Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cooperstown crisis; spare the schadenfreude

As an addendum to one of the 317 Alex Rodriguez posts that have run here in the past 96 hours, the Baseball Hall of Fame is a hurtin' unit.
"Induction weekend has the potential to make up more than 10 percent of annual attendance. So you can imagine what happens if you have more weekends like you did last year with Goose Gossage (14,000 people) versus the year before (2007) when Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn were enshrined (75,000 people)."
— Darren Rovell, CNBC, Feb. 9
The obvious temptation is turn this around and point out the Baseball Hall of Fame is in such a fix because the voting system wasn't totally broken. Don't try to blame this on juice monkey ballplayers and moralizing sports writers. It is certainly valid that the tourist trade in Cooperstown has plenty of reason to worry. The Hall of Fame is kind of built around being a draw for families who piled into the station wagon or Aerostar for a long driving trip, something that is probably going to become less commonplace to due to cost of gas.

The Hall voters' prefence for one-team ballplayers is also rearing its head here. Ripken helped get 75,000 people because he was a timeless ballplayer identified with one franchise, the Baltimore Orioles. It's telling that Rovell wrote, "Andre Dawson, Roberto Alomar" — this was before the tabloid furore — "and Fred McGriff probably don't get me to make the inconvenient trip up to Cooperstown anytime soon."

(And what country did all those players spend a signficant chunk of their careers in?)

Biggest Loser From A-Rod Story? (Darren Rovell, CNBC, Feb. 9)

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