Quotable.  Maybe.

MLB.com has a profile on Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera’s eventual Hall of Fame chances. Straight forward enough, but this stuck out:

“Trevor Hoffman is a Hall of Famer, in my opinion,” Commissioner Bud Selig once said. “So is Mariano Rivera. Look, Yogi Berra once said, ‘If you ain’t got relief pitching, you ain’t got nothing.’ So where in my mind do you think Trevor Hoffman figures? Relief pitchers are critical.”

Call me crazy, but that does not sound like something Yogi Berra would have said. Rather, it sounds like one of those things people like to say that Yogi Berra said. A regular, boring statement Yogi-fied by the use of the word “ain’t” and a double negative.

A few searches reveal nothing of that phrase other than Selig’s use of it in this article. Your assignment, super sleuths: find me a single example of Berra saying something like that. If we can’t find it, I’m going to assume this is an example of Selig hiding behind a phony quote of someone else, unable to make a solitary stand on even the most uncontroversial of issues.

UPDATE: We have at least one other source attributing that to Yogi (see the comments). If that holds up, I’ll stand corrected and offer my sincerest apology to Mr. Selig. Still, it’s not like there’s a law that you have to have Berra backup to say something like Rivera and Hoffman are Hall of Famers.

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  1. Steve H said...

    I don’t think the Bob Ryan citation counts for much, since it comes AFTER Selig’s. Making a good case for Berra really having said that would involve a citation predating Selig’s use.

  2. Wooden_U_Lykteneau said...

    Fine. Then I guess you’ll just have to take the word of the SI editors, then, assuming you even bothered to click through and find it.

  3. Luis Venitucci said...

    I think what Yogi said,(and this was in 73 when Tug was struggling) if I recall was”If you aint got a bullpen you aint got nothing.”  as the Mets were pretty bad until September when they got hot and won the division wi 82(or 83) wins.

  4. GBS said...

    Yes, I “bothered to click through and find” the reference you cited, and I do consider that a more credible source.  My point is that an after-the-fact reference by a blowhard who is willing to appear on “Around the Horn” doesn’t carry much weight with me.

  5. Wooden_U_Lykteneau said...

    Well, GBS, at least you admit that you base your specious opinion on what Ryan says vs. what he writes. It’s not like he’s ever won any awards for that, right?

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