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TeamBoone
02-28-2006, 12:26 AM
02/27/2006 10:10 PM ET
Mailbag: Is O'Neill Hall worthy?
Reds beat writer Mark Sheldon answers readers' questions
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

I think Paul O'Neill is a Hall of Famer. He was one of the most clutch players I have ever seen. He was one good season shy of 300 home runs and 1,300 RBIs. What's your take on it? -- Gerald, Pikeville, N.C.

I always enjoyed watching O'Neill play for both Cincinnati and New York, but he was not a Hall of Fame caliber player. He was a .288 career hitter, never won an MVP award and had just one batting title in the 1994 strike season. Also in an era when 3,000 hits and/or 500 home runs would clinch most bids, O'Neill's 281 homers and 2,105 hits fall way short.

O'Neill had a very good clip of seasons for the Yankees in the late 90s, but unfortunately, they all happened after he turned 30. His first 100-plus RBIs season didn't come until he was 34 years old. If he was able to post those excellent numbers earlier in his career with the Reds, there might have been a chance he would get a closer look at going to Cooperstown.

Do you think the Reds really got what they needed when they traded Joe Randa to the Padres for Justin Germano and Travis Chick? I was looking at their stats in the Minors and let's just say that I wasn't really blown away.
-- Zach E. Milford, Ohio

Randa was going to be a free agent at the end of the 2005 season and the Reds probably figured it was better to get something for him rather than lose him this winter and get nothing. I can understand that line of thought, but I can't provide a fully informed opinion on the merits of the trade because I have yet to see either guy pitch.

The Reds needed pitching, and this deal also appeared to be an attempt to address that. Germano is considered to be in the mix for the big-league rotation's fifth spot out of camp should Paul Wilson not be ready. Chick was a top-end pitching prospect for San Diego. The Reds like the way both pitchers throw strikes.

I've been a fan of the Reds for 30 years. I'm curious to know what ever happened to my all-time favorite pitcher, No. 36, Mario Soto?
-- Fernando C. Baldwin Park, Calif.

Since retiring in 1988, Soto has been living in his native Dominican Republic. Last season, he helped the organization by working with some prospects at its Latin American Academy. As part of Bob Castellini's effort to reach out to former Reds, Soto was invited to Spring Training to work as a special instructor. He looks like he's in great shape and the coaching staff has enjoyed having him around to help out.

I like the idea of bringing back Jeff Shaw. I heard last year that he still lives in Washington Court House, Ohio, and still stays in baseball shape. I want the Reds to win, but how about inviting some pitchers to Spring Training, instead of 35-year-old has-beens?
-- Jeremiah, O., Valdosta, Ga.

Jeff Shaw? Jeff Shaw? You don't want any more 35-year-old guys in Reds camp but you want Jeff Shaw, who turns 40 in July? (Pause for a laugh over your contradiction, which has now turned into a violent cough). Over his career, Shaw was a solid reliever for several teams -- including Cincinnati from 1996-98. He had 43 saves for the Dodgers the last time he pitched -- but that was in 2001. I'm sorry, but I don't believe he is the answer for the Reds right now.

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060227&content_id=1326632&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

Cyclone792
02-28-2006, 01:36 AM
Paul O'Neill was an outstanding player, and I really liked him, but he's not a Hall of Famer, and it isn't really close. FWIW, Dave Parker blows O'Neill away, and he's still on the outside lookin' in.

kheidg-
02-28-2006, 01:45 AM
I can't believe that even yet this year someone brings up signing Jeff Shaw.. the way it is going it will be 2020 and we will still hear his name being brought up.

MrCinatit
02-28-2006, 07:45 AM
I can't believe that even yet this year someone brings up signing Jeff Shaw.. the way it is going it will be 2020 and we will still hear his name being brought up.

at least this time, we didn't see anyone asking about the status of Jose Rijo.

RedsBaron
02-28-2006, 07:57 AM
Paul O'Neill had his first .300 season at age 30 (his first year with the Yankees), won a batting title at age 31 (.359), and had the first of several 100 RBI seasons at age 34. Had he started performing at that level when he was in his mid-20s, he might be a bona fide HOF candidate, but, having not done so, he falls short of the Hall of Fame. He is still one of my favorite players.

Red Heeler
02-28-2006, 09:35 AM
Just remember, kids, when you long for the days when Lou Pinella returns, that it was he who rode O'Neill out of town on a rail.

Chip R
02-28-2006, 09:59 AM
I think Paul O'Neill is a Hall of Famer. He was one of the most clutch players I have ever seen. He was one good season shy of 300 home runs and 1,300 RBIs. What's your take on it? -- Gerald, Pikeville, N.C.

I always enjoyed watching O'Neill play for both Cincinnati and New York, but he was not a Hall of Fame caliber player. He was a .288 career hitter, never won an MVP award and had just one batting title in the 1994 strike season. Also in an era when 3,000 hits and/or 500 home runs would clinch most bids, O'Neill's 281 homers and 2,105 hits fall way short.

O'Neill had a very good clip of seasons for the Yankees in the late 90s, but unfortunately, they all happened after he turned 30. His first 100-plus RBIs season didn't come until he was 34 years old. If he was able to post those excellent numbers earlier in his career with the Reds, there might have been a chance he would get a closer look at going to Cooperstown.


I think Paul O'Neill is HOF worthy. After all he hit those home runs for that kid on Seinfeld. ;)



I like the idea of bringing back Jeff Shaw. I heard last year that he still lives in Washington Court House, Ohio, and still stays in baseball shape. I want the Reds to win, but how about inviting some pitchers to Spring Training, instead of 35-year-old has-beens?
-- Jeremiah, O., Valdosta, Ga.

Jeff Shaw? Jeff Shaw? You don't want any more 35-year-old guys in Reds camp but you want Jeff Shaw, who turns 40 in July? (Pause for a laugh over your contradiction, which has now turned into a violent cough). Over his career, Shaw was a solid reliever for several teams -- including Cincinnati from 1996-98. He had 43 saves for the Dodgers the last time he pitched -- but that was in 2001. I'm sorry, but I don't believe he is the answer for the Reds right now.


Hard to believe how ignorant some of these fans are.

Johnny Footstool
02-28-2006, 10:19 AM
Paul O'Neill's problem was the Cincinnati Reds organization. They wanted him to be a 40 HR basher, and they kept messing with his swing and his head until he didn't know what to do. The Yankees basically plugged him into the linup and told him to do what he feels comfortable doing, and he responded with some very impressive numbers for the Bombers.

redsmetz
02-28-2006, 10:33 AM
Paul O'Neill's problem was the Cincinnati Reds organization. They wanted him to be a 40 HR basher, and they kept messing with his swing and his head until he didn't know what to do. The Yankees basically plugged him into the linup and told him to do what he feels comfortable doing, and he responded with some very impressive numbers for the Bombers.

I agree. I always thought O'Neill would explode under the microscope of New York - but he thrived and I think it was that he had managers who just let him play. I remember seeing towards the end of his career that he had some Yankee career stat which was the 2nd highest for any right handed Yankee player (I'm thinking it was Batting Average - I'm guessing behind DiMaggio). His BA with the Yankees was .303 (if I've done the math right - couldn't find it isolated).

When I look at the Baseball Reference HOF comparison, none of those players who compare to O'Neill are in the HOF, that I saw, but the majority of them were very good ballplayers for a period of time - Freddie Lynn, Ken Boyer, Bobby Bonilla, to name a few. Here's the list:

Similar Batters View in Pop-up
Compare Stats
Bobby Bonilla (925)
Del Ennis (922)
Fred Lynn (914)
Bernie Williams (907)
Reggie Smith (904)
Luis Gonzalez (899)
Ruben Sierra (893)
George Hendrick (890)
Ken Boyer (888)
Bob Johnson (887)

M2
02-28-2006, 10:41 AM
O'Neill will be enshrined in Monument Park and I'm guessing that's the accolade he most cares about.

Chip R
02-28-2006, 10:41 AM
I agree. I always thought O'Neill would explode under the microscope of New York - but he thrived and I think it was that he had managers who just let him play. I remember seeing towards the end of his career that he had some Yankee career stat which was the 2nd highest for any right handed Yankee player (I'm thinking it was Batting Average - I'm guessing behind DiMaggio). His BA with the Yankees was .303 (if I've done the math right - couldn't find it isolated).


Paul's a lefty.

redsmetz
02-28-2006, 10:47 AM
Paul's a lefty.

My bad again - I kept wondering why the stat wasn't making any sense - still I was shocked when I saw that stat (obviously Left-handed), given all the great Yankee stars.

Reverend Doo-Rag
02-28-2006, 12:19 PM
He had 43 saves for the Dodgers the last time he pitched -- but that was in 2001.

This is exactly why you should go out on top. Everybody acts like you still have it 5 years later.

westofyou
02-28-2006, 01:13 PM
I think Paul O'Neill is a Hall of Famer. He was one of the most clutch players I have ever seen. He was one good season shy of 300 home runs and 1,300 RBIs. What's your take on it? -

Pass that over here.

pmurray48
02-28-2006, 02:05 PM
I see Paul at the gym almost everyday and he stays in great shape maybe he could teach a thing or two about strength and conditioning to a "certain few" current Reds.

westofyou
02-28-2006, 02:08 PM
I see Paul at the gym almost everyday and he stays in great shape maybe he could teach a thing or two about strength and conditioning to a "certain few" current Reds.

Tell Paul to come and announce for the Reds, Paul is very god announcer.

M2
02-28-2006, 02:16 PM
Tell Paul to come and announce for the Reds, Paul is very god announcer.

And he'll be doing Yankees games in perpetuity.

I think we sometimes forget that Paul O'Neill is a New York Yankee, one of the most beloved in the history of that franchise, who happened to start his career with the Reds.

tsj017
02-28-2006, 02:22 PM
O'Neill will be enshrined in Monument Park and I'm guessing that's the accolade he most cares about.

Yeah, that's the thing that I still have trouble grasping. He'll probably have a monument out there with the Babe, Gehrig, Dimaggio, etc.

A few years back, when he went to the plate in Yankee Stadium for the final time in a postseason game, the Yankee fans--demanding, difficult and accustomed to excellence--stood and chanted his name.

Not that he didn't deserve it--he was a very good player for the Yanks and got a handful of World Series rings--but it was and is hard to square that with the player he was with the Reds.

:bang: :confused: :bang:

westofyou
02-28-2006, 02:23 PM
I think we sometimes forget that Paul O'Neill is a New York Yankee, one of the most beloved in the history of that franchise, who happened to start his career with the Reds.And you're forgetting that Paul O'Neil was born and raised in Columbus and still lives there... that still gives the Reds a chance of getting out of the TV hole they've dug for themselves.

A man can dream can't he?

Plus I don't see Kitty or Murcer leaving soon.

savafan
02-28-2006, 02:25 PM
Tell Paul to come and announce for the Reds, Paul is very god announcer.

I don't know if I'd proclaim him a deity in the ranks of announcers WOY. ;)

I've met Paul O'Neill a couple of times in the past. A great guy, and you'd never know he was a celebrity to talk to him. He'll get some hall of fame consideration just because he played so well for the Yankees (hello Phil Rizzutto). I expect he'll be in the Yankee HOF some day, and I think that he should be. If only the Reds had just let him play, think about what might have been...

TeamBoone
02-28-2006, 02:28 PM
And you're forgetting that Paul O'Neil was born and raised in Columbus and still lives there... that still gives the Reds a chance of getting out of the TV hole they've dug for themselves.

Actually, I believe he lives in Cincinnati.

westofyou
02-28-2006, 02:33 PM
I don't know if I'd proclaim him a deity in the ranks of announcers WOY
Have you listened to him do Yankee games? Have you listened to the Reds announcers?

I never said he was deity, other than a typo ;) but he's better than what they have now.

Chip R
02-28-2006, 02:35 PM
And you're forgetting that Paul O'Neil was born and raised in Columbus and still lives there... that still gives the Reds a chance of getting out of the TV hole they've dug for themselves.

A man can dream can't he?

Plus I don't see Kitty or Murcer leaving soon.
Actually, I think he lives in Montgomery. But what do we need Big for when we got Smilin' George Grande and the CrappyLefthanderChrisWelsh? :rolleyes:

M2
02-28-2006, 03:18 PM
And you're forgetting that Paul O'Neil was born and raised in Columbus and still lives there... that still gives the Reds a chance of getting out of the TV hole they've dug for themselves.

A man can dream can't he?

Plus I don't see Kitty or Murcer leaving soon.

True enough. Plus Waite Hoyt announced Reds games. Though I can't imagine Steinbrenner would ever allow O'Neill to stray to another organization. The man is like a religious artifact for that franchise.


Yeah, that's the thing that I still have trouble grasping. He'll probably have a monument out there with the Babe, Gehrig, Dimaggio, etc.

A few years back, when he went to the plate in Yankee Stadium for the final time in a postseason game, the Yankee fans--demanding, difficult and accustomed to excellence--stood and chanted his name.

Not that he didn't deserve it--he was a very good player for the Yanks and got a handful of World Series rings--but it was and is hard to square that with the player he was with the Reds.

A big part of it was that no matter how much Yankees fans demanded of O'Neill, he always demanded more of himself. That's huge in that town. Yankees fans almost immediately recognized that the pressure of playing in New York was nothing compared to the pressure of being Paul O'Neill and they loved him for it. I've got a friend from New York who despises the Yankees and pretty much everyone who's ever work that team's jersey. Yet even he adored O'Neill because the guy was the quintessential New York ballplayer.

In Cincinnati, it didn't go over well when he kicked a baseball. The reponse in New York would be something like, "Kick it? He should have shot it." And New Yorkers never doubted that, if issued a handgun, Paul O'Neill would have shot a baseball or his bat or a water cooler or whatever other inanimate object on which he chose to vent his righteous anger.

TeamBoone
02-28-2006, 06:36 PM
Actually, I think he lives in Montgomery. But what do we need Big for when we got Smilin' George Grande and the CrappyLefthanderChrisWelsh? :rolleyes:

To me, Montgomery is Cincinnati.

macro
03-01-2006, 12:13 AM
In Cincinnati, it didn't go over well when he kicked a baseball. The reponse in New York would be something like, "Kick it? He should have shot it." And New Yorkers never doubted that, if issued a handgun, Paul O'Neill would have shot a baseball or his bat or a water cooler or whatever other inanimate object on which he chose to vent his righteous anger.

For me, the ball kicking incident kinda sums up O'Neill's career with the Reds. It's the main thing I think of when I remember him playing here. Well, that and his other fits of anger. I loved the Roberto Kelly trade the day it was made, and it didn't bother me one bit to see O'Neill go. The trade ended up being a bad one for the Reds and an excellent one for the Yankees, but O'Neill's name and the Hall Of Fame would never come up in the same conversation if he had been traded anywhere but to the Yankees. He was in the right place at the right time.

M2
03-01-2006, 12:16 AM
He was in the right place at the right time.

I'd expand it to he was the right man in the right place at the right time.

Jr's Boy
03-01-2006, 02:56 AM
[QUOTE=Chip R]I think Paul O'Neill is HOF worthy. After all he hit those home runs for that kid on Seinfeld. ;)


RRTF,good one Chip:D

Chip R
03-01-2006, 10:45 AM
To me, Montgomery is Cincinnati.
Yeah, I know. I didn't see your post before I replied. 6 of one, half dozen of the other.

gonelong
03-01-2006, 12:26 PM
In Cincinnati, it didn't go over well when he kicked a baseball. The reponse in New York would be something like, "Kick it? He should have shot it."

I doubt that VERY highly. If he hadn't kicked that ball straight to the cutoff man it would have cost them the game. No way that goes over well ANYWHERE.

GL

KronoRed
03-01-2006, 01:44 PM
To me, Montgomery is Cincinnati.
To some everything in the 275 loop is Cincy.

Even those Indian Hill people :devil:

savafan
03-01-2006, 01:45 PM
I doubt that VERY highly. If he hadn't kicked that ball straight to the cutoff man it would have cost them the game. No way that goes over well ANYWHERE.

GL

But Paul knew he was going to kick the ball to the cut off man. That was his strategy. :)

westofyou
03-01-2006, 01:53 PM
Even those Indian Hill people
Kill the Hill

Dom Heffner
03-01-2006, 02:29 PM
To some everything in the 275 loop is Cincy.

I think for the census bureau, Cincy extends even beyond the loop.

How many famous Cincninnatians actually live within the city limits?

Maldonado
03-01-2006, 03:23 PM
If there is anyone who deserves to be in the Hall for the intangibles it's O'Neil. Statistically he was a very good player, but rarely great. And unfortunately for O'Neil the Hall is about the numbers. In this case I wish it were different.

Highlifeman21
03-01-2006, 06:00 PM
To some everything in the 275 loop is Cincy.

Even those Indian Hill people :devil:


Only Indian Hill would want to be known so badly as a village that they are technically called "The City of the Village of Indian Hill". I spent the vast majority of my educational youth in that school system (K through 10) and I'm never amazed by a story that comes outta "The Hill". If you're ever in an arson mood, Carl Lindner's house is on Shawnee Run Road, 3 houses down on the right as you're heading down Shawnee Run Road towards Milford from the ballfields at the corner of Drake and Shawnee Run. It's a big white joint that sits back from the road a little bit with a nice white gate in front, usually with a dark colored car sitting as security. His driveway is the one right before the entrance to Camargo Country Club. Enjoy, and happy burning.

westofyou
03-01-2006, 06:03 PM
His driveway is the one right before the entrance to Camargo Country Club.
Yep, he screwed their land rights when he moved in there, I always heard it was because they wouldn't let him in.

Oh... I went to Mariemont, we were a Village. ;)

vaticanplum
03-01-2006, 06:18 PM
I don't think Paul's success in New York/relative lack thereof in Cincinnati had anything to do with the cities' reactions to his playing or anything like that. It was simply a matter of timing and of finding the right match. He was a better player in New York, period. And he was lucky to come along at a time when the Yankees were one of the greatest teams in baseball history, and he was a factor in that. He is the kind of player who lives up to high standards so that team happened to be good for him then; I doubt he would have had the same career personally with the Reds of the 1990s had Piniella held onto him. It doesn't mean he was bad in Cincinnati and it doesn't negate the ring he won there, but the Yankees were just the right team for him.

And he is a very good announcer.

User Name
03-01-2006, 07:09 PM
If thrown helmets were home runs, this wouldn't even be a debate.:D

Highlifeman21
03-01-2006, 07:12 PM
Yep, he screwed their land rights when he moved in there, I always heard it was because they wouldn't let him in.

Oh... I went to Mariemont, we were a Village. ;)


At least Mariemont isn't the City of the Village of.... IMO, Mariemont, much better area, thanks to the Dilly Deli!

Anyway.... Lindner did screw Camargo royally when Camargo was going to buy land from "The City of the Village of Indian Hill" to expand their facilities. Lindner stepped in, still pissed that he was "new money" and Camargo being an "old money" club wouldn't let him join, and bought a yard width of land all the way around Camargo so they couldn't expand, b/c they'd cross his newly bought property. I'm not sure on the time period involved, but Lindner held the property for quite some time until Camargo offered to let him join in exchange for the land. He joined, but only after selling them the property, for a profit. That was the last I heard of the story. Just goes to show you what kind of man Carl Lindner really is and why he left a less than favorable mark in Reds history.

TeamBoone
03-01-2006, 07:12 PM
Oh... I went to Mariemont, we were a Village. ;)

I love Mariemont; pretty little town that has quite a bit to offer.

pedro
03-01-2006, 09:55 PM
I love Mariemont; pretty little town that has quite a bit to offer.

It was a nice place to be a kid.