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Let’s get on with spring already

January 5, 2011

The period between the winter meetings and the Hall of Fame announcement is my least favourite part of the baseball calendar. The excitement of the winter meetings gradually fades, and then devolves into parody (Kevin Gregg will decide this week which team he will sign with – can you stand the suspense?); and then comes the Hall of Fame debate, a nasty, unpleasant affair in which argument devolves into rants and personal attacks.

Best thing to do is try to ignore it; this time of year offers plenty of other distractions anyways. If you’re a baseball fan and can’t help yourself, all you can hope for is a warm fuzzy at the end of the process. Last year, myself and I think a lot of other fans were left cold when only one player was inducted and two just missed; this year, those two players (Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven) were inducted, while another highly-deserving player (Barry Larkin) took a big jump, and seems like an excellent bet to be inducted next year.

(The warm & fuzzy feeling was completed when another personal favourite, Tim Raines, got a nice boost as well. Long, long way to go, but heading in the right direction)

So I will stick to the positive for one day: in my 35 years as a sports fan living in Toronto, Roberto Alomar is the single most important athlete this city has had, the best player on a team that won back-to-back championships, a feat that looks even more stunning in retrospect. Right now, almost everything about the local pro sports scene is bad; the hockey team is gawdawful bad, the basketball team is horrible, the football and soccer teams are also bad… the Blue Jays are the only team generating any buzz at all right now, and although I like their future I don’t think they will compete for a playoff spot in 2011.

So we’ll just have to enjoy the moment (and it’s a nice touch that the architect of those teams, Pat Gillick, is being inducted as well). And as for Bert Blyleven, here’s a video of him getting his head shaved:

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