On the heels of Hal Bodley’s questionable bit of reasoning comes Bill Livingston of the Cleveland Plain Dealer who likewise won’t be voting for Alomar this year. His reasons? In addition to the idiotic “he’s no first ballot Hall of Famer” thing, he says Alomar failed to run out two ground balls that resulted in double plays in a 2001 ALDS against Seattle:
I ripped Alomar for his 0-for-4 game in the 3-1 season-ending loss
and, more, for his lackadaisical attitude. This was not picking on a
player for one bad day. That can happen to anyone. His lack of effort,
however, struck at the core values of the game.
When Mark Shapiro was named the new general manager after the
season, replacing John Hart, I brought up Alomar’s fifth-game
performance in a meeting. Shapiro admitted that Alomar did not give his
all that day. He knew the player was a diva, and traded him before the
For starters, I wonder if Shapiro will go on record today admitting that he called Alomar a diva who didn’t give his all in a playoff game. If he will, sure, maybe there’s a bit more to Livingston’s beef. If not, we’re left with one writer’s subjective view of things. Anyone wanna ask Shapiro about it?
Either way, I’m not sure how you look at 2700 hits, ten gold gloves, a .300 career average, superior numbers in most advanced metrics and two World Series rings and say “Sorry, but no. There was this day back in 2001 that he didn’t make it down the line fast enough.” What player could possibly pass that test?
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax will be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium, expected to be unveiled in 2020. Dodger Stadium will be undergoing major renovations, expected to cost around $100 million, after the season. Koufax’s statue will go in a new entertainment plaza beyond center field. The current statue of Jackie Robinson will be moved into the same area.
Koufax, 83, had a relatively brief career, pitching parts of 12 seasons in the majors, but they were incredible. He was a seven-time All-Star who won the National League Cy Young Award three times (1963, ’65-66) and the NL Most Valuable Player Award once (’63). He contributed greatly to the ’63 and ’65 championship teams and authored four no-hitters, including a perfect game in ’65.
Koufax was also influential in other ways. As Shaikin notes, Koufax refused to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series to observe Yom Kippur. It was an act that would attract national attention and turn Koufax into an American Jewish icon.
Ahead of the 1966 season, Koufax and Don Drysdale banded together to negotiate against the Dodgers, who were trying to pit the pitchers against each other. They sat out spring training, deciding to use their newfound free time to sign on to the movie Warning Shot. Several weeks later, the Dodgers relented, agreeing to pay Koufax $125,000 and Drysdale $110,000, which was then a lot of money for a baseball player. It would be just a few years later that Curt Flood would challenge the reserve clause. Koufax, Drysdale, and Flood helped the MLB Players Association, founded in 1966, gain traction under the leadership of Marvin Miller.