Orioles Hall Of Fame Excludes Palmeiro & Alomar – I Don’t Get It ….

March 24, 2010 |

On Monday, the Orioles announced 2010′s Hall Of Fame inductees. The list includes former pitching coach, Ray Miller, as well as former manager, Johnny Oates. A hearty congratulations to Ray and Johnny’s family …..

When these latest inductees were announced, I was a little surprised. It’s certainly my oversight, but I think of players prior to anyone else ….. and I think some pretty deserving on-field contributors await the team’s distinction. In fact, as Allen McCallum can attest, I’ve been openly campaigning for Rafael Palmeiro and Roberto Alomar for more than a month.

Better yet, lets be accurate, I’ve really been feeding the “Palmeiro – Orioles Hall Of Fame” rumblings, since around January 25th – just a couple days removed from the confirmed reacquisition of Miguel Tejada. And, to dispel any suspicions, I wasn’t being a smartass about it.

I honestly believe Rafael Palmeiro belongs in the BALTIMORE ORIOLES HALL OF FAME …..
.

.
Yet, for the past couple years, I’ve bought the common impression and assumption that the Orioles organization is trying to distance itself from any tie to the albatross known as PERFORMANCE ENHANCING DRUGS. I don’t blame them …. and if such a standard existed, I would understand and respect it.

That said, it’s hard for me to believe the Orioles really have such an unspoken standard – if they’re paying Miguel Tejada $6 million to bring his “bag of tricks” back to this clubhouse and in a uniform.

I wholeheartedly believe Miguel Tejada will be a benefit to this 2010 Baltimore Orioles lineup. Call him a “stopgap” (I’ve only heard this term 748,529 times in a few months) or whatever else, he makes the lineup better, in the short term.

And, I don’t wanna beatup on Tejada’s character, while rooting for him to drive in runs – in less than two weeks. It seems kinda hypocritical to me.

Yet, when the Orioles announce another Hall Of Fame class, brimming with freakin’ COACHES, and still without one of the organization’s greatest players EVER, I’m compelled to be honest about the situation. It’s deserving of conversation and dissection.

Just as we hold the Baseball Writers accountable for their decisions on who merits a day in Cooperstown, I believe it’s imperative to learn WHO contributes to the consensus on the Orioles annual induction of immortals. Who decided on this year’s class?

I don’t wanna hear the convenient “Orioles Advocates” response, either. Who are they?
.

.
According to the Orioles Advocates website, the team’s Hall Of Fame process is conducted by board members and “prominent media members.” I’ll asume that I don’t work with any “prominent” media members, at WNST. But, I’ll check …..

I honestly feel we have a rightful expectation to know who to lobby for this cause. If it wasn’t important, the Orioles Hall Of Fame wouldn’t exist and the organization wouldn’t dump money and effort into it.

Do Orioles Advocates board members and “prominent media members” make selections and run ‘em up the flag pole, to see if the Orioles organization is comfortable with the choices? I would think so. And, I don’t blame the Orioles, one bit, if they have such an enforcement arm.

If I stood in the shoes of Mr. Angelos, I would want final say on selections for the team’s Hall Of Fame. After all, the selections represent the franchise and the franchise has a public face and image. I get that – I really do. If the two entities (the Orioles & Orioles Advocates) are associated in this endeavor, the team needs final say.

But, tell us.

The Orioles Hall Of Fame will be a significant part of this city’s history – just as much as the resume’ of players who play for the team and wear BALTIMORE across their chests, whenever they visit another city. For me, its very much about civic pride.

Some folks might read this far, while assuming I’m on a mission to stir up controversy. I’m really not …..

If the organization was in a spot where the only alumni worthy of enshrinement was coaches, I would understand – while also admitting a tad bit of embarrassment, in front of the baseball world. How does this look to people in New York, Minnesota or Boston?

Ahh, in truth, they don’t even know. After all, I don’t know who the Twins are inducting, this year. But, I’ll go out on a limb and predict it’s a PLAYER. I’ll just check …..

Well, it was a pretty simple search …..
.

.
That’s right, on September 9th, the Minnesota Twins will be inducting Joe Mauer into the team’s Hall Of Fame. He’s definitely deserving. In fact, rumors persist that the state will be renamed MAUERsota, on the same day.

Whow, whoa ….. I’m just kidding. No need to cite or reference this anywhere else ….. if you know what I mean.

In truth, the Minnesota Twins will be inducting Greg Gagne into the team’s Hall Of Fame, on September 9th. You remember him, right? He was a rather light hitting shortstop, who averaged 105 hits, 9 homers and 10 steals, in 8 seasons with the Twins. For the record, Gagne also got caught stealing nearly as many times …..
.

.
My first impression of Greg Gagne is he’s not really one of the GREATER Twins. But, it’s Minnesota’s deal.

I’m sure the Orioles have former players with Gagne’s achievements, who are on the outside looking into the team’s Hall Of Fame. Heck, they have even more stalward candidates.

The likes of Roberto Alomar and Rafael Palmeiro are evidently not worthy enough – or mitigating reasons keep them out. Of course, it’s the latter. We’re not stupid, we get it.

However, I’ve maintained and I still maintain that some sort of STANDARD or degree of morality should be exercised on the current Orioles team, if such a character measurement exists for personnel who will be Orioles “life longers” forever.

What’s the difference?

If somebody in the Warehouse is comfortable in saying “we don’t want steroids in the team’s Hall Of Fame, but we’re okay with having steroids on the present-day team,” I’ve got a problem with that. Hanging an alleged steroid user’s plaque on the wall, in the Club Section, won’t hurt anyone. Yet, acquiring a player who used and distributed steroids is very compromising to the team’s fragile and impressionable young cast.

Have you considered the immediate future of this guy?
.

.
Rafael Palmeiro has no influence on Matt Wieters and his array of young teammates. Miguel Tejada does have influence over them. To be fair, it could be a positive, as well as a negative influence. But, the opportunity exists.

I’d be much more worried about the current Orioles culture, as opposed to recognizing former standouts for a day of pomp and circumstance, in late summer.

I’m not sitting in front of this computer and magically absolving Rafael Palmeiro of any misconduct or sins of the game. That era is etched in history and it will never go away. But, when do you move beyond it?

Rafael Palmeiro collected the five most productive seasons of any Orioles player, ever. That was during his first stint with the team and I’m inclined to think he was a different “player” at that time, if you know what I mean ….

Do you really need to hear him baring his soul? What will it do – beyond potentially revealing a dark period of his life, while humiliating his wife and kids? Miguel Tejada did the same thing – but we’ll be cheering for him in two weeks.

You wanna split hairs? Okay – a urine test caught Palmeiro and Congress caught Tejada.

In fact, if Palmeiro comes out and SAYS ANYTHING, he’ll be caught by Congress, too …..
.

.
If there is one guy who merits a best interest in keeping his mouth shut on the issue, it’s Rafael Palmeiro. Anybody in his shoes would do the very same thing.

Yet, he’s a convenient target for fans and media who are bent on driving the Steroids Era down our collective throats, again, and again, and again. I suspect Rafael Palmeiro might end up carrying most of the baggage for guys who did the same thing as him.

What’s the difference between Palmeiro and Brian Roberts? I’m serious …..

We don’t believe Rafael Palmeiro took a tainted supplement, right? But, we also don’t believe Brian Roberts tried steroids just one time, either. Well, at least most of us don’t believe that story. But, we’re looking forward to Brian Roberts leading off for this Orioles lineup.

And, Brian will be in the Orioles Hall Of Fame someday. Heck, he might be there before Rafael Palmeiro gets the nod.

If we knew who to question, in a respectful manner, it might shed some light on the legitimacy of the Orioles Hall Of Fame election process. Perhaps, we would have a clearer understanding on criteria and protocol. And, we might learn about Rafael Palmeiro’s true chances of joining the “club.”

I think we deserve a transparent process.

If Rafael Palmeiro and Roberto Alomar are not deserving of plaques at Camden Yards, so be it …..
.

.
But, those who render such a decision should be compelled to defend it.

The absence of really knowing the system and procedure yielding the Orioles Hall Of Fame process makes it kinda like the decicions Vince McMahon makes whenever his World Wrestling Entertainment company holds another event.

We know wrestling is fake, but we’ve trusted that everything about baseball is real.

This would include annual selections of the Orioles Hall Of Famers. Like I said, we deserve that much …..

Comments on Facebook

Comments are closed.