MLB: Why the Hall of Fame Is in Danger of Losing Its Credibility

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MLB: Why the Hall of Fame Is in Danger of Losing Its Credibility
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Pat Gillick, Roberto Alomar, and Bert Blyleven

After reading Cody Swartz's article on the The Top 75 Active MLB Players with the Best Chance of Making the Hall of Fame, I realized that, if those players really have those kinds of chances of making it the Hall of Fame, it is in danger of becoming the Hall of anybody who wasn't terrible at playing baseball.

Let's start with Todd Helton, who Mr. Swartz said was "probably" going to make the Hall of Fame. Cody rightly noted that the Coors Field effect has worked against Todd's case for making the Hall. Even with his Coors-inflated numbers, Todd should not be in the Hall of Fame.

Jim Rice had career numbers not unlike Helton's are right now (.298 average, 382 homers, 1451 RBI's, .352 OBP, .502 slugging percentage for Rice, and .321 average, 352 homers, 1334 RBI's, .420 OBP, .547 slugging percentage for Helton) and Rice wasn't elected until his last year of eligibility, coming within eight votes of being elected.

Rice hit more home runs with more RBI in fewer games than Helton did, without the hitter's paradise of Coors Field at his disposal half the time. As great as Helton has been, he's never been able to crack the top five in an MVP vote. Rice won the award once and finished in the top five on three other occasions.

Helton's name has never once been mentioned in steroid discussions, so that will help his case, but to make the Hall of Fame, he will have to break out of the slump he's had so far this season and put up the numbers he had in his prime for at least a few more seasons.

Next, there's Lance Berkman, who's numbers rival that of Helton's, something also pointed out by Cody in the original article. Berkman's career totals currently stand at a .296 average with 359 home runs, 1,197 RBI, a .409 OBP with a .546 slugging percentage. He's got four top-five finishes in MVP voting. Much like Helton, he will need a great run to end his career if he wants to make the Hall of Fame.

The same thing goes for other "maybe" contenders David Ortiz, Paul Konerko, Andy Pettitte and Carlos Beltran. These guys do not belong in the Hall of Fame, barring fantastic career-ending runs, and if any of them were to be elected, it would seriously hurt the pride of Cooperstown, New York.

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