Baseball Hall not for miscreants

GARY LOEWEN, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 8:49 AM ET

Another world junior tournament is history, allowing fans now to push amateur hockey aside and re-focus their hand-wringing angst on the latest personnel moves on the Maple Leafs' fourth line.

And those who were roused into wishing for an Order of Canada for Jordan Eberle soon will calm themselves and accept that 19-year-old junior hockey silver medallists normally aren’t bestowed such an honour.

Similarly, baseball lovers have been stricken by the annual palpitations over the results of the vote for the Hall of Fame. They'll debate Andre Dawson's inclusion and Roberto Alomar's omission. Then they'll put the issue aside until next winter when it will rage again, however briefly.

Don't you wish fans could just see sports as great entertainment, like a George Clooney movie, instead of getting wrapped up in a flag over a hockey game or get wrought-up over athletes whom they have placed on a pedestal?

Eberle played a great tournament, was voted MVP. But he's a teenager ... he doesn't need to be pressed into becoming a national hero. Nor is there any need to seek out a "goat" who let down "the country."

Eberle was part of a team that played in a wildly entertaining hockey final against the Americans.

The U.S. happened to win in overtime. Deservedly.

Bottom line: It was a thoroughly enjoyable event. Also, it was a hockey game, not a border war.

Baseball's dilemma

Next item on the agenda: Athletes as Role Models 101.

As much as we're told not to exalt those who play sports for a living, the baseball world seems intent on propagating that ideal.

Maybe being famous isn’t the key to getting into the Hall of Fame. Consider:

Andre Dawson, a nice guy who stayed out of trouble, gets voted in. Roberto Alomar, a considerably higher achiever, just misses out, losing votes perhaps because of a certain spitting incident.

Bert Blyleven falls just five votes shy, while crusty Jack Morris finishes up the track. I know which of the two pitchers I'd take in a head-to-head matchup with the season on the line, and it wouldn't be Blyleven.

Tim Raines (cocaine) and Mark McGwire (performance enhancers) were also-rans in voting.

Solution: The Hall of Fame could open a Hall of the Infamous — for McGwire, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Raines, Jose Canseco and, of course, the most notorious bad apple, Pete Rose.

Either that or rename it The Baseball Hall of Players You'd Be Proud to Have as Son-in-laws.

A shame Tiger Woods isn't a ball player.

Intentional grounding

Two burglary suspects fled to a high school in Sacramento, Calif., as they tried to elude pursuing deputies.

Sadly for the bad guys, a team of law enforcement officers was on the high school field, holding a football practice for a charity game.

The officers promptly tackled the duo ... and charged them with "illegal men downfield."

gary.loewen@sunmedia.ca


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