Sunday, January 04, 2009

Canada and Cooperstown: It's all about 2010

Roberto Alomar and Andre Dawson, a Blue Jay and an Expo, forming the Baseball Hall of Fame's 2010 induction class — it could happen.

One is hopeful for Dawson that his wait ends a week from tomorrow when the Baseball Writers Association of America vote is announced. The former Expos slugger told MLB Home Plate recently that the Hall of Fame has "lost its luster. I feel it (induction) is inevitable ... how I will react to it, I just don't know." Jeez, does that sound like the way someone should look at his sport's highest individual honour? Meantime, looking ahead, Alomar is the best of the lot among the first-timers for the 2010 ballot. He would be the first player from a Canadian-based team to go into Cooperstown on the first ballot (OK, so it's not as exciting as the Jays winning the AL East, whatever).

Dawson should make it this season or next, although Jim Rice got 64% in 2006 and is still waiting, three years later. Alomar, meantime, is probably the lone first-ballot Hall of Famer who comes up in 2010. Among the others, Barry Larkin seems doomed to the same area of purgatory as Alan Trammell, another shortstop who did almost everything well, but didn't have one or two areas where he stood out. The ballplayers got Larkin; statheads got him; the media might not.

Fred McGriff, who of course the Jays traded for Alomar on Dec. 6, 1990, is probably better than some of the first baseman/corner outfielder types enshrined in Cooperstown. His career numbers in the traditional categories probably aren't what voters would like to see from someone who played through the heavy-hitting '90s (although McGriff's total of 491 homers jumps to 511 when put in a stat-neutral context). The long-time Seattle Mariners designated hitter Edgar Martinez is also going to provide a good test case for whether someone who was a full-time DH can be elected.

It could happen. Alomar's credentials are beyond reproach. Only five players accumulated more Win Shares between 1984 and 2003. He

As for Tim Raines, it comes down to setting a target. It would be satisfactory if he can get into the 40-45% range this. It is absurd that players get more worthy in sportswriters' eyes even though they have not swung a bat or thrown a ball for years, but the media tends to be lemming-like with their thought process. Jim Rice hovered around 50% support for several years, before the New England hype machine went to work.

So it goes. Nevertheless, Alomar and Dawson in 2010. It could happen.

(It's acknowledged that I spend way too much time obsessing over the Baseball Hall of Fame.)

Raines hoping for big jump in HOF vote; Game-changing leadoff man believes he earned enshrinement (Bill Ladson,


Anonymous said...

Tram should be in the hall before Alomar.

At least Tram didn't spit on someone. Remember, "Poise counts!"

sager said...

"Mattingly just split his pants!"

I don't get too hung up on who goes in when. For what it's worth, Bill James ranked Trammell as the 9th-best shortstop of all-time and Alomar as the 10th-best second baseman. That book was published in 2001, right before Robbie's last big season, but I don't think that ranking would have changed.

Even as a Jays fan, I was amazed to see that between 1984-2003, Alomar is sixth in Win Shares ... even ahead of Jeff Bagwell.