Thursday, December 31, 2009

Alomar to the Hall?

This is perhaps one of the most ridiculous debates currently in baseball. Is Roberto Alomar a Hall of Famer? Is the sky blue? Did Bonds, Sosa, and McGwire take steroids? Okay, he spit on a guy. Big mistake. But it's not like he followed him home, forced his way into his house, and spit on his wife and kids too. In fact, Hirschbeck (the guy) considers Alomar a friend (see here for part of why).

More importantly, there are far worse people in the Hall. Everyone knows Ty Cobb owned slaves (or at least really wanted to), but no one doubts whether he should belong in the hall. The Hall is about greatness in the sport and numbers, the type of person you are should not come into consideration. Certainly the members of the same journalistic group (hey baseball writers of America) who turned a blind eye to an obvious steroids epidemic in the late 90s while it helped repopularize baseball and keep them employed only to hypocritically condemn the 'roiders and baseball when it became popular to do so should not be in charge of making moral judgments against HOF candidates.

Anyone who watched Alomar play throughout the 90s was treated to nothing less than art on the baseball field. What Alomar could do at second base was unmatched. When he went to Cleveland to team up with Omar Vizquel, the baseball universe collectively pissed itself it was so uncontrollably overjoyed. I realize sports writers need at least one HOF ballot controversy per year, and Alomar is the only player that presents a real opportunity to manufacture a controversy, but it is completely stupid to suggest that Alomar should be kept out of the hall because he spit on a guy once.

If he had taken PEDs then you could legitimately not vote for him, since his on-field accomplishments would be suspect. But if you think he was a jerk, that's not enough. There's probably about 3 or 4 professional athletes in history who are not complete walking cocks. These guys have pretty much everything handed to them from their teenage years on. They are not likeable guys. You think Tiger Woods is a jerk because he cheated on his wife with just about any blonde he could get his hands on? You're wrong. He's a jerk because he's a pro athlete, and these people are the walking definition of entitlement. Alomar spit on a guy. As far as being a jerk goes, that's not even that high on the scale. If guys like Gwynn, Henderson, and Ripken Jr. didn't get in unanimously, Alomar won't. But he should definitely be in on the first ballot like the rest of those guys. He was every bit as great as, and relative to his position probably greater than, any of those guys.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

There's like a million controversial guys this year. Blyleven (why he isn't in already is a total mystery to me). McGwire (should probably be there). Edgar Martinez (seeing that name makes me shudder, but absolutely).

No one is getting in unanimously ever. I actually have a bet with my mom where if Mariano Rivera gets in unanimously whenever he retires (which hopefully is like 50 years from now!), she gets $5 because she really thinks it's gonna happen. I love Mo and he SHOULD be unanimous, and I fully expect him to get in on the first ballot with 90%+ of the vote, but he's not gonna be unanimous.

Roberto E. Alejandro said...

yeah, there are definitely debatable, right on the line guys (like Blyleven). These guys get saved for years there's no obvious candidates (Goose Gossage). But Alomar is the only real controversy (McGwire too but that one's been done already) as far as a player whose numbers clearly, unquestionably, indicate yes (even first ballot yes) but ppl want to question him for some other reason.

As for Mo, you're proly right, but that's going to be embarrassing for the publication who hired the writer who didn't vote for him. But that's just it. In what world are Tony Gwynn and Ricky Henderson not HOFers? But guys didn't vote for them, some just b/c they don't believe anyone should get in unanimously. It's stupid, but that's what it is.

Anonymous said...

"that's going to be embarrassing for the publication who hired the writer who didn't vote for him"

Eh, whoever that writer is, he'll just have a lightning bolt hit him mysteriously ;)

Rich Mahogany said...

There have been so many idiotic non-votes for the HOF that some writers must either be insane or desperate for attention.

If Ripken, All-Star for 19 straight years, 2-time MVP, holder of one of the greatest records in sports, and the man who ushered in the golden age of power-hitting shortstops (ARod, Jeter, Nomar) didn't get a unanimous vote, no one ever will. Somebody wanted to be the guy who didn't vote for Cal Ripken.

I disagree that Alomar was better relative to his position than Ripken and Henderson, although Alomar certainly remains a first-ballot HOFer. At least one writer won't vote for him because of the spitting incident and will write some sanctimonious article about how he can't vote for a guy who disgraced himself on the field.

Roberto E. Alejandro said...

Maybe not offensively, but defensively Alomar was in a class by himself over at second base.

Roberto E. Alejandro said...

speaking of athletes as douche bags

Anonymous said...

"If Ripken, All-Star for 19 straight years, 2-time MVP, holder of one of the greatest records in sports, and the man who ushered in the golden age of power-hitting shortstops (ARod, Jeter, Nomar) didn't get a unanimous vote, no one ever will. Somebody wanted to be the guy who didn't vote for Cal Ripken."

But he stuck around for too long until the point where he was a detriment to his team. Same with Ken Griffey Jr. And Mariano Rivera is just a relief pitcher. So is Trevor Hoffman, only he was terrible in big spots to boot. And Blyleven and Mussina don't have 300 wins. And Derek Jeter is a bad defensive shortstop, which is really the point of a shortstop anyway, and he's got no power. And Roger Clemens and Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez and Barry Bonds were 'roided out of their minds. And Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling were assholes. And Pedro Martinez wasn't good enough for long enough. And Greg Maddux... uhhh... he had a losing record in the playoffs.

I do not agree with any of these but I'm just saying, there will always be one really stupid person who will always find some really stupid reason not to vote for whoever is up.

Anonymous said...

Actually I should add that I DO think Johnson and Schilling were assholes and their asshole-yness made losing in 2001 all the worse. So I guess I do agree with that. And "Greg Maddux had a losing record in the playoffs" is an indisputable fact so I have to agree with that.

Anonymous said...

And indeed, Blyleven and Mussina do not have 300 wins.

Roberto E. Alejandro said...

Peter Gammons didn't have 300 wins either, but he got in, so ipso facto, Moose should go in too.

Anonymous said...

OH MY GOD I DIDN'T EVEN THINK OF THAT, YOU ARE SO RIGHT

(Moose for the Hall. He's at least borderline right?)

Roberto E. Alejandro said...

he's definitely borderline. One wonders whether the fact that he pitched in the AL East his whole career during a time when that league had some powerhouse offenses will soften the 300 win requirement for him. I don't imagine he'll be a first ballot guy, but I could see him getting in after a few years.

Anonymous said...

well this didn't happen but everyone seemed pretty sure that he was going to be a first-ballot guy and were shocked when he didn't get in. It probably had to do with the spitting incident, voters were like, "That's not a first-ballot HOFer." He'll probably get in with one of the next two very weak classes before some strong classes the years after that.