Alomar, Blyleven earn Hall election

Roberto_Alomar_12_088c.jpgAfter coming agonizingly close to being elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame last January, Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven found their way into the hallowed halls of Cooperstown on Wednesday.

Alomar was named on 90% of the ballots cast, while Blyleven’s name was checked on 79.7%. That was enough for both to earn election after falling eight and five votes shy, respectively, a year ago. They were the only players elected and are set to be inducted in a ceremony on July 24 at the Hall.

I would expect Alomar to go into the Hall with a Blue Jays cap on and Blyleven seems a shoo-in to be elected as a member of the Twins. That said, both players enjoyed strong seasons during their time with the Indians.

Alomar elevated his game to new heights while with the Tribe from 1999-2001, averaging .323/.405/.515 over those seasons. He averaged 21 homers, 38 doubles, 35 stolen bases, 103 RBIs and 121 runs over that span. Along the way, he picked up three All-Star nods, three Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers.

Twice with the Tribe, Alomar pieced together seasons with at least a .300 average, a .400 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging. He had three such seasons in his career. Since 1900, only five second baseman have had at least three seasons of at least .300/.400/.500. Soe impressive names, too. Try Rogers Hornsby (9 times), Charlie Gehringer (7), Jackie Robinson (4), Nap Lajoie (3) and Alomar.

Giant_Diamond_King_Bert_Blyleven.jpgAs for Blyleven, he went 48-37 with a 3.23 in 104 career games for the Indians from 1981-85. He was acquired via trade from the Pirates in December 1980 and dealt to the Twins in August of ’85. In ’84 and ’85, Blyleven finished third in boting for the American League Cy Young Award. He was an All-Star in 1985.

I probably don’t have to remind too many of you about the balloting in 1984. Blyleven went 19-7 with a 2.87 ERA, completed 12 games and logged 245 innings. He earned four first-place votes. The two who finished higher in voting were relievers Dan Quisenberry of the Royals and Willie Hernandez of the Tigers. Hernandez took home both the Cy and the MVP.

In that group, Blyleven’s WAR of 6.2 ranked highest. Hernandez had a WAR of 4.8 and Quisenberry’s came in at 3.2. Among those who received Cy votes, only Toronto Dave Stieb ranked better than Bly with a 7.7 WAR in 1984. To put Blyleven’s 6.2 in perspective, consider that Bob Feller had a WAR higher than that four times in his storied career.

Congrats to both Alomar and Blyleven on earning election today.

Other items…

1. Here’s an update on Grady Sizemore
2. Indians signed RHP Doug Mathis today


3. A glance at the Tribe’s arbitration situation



Both players have finally made it to the Hall and I’m happy for both of them, especially Blyleven.


Brien, this is not a knock on the Rays’ fans. But last year, the Reds outdrew the Rays by about 2,700 fans a home game. Even in 2008, when the Rays went to the World Series and the Reds fieshind 23.5 games behind the Cubs, the Reds outdrew the Rays by over 3,000 a home game. Forbes shows Cincinnati outearning Tampa Bay by about $10 million in revenues. Tampa is the larger metropolitan area, by about 2.7 million to 2.2 million (larger TV market, too), so they certainly have the potential to earn (and spend) like Cincinnati. But it hasn’t worked out that way yet. Cincy’s been spending about $75 million a year on payroll, and that’s likely to increase in 2011: Cincy already has about $62 million committed to 14 players in 2011 and that does NOT include Votto. Tampa’s announced payroll budget for 2011 is around $50 million. By the way, I don’t know whether the Reds can afford any more Votto-like contracts either.

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