The Narrowback and I were unable to get together for semi-annual pints over the Christmas holiday. This was a disappointing development, since I particularly enjoy drinking with the Narrowback. It's been over eight years since we last worked together, but the conversation still flows freely. The older I get, the more of a requirement that becomes for me when considering whether or not to spend time with someone.
Earlier this week, he asked my opinion about Andre Dawson's induction into the Hall of Fame, as well as Roberto Alomar's exclusion. Of course, I gave him my opinion.
Andre Dawson: not a Hall of Famer. I'm stealing the line from someone else, but the place is becoming the Hall of Very Good. Dawson was consistently a good player, but his only superstar year was 1987, because the wind was blowing out at Wrigley. His supporters pull out the 400 HRs/300 steals line. What they don't say is that he only hit over 30 homers three times and only stole over 30 bases three times (never in the same season). And don't give me the "OBP didn't matter back then" stuff. That argument tries to say that players swung at bad pitches in every at-bat because getting a hit was more important then helping your team.
Roberto Alomar: A Hall of Famer, but its no outrage that he wasn't a first ballot pick. Done as an effective player at Age 34, Alomar's credentials rest on an 11-season peak from 1991 to 2001. His first three years were only average to slightly above-average, and his last three years were dismal. He was a dominant player in between though, for just long enough to be considered with the immortals.
More importantly, though, when are more people going to realize that Tim Raines belongs in the Hall of Fame?