The hall of fame ballots are out, with Rickey Henderson the only shoe-in. Jim Rice is in his last year on the ballot and he came very close last year so a lot of people think he is in as well. It doesn't look like Tim Raines will come close, which is a shame. And Bert "Be home" Blyleven probably won't make it either. We have visited McGwire's chances a little bit on this blog and even had some debate about it which is very much appreciated.
I think McGwire's low batting average brings up an interesting point. Who gets in the hall of fame is largely a reflection of what we think of the game of baseball. Electing McGwire would show that baseball is more complex than batting average (for hitters and, say, wins for pitchers). It's a reflection of what's important. That's why you have some guys in on (mostly) sentiment (I won't name names, as I don't want to anger my Yankee fan readers), and other guys not in who deserve it. Blyleven and Rice are a good example. Blyleven has the numbers (over 3k k's) but "didn't seem dominate" and doesn't have 300 wins. Never mind he played for losing teams (or maybe that's why). Rice, on the other hand, does not have the numbers but seemed dominate and was "feared." (But look at his intentional walks against say Bonds or Pujols.) My point is not which individual player should or shouldn't be in but rather that we want the hall of fame to reflect our feelings about the game, sometimes warts and all.
Mike Mussina, Hall of Famer
3 weeks ago