MLB Hall of Fame: In or Out, an in-Depth Look at the Top 20 Candidates

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MLB Hall of Fame: In or Out, an in-Depth Look at the Top 20 Candidates
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Jeff Bagwell belongs in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. There should be no doubt. He deserved to be a first-ballot entrant. The brevity of his career cut into his counting numbers a bit, but based on rates, Bagwell was 49 percent better than the average batter of his time. Only spurious suspicion about PED use has kept him on the outside looking in thus far.

That's a shame, too, because there are some perfectly good debates to be had about Hall of Fame candidates this season, and the lunacy of steroid Salemites has forced us to have this stupid one instead. Tim Raines, Larry Walker, Edgar Martinez, Barry Larkin, Alan Trammell, Dale Murphy, Don Mattingly and Bernie Williams all present opportunities for much more enjoyable arguments than Bagwell does.

Let's have them. Here is a breakdown of the candidacy of each of the top 20 players vying for enshrinement this winter, with verdicts on each man. Is he in, or out?

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