Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Raines robbed again
I've never been a regular at the annual How Come Tim Raines Isn't In The Baseball Hall of Fame Whine Festival, but the argument is starting to resonate - not so much because of Raines' credentials, but because of some of the other players being honored while Raines is rebuffed.
The longtime Expos left fielder is a borderline candidate for Cooperstown, but so were the overwhelming majority of inductees from the past 10 years - a list that includes Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven, Andre Dawson, Rich Gossage, Wade Boggs, Ryne Sandberg, Jim Rice, Dennis Eckersley, Paul Molitor and now Barry Larkin. Fine ballplayers all, but a cut below true baseball legends like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente and Nolan Ryan, to name but a few of the indisputable giants of the game. More to the point, there's nothing tangible - statistically or otherwise - that separates Raines from most of the 21st century Hall of Fame inductees. Raines had drug issues early in his career, but Alomar spit in an umpire's face and Boggs is a famously admitted adulterer, so apparently character is not an issue.
I'm not saying the rest of them aren't worthy of Cooperstown, but if they belong, so does Tim Raines.