Designated hitters raising controversy
Those who performed in a manner becoming a Hall of Famer should be so rewarded.
Updated: February 2, 2004, 11:05 AM ETBy Jim Baker | MLB Insider
On the morning after that rarest of Super Bowls -- one in which the game itself was infinitely better than the commercials -- there is precious little room for baseball news in America's sports pages. Because of that, today would be a good day to discuss a topic that is not tied to the moment. I recently received the following letter which brings up some points about the Hall of Fame that are well worth addressing:
Fred McGriff is unlikely to get a crack at 500 home runs.
- Jim: Even though I am a young guy, I have a great deal
of concern about the large number of pending
Designated Hitters that could be headed for the Hall
of Fame. I believe that baseball is a vibrant sport
that changes with the times, but the DH is another
matter. I believe that the DH corrupts batting
numbers and has allowed a number of players to be HOF
viable that would not otherwise be close. The
criteria for the HOF has to remain those who were the
most dominant of the era; therefore more closers need
to be admitted. Goose Gossage's absence is a crying
shame. One only has to see the vast number of power
hitters who bailed out of the box when facing the
Goose to justify his position. However, the election
of Dave Winfield, Paul Molitor (and the talk around
Jim Rice) underscore this problem. Without the DH,
they would not have 3,000 hits and should not make the
HOF. The 500 HR club has also been bastardized. Are
Rafael Palmeiro and Fred McGriff real HOFers? It is
time to discount DH numbers from certain candidates
and re-weigh NL players to correct for those who would
have retired due their inability to play the field.
Your thoughts on whether these considerations are
valid and if your peers consider these discrepancies
would be enlightening.
Los Angeles, California
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