The argument I really don't like is where they compare a candidate to someone who is in the HOF, that doesn't belong there either. The Hall should be a place for the really, really outstanding players. You want Alan Trammel in? Don't tell me his numbers are as good as Luis Aparicio. He doesn't belong there either. Compare his numbers to Rogers Hornsby. Does he match up well there? Nope. Jeff Kent? A lot closer with the numbers, but still not quite.
Fred McGriff is getting a lot of play. His numbers - Almost 2500 hits - Almost 500 home runs - Almost 1600 RBIs. Is he a HOFer? Well...almost. Lou Gehrig's numbers - 2720, 493 and 1995 in those same categories for a career shortened by a hideous disease.
So here is my opinion of each reasonable candidate:
Mike Piazza - Good numbers but not good enough NO
Jeff Bagwell - Same NO
Tim Raines - Same NO
Curt Schilling - Afraid not, but at least his sock made it MAYBE
Roger Clemens - No, unless we accept his "trainer," too NO
Barry Bonds - No, even with his trainer. NO
Edgar Martinez - Great hitter, but baseball has two sides, offense and defense NO
Lee Smith - Absolutely. Why has this taken so long? YES
Mike Mussina - Perhaps. if he had a bloody sock, too. MAYBE
Jeff Kent - See above NO
Fred McGriff - See above NO
Larry Walker - " NO
Gary Sheffield - " NO
Mark McGwire - We're not here to talk about the past. NO
Sammy Sosa - "I don't understand the question." NO
Ken Griffey - Do you need to ask? YES
Trevor Hoffman - Only one reliever with better numbers YES
There are thirteen more candidates who won't have a big following, if any.
There you have it. 32 candidates, 3 positives, 2 maybes and the rest, sorry. Very good players, just not outstanding superstars. Certainly not as deserving as say, Bill Mazeroski. No, wait....
I warned you that I was an old Fuddy-Duddy.
***THEY SAID IT***
"I wouldn’t say attendance at the Foster Farms Bowl was not good, but even Foster didn’t show up." -- Brad Dickson
"The Warriors’ victory over the Hornets was their 35th straight win at home. That’s nine shy of the mark set by the Bulls; 209 short of the mark set by my wife." -- RJ Currie
"Eight Ohio State Buckeyes so far are foregoing eligibility to declare early for the NFL draft. Knowing Urban Meyer and his players, have to wonder how many of them might have worn out the patience of the Columbus police?" -- Janice Hough
"The Philadelphia Eagles fired coach Chip Kelly with one game left in the season. In a year filled with controversy, it’s not clear what made the Chip hit the fan." -- RJ Currie
"A Stanford lineman proposed to his girlfriend after his team’s 45-16 Rose Bowl win: “The way things went that day, she was dating an Iowa lineman when the game started." -- Brad Dickson
" Circle the date for Jan. 23, when it’ll be IUPUI vs. IPFW. Just one question: Is that a basketball schedule or an eye chart?" -- Dwight Perry
"Triple-Crown-winning rider Victor Espinoza called it “a sham” that SI’s Sportsperson of the Year is Serena Williams instead of American Pharaoh. Not a surprise a jockey has his horse’s back." -- RJ Currie
"The Mariners acquired lefty pitcher Mike Kickham. I’d suspect their plan is to use Kickham when they’re down." -- Larry Stone, Seattle Times.