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Don Mattingly or Keith Hernandez?

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Who are you taking and why is it Mattingly?

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Very close resumes between the two:

  • Each won an MVP
  • Both have four top-10 MVP vote seasons
  • Hernandez has the slight edge on defense (11 Gold Gloves to 9, +1.3 dWAR to -6.2 dWAR)
  • Mattingly the slight edge on offense (.830 career OPS to .821, 3 Silver Sluggers to 2)
  • Each won a Batting Title
  • Mattingly has the All-Star game edge, 6-5
  • WAR likes Hernandez (60.3/17 seasons) over Mattingly (42.4/14 seasons).
  • Hernandez has the edge in rings, 2-0
  • Mattingly has the stronger peak
  • Hernandez has the edge in longevity

 

Only a homer would say its a CLEAR edge to either player.  I give the slight nod to Hernandez.

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Back then, always thought Hernandez (with the Cards) was the best fielding first baseman bar none.  Just incredible skills.

As an all around player?  I give the edge to Mattingly, who was maybe slightly less gifted than Keith in the field (although still top notch), but a better hitter.  In a clutch situation, I'd take Mattingly in the batter's box.   And yes, I'm a Yankee fan.

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6 hours ago, Jetsfan80 said:

Very close resumes between the two:

  • Each won an MVP
  • Both have four top-10 MVP vote seasons
  • Hernandez has the slight edge on defense (11 Gold Gloves to 9, +1.3 dWAR to -6.2 dWAR)
  • Mattingly the slight edge on offense (.830 career OPS to .821, 3 Silver Sluggers to 2)
  • Each won a Batting Title
  • Mattingly has the All-Star game edge, 6-5
  • WAR likes Hernandez (60.3/17 seasons) over Mattingly (42.4/14 seasons).
  • Hernandez has the edge in rings, 2-0
  • Mattingly has the stronger peak
  • Hernandez has the edge in longevity

 

Only a homer would say its a CLEAR edge to either player.  I give the slight nod to Hernandez.

These "new" advanced stats are silly af. Defensive wins over replacement which is really an amalgamation of your average fielder but there is a positional adjustment.

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Depends.  Is Mattingly before or after back surgery?

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22 minutes ago, Scott Dierking said:

Because Mattingly has less rings.

And based on that criteria Trent Dilfer > Marino

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8 minutes ago, Philc1 said:

And based on that criteria Trent Dilfer > Marino

Were their stats that similar?

 

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14 minutes ago, Philc1 said:

And based on that criteria Trent Dilfer > Marino

Nope.  The logic here would be something like John Elway > Marino.  2 great players.  One had 2 rings, the other 0.  

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All jokes aside, Mattingly was better for the "peak" of their careers, but Hernandez had longevity of continued production. Not Mattingly's fault with the injuries, but it has to be a factor.

Hernandez, during his peak won championships, Mattingly did not. 

For me, that becomes the tie-breaker. Admittedly, I saw much more of Hernandez and I have a Met bias. I also understand Yankee fans wanting to glom onto something during the 80's, as the Mets were NY's team from 83-92.

 

 

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Keith was just as clutch. Best fielding 1st baseman in history. Should be in Hall of Fame. Donny as well. Keith is my favorite player next to Clemente. Numbers aren’t everything. These 2 guys were indispensable to their teams and to baseball. Just for the sake of argument, both Keith and Donny were top offense/defense players in MLB history. Name others who were that good both offensively and defensively at their respective position. But historians have their foot up their azz with how many home runs a player hits. Like it’s the end all. Just imbecilic. They should both be enshrined this year. Together. 

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1 minute ago, Wonderboy said:

Keith was just as clutch. Best fielding 1st baseman in history. Should be in Hall if Fame. Donny as well. Numbers aren’t everything. These 2 guys were indispensable to their teams and to baseball. Just in the defensive side of the argument, both Keith and Donny were top offense/defense players in MLB history. But historians have their foot up their azz with how many home runs a player hits. Like it’s the end all. Just imbecilic. They should both be enshrined this year. Together. 

While we're talking about great defensive first basemen, Gil Hodges should be in the Hall as well.  

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6 hours ago, Scott Dierking said:

All jokes aside, Mattingly was better for the "peak" of their careers, but Hernandez had longevity of continued production. Not Mattingly's fault with the injuries, but it has to be a factor.

Hernandez, during his peak won championships, Mattingly did not. 

For me, that becomes the tie-breaker. Admittedly, I saw much more of Hernandez and I have a Met bias. I also understand Yankee fans wanting to glom onto something during the 80's, as the Mets were NY's team from 83-92.

Hernandez never had Mattingly's power.   I can't say who was better defensively, I was 21 when Donnie stopped playing, I just know both were superb.  

Keith won 2 WS, but didn't hit that great in either WS, about 250 with 1 HR in 53 ABs with only 2 doubles.   Don was only in 1 playoff series, but hit 417 with a HR, 4 doubles and 6 RBI. 

Donnie.JPG

Keith.JPG

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13 hours ago, chirorob said:

Hernandez never had Mattingly's power.   I can't say who was better defensively, I was 21 when Donnie stopped playing, I just know both were superb.  

Keith won 2 WS, but didn't hit that great in either WS, about 250 with 1 HR in 53 ABs with only 2 doubles.   Don was only in 1 playoff series, but hit 417 with a HR, 4 doubles and 6 RBI. 

Donnie.JPG

Keith.JPG

Hernandez in playoffs .265 with 2 homers and 21 RBI in 31 games. That is an excellent RBI total.

So yeah, Mattingly had 6 RBI in 5 games in one series. This is hardly a discriminating point.

Mattingly saved a career 33 more runs that the average first baseman. Hernandez? Oh, he saved 120 runs more than the average first baseman.

1982- The Redbirds swept the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS before taking on the Milwaukee Brewers in the Fall Classic. St. Louis prevailed in 7 games, with Hernandez playing a starring role in the final three tilts. In Games 5-thru-7, Keith hit .583 with a 1.667 OPS and 8 RBI.

In the decisive Game 7, the Cards were trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the 6th inning. With one out and the bases loaded, Hernandez delivered a game-tying two-run single, the key blow in what would ultimately be the Redbirds’ 6-3 win and World Championship.

 

1986-In the famous World Series against the Boston Red Sox, Hernandez again saved his most momentous performance for the bottom of the 6th inning in Game 7. With the Mets trailing 3-0 and the bases loaded, Keith delivered a two-run single off Bruce Hurst to pull the Mets to within a run. The Mets would go on to win 8-5, clinching the franchise’s first championship since the miracle season of 1969.

 

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2 hours ago, Jetsfan80 said:

While we're talking about great defensive first basemen, Gil Hodges should be in the Hall as well.  

And  for winning the most improbable WS ever.  Jets and Mets in 69 were the 2 greatest upsets in sports history.

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Oh, and that power advantage that Mattingly had, it can also be attributed somewhat to Mattingly being a LH with a very short porch in RF. Split stats:

Home: 1hr/25.69 abs

Away: 1hr/39.96 abs

That folks, is a huge discrepancy.

Hernandez on the other hand played in cavernous parks of Busch Stadium and Shea Stadium

Split stats:

Home: 1hr/48.05 abs

Away: 1hr/ 43.34 abs

Hmmm, the more I take a hard look at the numbers, the more they slant to Hernandez being better.

 

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3 hours ago, chirorob said:

I can't say who was better defensively, I was 21 when Donnie stopped playing, I just know both were superb.  

Put it this way.  In bunting situations, no first baseman crept closer to the plate than Keith did.  He said, and I'm paraphrasing, that he had a cup on his balls and his glove to protect his face.  If the guy chose to swing away, he'd live with the consequences of getting hit anywhere on his body.  

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2 hours ago, Wonderboy said:

And  for winning the most improbable WS ever.  Jets and Mets in 69 were the 2 greatest upsets in sports history.

* # 2a/2b Behind USA over Russia 1980

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23 hours ago, Scott Dierking said:

Were their stats that similar?

 

Did Mattingly play on a stacked Mets team that had the best starting pitcher in the league?

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14 hours ago, Wonderboy said:

And  for winning the most improbable WS ever.  Jets and Mets in 69 were the 2 greatest upsets in sports history.

Actually, the greatest upset in sports history by consensus is North Korea defeating Italy in the World Cup in 1966

 

Most experts now state that the jets team that won Super Bowl 3 their roster was as good if not better than the Colts

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10 minutes ago, Philc1 said:

Did Mattingly play on a stacked Mets team that had the best starting pitcher in the league?

I am not sure how this fits with your Trent Dilfer/Dan Marino comment.

Tell me again why Mattingly was better than Hernandez? You really haven't made that point here.

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2 hours ago, Scott Dierking said:

I am not sure how this fits with your Trent Dilfer/Dan Marino comment.

Tell me again why Mattingly was better than Hernandez? You really haven't made that point here.

Mattingly had home run power prior to back surgery  which Hernandez did not.  
 

‘85-‘87 Mattingly had 35, 30, 31 HRs to go along with 145, 115, 113 RBIs.  Keith Hernandez during his entire career never had more than 18 Hrs in a season and his career high in rbi was 105 in 1979


But yeah similar stats and playing with the best starting pitcher in baseball in 1986 had nothing to do with Hernandez getting a ring
 

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9 minutes ago, Philc1 said:

Mattingly had home run power prior to back surgery  which Hernandez did not.  
 

‘85-‘87 Mattingly had 35, 30, 31 HRs to go along with 145, 115, 113 RBIs.  Keith Hernandez during his entire career never had more than 18 Hrs in a season and his career high in rbi was 105 in 1979


But yeah similar stats and playing with the best starting pitcher in baseball in 1986 had nothing to do with Hernandez getting a ring
 

As I have already demonstrated in this thread, some of Mattingly's supposed HR prowess over Hernandez was a byproduct of playing in a HR friendly environment (short porch in RF as a LH hitter).

As a matter of fact, Hernandez' and Mattingly's HR rate / ab outside of their home stadia were remarkably close.

So the power edge is somewhat exaggerated.

Amusingly, you make the 80's Yankees out to be paupers in terms of talent. Here is their win total during Mattingly's peak:

'83: 91w

'84: 87w

'85: 97w

'86: 90w

'87: 89w

'88: 85w

Seemingly, they seemed to lack that "spark", that player that could propel them to get over the hump. The player that could stand out and make a difference. They made the playoffs once during that period.

Oh, Hernandez led teams only suffered playoff losses one time ('88 NLCS). 

Some players just seem to have a knack of being a part of teams that achieve and propel that extra edge. Some don't.

 

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I The NL vs. AL offensive output is skewed with the AL having the DH. More opportunities to keep innings alive w/o the pitcher spot. IIRC Mattingly and Hernandez batted 3rd. More RBI opportunities in the AL. NL then and now was more pitching/defense dominant while AL always more offensively explosive. 

I loved both guys being a NYer but I go Hernandez for the defensive prowess, clutchness and being a vocal leader with Carter for a young Mets team.

Good thread subject @AFJF

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Mattingly had better hitting stats but Hernandez was the best fielder who ever graced that position, better than Wes Parker or Vic Power IYCDI.

The difference that made Keith more valuable or the two, however, was something that you needed to observe in person on a daily basis and cannot be measured merely by numbers. 

The way he fired up some players and calmed down others was something I have not seen before or since. The way he worked the pitchers (the Kevin Bass AB in G6, 16th inning was just one example) or him slamming his shoulder to instruct Strawberry to keep his closed or the way he helped teammates out of slumps make it no question who was more valuable. His work ethic and the example he set for others. It goes on and on.

The fact that #17 is not up on the wall at New Ebbetts Field is evidence of the idiocy or ignorance of current ownership. After Seaver, Hernandez is the second most important player to have been part of this franchise. 

Plus he has pretty good taste in music too

Any other questions?

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20 hours ago, 32EBoozer said:

I The NL vs. AL offensive output is skewed with the AL having the DH. More opportunities to keep innings alive w/o the pitcher spot. IIRC Mattingly and Hernandez batted 3rd. More RBI opportunities in the AL. NL then and now was more pitching/defense dominant while AL always more offensively explosive. 

I loved both guys being a NYer but I go Hernandez for the defensive prowess, clutchness and being a vocal leader with Carter for a young Mets team.

Good thread subject @AFJF

Thanks.  I stopped watching baseball many years ago but some of my fondest memories as a kid were of going to watch those horrible late 80s Yankees teams from the RF bleachers.  Loved having the Mattingly vs Hernandez debate with my Mets fans friends in school.  Peak Mattingly was wayyy better than peak Hernandez, but the injuries turned Mattingly in to a mere mortal far too soon.

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3 hours ago, AFJF said:

Thanks.  I stopped watching baseball many years ago but some of my fondest memories as a kid were of going to watch those horrible late 80s Yankees teams from the RF bleachers.  Loved having the Mattingly vs Hernandez debate with my Mets fans friends in school.  Peak Mattingly was wayyy better than peak Hernandez, but the injuries turned Mattingly in to a mere mortal far too soon.

Peak was too short, as one cannot dismiss the entirety of careers in a comparison evaluation.

Let's put it this way, who was better, Dwight Gooden or Catfish Hunter? well, if you want to talk about peaks, it was Gooden. If you want to talk about entirety and his value to winning clubs, it was Hunter. 

Short bursts are great and admirable to look at numbers, but when you are talking about careers, it is a marathon, and where you place is important.

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On 6/12/2020 at 11:54 AM, Scott Dierking said:

As I have already demonstrated in this thread, some of Mattingly's supposed HR prowess over Hernandez was a byproduct of playing in a HR friendly environment (short porch in RF as a LH hitter).

As a matter of fact, Hernandez' and Mattingly's HR rate / ab outside of their home stadia were remarkably close.

So the power edge is somewhat exaggerated.

Amusingly, you make the 80's Yankees out to be paupers in terms of talent. Here is their win total during Mattingly's peak:

'83: 91w

'84: 87w

'85: 97w

'86: 90w

'87: 89w

'88: 85w

Seemingly, they seemed to lack that "spark", that player that could propel them to get over the hump. The player that could stand out and make a difference. They made the playoffs once during that period.

Oh, Hernandez led teams only suffered playoff losses one time ('88 NLCS). 

Some players just seem to have a knack of being a part of teams that achieve and propel that extra edge. Some don't.

 

I think the Yanks won the most games of any team in the 1980's.  

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13 minutes ago, TuscanyTile2 said:

I think the Yanks won the most games of any team in the 1980's.  

Yup, I believe you are correct. But they just did not seem to have the winning type of player that could put them over the hump.

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On 6/14/2020 at 8:10 AM, Scott Dierking said:

Let's put it this way, who was better, Dwight Gooden or Catfish Hunter? well, if you want to talk about peaks, it was Gooden. If you want to talk about entirety and his value to winning clubs, it was Hunter. 

Except Gooden's peak was so good, it trumps Catfish's career entirely.  Even with Doc's average/subpar seasons in later years, his WAR still bests Catfish's, 48.2 to 36.3.  So I'd still take Doc over Catfish in the long haul.

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On 6/14/2020 at 5:02 AM, AFJF said:

Thanks.  I stopped watching baseball many years ago but some of my fondest memories as a kid were of going to watch those horrible late 80s Yankees teams from the RF bleachers.  Loved having the Mattingly vs Hernandez debate with my Mets fans friends in school.  Peak Mattingly was wayyy better than peak Hernandez, but the injuries turned Mattingly in to a mere mortal far too soon.

 

On 6/14/2020 at 9:16 AM, Scott Dierking said:

Yup, I believe you are correct. But they just did not seem to have the winning type of player that could put them over the hump.

**Cough..... mattingly....Cough**

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47 minutes ago, Jetsfan80 said:

Except Gooden's peak was so good, it trumps Catfish's career entirely.  Even with Doc's average/subpar seasons in later years, his WAR still bests Catfish's, 48.2 to 36.3.  So I'd still take Doc over Catfish in the long haul.

Gun to my head, if I had to pick a pitcher in his prime to win the 7th game of the WS, Catfish or Dwight, I am picking Catfish.

His big game numbers are just that much better, and he was a cog in WS winning teams

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On 6/10/2020 at 5:14 PM, munchmemory said:

Back then, always thought Hernandez (with the Cards) was the best fielding first baseman bar none.  Just incredible skills.

As an all around player?  I give the edge to Mattingly, who was maybe slightly less gifted than Keith in the field (although still top notch), but a better hitter.  In a clutch situation, I'd take Mattingly in the batter's box.   And yes, I'm a Yankee fan.

 

On 6/10/2020 at 7:27 PM, BROOKLYN JET said:

Keith's probably the best fielding 1st baseman of all-time, but I'd still take Mattingly.hitman.jpg

Mattingly carried that team in the dark years. The Steinbrenner scumbag years,never complained, represented  the Yankees honorably and was a long ball threat at every at bat.   Like Bernard King, never on a good team but was a shining example of class. 

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1 minute ago, southparkcpa said:

 

Mattingly carried that team in the dark years. The Steinbrenner scumbag years,never complained, represented  the Yankees honorably and was a long ball threat at every at bat.   Like Bernard King, never on a good team but was a shining example of class. 

Totally agree that Mattingly carried those teams.  We are lucky to have seen him play.  Just a phenomenal, quiet, nose-to-the grindstone superstar.  He showed up to the ballpark to win every day.  It's a travesty that he's not in HOF.

Great comparison with Bernard.  Again, fortunate to have seen him play on a bunch of dogs*it Knick teams.

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