Thursday, January 07, 2010

Catch The Taste Of Harsh Reality: Roberto Alomar Is Not A First-Ballot Hall Of Famer

Two things happened after the announcement of the 2010 Baseball Hall of Fame inductees: spontaneous, poorly-informed debate, and the repeat viewing of this video.

Roberto Alomar missed making it to the Baseball Hall of Fame by just eight votes, drawing the ire of many pundits and fans who felt he should have gotten in on the first ballot.

The "snubbing" even caused a heated debate at The Score; to be fair, the last two heated debates in Newspit 2 involved Jersey Shore, so take that for what it's worth.

Alomar-backers are claiming the infamous Hirschbeck-spitting incident, or more recently the AIDS tabloid rumours affected Alomar's bid. I certainly hope that's not the case, because that would be the wrong reason not to elect someone to the Hall of Fame, given that a few HOF members were described as unlikable jerks and borderline criminals in their day.

The real reason, and the right reason, is that Roberto Alomar is simply not worthy of a first-ballot nomination.

The process of getting into the Hall of Fame is questionable at best, and the biggest factor of all is circumstance. Alomar got close to the 75% threshold in large part because the other candidates were weak; Andre Dawson finally got in on his ninth try, while Bert Blyleven again fell just short after 13 years on the ballot. Did anyone think that Dawson and Blyleven were definitely among the absolute best in the sport? Evidently not.

Heck, even Joe DiMaggio, Jimmie Foxx, and Rogers Hornsby (the greatest 2B ever) weren't first-balloters. If they didn't get in on their first shot, then clearly factors other than numbers, awards and warm fuzzy feelings are at play here.

Many people are throwing around the best-second-baseman-of-his-generation title, which again is more about circumstance and less about credentials.

Can you really say that Roberto Alomar dominated his position the way Cal Ripken or Rickey Henderson did? You can, if you're a crazy person.

Alomar was undoubtedly the best 2B in the American League in his time, but when you include the National League, Alomar suddenly becomes just the best defensive second baseman.

Jeff Kent holds the title of best offensive second baseman of the era; his 351 homers are the most ever at the position. Kent also won the NL MVP in 2000; Alomar never won an MVP.

And best all-around second-bagger should go to Craig Biggio, who got to 3000 hits (which Alomar did not), and has the hardware and the history to back it up (he is the only player ever with 3000 hits, 600 doubles, 400 stolen bases, and 250 home runs).

Will Kent and Biggio get first-ballot nominations? Probably not, and neither should Alomar.

To be clear: he will get in, and it should happen next year. But putting Alomar in the same sentence as Ripken, Henderson and Tony Gwynn is just foolish.

When you think "bonafide, no-brainer Hall of Famer", you do NOT think of Roberto Alomar.

And if you do, you're either a Jays fan, or an idiot. Or both.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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