This is a game I like to call, "In and Out."
I'm going to name a player, decide who gets in and who stays out, and give reasons why.
Here are the verdicts.
Is this even a question?
Pete Rose holds one of the most unbreakable records of all-time.
He was convicted on gambling charges and was given a lifetime suspension from the game. There are worthier things he could've done than gamble.
Rose, who played 24 seasons, was a career .303 hitter with 4,256 hits. He made 17 All-Star teams, won the 1963 Rookie of the Year, the 1973 MVP, the 1975 World Series MVP, two gold gloves, and a silver slugger.
How can you tell me stats like these don't belong enshrined in Cooperstown?
I'm not done.
Rose won three batting titles, led the league in OBP twice, hits seven times, games played five times, and doubles five times.
Major League Baseball, please put Pete Rose in Cooperstown.
For the sake of the game.
Mark McGwire is a little tougher. Many people believe he should be in, and many believe he should be out.
I believe he shouldn't be in.
He was only a career .263 hitter in his 16 seasons. He only won one gold glove and three silver sluggers. Yes, he made All-Star teams, but he wasn't very good other than his 583 career home runs.
No other stats jump out at me.
He only had 1,414 RBI in his career.
He only stole 12 bases.
He struck out 1,596 in his career.
He has no other hall worthy stats other than his 583 dingers.
Shoeless Joe Jackson
No one gives him credit because he was "part" of the eight men out. Shoeless Joe couldn't have had any part in the scandal of the 1919 Black Sox.
No way. No how.
I know he's been dead for many years now, and it seems as if he's been forgotten.
But I don't care.
Another one for the sake of baseball. Put Joe in.
His career totals are outstanding. In 12 seasons with the Sox, he was a career .356 hitter with a .413 OBP, all while he swiped 202 bases.
In 1911, he hit .408 with a .463 OBP and 41 stolen bases. No, he didn't play like 80 games either. He played 147 games that season.
About this scandal in 1919.
In the 1919 World Series, he hit .375 with 12 hits in eight games.
How can you tell me he was trying to throw the series if he hit .375?
He also had one home run and six RBI on top of that.
Please Major League Baseball. Please put Shoeless Joe in Cooperstown.
He's in. He is most definitely in.
Okay steroid happy critics. He did use steroids from 2001-2003 from what we know. We can't say he used them before 2001, because he is innocent until proven guilty.
So besides 2001-2003, let's take a look at what he's done.
Other than 2001-2003, A-Rod made nine All-Star teams, two MVP awards, seven silver sluggers, and won one batting title.
How can you tell me that doesn't deserve to be enshrined?
He's a career .305 hitter, 570 home runs, 2,455 hits, 2,100 games played, 1,656 RBI, a .577 slugging percentage, a .390 OBP, and not to mention he has stolen over 200 bases.
Oh, and guess how old he is?
He's only 33.
No question. A-Rod, steroids or not, should be Cooperstown bound.
The tainted Barry Lamar Bonds.
In or not?
I'll save the verdict for the end.
Okay. Let's say he began roid usage in 2000. Until the end of the 2000 season, he was a career .289 hitter, with 494 home runs, 2,157 hits, along with 471 stolen bases.
That in itself deserves hall consideration.
Up until the end of 2000, Bonds made nine All-Star teams, won three MVP awards, won all eight gold gloves, eight silver sluggers, and actually led the league in home runs once.
He also stole over 30 bases nine times before 2001.
Now the verdict.
I vote yes.
I vote Barry Lamar Bonds to the hall. Tainted or not, he still would've hit over 500 home runs. Without steroids, he may have even come close to Henderson's stolen base record.
Sammy Sosa is another odd case.
In or out?
I'll save this to the end again.
Sosa, 18 seasons, was a .273 career hitter with 609 home runs. He made seven All-Star teams, won one MVP, and six silver sluggers.
What did he have to offer other than home runs?
His fielding was suspect, and he was streaky at the plate. As a Cubs fan, I was in love with him at times and wanted to trade him at others.
He had 128 errors in his career. He also had a .973 career fielding percentage.
Nothing that jumps off the page at you.
I vote Sosa out.
Bonds had stolen bases going for him before he got on the "juice." Sosa had home runs his whole career, and that's it.
But of course, who makes the hall isn't up to me. I hope the people who vote make the right decision and put these people in eventually and keep others out.
For the sake of baseball.