This should be a happy time for Jays fans. It is a happy time. Roberto Alomar, local folk hero, enshrined in the Hall of Fame! The first to go in as a Blue Jay! Excitement!
Unfortunately the scrutiny maelstrom surrounding Hall of Fame inductions may have shot a few holes into the Roberto Alomar mystique. Calling his defense track record into question and the like. Long suffering Jays fans howl in disbelief, unable to fathom the great second base deity might not be as transcendent as they remember.
It was nearly 20 years ago, after all. People jumping out of their skin to decry the faulty metrics based on observations they made when they were 12. Just like Parkes said in the comment section of his post on the matter, you can't toss aside defensive metrics and meaningless awards when Jeter wins them but use them as to back your Robbie the GBOAT case.
But Robbie Alomar isn't a rational buy for Jays fans of a certain age, he's an emotional one. The iconic home run, taking rueful hot dog Dennis Eckersley deep against all odds, is etched in the minds of those old enough to remember.
Does it matter that Candy Maldonado actually contributed more, in terms of WPA, on that fateful day? Nope, it does not matter one bit. We remember it how we remember it, and we associate so many of those fuzzy feelings with Robbie. Rightfully so.
Robbie clearly has an affinity for Toronto, too. The most deeply cynical among us (hi!) might suggest his loud lobbying to go in as a Blue Jay seeks to exploit that affinity, that he recognizes the value in being "Blue Jays Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar" when it comes to appearances and signings.
Or he just valued his time in Toronto as the best of his career. His ongoing relationship with the team suggests as much. Being heralded as a hero will do that.
What about players who aren't thought of as heroes? As anyone familiar with the self-deprecating stylings of Dirk Hayhurst knows professional athletes — especially those on the talent margins — must cast off the constant fear and self doubt associated with professional inadequacy.
Blogoncé herself wondered "aloud" if I didn't want to @-reply Jesse Litsch on Twitter with a link to the post I wrote earlier this week, expressing my belief that Litsch is unfit for the rotation. I can honestly say I did not.
There is no part of me that wants to put Jesse Litsch on blast, attempting to draw his attention to the uninformed opinion of a no-account blogger like me. Not that he'd put any stock in it in the first place. Either way, the thought of Litsch bristling at the thought that some clown in his parent's basement doesn't think he has what it takes makes me uneasy.
Seriously, who am I to tell Litsch he isn't good enough? In any professional baseball player's eyes, I'm nobody. Could my insignificant words penetrate the iron-clad shell of pro athlete confidence? Hopefully not. But it is surely part of the din.
It's all in the game though. Jesse Litsch knew what he was getting into long ago. A product of the RBI program, he's overcome more than his share of adversity. Here's hoping he stays strong and overcomes a little more, in spite of what clowns like me believe.