Roberto Alomar: II


The above photograph is of Roberto Alomar and his son after they learned the retired second baseman hadn’t made the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The picture is heartbreaking, in that Alomar is a hands-down, no-questions-asked Hall of Famer, and a handful of self-righteous BBWA dolts took it upon themselves to deter his entrance (Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald wrote this wonderful piece on Alomar’s omission).

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I don’t love calling out other writers. I think this can be an extremely hard job, and the quality of a person’s literary work is extremely subjective. I get letters saying I’m the worst writer ever, and I get letters from people saying they love what I do. Different strokes for different folks—which is the way it should be.

That said, scattered throughout America are a handful of scribes who serve primarily to harm our profession. They are cartoonish buffoons who live for the spotlight; who do this job not because they cherish the written word or love sports or desire to see what makes people tick. No, they do it simply for attention; so that, in the days after they pen something provocative or scream loudly on TV how so-and-so bites, people will react. They’ll call, write, e-mail, text—and the so-called journalist will embrace every minute. His ego is enormous and his skin is thick, and his ultimate goal is to have his name in bright letters as the headliner of an ESPN talk show. (If you’re thinking, “Look who’s talking,” I understand the perception. But I assure you, my love is writing and reporting. As I’ve said, this blog is a vent, and it’s fun. But books are my true calling).

I’ve never met Jay Mariotti, but, for the love of God and the sake of our profession, I wish he’d take a lengthy pilgrimage to Mecca (a la Malcolm X) to look deep within himself and reexamine his reasons for existing. Because, right now, all Jay does is SCREAM. He screams in his writing, he screams in his podcast, he screams on those ludicrous TV shows. He screams when he whispers and he screams when he screams. His mouth opens, and you hear this.

I’m sure Jay has talent. Hell, he can write very nicely. But that’s been lost behind garbage like this, uttered the other day on his podcast:

I didn’t vote for anybody in the baseball hall of fame this year. Ya know why?  To me … the first ballot is sacred. I think Roberto Alomar is an eventual Hall of Famer, not the first time. Edgar Martinez, designated hitter, eventually, but not the first time. Same goes for maybe Fred McGriff. As far as Blyleven and Dawson … if they haven’t gotten in for years and years I cannot vote them in now. Ripken, Rickey Henderson and Gwynn. They are true first ballot Hall of Famers, but I didn’t vote for anybody, throw me out of the Baseball Writers. I don’t care.

I agree—throw him out. Render him voiceless. Move on and depend on people who actually pay attention to the game. Because this sort of thing is a joke—yet another self-righteous, can’t-touch-me writer creating his own rules for Hall voting.

Jay, just don’t vote. You show them.

12 thoughts on “Roberto Alomar: II”

  1. Sorry, the picture is not heartbreaking. Roberto will have to wait a year, maybe two. The kid’s father isn’t going to jail or dying of cancer.

    And while you’re right on about Mariotta, you basically take the same approach with your sancitmonious attitude towards the steroid users. As I’ve stated before, the entire institution of baseball was guilty for condoning its use.

  2. Disappointing, probably. Heartbreaking? Gimme a break. Losing a loved one is heartbreaking. Your take on BBWA voters, no argument. The Hall of Fame? It’s become the Hall of Pretty Good Most But Not All the Time.

  3. “They are cartoonish buffoons who live for the spotlight; who do this job not because they cherish the written word or love sports or desire to see what makes people tick”.

    Much like your fact lacking article and follow up post here on the Pirates.

    The fact that you and Mariotti both have HOF votes speaks for the process itself. At least most have heard of him.

    1. What an unfortunate response. A. I don’t have a Hall vote; B. Why do I care if people have heard of me? I love writing; loooooooove writing books; enjoy blogging as a vent and for fun. The idea that one is a success or failure based on whether people have heard of him/her speaks to the very core of what plagues the modern sports media. Ideally, writers are messengers: We write our take and stay out of the way.

      (On a side note, I love how PS uses neither his name nor real e-mail address when ripping people. Gutsy)

  4. PS seems to know a lot about Jeff Pearlman.

    Say Jeff, when did they give you a HOF vote like the screamer, Jay Mariotti?

    Buffooney I say!


  5. P.S:

    My parents both died before my twenty-first birthday.

    People don’t have to die for something to be heartbreaking, I can assure you.

    For example, there’s this song by a band called Bon Iver. The song is “Wolves, Part I & II.” Gets me everytime.

    So does Jack Frost, just to give the out of touch person an idea.

    The picture of Roberto Alomar and his son, yes, it is heartbreaking. How do I know? Look at the son. The father. Put yourself in their shoes. Look at their faces. It doesn’t matter what you think. It’s them. They matter. Look at them. It’s heartbreaking.

  6. Alomar should have gotten in. But it’s not heartbreaking if everyone goes home alive.

    It was a bad word choice, Jeff. It was a blisteringly overreactive response.

    Now, in that same spirit, I hope Mariotti eats acid.

    1. Darrin, c’mon. Just because you’re not heartbroken over it doesn’t mean he wasn’t. And it doesn’t mean the photograph isn’t heartbreaking. Someone doesn’t have to die or even be seriously injured for a moment to be incredibly sad.

  7. Sorry, I know his kid does, but I just don’t find it incredibly sad. If it was his last year of eligibility, certainly. He’ll get in next year.

    Now Tim Raines not even getting a third of the votes: that’s sad. He very well may never get in.

  8. Actually, this kid is his step son. Alomar does not have any kids of his own, yet. He was recently married after a short courtship with his current wife.

    As far as heart-breaking… probably for the kid. He doesn’t understand the world where the Lisa Olson and Jay Mariottis have a vote that they choose to waste.

  9. “It was a bad word choice, Jeff. It was a blisteringly overreactive response.”

    Might I say your response to something as pointless as blog semantics is blisteringly overreactive.

  10. Words matter, jb. I think Jeff would agree. He thinks it is an appropriate word for the situation. I don’t.

    But I don’t think any writer would cast his or her lot with the argument that words do not matter.

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