The three years prior to the 2016 induction could be, based on the "who's in" and "who's out" arguments, some of the most explosive years the Baseball Hall of Fame has ever seen.
Thankfully, the first ballot guys of the potential Class of 2016 might bring it all back down to Earth.
However it all shakes out, 2016 also looks to be the third year in a row that someone could argue a unanimous selection. And while no one will ever get 100% of the vote...it's hard to believe that anyone would not vote for Ken Griffey Jr. or Trevor Hoffman.
Ken Griffey Jr.
When Griffey finally gets into the Hall of Fame, it'll be the final step of an epic journey that started on Opening Day 1989. But what can be said about Junior that you don't already know? 630 career home runs, 1836 RBI and 2781 hits pretty much make him a shoe-in. And if that isn't good enough...how about ten Gold Gloves, 13 All-Star Game appearances and that 1997 American League MVP award? Yeah...thought so.
Hoffman is a tricky one. Yes, dude is second all-time in saves, but the Hall of Fame has been unkind to some other closers (Lee Smith anyone?). That said, I have a feeling that Hoffman and his 601 saves will make their way to Cooperstown.
OUT (in random order).
The Angels' franchise leader in just about every offensive category, Anderson quietly put together one of the better careers of the last 20 years. That said, there's no way dude gets into the Hall of Fame. Simply put, while his .293 batting average, 2529 career hits and 522 doubles are the mark of a great career...there are too many others that fared much better.
Brad Ausmus, Luis Castillo, David Eckstein, Troy Glaus, Mark Grudzielanek, Jose Guillen, Christian Guzman, Mike Hampton, Bobby Howry, Jason Kendall, Mike, Lowell, Damaso Marte, Gary Matthews Jr., Bengie Molina, Russ Ortiz, Chan Ho Park, Russ Springer, Mike Sweeney, Fernando Tatis, Jeff Weaver and Randy Winn. ON THE BUBBLE.
It's quite possible that after Mariano Rivera surpasses Trevor Hoffman as the all-time saves leader, the career of Wagner will begin to come into focus. Right now, he sits fifth all-time in saves (with 422) and carries with him a 2.31 career ERA...half a run better than Hoffman.
"Jimmy Baseball" is one of those players that if, in 2016, he got 50% or 5% I wouldn't be surprised. His numbers, while pretty good, aren't great. But then again...you can do plenty worse than his eight Gold Gloves and 393 home runs.
Missed any of the other re-hashes from this week? Be sure to check out 2013, 2014 and 2015 . On Friday, your first look at 2017 hits the interwebs.