January 07, 2010

Robbing Alomar

Yesterday, Wednesday, January 6, 2010, was all about the Baseball Writers Association of America. Their annual 15 minutes of fame. Their time to shine. And shine they did.

The BBWAA must get off on the attention. They should. They must. It's why the script never changes. We, the fans, and we, the bloggers, know what's coming. Ever year, it's the same story: outrage at the Hall of Fame results, followed by anger and exasperation. It's like clockwork. And Twitter has certainly made it easier to vent.

Roberto Alomar is a first-ballot Baseball Hall of Fame player. You know it. I know it. All of the members of the BBWAA know it. He received more votes - 397 - than any other first-year candidate not to be elected. But thanks to the democratic process, a few men denied Alomar his right. And what the fuck can you do? Democracy's all we've got.

I was disappointed. Angry. Forever the optimist, I figured Alomar was a lock. I was excited to see Robbie become Toronto's first contribution to Cooperstown. Finally, I'd have to make a visit. I openly brooded over the snub. But I've realized there's no point. Alomar will get in. Next year. It's a fact. He won't have to agonizingly wait the way Andre Dawson did, and the way Bert Blyleven continues to. It isn't much, but it's something.

In a sick way, it's been fun. Reading articles such as "Roberto Alomar's omission a travesty" by Boston Herald writer, and BBWAA member, Steve Buckley took me back to a time when Alomar was the best second baseman in all of baseball; when Alomar and the Blue Jays ruled the baseball world. Alomar did it with his bat and, Lord knows, he did it with his glove. In October, Alomar dominated. A .313 postseason batting average. A .347 World Series average. And people noticed.

Buckley said it best: "We botched it. There's no other way to say it. We botched it."

Indeed. A few men wanted to punish Alomar, and they did. That's life. That's democracy. It's why a guy like George W. Bush ruled the free world for eight awesome years.

Next year, the BBWAA will atone for their petty mistake. And at Roberto Alomar's induction ceremony, we will party like it's 2010.


William said...

While Alomar was a botched thing, at least he'll get in. Raines may never get in and he was the second best leadoff guy of his era. They should open the vote up to us bloggers. Heck, we may not have "credentials" but we are just as informed and just as creditable.

Johnny G said...

The part I really can't stand about the Baseball HOF is the whole trial/waiting period.

It's almost a given that most guys unless completely outstanding are destined to sit on the waiting list until they build up the proper amount of momentum and eventually build up to the amount votes needed.

That's bullshit, you either are good enough to get in or your not.

Moneypuck said...

I'm not gonna sit here and say I told you so bout Jerry D'Amigo eyeb but...

eyebleaf said...

@ William: You're right, it's a shame about Raines. I definitely feel for him. I retweeted a couple of articles from Rob Neyer and Keith Law about Raines; he's definitely deserving. He put up some great numbers, even comparable to some of Tony Gwynn's. As for the process, I think we're seeing a changing of the guard, but we're still a ways away from the revolution.

@ Johnny G: I totally agree. Fourteen years after getting on the ballot, Blyleven will be inducted, in all likelihood, next year. It's not like his stats have gotten any better. It's just about finally getting the amount of votes needed before his eligibility ends. It shouldn't work that way.

@ Moneypuck: D'Amigo probably had a better tournament than Kadri, eh? Good times. He was a late pick, too. All the better.

Ian H. said...

It's sad when even members of the BBWAA admit that there's something wrong with the whole process.

Viva la revolution!

On The Fence Sports said...

It is pretty stupid/lame how the voters try to classify Hall of Famers with which year they are inducted in. Is one HoFer better than another one?

In my eyes, the HoF is a place where great players get the recognition they deserve after playing and contributing to the great game of baseball. Simple as that. There are no tiers here.

By following this unwritten rule of 1st ballot entry being left for "The Greats" is a black eye on the whole HoF. Shame on the writers for keeping HoFers out of the hall on their 1st ballot because they want to keep this "prestigious" group going.


Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.

eyebleaf said...

@ Ian: Sad, but at least they realize there's a problem. Nobody would like a BBWAA in complete denial.

@ On The Fence: I've never been to Cooperstown. On an inductee's plaque, does it say in what year of eligibility they were inducted? I think it was Dave Perkins in The Toronto Star, but there were some amazing players who got in after their first year of eligibility. Alomar's certainly not the first slight.

@ Anon: Cheers.