By Anthony Rhoads
The ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame has been released this week with 12 players who are appearing on the list for the first time.
Here are my thoughts about the guys who have become eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame this year:
Jim Abbott: Definitely not Hall of Fame material. From 1989-99, he had a career record of 87-108, 888 strikeouts and a 4.25 ERA.
Wade Boggs: The strongest candidate this year among guys who are on the ballot for the first time. What can you say about Boggs? Five AL batting titles, a career batting average of .325, 12 All-Star appearances, two Gold Gloves and 3,010 hits.
Tom Candiotti: Why is he on the ballot? He had a decent ERA of 3.73 but had a 151-164 record and 1,735 strikeouts in 16 seasons.
Chili Davis: A solid player but not what I would consider a Hall of Famer. He did hit 350 home runs and 1,372 RBIs and he was a three-time All-Star over a 19-year career but I don't think of him as a great player.
Mark Langston: Langston was a very good pitcher. He led the league in strikeouts three times, was a four-time All-Star and won seven Gold Gloves but is he a Hall of Famer? I don't think so. He racked up plenty of strikeouts, 2,464, but had a 179-158 career record a 3.97 ERA.
Jack McDowell: The 1993 A.L. Cy Young Award winner and three-time All-Star was one of the best pitchers in the American League for a few years but being dominant for two or three years is not good enough to make it into the Hall. His production fell off considerably after 1993. He had a career record of 127-87 but was just 12 games above .500 from 1994-99 and he had an ERA of 5.09 or higher for four of those final six seasons.
Willie McGee: The 1985 N.L. MVP , four-time All-Star and two-time batting champion was a tremendous hitter. He finished up with a .295 average with 2,254 hits and 352 steals. He was a very good player but I don't think he will make it into the Hall.
Jeff Montgomery: Is being a dominant relief pitcher good enough to make it into the Hall of Fame? I don't know but Montgomery put up pretty good numbers with 304 saves over 13 years. He was a three-time All-Star and led the American League in saves in 1993 with 45.
Otis Nixon: I liked Nixon but he's not a Hall-of-Famer. He's 15th on the all-time steals list with 620 but nothing really stands out from his career.
Tony Phillips: Another player that's definitely not a Hall-of-Famer. He had longevity, 18 years, but his career numbers just don't add up to what a Hall-of-Famer should be. He hit 160 home runs, 819 RBIs and was a .266 career hitter.
Terry Steinbach: Steinbach was a very good catcher but I don't think he'll make it into the Hall because his career offensive numbers aren't strong enough. Over 14 seasons, he hit 162 home runs with 745 RBIs and had a .271 average.
He had more than solid defensive stats with a career fielding percentage of .989.
Darryl Strawberry: Does character count? I think it should but Strawberry put up some good numbers with 335 home runs over 17 seasons. But he was suspended from baseball twice for testing positive for cocaine and once after being arrested on a possession charge. He also served 11 months for violating his parole. Someone who has been suspended from baseball should not be given the game's highest honor.
Anthony Rhoads is a sports writer for the Daily and his column appears on Wednesdays. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .