Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Congratulations to Bert Blyleven and Robbie Alomar

They are both deserving of the HOF which, IMHO, should be limited to what the person does ON the field.  

While neither will go in as an Indian, it is rewarding that each spent some of their prime years with Cleveland and that their production here contributed to their induction and that they were great contributors on the field when they were here..   It is interesting to note, however, that we are getting into the free agent era pretty heavily and it is not obvious whose hat Alomar or Blyleven will wear into the HOF.  Here are their years, in chronological order, that each played for teams in the majors:

6 1/2 Minnesota
1 1/2 Texas
3 Pittsburgh
3 1/2 Cleveland
3 1/2 Minnesota
3 California

Note that, without the additional 3 1/2 years towards the end of his career that he played with Minnesota this COULD be tossup as to whose hat he would wear going in.  He will most likely go in as a Twin, however.  But what would have happened had plyaed those 3 1/2 years with Texas, ZCleveland or even Pittsburgh, both a second time?  We will never know.  What we do know is that the Twins issued a statement congratulating him for making the HOF (wink, wink).

3 San Diego
5 Toronto
3 Baltimore
3 Cleveland
1 1/2 NY Mets
1 Chicago White Sox
1/2 Arizona

Note how split his career was.  Except for his time in Toronto it was pretty evenly split.  Also, his best statistical years were in Cleveland.  If he hadn't left under such bad circumstances here and the Indians had held onto his rights through his next free agency, he might have ended up in the HOF as an Indian, who knows?  Considering the crap we got for him in that trade, I would have rather have kept him AND Sandy throughout their entire careers...but that's just me.  So who Alomar goes in as is way up in the air and the Hall won't have much say as you can make a case for any team he played for ending with Cleveland.
This does open the old discussion, however: What is more important, a trip to the playoffs or statues outside your stadium.  You know where I stand on that issue :-)  Stay tuned to see what happens if and when Jim Thome, Omar Vizquel, Manny Ramirez and maybe Sandy Alomar and Kenny Lofton are considered, either now or by the veterans committee.  I honestly believe that had we brought any of the first three back at the end of their careers and treated them well we would have been locks to get our hat on their head entering the Hall (if Manny gets in, due to his PED use).  Now, who knows.  And that doesn't even count Julio Franco who would have probably ended up with 3000 hits in the US majors if we had nursed him through the years he played overseas.

I will say this again.  Unless you grow up in St. Louis or live here a long time, you really don't understand the power of all those HOF statues outside of Busch Stadium that almost all attendees walk by every game.

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