Elbo: Brush with disaster, 1988 division 

The great Steve Goldman reports stumbling upon a 17-year-old news item suggesting that Giants GM Al Rosen nearly traded Will the Thrill plus two pitchers to the Yankees for Don Mattingly. Wow.

It wouldn't have been Bagwell-for-Andersen, not quite. But can we conceive of the Giants making the Series in 1989 with Donnie Baseball at 1B instead of Clark? Mattingly's OPS was 828; Clark's was 953. Clark came in second in the MVP voting that year, and nabbed the NLCS MVP trophy too. Meanwhile, Mattingly enjoyed the company of Mike Pagliarulo, Alvaro Espinoza, Mel Hall and Steve Balboni, all of whom posted OBPs under .301. His team finished fifth and the Boss fired the manager midseason. And in 1990, the Yanks finished last for the first time since 1966.


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