let's dive into them and start with Adrian Beltray.
He got ninety five percent of the vote. You know, listen,
it doesn't matter what percentage you get as long as
you get in. I get that, And I don't like
making a big deal out of you know, who didn't
vote for somebody. I don't know why you would not
vote for Adrian Beltray. I mean more than three thousand hits,
more than four hundred and seventy five home runs, more

(11:47):
than four goal gloves. He and Willie Mays are the
only two players in baseball history to hit those three thresholds.

Speaker 2 (11:54):
So what does that mean. It doesn't mean he's Willy Mays.

Speaker 1 (11:57):
It just means he was really good at many sides
of the game for a very long time.

Speaker 2 (12:03):
That's a hall of fame.

Speaker 1 (12:05):
And Joe, I want to get your take on this,
because when I watch guys play, I love to watch
great players, you know. And he did some things and
you alluded to this that others didn't the way that
he would had such a strong throwing arm. He could
throw flat footed and just zip the ball across the
dim and making it look easy. I thought the bare
hand play coming in from third base he made as
well as anybody. He did that very athletically, where he

(12:27):
would fall and throw sidearm and just throw a bullet
over the first base and of course that I call
it the wedding proposal. Where he would drop on one
knee to take a breaking ball.

Speaker 2 (12:37):
It's his way of buying some time to keep his
hands back.

Speaker 1 (12:40):
Just sink into your legs like a lot of guys do,
but he would sink all the way to the ground.
His black knee would hit the ground, keep his hands
back and take a ball out of the ballpark to
sit on those slow breaking balls.

Speaker 2 (12:49):
Just amazing to watch this guy play.

Speaker 1 (12:51):
But when I think about Beltray, I think of the
joy he had playing the game.

Speaker 2 (12:54):
This dude had fun playing the game.

Speaker 1 (12:56):
We all know how hard this game is and it
is a grind, and he brought such a joy that
you could see that fans could share his joy for
the game. And you see that the way he posted
all the time, this guy wanted to play. You look
at his games played year after year after year, kept
his body in good shape. You know, his defense was
still good towards the end of his career. So when

(13:17):
I see a guy having fun playing a very difficult game, man,
that just resonates with me. And I think a lot
of fans really tapped into that joy.

Speaker 3 (13:25):
Agreed, And part of that is too. I've always felt
really great players do certain things indigenous to them. If
you talk about the play where he came in and
threw kind of falling away, that really just activated his wrist.
That's a drill I used to do with catchers and
only had them throw over the top. But his coming
in and then kind of like falling back was just

(13:47):
an activated his risk to the point where you saw
those wonderful, accurate throws to first base unique to him,
the genuineflection. Reggie Jackson would do that on occasion too,
but to intention do that as often as he did
again something unique to him. Stan Musual peekaboo stance as

(14:10):
an example, Ted Williams the way he hit his hands
behind him a little bit, Julio Franco with his hands
way above his head and brought him on. Daniel Streemsky,
a lot of great Bob Boone the way he sat.
A lot of really good players had a physical attribute
or a method of doing things that it'd be almost
impossible to teach to a young kid to do. They
did it themselves, which is speaks to their natural body

(14:32):
movements and their athleticism. And that's what he was all about.
And he did play with a lot of joy, Andras
and him would really play off one another between third
and shortstop, and I did. I've always appreciated that with him.
I'd always like joke with him a little bit from
the from the dugout he had, he had a ball,
he had a blast when he played. I'd like to
see more of that. This pure it's a joy, but

(14:56):
it's a respectful joy. The other side could actually enjoy
watching it too, because he is so good. He played
the game hard and with three he always ran hard too. Man,
It's just that I don't want to say the game
came easily to him, but the game came more easily
to him than most people.

Speaker 1 (15:12):
We're going to get into Todd Hilton and Joe Mauer,
and there's a fourth Hall of Famer that we need
to talk about also will be inducted this summer. We
back with those thoughts right after this Welcome back to

(15:35):
the Book of Joe podcast. We're talking Hall of Fame
and Todd Helton will be in the class of twenty
twenty four and Joe I will admit his first year
of the ballot, I did not vote for him, as
did a lot of people apparently because he got less
than twenty percent of the vote first time on the ballot.
I really had a problem with his home road splits.
Playing in Colorado, of course, is a great place to hit,

(15:55):
and it was really really extreme when I looked at
his home road splits. But you know, I reconsidered it.
You know, when I looked at his career numbers. You know,
the career batting average well over three hundred ops, well
over nine hundred.

Speaker 2 (16:09):
He played a long time.

Speaker 1 (16:10):
He was sort of one of these repeaters, so we
can count on each year to get close to thirty
homers on hundred RBIs, if not more. And what really
suayed me Joe's I looked at something called adjusted ops,
So that's your on base plus slugging that's adjusted for
your ballpark and the era that you're playing in, the
offensive environment that you're playing in. And his was one

(16:31):
thirty three for his career. That's really high. One hundred
is level even that's your average player, So he's about
thirty three percent better than the average player.

Speaker 2 (16:40):
And when I looked at it, for guys.

Speaker 1 (16:41):
Who've got nine thousand played appearances, it's a long time
to be playing in the big leagues to have an
ops plus that high. He the highest ops plus of
anybody not in the Hall of Fame, not connected to peds.
And I said to myself, I'm trying to I'm really
overthinking this. This guy's a Hall of Famer measured against

(17:02):
a stat that does take into a count the Coors
Field effect.

Speaker 2 (17:06):
So I've been checking his box.

Speaker 1 (17:07):
I'm glad to see him get in career long, Rocky,
I think Larry Walker's induction helped pave the way for
Todd Hilton to get in as we start to understand
more about park ballpark effects, especially in Denver. But the
other thing that strikes me about Todd Hilton when you
get away from the numbers, Joe, is something I know,
you know the scouts called barrel awareness.

Speaker 2 (17:30):
You know he's got.

Speaker 1 (17:31):
He had a way of almost taking the ball out
of the catcher's gloves sometimes, but also digging the ball
out that was down in the zone and lifting it
out of the ballpark. I mean, he was able to
take pitches in so many different areas and do so
many different things with them. A great two strike hitter. Joe,
give me your take on what barrel awareness means to

(17:52):
you when it comes to a hitter like Todd Hilton.

Speaker 3 (17:54):
Well, let me see if I could start with my
time in Midland, Texas, because Midland, Texas plays a lot
like Denver plays. When you're at home in Midland, you
have going kind of swing, one kind of a mental attitude.
And then say you go to let's just say San Antonio,
or you go to Little Rock, Arkansas, or Jackson, Mississippi,

(18:16):
where it's a total different reaction of the ball off
the bat and just the weather environment, etc. So we
play at home, and I think naturally the hitters were
more assertive, aggressive, confident, and there was more obvious lift
in our swings. We go on the road, they take
that same approach, and we stunk in Jackson or Little
Rock whatever, because first of all, mentally it was different,

(18:37):
and second of all physically it was too. So I
finally wised up. And what I did was, like a
couple three or four days before we went on the
road to one of those cities, batting practices all line
drive and hard ground ball VP. That's what in Midland
before we went on the road to these other places.
I think what I'm trying to say here is that
I would bet that he made some adjustments as he

(18:58):
because he's pretty smart, as he figured this out playing
in Denver. Then all of a sudden, I go on
the road. That's good, what's going on, what's different here,
and probably made some adjustments that permitted him to be
a little bit more successful on the road. Because man,
when you play in those ballparks hell I played in Boulder,
I was actually a power hittering Boulder that one summer
I played there in seventy five. It's so different. The

(19:19):
ball flies, there's no question it does. But more than anything,
that's what you're thinking and how you feel. You feel
pretty darn good. And then barrel awareness. You know, that's
the thing where today's game is played in a way
that that's not as important or seems to not be
as important, because when you're just talking about the three
true outcomes, barrel awareness is not part of that. With that.

(19:40):
In today's game, it's just about, you know, trying to
find a pitch that you kind of like and just
go ahead, let it go, let's swing it. We're going
for the walls, we're going for the fences. If we
strike out, it's okay. I just want you to have
like your strikes on an order so that you will
accept the walk if it presents itself. A real kind
of a barrel awareness to me, is a guy that's
making adjustments constantly. He knows where the barrel is, and

(20:01):
he knows he knows how to utilize his hands where
he keeps the barrel above his hands as he breaks
the ball to the bat, even on a low pitches,
he's going to keep the barrel above until he gets done,
and then there's going to come that where he's going
to want to try to lift the baseball. So I
think it's a product of the time that he played it.
I think there was a lot more, many more guys
that had more barrel awareness then there are. Of course,

(20:22):
there are guys like that now. I think as we
move this further along and if strikeouts become less acceptable
than they were maybe two or three five years ago,
you see more guys that you can say have great
barrel awareness, choking up, looking away, moving the ball to
the opposite field, really literally letting him trying to take
the ball out of the catcher's mid The farther the
balls away from your body, the deeper you let it

(20:43):
get in order to make contact. The closer the balls
to your body, the longer the swing is because you've
got to catch the ball farther out front. This is
the kind of things that hitters practice that really are
into awareness with with where the barrel is. And when
you get guys like that, and it's fun. I don't
like bow balls with less than two strikes on pitches
that you like, but I've always said bow balls with

(21:03):
two strikes are a good thing because you're frustrating a
pitcher a lot of times on the pitch that he makes.
That's a good pitch, and if you have a good barrel, awarness,
if you can just flick that thing. Orlando pal merrill outstanding,
taking a pitcher's two strike pitch, moving it, getting it
over our dugout and all of a sudden guess to
the next pitch and does something. Well, this is the
kind of thinking that these guys go through, and that's

(21:24):
why he was such a great hitter. I'm I don't
know for sure if he thought in those ways, but
I bet some of that was part of his thought process.
And I love hitters like that. They cause the other
team pitcher to throw more pitches. Your guys see more
stuff confidence comes back to your side, and that's where
you move the conga line from one through nine and
you play team offense and that's a lot of fun.

Speaker 2 (21:46):
Yeah, that reminds me of today's game of Freddy Freeman.
Freddy is the king.

Speaker 1 (21:51):
Of foul balls in today's game, and that really is
part of what makes him so good. And just to
double up on your take on Corsfield, you're dead on
on that it is a great place to hit, and
not so much because the ball travels far. It's because
the outfield is way too big. I mean, you just
dive balls into the outfield. There's just too much grass

(22:11):
to defend out there, that's right. I don't like watching
games there for that reason. Nobody gets thrown out at
home plate on a single. Everybody goes from first to third.
I remember Jim Leland saying, you know, they built a
park all wrong. They should have built another version of
Fenway Park, built really high walls because there's too much
ground to defend. And I remember Don Zimmer saying advice

(22:32):
to managers when they go to manage there, don't start
managing until like the fifth or sixth innings, right, because
somebody's going to give up a crooked number early in
the game. But you can't go into your bullpen that
early every single day if you're even as a visiting
team with a three game series.

Speaker 2 (22:46):
So weird place to play.

Speaker 1 (22:48):
But your point about the constant adjustment is dead on,
and I've talked to guys about this. You know, as
a hitter, you see obviously the ball's not breaking as
much in Denver, so when you go on the road now,
the same breaking balls are spinning more.

Speaker 2 (23:03):
You have to recalibrate where your radar.

Speaker 1 (23:07):
System is detecting where that ball is ending up in
the hitting zone. And think about going through that back
and forth every other week in the course of a
season over six months.

Speaker 2 (23:16):
That's tough.

Speaker 1 (23:18):
Final thought on that, I remember Tom Glavin telling me
that he was more sore after pitching a game at
Corsfield than anywhere else because he felt like he had
to strain so hard to finish his pitches.

Speaker 2 (23:31):
There.

Speaker 1 (23:31):
It's hard to grip the baseball, hard to get it
to move the way he wanted to move. So that
extra effort on every pitch is physically taxing, to say
nothing of you your mile high and the oxygen depletion
does have an effect when you're playing there, So kudos
to Todd Hilton. Great place to hit, Yes, but there

(23:52):
are some downsides as well.

Speaker 3 (23:53):
Yeah, all of that. And it's funny you should mention
that anytime you throw a baseball or a football whatever,
you're going to throw the ball the best when you
feel like you're not doing anything at all but you're
still getting it's almost like, you know, hitting a golf ball, Well,
it's just a nice, easy, rhythmic tempo swing and golf
it's the same thing with an armstroke in baseball or

(24:13):
in football. You get this tempo about the way you're
throwing the ball and everything just happens at the right time,
and the risk releases and the ball snapsids you filed
off your fingertips as you're releasing the ball, and poom,
there you got your spiral, or there you got really
nice back spinning four seam fastball or two see whatever
you want to do. So, yeah, when you feel like
you have to ply more effort. Joe Coleman great advice,

(24:36):
and as a bullpen coach, I used to utilize it
when I watch the guys out there bumping and grinding
to try to do whatever and ipulate his breaking ball,
get more on his fastball. The line is, don't try
to manufacture velocity. The moment you start attempting to manufacture velocity,
it's going to go the wrong way. You're not going
to do it ab and then you have a chance

(24:58):
to hurt yourself because you're doing things differently and the
way that stroke is performed. So for anybody listening, any kids, whatever, Yeah,
you got to get to that point where when your
stroke is good, when you're when you're when you're timing good.
Your temple was good with release right down to the
point where you actually get like really heavy callouses on
my fingertips. But it threw so much VP, and I

(25:18):
knew when my stroke was right, and it was was effortless,
and you could throw like a half hour forty five
minutes even more than that every day for months at
a time. It's because the rhythm was so good, the
temple was so good. There wasn't that screen at the end.
And so I understand completely what he was talking about.
And even for that matter, like I said, the same
thing with swinging swinging a bat or a golf club.

(25:39):
When you get that good temple, working man, everything happens
at the right moment, and that's where you get your
maximum ability.

Speaker 2 (25:46):
And then there's Joe Mauer.

Speaker 1 (25:47):
You talk about hitting the ball out of the catcher's glove.
Joe Maher was one of the most balanced hitters I've
ever seen, Joe. And you know, I remember doing a
cover story with Joe years ago for SI, and you know,
he talked a lot about this contraption that his dad built,
the Mauer Quick Swing, where you drop the ball in
this little shoot. It would roll down sideways and make

(26:10):
a turn and then drop almost like the ball was
coming out of the sky, and then you would hit it.
It's like the reverse of hitting off a tee. The
ball is actually coming down, but you're not sure when
it's coming out. So you literally have to be super
quick to catch this ball cleanly as it's dropping out
of this shoot. And it's something that you know, Joe did.

(26:31):
I don't know how young, I wanted to say, six
or seven, certainly starting out playing baseball, and when I
looked at his stroke, Joe, I mean, I'm glad you
said something earlier about guys do something very unique. The
greats of the game, whether it's Beltray, the wedding proposal
swing or stam usual looking around the corner in his
batting stance, and for me, it's Maur's swing. It's as

(26:52):
connected of a swing as I've ever seen. I looked
the other day Joe when he won the MVP in
twenty two thousand and nine.

Speaker 2 (27:01):
I looked at the outs.

Speaker 1 (27:02):
He made his spray show of his outs, and almost
nothing is in the right field corner. And he actually
an entire year, more than six hundred played appearances flight
out to right field. I think it was twice the
entire season. You could not get Joe Mauer out front
of anything. Always on balance. And one quick story, Max

(27:24):
Schurzer and Joe Maher matched up a lot, both in
the al central Shures are in those days with the Tigers,
and Joe Mauer would own him. He would take change
ups away, slapping the left field. He would take fastballs
in and line drives up the middle. After years of
this going on, Max Schurzer said, you know what, I
need to invent something to get Joe Mauer out. He's

(27:46):
hitting everything that I throw. So Max Schures Are invented
the cut fastball he has today specifically to try to
get Joe Mauer out and the first time he threw it,
he got Mauer to swing a miss and strike out
for the first time he'd ever face them. And I
think about that story because Joe Mauer was that he
would make someone as good as Max Scherzer say, I

(28:08):
need to find another pitch. I need to invent another
pitch to get this dark guy out.

Speaker 3 (28:12):
Jeter, he's the opposite of Derek Jeter. I mean, Jeter
was the same way from the right side. I mean,
everybody knew Derek was gonna hit the ball from left
center to the right field line all the time. Rare
if ever did he hit the ball down in the
left field corner. You knew it. And the same thing
with mau Or, you knew was going to be inside, inside, inside,
Which when guys are like that, like you're talking about,

(28:33):
they're gonna take the ball right out of the catcher's glove.
They're going to wait as long as they possibly can.
They're not going to commit too soon. They're gonna look
like they're gonna be late, but I promise you they're
gonna keep making adjustments as the evat goes on. So
they were like oppos I mean Jeter from the right side,
mauor from the left side. They're really tough and it's
hard to get a hit or disciplined enough to really

(28:53):
want to adopt that kind of approach. But also when
it comes down to the way hitting is todd of course,
there's a lot of guys that just wanted you to
pull the ball too in this to realize your mac
in power potential. So it's like, what do you want?
What do you want from this guy? What's he going
to bring to bears? He's just going to be pure power.
I want to get the ball up in the air.
I want to pull it as much. Or is this
guy just a good hitter that we're going to sacrifice

(29:15):
some power to really benefit from all the different things
that he can do. Manipulating the head of the bat,
letting the ball traveling more deeply, you utilize in the
whole field. And that's that's what these guys did. So
when you go to a spring training, you got your
group kids coming up here as a scout, what is
this guy? What is this guy? Tim Salmon? Tim Salmon
outstanding at driving the right center field gap when I

(29:35):
had him young and still I kept it. But although
he learned to pull the ball, Damian easily, same thing,
Garrett Anderson, left center field gap, Jimmy and It's left
center field gap. These are the kind of things I've
always looked at and quite frankly, for me, a young hitter,
if you could draft a young hitter that you really
dig on that drives the oppo gap first, because I

(29:57):
think it's much easier to teach a guy to pull
the ball as opposed to trying to teach him to
really drive the opposite field gap. When you see those
guys young, those guys could be very attractive with good hitters.

Speaker 2 (30:07):
Yeah, that makes me think of Don Mattingly.

Speaker 1 (30:09):
He was that way, and he actually went to winter
ball in Puerto Rico and started to learn how to
pull the ball, and then the power shows up. The
ability to get the barrel on the ball was there,
and certainly Mauer was that case. I mean, he never
hit for a lot of power, Joe, but I was
surprised people were surprised that he's a first ballot Hall
of Famer.

Speaker 2 (30:29):
He's one of the best hitting catchers of all time.

Speaker 1 (30:31):
And I realized he had to get out from behind
the plate because of concussions. But there's only been one
hundred and fifty three players who've caught nine hundred games
in the big leagues.

Speaker 2 (30:39):
He's one of those.

Speaker 1 (30:40):
If you take that whole universe of catchers who caught
that much in the big leagues, he has the third
highest ops in baseball history. Among those catchers, only Mike Piazza,
Mickey Cochran, both Hall of famers are ahead of him.

Speaker 2 (30:53):
I mean, that's a Hall of Famer, come on.

Speaker 3 (30:55):
No surprise. Absolutely.

Speaker 2 (30:57):
And here's the other thing with Joe Mauer.

Speaker 1 (30:59):
He was drafted number one overall by the Minnesota Twins.
Talked about he was a three sport athlete. But Joe
at that time, if you can believe this, even in Minnesota,
the Twins were criticized for not taking Mark Pryor instead
of Joe Mauer. Prior's coming out of USC and he
looks like the next Tom sever He is the finished product.

(31:23):
Joe Mauer is a high school catcher. It's going to
take some developing. People thought the Twins were being cheap
by not signing drafting Mark Pryor. Pryor goes to the
Cubs at number two, gets a signing bonus of ten
and a half million dollars, a record at that time.
Joe Mauer at number one, signs with the Twins for

(31:43):
about half of that. Now, listen, maybe the Twins did
have finances in mind when they made this decision. But Joe,
I you know, a lot of people talked about Prior
being a sure thing.

Speaker 2 (31:54):
He's a pitcher.

Speaker 1 (31:55):
They're always one injury away from being less than an
impact player. And at the time people talked about Prior's
mc cannucks. He actually had a flawed his delivery. He
was a little late loading the baseball, and it certainly
caught up with him. He could not stay healthy. He
was done at the age of twenty five. Joe Maher
had this repeatable swing off the charts makeup premium position.

(32:17):
I was surprised going back on how much criticism the
Twins got for drafting Joe Mauer, and I think about
the draft last year with Paul Skeens and Dylan Cruz
teammates at LSU. Given the history Joe, because no number
one draft pick as a pitcher has ever made the
Hall of Fame, and Mauer is now the fourth to
do so. As a position player, I would always, and

(32:40):
I mean always lean towards the position player. I would
have taken Cruise over the over Skeins. And that's not
a knock. I mean on Skeens, he's going to be
really really good for Pittsburgh. But I just think when
you have an elite position player, an everyday player for
the long haul, I'm going with that guy over the pitcher.

Speaker 3 (32:58):
Hey, especially that position. Just think Buster Posey also, right
when you have a high school catcher that you really
feel that strongly about, with that kind of a body,
that kind of athleticism, and on top of that, he
hits left handed. I mean that was the thing growing
up as a young scout to a left tended hitting
catchers were like at a premium. If you could find

(33:19):
one of those things, that was like, really, kudos to you.
So this guy had all that plus the leadership component.
He had everything going on for him. So I can understand,
you know why they might talk about USC and the
amount of money whatever for prior. But I think if
we're going to run an expansion group, it's almost like
if you could find a catcher like I always thought
Ped Rodriguez, my god, you would want to start an

(33:41):
organization with him back when he was first starting out.
If you got a catcher that's for real, Buster Posey,
if he's for real, and you could determine that this
is the guy you want to build everything else around.
Johnny Bench. I mean, you could go on and on
about you know, Therman, Munson whatever. I mean. All these
guys are the guys you wanted to build a whole
group around. They're not easy to find. I mean these
guys well, I mean I as a yes, I would

(34:03):
adapt solutely want to if I felt really strongly about it.
I definitely would want that catcher over a starting pitcher
if I felt that strongly about him being like my
centerpiece for years to come. Because those guys are invaluable.

Speaker 2 (34:17):
Hey, Joe, what position did you play?

Speaker 3 (34:19):
It's quarterback.

Speaker 2 (34:23):
That's right by the way.

Speaker 1 (34:25):
The other three number one picks who reached the Hall
of Fame, can you name them?

Speaker 2 (34:30):
I Besides Joe.

Speaker 1 (34:31):
Mauer was the fourth, so there was three before him
picked number one of the draft wound up in the
Hall of Fame.

Speaker 3 (34:36):
Dude, Tom seaver no was that he.

Speaker 1 (34:39):
Was a special draft pick by the New York Mets. Okay, supplement,
Ken Griffy Jr. You got it, Okay, The man, you
invented the shift for that's.

Speaker 3 (34:49):
Right, Ken Griffy Junior. It's going to take me a
while to go ahead, to take me too long.

Speaker 1 (34:54):
Well, one is Chipper Jones, okay, who was lucky enough
like Joe Maher to play his career with one team
Atlanta Breys of course, and the other recently Harold Baines
number one. Really yeah, but think about Joe Mauer. He's
the only one in the history of this game he's
drafted by his hometown team number one overall, never plays

(35:15):
another day for another team, and goes to the Hall
of Fame. I mean, how storybook is that. That's the
way you draw it up when you're a kid.

Speaker 3 (35:22):
Absolutely, no question. He's and like you were saying earlier
about you know, maybe there was some reticence with all that.
I mean he, you know, playing your whole career in Minnesota,
He's not going to get the same kind of publicity
some of these guys are going to get on the
different coasts, et cetera. So there's that kind of an
obscurity to what he had done. But I promise you
one thing, if you're in the other dugout, there's nothing

(35:43):
obscure about Joe Model.

Speaker 2 (35:44):
Absolutely. Hey, we'll take a quick break.

Speaker 1 (35:47):
But before I mentioned, we had a fourth Hall of
Famer who's going in, and we'll talk about.

Speaker 2 (35:53):
Him when we get back, Okay, Joe.

Speaker 1 (36:06):
So this summer in Cooperstown, New York, we'll be sitting
there listening to the Hall of Fame speeches of Adrian Beltray,
Todd Helton, Joe Mauer, and the fourth Jim Leland, who
was inducted by the Eras Committee.

Speaker 2 (36:21):
I can't wait for that speech.

Speaker 1 (36:23):
I mean, I don't know about you, Joe, but I'm
expecting Jim Leland to cry in the course of that speech.

Speaker 2 (36:29):
Very deserving Hall of Famer.

Speaker 1 (36:31):
I always thought, you know, there are certain players and
very few managers. While they're doing what they're doing, you
think to yourself, I'm watching a Hall of Famer.

Speaker 2 (36:41):
And I felt that way about Jim Leland.

Speaker 3 (36:43):
Of course, listen, I got to know Jimmy through Don Zimmer.
I mean, of course I knew who Jim was, but
Jim and him were really tight. So that's how I
got my end with Jim. And then here came the
time you have to manage against him, and I'm the
young manager with the Rays and I swear to god.
I mean, you go into that game and your apps,

(37:03):
it's like it's having to know where so and so
was on the court at all times or on the
field at all times as an athlete, as a player,
you just you just gave him that much respect. The
fact that he's got to know something that I don't know.
He's got to see something that I don't see. That's
that's how I I walked into that game the first time,
I think was in Detroit, so he had all that

(37:26):
going on, and then when you talk to him, it
was so identifiable. I mean, is the way he came
up and the way he came up were very similar.
Where we came from, our backgrounds, all that was very similar.
And so when you manage against somebody like that, and
I've always said this, a guy that's really rooted in
a strong minor league background, heads up, because these guys

(37:46):
have tried everything on backfields and out posts and whatever,
and they've seen everything, and they've they've ridden a lot
of buses, and you know they're they're not they're not
going to shy away from a tough conversation. They're not
getting an umpire space. All this stuff about him, you
had to pay attention. And that was my thought when

(38:07):
we managed again, when they managed against him, it was
it was just different. It was just different. Nois because
it a Doug and I felt that way about Panela.
I felt that way about Boach. There's certain guys that listen.
I respect everybody, don't get me wrong, but there's others
that they really It's like when you face a good
picture as a hitter, they just bring out the best

(38:28):
in you. I think because you're not going to you're
not going to sit back, You're not going to relax
at all because you believe they're not going to miss anything.
Thus you cannot miss. You got to stay on top
of your stuff too.

Speaker 1 (38:40):
Yeah, you mentioned similarities Joe and that there are striking
I mean, both of you guys more than paid your
dues before you got a chance in the big leagues.
Jim Leland managed, I believe, twenty years managed and coach
twenty years in the minor leagues.

Speaker 2 (38:53):
You know, he came up and.

Speaker 1 (38:55):
Earned his dues and waited and as you said, you
never wanted anything before your time. There's certainly no sense
of entitlement for people like you and Jim Leland earned
what you got, and I think your players all respected that.
And Jim Leland is now only the fourth manager to
go in the Hall of Fame who never played a.

Speaker 2 (39:14):
Day in the big leagues. Think about that.

Speaker 1 (39:16):
I mean, it's hard enough just to get a big
league job, as you know, without having that on your resume,
the fact that you were a major league player, which,
let's face it, that gets you a foot in the door.
It gives you a reputation that you can kind of
work off of. Frank Silly, Joe McCarthy, Earl Weaver, Jim
Leland the only four managers never played a day in

(39:36):
the big leagues and made it to the Hall of Fame.
And the other similarity you have with Jim Joe is
your ability to turn different franchises around. I think only
you and Jim Leland have been able to take teams
that lost one hundred games, two franchises that lost one
hundred games and have them playing in the World Series
just a couple of years later. That's doing it once.

(39:59):
Is hard enough to do that twice. So I see
a lot of parallels in your careers, and you know,
hopefully there's a day where you're recognized as Jim Leland
is going to and as I said, Jim Leland, I
can't wait for that speech because I know everybody who
has played for Jim Leland loves Jim Leland and they
do that out of as much respect as it is admiration.

(40:23):
By that, I mean, he's not afraid to call out
Barry Bonds, but he's also going to put.

Speaker 2 (40:27):
His arm around you.

Speaker 1 (40:29):
And you've used a similar line, Joe, and I'll quote
Jim Leland. Sounds like he stole it from you, but
I'm sure you both came up with this originally. If
you mislead a player, you lose them forever. If you
tell them the truth, you lose them for about twenty
four hours right on.

Speaker 3 (40:45):
I mean, yeah, that's the thing. My line would be,
if I tell you the truth, you might I like
me for a week or ten days, but if I
lie to you, You're gonna hate me forever. It's truth tellers.
Jim is a truth teller. Don Zimmer was a truth teller.
Marcel Latchman is a truth teller. The best people I've
ever worked with are truth tellers and truth and for me,
that means not easy. You know, don't ask them the

(41:09):
question because you're going to get the answer. So if
you have really thin skin, you might not want to
ask the question of people like this. And I love,
I love, you know, running things offered by people like
these people we just mentioned. I love that I loved
I love the straight up answer. I don't need to
be coddled with all of that. And that's what you

(41:30):
get from these guys. I think a real professional wants
to hear that, he needs to hear that. That's how
you do get better. And and like you said, you
can still you can still put your arm round a dude,
and you know when it's time to do that. You know,
you don't kick somebody when they're down, ever, And that's
even like when we talked about having team meetings for me,
just because we've lost a couple of game, that's the
worst probable time I think to have a meeting. If

(41:51):
you really want to get on a group, get on
a group after they've been successful. Little bit like that
time I talked you about in Kansas City with the
Rays when we're doing really well in two thousand and
eight and all of a sudden, I thought we had
we won, but we had a bad day and we're
on the and until Davey get them in the clubhouse.
This is the right time, and I went absolutely ape
crap on these guys because it was the right time

(42:11):
to do it when the team's lost five, six, seven, eight,
nine ten in a row, which I did, we did
a couple of years ago at the Angels. To me,
that's when individual kind of stuff is more necessary or
players need to get together as a group, and that's
where they need me to be consistent and see that
I got their back. I understand what's going on. I'm listen.
If there's a lack of effort. If I perceive a

(42:32):
lack of effort, that's different. That's then it does require intervention.
But if you think things are in order and everything
they obviously are trying, it's just not working out. A
lot of bad luck happen whatever, it's a different tact,
and that's why you have to have your thumb on
the pulse all the time, and you have to make
these kind of determinations based on what you're seeing, what

(42:52):
you believe, and not to be influenced by those around
you that you know their sensibilities because they've never done
it before. Wants you to get angry or upset or
fire on somebody or fire somebody. Not true, man, it's
not necessary. Every situation is different, every person is different,
requires a different kind attack based on for me, a

(43:13):
lot of experience. So Jimmy wasn't as great at that.
And I've enjoyed my conversations with him, and I did.
I did text him after he got into the Hall
of Fame as he was elected. He got right back
at me. I'm really happy for him and his family.

Speaker 1 (43:27):
But Joe, let me ask you this. There's the famous
video of jim Leland airing out Barry Bond's spring training
on the field, right. You know, Bonds was moping around,
he was tired of the pirates taking the arbitration and
he actually, you know, said some things about or to
the coaching staff, which Jimmy didn't want to hear, and
he Jimmy finally had enough, and yeah, there were cameras

(43:49):
and microphones and they picked it up. Jimmy said he
was tired of kissing his butt, basically told me, you
don't like it, get out of here. So my question is,
could anything like that happen today? And I'm not talking
about having cameras there. I'm talking about in this day
and age, right, where players are used to always being complimented, right,
And I don't think there's a lot of players who

(44:10):
play today who feel like there's a certain fear of
letting down their manager, and that's part of their motivation.
It's more like, tell me what I'm doing right, keep
you know, be positive with everything, And can that happen today?
Does any manager dare call out a player? Listen, I've

(44:32):
been through situations and press conferences with Dallas Green and
Billy Martin and Davy Johnson calling out their players publicly
very often.

Speaker 2 (44:43):
It was not unusual. It never happens now.

Speaker 1 (44:47):
So even without cameras around, without a press conference, without microphones,
could that happen where a manager actually goes after a
player the way Jim Leland did Barry Bonds?

Speaker 2 (44:58):
Can that happen today?

Speaker 3 (45:00):
I don't know that it can. I honestly, I'm thinking
as you're talking about it, only because there'd be a
banding against the manager among the group. That would be
my first take. And you'd have to be really certain
of this in the eyes if the manager knows, in
the eyes of the rest of the group that whomever
this player is. This person is absolutely at fault here.
Whereas the players can actually see and understand that you

(45:22):
might be able to do that, but if it's not
clear cut, it would almost it would absolutely backfire. I
believe the only chance would be somebody with a great
amount of cachet, like in today's game. That would probably
be Boach, probably the only guy left that I don't
want to say could get away with that, but can
get away with that. Otherwise they will band together everybody.
Here's what happens. Everybody looks for allies when you if

(45:44):
you go after, not necessarily go after, but if you
attack or whatever you want to have you want to
describe it a player, then there's going to be this
search for allies to come together with whomever this person is.
And they all rally around this player and say, do
you believe he said that about so and so are
a guy? And at that point and it becomes well,

(46:05):
it becomes highly detrimental, and it infiltrates the fabric of
the whole group, and before you know it, they can
shut you down. I don't know what happened to Milwaukee
right now with the Bucks. Maybe you know better than me.
But I mean that was a classic example. I don't
know anything, but I just what I read how this
group it seems a bandit to get rid of their coach.
The other day when I was watching the Eagles game,

(46:28):
We've talked about this, it really looked that way to me,
and I'll say that time. I'm saying it now. I mean,
it was really frightful in the sense that it looked
as though that team obviously quit under coach whatever reason.
I don't know, that would be the problem, and I
think it could happen because today's player is not used
to hearing that kind of stuff. They do kind of

(46:49):
crumble as opposed to fight in a good way back
when you receive that kind of criticism quick Frankly, you know,
I played for a lot of guys like that, and
I kind of like it. And I still want you
to tell me when you think I stink, Tommy, you
need to tell me I stink. And I want to
hear that. And I think that's a good thing. But
a lot of guys today cannot handle They cannot handle that,
and with the way social media is generate it now

(47:12):
and the ally component within a clubhouse be very hard
for a manager at any kind of cachet and even
with to go about his business that way.

Speaker 1 (47:21):
I agree with you, and I think the important the
way to frame that incident with Barry Bonds is that
those two guys were and remain.

Speaker 2 (47:32):
Very very tight.

Speaker 1 (47:34):
Barry Bond said, I would have went through a brick
wall for that man, and I would still do it today.
And I would be shocked if when Jim Leland stands
up there in Cooperstown in July that makes a speech.

Speaker 2 (47:47):
I'd be shocked if Barry Bonds is not there.

Speaker 1 (47:49):
He means that much to so many players, including the
guy he aired out with cameras on the field in Bradenton, Florida,
that spring training. That tells you a lot about Jim
Leland that you could do something like that and still
have tremendous respect from the player.

Speaker 3 (48:03):
Let me tell you I had one incident I'm not
gonna say who it was with the Rays, and I
got really upset with somebody during the game. And again
it's another situation. I said, Davey, get him in my
office right after the game. We did, and we had
a nice shouting session, real nice, no holds barred both sides,
and I let him know what I thought know in

(48:23):
certain terms, and within a couple of days, and then
since then real close to the point where like a
couple of years later, gets in touch thanking me about this,
thanking me about that. I would never have suspected that.
So a lot of times through confrontations like that, there
is a lot of respect regarding that gid because I'd
much I'd much rather, You'd much rather hear it from

(48:46):
whomever the source, as opposed to hearing all that criticism
from somebody else said about you. And that's where a
lot of people don't get it, man. I mean, that's
when it comes down to leadership and having the difficult conversations.
When they passed that conversation off to and associate to
have with that particular player never comes out. Well, you
need to have that conversation yourself. You need to augur

(49:09):
out time and have that conversation yourself. For as tough
as it is, you need to get that done almost
one hundred percent of the time. Whomever that's with, and
how hot it might get, I don't know, maybe, like
I said, a week or ten days, a couple of
weeks of maybe a year by the end of it.
You're going to come back with a really tight friend
because you shot him straight or he shot you straight

(49:31):
and both sides appreciate it.

Speaker 1 (49:32):
Well, congratulations. I can't wait for the speeches. They're always
If you've never seen it, you got to tune in
because they're never disappointing. When guys get up there and
they just reflect on their baseball lives getting the highest
honor in the game. Some move to tears. Some are
incredibly funny. A guy like Ted Simmons was like this

(49:53):
incredible statesman up there, the way he delivered his speech.
If you haven't seen it, check them out. This year
it'll be Adrian Beltray, Todd Helton, Joe Mauer, and Leland,
and believe me, it'll be worth your time.

Speaker 2 (50:06):
There will not be Billy Wagner.

Speaker 1 (50:08):
Unfortunately, he missed by just five votes and has one
more year left on the ballot. The most dominating closer
of all time when it comes to just suppressing offense,
lowest batting average against, highest strikeout rate, Billy Wagner one
of the premier specialty closers. As the position began to change,
Billy Wagner did that as well as anybody in terms

(50:32):
of just being a handful to bat again. So hopefully
his season or his year is coming next year with
an induction in his last year on the writer's ballot.

Speaker 3 (50:42):
Tommy, one can ask you one question. Yeah, is were
that valuable of a tool right now to regarding why
somebody is considered good or not good? I mean, I
know I've read about his work was kind of miniscule,
which is almost difficult to understand. Why has that become
such a indicator of greatness? And because it's an I

(51:03):
don't even know how it generated. You probably know much
better than I do, but it's become such a popular
phrase that's utilized to the points it's again it's become
ubiquitous in the sense that it's kind of the way
that we're going to measure a baseball player. Now to you,
because you, again you have to do voting, you study
this stuff more than I do. I've noticed, and I do.

(51:24):
I do look at that sometimes when people are talking
about one guy being better than the other. But I
know that Billy Wagner's whereas like not even thirty. I mean,
how does that happen? And is it that important?

Speaker 1 (51:35):
Yeah, it's a great point, Joe, and especially for pitchers,
war is sort of useless. You know, war puts a
great premium if you play defensively in the middle of
the field, and I get it on the importance of
the spectrum of defense. You know that you play in
the middle of field, as you mentioned with Maour catching,
that's important. So it's not really helpful in terms of pitching,

(51:56):
and it skews numbers overall. It's a really good rule
of thumb. It's an attempt. It's literally an attempt. It's
not a measurement. It's an attempt to boil somebody's value
down to one number using offense and defense and combining those.
But it's so flawed that that if you just and

(52:17):
this is the mistake writers make, they'll use it as
an actual measurement, and it's not. It's a good rule
of thumb. If you think that that Lou Whittaker was
a better player than Yogi Bearra or Reggie Jackson, you'd
be laughed out of the room. But that's what war
tells you. And people look at Andrew Jones, and a

(52:38):
lot of people voted for Andrew Jones. I did not
to believe his war is to believe literally that he
was twice as good defensively as Willy Mays. He was
twice as good as Willie Mays on defense. I'm sorry,
I'm not buying that. I saw Devon White, Joe, you
saw him. I saw Tory Hunter. Andrew Jones was great,

(53:01):
That's right. He wasn't twice as good as Tory Hunter
and Davon White, never mind Willie Mays. So the faith
that writers are putting in war to me is mind boggling, because,
as I said, it's just a rule of thumb is
to attempt. It's an approximation, it is not a measurement.

(53:21):
And people are defining players by this number, like he's
better because he's got a higher war.

Speaker 2 (53:27):
Stop it. It's not true.

Speaker 1 (53:29):
I mean, these are the people who would look at
the Sistine Chapel ceiling and break it down in terms
of the colors and the science of it, and you know,
breaking it down scientifically and saying, my god, that's one
of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. So you've
got to look at it with an artistic guy and
not just a scientific one.

Speaker 3 (53:49):
Could I drop an amen on that? If we're going
to talk about the Sistine Chapel, I mean these are
the kind of things that bother me a bit, and
it's it's totally void of really kind of scouting or
understanding what you're seeing. If you're going to start relying
on numbers solely to evaluate what you're seeing, then you're
missing the most important part of it. I've always thought

(54:10):
about baseball scouting as an inexact science because I grew
up that way, and to me, without my scouting background,
I could have never lasted or done as well in
the game as I have. And it is an inexact science,
and it is about body movement and observation and watching
for lack of better term, body language. Set aside from

(54:33):
again natural skills that you're can look for, armspread speed, whatever,
they're all combined, and you just can't to reduce it
to a number. It just doesn't do it enough. That
doesn't do it nearly enough justice obviously. So you know,
I appreciate your explanation on that because I see that,
and I hear that, and I read that constantly, and

(54:54):
they always reference war as though it's biblical. No it's not.
It's somebody's mathematical equation. And even like I don't get
to see it. But you know, I hear a lot
of times, like you know, those that are writing about
the game game in progress upstairs. They're so locked into
their technology and their and their followers in regards to

(55:17):
how to generate a story as opposed to really watching
the game. Because the game is normally commented on based
on a bullpen pitcher, relief pitcher either doing well or poorly.
It's not ever about the execution of the game itself.
Different game situations that maybe the seminal moment was a
moment that happened in the fifth or sixth inning based

(55:38):
on either a choice that a player made or a
manager made or whatever. But it's always about bullpen and
whether a relief pitcher was good or not good, or
got the job done or did not get done. So
we've really sophistically sophisticatedly. We have not We're not promoting
the game properly to the fans, and I think that's
why it's reduced, part of why it's been reduced to
the level that it has because there's not a sophistication,

(56:00):
and it's a sophisticated game. It's a real thinking man's game.
It's not just so obvious that you could rely on
one number and then just determine who's good and not good. Anyway,
that's my dietribe. But I appreciate your response.

Speaker 2 (56:14):
I'll give you an amen to that well said.

Speaker 1 (56:16):
Now I'm going to ask you to be our Billy
Wagner and close this edition of the Book of Joe out.
You've always you always do a great job, and this
is our Hall of Fame edition, So don't blow this one, Joe.

Speaker 2 (56:26):
You got to close this one out.

Speaker 3 (56:28):
Okay, you've seen the heard the group Semisonic, but it
was also being with the dude by the name of
Seneca back in the day, and it's just about you know,
this time of the year, we're getting close to spring training,
and you know, people have new jobs, you have new desires, wishes, hopes,
you know, maybe new Year's resolutions, all this kind of stuff.

(56:49):
But every new beginning comes from some beginning's end, and
that's where we're at right now. We're looking for new
beginnings right now, and in order to arrive at that
particular point, something's got to conclude before something can begin. Normally,
something's got to conclude. And so for me, I'm really

(57:10):
kind of revitalized mentally right now, about new beginnings. That's
that's where I'm coming from. So what you're talking about
here with these obviously these players going to the Hall
of Fame, it's another after this wonderful career that they've experienced.
Now what happens after that is going to be an
absolutely new beginning. It's going to be regenerated. There's going
to be they're going to be in such demand and

(57:31):
what they've been able to talk about their accomplishments, and
everybody's going to be interested in what they have to say.
This is a new beginning for this group of people.
But Semisonic said it a coupleies. I didn't realize it
went all the way back to Seneca, but I really
dig on that. And so here we come into February.
Here it comes to spring training right around the corner.
It's a new beginning for a lot of folks.

Speaker 1 (57:50):
I love that and that Semi Sonic song you quoted
from closing time.

Speaker 3 (57:55):
There you go, Oh, why didn't I bring that up? Dude? Dude,
it's good at that stuff. You're so good.

Speaker 2 (58:05):
See you next time, Joe, all right, brother.

Speaker 3 (58:07):
Thanks.

Speaker 1 (58:16):
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