Did you see where Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, along with Frank Thomas were elected to the Hall-of-Fame? Maddux, Glavine and Thomas deserve the honor. They were not only great players, they were superb for long periods of time. Maddux and Glavine were great athletes but not overpowering pitchers. One of the great things about living in Georgia was occasionally going up to Atlanta and watching those guys pitch. One particularly fun time was watching the Braves in San Francisco, when Barry Bonds was on a rampage. Maddux put a stop to that. He found a “hole” in Bonds swing and repeatedly targeted it with pinpoint mastery. Bonds kept swinging and missing at Maddux’s fastball on his hands. At that point, my co-workers and I started calling Maddux “The Master” because his pitching was not overpowering; it was hit-able pitches made un-hittable due to location.
Glavine had some good stuff, but he was a master of the craft as well. Glavine was superb in all phases of the game. He could hit, move runners, hold runners on base and field his position. The only pitcher better than Glavine at fielding the position was Maddux.
Frank Thomas, I didn’t like him due to his lack of knowledge of the role Jackie Robinson played in the game. Still, he was a guy you didn’t want to see at the plate in a big situation. He was just a big dude who could overpower the ball.
Now for the non-Hall-of-Famers: Craig Biggio needed two more votes to make it. He should get them next year. I’ll say it: A Hall-of-Fame without big game winner Jack Morris is a crock of crap. The steroid era juicers didn’t make it. Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds received less than 36% of the vote. Mark McGwire’s percentage of votes plummeted nearly six percent from last year. Rafael Palmiero’s votes fell to 25, forcing him off the ballot. Looks like Sammy Sosa will join him, his batting numbers totally enhanced by his roid freaking.
I’ll always say it, but like Bob Costas, I’m not a baseball writer: Clemens and Bonds belong in the Hall-of-Fame for two reasons: Their stats before juicing make them legitimate Hall-of-Famers, and let’s face it, in order to stay at the top of their craft, they had to juice. You think Maddux and Glavine feel better because they are Hall-of-Famers while juicers like Clemens, Luis Gonzalez and even Jim Leyrintz have championship titles?
Guys like Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa have absolutely no business even allowed in the city of Cooperstown. They should have their photos on all the roads leading to the place. No one’s taking records or titles back because they were cheaters, though.