“The Whitestone Bridge won’t get you to Cooperstown. Nor will 10 Gold Gloves, a .300 BA, or 12 All-Star Appearances.”

    At the bottom is a preview link for our interview with Mr. Alomar.

WHITESTONE, NY – At 2:04 PM yesterday, our man Aristotle Sakellaridis, informed us via text that Roberto Alomar, arguably the best 2nd baseman to ever play in the majors, failed to win the favor of The-Anything-But-The-Facts-Gang that comprise the Cooperstown Election Committee, or more precisely, The Baseball Writers Association of America (BWAA).

We kid around a lot on this thing that you’ve all helped grow here. We also tend to put on pedestals those that give us the time of day on-camera. And yes, we’d likely sell our souls – or any of you – for an A-List cadre of advertisers/partners. Yet, every once and a while something grabs our attention like a newly broken tooth chomping on tin foil. This is one of those times.

In just two hours at the Whitestone, NY home of Roberto Alomar, we came to know what 73.7% of the BWAA already knew; That this well-mannered, soft-spoken, accommodating and gracious world-class athlete deserved the highest honor his sport could bestow upon him: Election into Cooperstown’s Baseball Hall Of Fame. The guy was even a little nervous about coming on camera with us, for chrissakes.

The man we interviewed for a pleasant and uninterrupted 45 minutes was not the guy everyone forever remembers spitting in umpire John Hirshbeck’s face. He is also not snotty, condescending or riddled with AIDS or open sores – as some hack reporters and an angry ex-girlfriend have been perpetuating in the papers. He’s a lean, mean 6′ tall and 190 lbs of tanned athlete. In fact, he looks like he could play today. You hear that, Luis Castillo??? Did we mention his new bride? Ay, caramba! Take a gander at this:


The sick thing is that rumor, innuendo and blatant prevarications have basically kept this unassuming and quiet guy from preparing his induction speech. Sure, spitting in the face of an umpire is a no-no, but Delmon Young hit an ump with a bat and nobody keeps talking about him. Is it because he sucks or because he paid his penalty and moved on? Alomar has more than paid for his isolated incident. Will Ray Lewis be flagged when he’s up for enshrinement in Canton for being conspicuously present during a murder? Probably not. Yet, Roberto Alomar has not only become friends with John Hirshbeck (who we spoke with Tuesday & Wednesday), but he’s also helped him with his foundation. 26.3% of the BWAA don’t want to acknowledge that, though. Nor do they choose to acknowledge this:

    Alomar & Hirshbeck bury the hatchet.

Statistically speaking, Alomar gets in – without question. His stats are better than any 2nd baseman’s – period. The Philly Phanatic can talk-up Richie Ashburn all he wants and Dude can bring up his cup of coffee with the Mets ’till the cows come home; it doesn’t matter. As for longevity being a knock, Roberto was a 20-year-old rookie playing 2nd base for the Padres after catapulting through the minor leagues. Many felt he was ready at 18 or 19. While that’s not earth-shattering news, he’s a little nugget that explains a lot – and it’s something we found out in our sit-down: Alomar played Winter Ball in Puerto Rico for 12 of his seasons in the majors. Think about that. Nobody does that. Ladies and Gentleman of the jury – he played played year-round for 12 years! Do you know how much baseball that is?! It’s mind-boggling. And it wasn’t DHing or playing LF – it was turning double plays. He didn’t mail it in, either. His family wouldn’t stand for that and neither would his fellow Puerto Ricans.

One final point: Roberto is his father’s son. We met Sandy Alomar, Sr. down in St. Lucie during Spring Training. Post-game, kids were hanging by the team parking lot, hoping for autographs. We watched one car after the next zip by. Finally, one stopped. For a solid twenty minutes, every autograph-seeker was given their due. Then we meandered over. It was Sandy, Sr. Off-camera, we talked another 15 minutes with him and pointed out that he was the only one that stopped. He shook his head with disgust and said, “The fans deserve better. That is wrong.” And that’s exactly how we feel about his son Roberto being by-passed by the BWAA.

If you’re still not sold, check out the sneak preview of our Alomar Interview by clicking the photo below:


Cookie’s Corner, tomorrow.

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About The Matts 375 Articles started out as a NY Mets website and organically grew into an entity covering all professional sports. Our daily contributors, as diverse as they may be, share two important traits: -They toil for the "love of the game..." -They have a sense of humor. This is, after all, sports entertainment.