Over at National Review, Jason Epstein seems genuinely surprised the Toronto Blue Jays are retiring Roberto Alomar’s number 12.
I can’t see why Epstein should be surprised. After all, Alomar is being inducted into Cooperstown this weekend. Thus it makes perfect sense for the Jays to honor him by retiring his number. It’s a no-brainer. The ceremony will take place on July 31st prior to the Jays matchup with the Texas Rangers.
Epstein is, however, correct to suspect there will be those who wonder why the Jays don’t retire Dave Stieb’s number 37. Indeed, Rob Neyer of Baseball Nation and the folks at TSN make the case for the pitcher who (with the exception of Jack Morris) won more big league games in the 1980s than any other who toed the rubber.
I think the Blue Jays will eventually retire Stieb’s number. He was with them when they were very bad and when they became very good. Although his best years were behind him by the time they won their first World Series in 1992, he did get a ring.
But since Roberto Alomar is the first player to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as a Blue Jay, it is only fitting that he should be the first Blue Jay to have his number retired.