Did you ever get the feeling that awards are given out just so that writers can write about them? It’s like the members of the BBWAA realized that they were bored in the middle of the winter. So, they decided to announce a big award, or membership, in the dead of winter. It was brilliant. For the week leading up to the announcement, they could write stories about who might get in. Then, they can write about who did get in. Then they can talk about who should have gotten in, but didn’t. It doesn’t matter that who they think will get in is the same column as who should have gotten in. It’s practically three weeks of material, just from one little announcement. Since I’m not a member of the BBWAA, I have no guilt whatsoever in latching onto their scheme to come up with a post or two of my own.
Who’s going to get in? I have no idea. As I said, I don’t even get a vote. Who could get in? Good question. As far as Red Sox fans, this could be a slim year. It’s probably just as well, since they were two for two last year, including Jim Rice who was a career Soxer. A quick glance at the names only brings up one former Sox among the top contenders. Andre Dawson played two seasons in Boston at the tail end of his career. He even hit his four hundredth home run in a Boston uniform. I don’t really know if he should get in, but he has a good chance. His prime years were a bit before my time. Looking at the stats, he was an all-star quite a few years. He was very consistent throughout his career. I’d have to depend on people who saw him play in his prime to tell me if he was ever “dominant.” Did he have the five years I require where if you were starting a team he might be your first choice? The fact that he’s been on the ballot for quite a few years tends to make me think he didn’t. But, he got close enough last year, that he should get enough of a push this year.
A player in the same category as Dawson is Bert Blyleven. He’s been hanging around on the ballot for a few years, slowly inching towards the magical 75%. Like Dawson, he was before my time, so I have to rely on other’s opinions. Like Dawson, I assume that if they haven’t elected him by now, he probably doesn’t deserve it. (I will never understand how a player can get more votes one year than the previous one. Did his stats go up?) Like Dawson, looking at the stats the “dominant” years don’t jump at me. But, I’ll defer to others.
The third player, one I think should go in, is Roberto Alomar. His career is more in my time frame. If you’re looking for a Red Sox connection, I was at the 1999 All-Star game to see him make an error in the second inning. It cost Pedro his second perfect inning. But, it did lead to a nice strikeout-throw out double play to end the inning. Alomar had a string of All-Star appearances. He was clearly an elite player. And, I would think if you were staring a team in the late nineties, he’d certainly get consideration for a first pick. His numbers are especially good as a second baseman. Normally, I don’t like position qualifiers. I’ve always said Jorge Posada shouldn’t get credit for being a great hitting catcher, because he couldn’t catch. If they put Manny Ramirez behind the plate, does he become the best catcher ever? But in Alomar’s case, he was a superior second baseman. He has a case of gold gloves. He’d be a worthy addition to the Hall.
We’ll have to see if anyone who matters agrees with me.