I was 10 years old as I stood in front of Mantle. I sheepishly walked up to him, did not say a word, and just handed him the ball. Now, as pitchers and catchers get ready to report to spring training, I ponder.
Beltran's post-season credentials are a product of his strong play, but also of the era in which he played. When baseball moved to the expanded playoff system following the 1993 season, it pro-actively sought to change how its past is viewed.
Kids are supposed to be learning to estimate from the start of elementary school so they can stop and say this cannot possibly be the answer, but estimation requires qualities that appear to be neglected in the test prep math curriculum.
The Yankees are in sufficiently bad shape that even a great year by Rivera will not bring them back to the World Series. Moreover, Rivera is not the only aging Yankee seeking to recover from an injury.
Keeping people out of the Hall of Fame because of suspected or real connections to steroids may or may not be wise, but keeping people out because the voting rules have not changed to fully recognize expansion is not.