Justice served in Alomar's key blunder

By Sam Spiller
Arizona Daily Wildcat
October 15, 1996

This week I would like to talk about justice. Specifically, I would like to talk about sports justice.

It could be called karma or merely coincidence, but when Roberto Alomar, Baltimore's Gold Glove Award-winning second baseman, lets a routine ground ball go through his legs in the fifth game of the American League Championship Series, the first word that comes to mind is justice.

A skeptic might say it's normal for a second baseman to miss a ball every so often. I would agree in most cases, but not for the man who has won six straight Gold Gloves and is considered by many to be the best second baseman in the game.

I think the swift sword of justice smote Alomar for his arrogance and blatant disrespect for the game. I am referring to the incident a couple of weeks ago when he spit in the face of an umpire during an argument. The incident vilified him in the eyes of the umpires and the fans, yet he remained in uniform for the series against the Yankees.

Thus, Alomar received a suspension at the beginning of next season, and everyone gets to watch their least favorite player miss a ground ball on national television, allowing the Yankees to go to the World Series.

Why should New York go to the Series? Because of two players: Cecil Fielder and Darryl Strawberry.

Fielder is the most prolific home run hitter of his time, but never got a shot at the World Series while playing for the lowly Detroit Tigers. Enter the Yankees, who trade for him in hopes of adding much-needed power to their lineup.

Darryl Strawberry was the pride of the Big Apple when he helped the Mets win the 1986 World Series, but a trade to Los Angeles and his ensuing drug problems would forever haunt him. Strawberry had a few years of Dodger blues before heading to the Bay Area in hopes of a rebirth with the Giants.

The rebirth never happened, and the only place where Strawberry seemed to produce was in Triple-A. In the midst of a career free-fall, Strawberry landed in New York. He has provided power and experience to a group of players who have never imagined, much less experienced, the things he has.

I believe justice can be served in the good management of the Yankees just as well as it can be served in the retribution of Alomar. Now Alomar is at home while Fielder and Strawberry are on their way to the World Series. Fielder gets a chance at a ring and Strawberry has a chance at redemption in the city where at one time he could do no wrong. In my opinion, justice is served.

Sam Spiller covers women's volleyball for the Wildcat.