Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Warning: cynicism ahead.

I've always thought there was something a little foolish in the Jays' apparent policy not to retire numbers of players who were deserving of the honour. There was something bush league about it, as if the team themselves felt they lacked the heft and history of a Red Sox or a Yankees, and were too insecure to partake in one of baseball's most vaunted traditions. Maybe there simply wasn't anyone deserving (though Dave Stieb would have been legitimate enough). Admittedly, this was id stuff - as a child growing up identifying yourself with a given team, you chafe at the thought there are superior organizations on the horizon without understanding the full import of a century of mythology and backstory. We won the World Series TWICE. Why don't we have anyone's number retired? The Sox have like ten.

That said, when I heard that there a retirement ceremony for Alomar's number in light of his Hall of Fame induction, my first impulse wasn't "awesome!", it was something more along the lines of, "another one?" It's sad that the Jays' publicity department has pounded 80s and 90s nostalgia so deeply into the ground over the past half-decade that something as monumental as a night honouring a Hall-of-Famer can feel like a trite pub stunt, but it almost does. It's striking that one of Halladay's comments following his return implied that he hopes the organization can move on and not still be hanging onto him in a decade the way that they hold onto certain other relics from the past. Alomar's induction ceremony will be well-attended, and will be a day that stands on its own merits. It's just a shame that the Jays have already robbed such a ceremony of its poignancy in the wake of so much trafficking in memorabilia.

Though on a more positive note, I guess it's cool that people have finally forgiven him for this.

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