Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Institutional fail

While many have been lamenting the failings of the institutional structure that is the US Senate, there is no more dysfunctional collection of humans on the planet than the Baseball Writers Association of America, as evidenced today by their Hall of Fame voting.

Andre Dawson, the Hawk, finally got in, on his 9th year of eligibility. He should have been in years ago. He not only had a long career and accumulated excellent numbers, but also was an elite player for a stretch, culminating in an MVP award while playing for a last place team, a truly rare accomplishment. He had very few peers while he played, no doubt. So what the hell took so long to put him in? Or, more specifically, can a writer who previously voted against Dawson elucidate some coherent reason why he changed his mind? No, such an individual couldn't make a rational argument without sounding like a sommelier with a blindfold on explaining why Two Buck Chuck is worthy of a 95 Wine Spectator rating, $100 price tag, and should be cellared for at least 10 years before drinking.

Even more egregious is leaving out Robbie Alomar. He was the best second basemen in baseball, by a longshot, for the better part of two decades. Offense catalyst on an excellent Blue Jays team that won consecutive World Series. Stellar defense. Piled up great numbers over a long time, and, like Dawson, could legitimately claim, at least for a stretch, to be an answer to the 'if you had one guy to build your team around' question.