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Thread: Reds Mailbag: Is O'Neill Hall worthy? (2/27)

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    "Let's Roll" TeamBoone's Avatar
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    Reds Mailbag: Is O'Neill Hall worthy? (2/27)

    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.

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    Playoffs Cyclone792's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Mailbag: Is O'Neill Hall worthy? (2/27)

    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.
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    Member kheidg-'s Avatar
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    Re: Reds Mailbag: Is O'Neill Hall worthy? (2/27)

    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.

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    Baseball card addict MrCinatit's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Mailbag: Is O'Neill Hall worthy? (2/27)

    Quote Originally Posted by kheidg-
    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.

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    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Mailbag: Is O'Neill Hall worthy? (2/27)

    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.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

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    Re: Reds Mailbag: Is O'Neill Hall worthy? (2/27)

    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.

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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Mailbag: Is O'Neill Hall worthy? (2/27)

    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.
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    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Mailbag: Is O'Neill Hall worthy? (2/27)

    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 prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Mailbag: Is O'Neill Hall worthy? (2/27)

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool
    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)

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    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Mailbag: Is O'Neill Hall worthy? (2/27)

    O'Neill will be enshrined in Monument Park and I'm guessing that's the accolade he most cares about.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Mailbag: Is O'Neill Hall worthy? (2/27)

    Quote Originally Posted by redsmetz
    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.
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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Mailbag: Is O'Neill Hall worthy? (2/27)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R
    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.

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    Re: Reds Mailbag: Is O'Neill Hall worthy? (2/27)

    Quote Originally Posted by TeamBoone
    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.

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Mailbag: Is O'Neill Hall worthy? (2/27)

    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.

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    pmurray48
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    Re: Reds Mailbag: Is O'Neill Hall worthy? (2/27)

    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.


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