I must admit I don't really understand the HOF debate surrounding Jim Rice, sure he was good but none of his stats have changed since he retired. I suspect that his Hall candidacy is just backlash against the current PED problems in baseball.
If Rice gets in next year (and I think he will) the door will then be open for other players who otherwise may not have been given much consideration. I'm not saying that it's right or if it's fair but that's just how it is.
One player that there will be no debate about is Chipper Jones, the future 1st ballot HoFer is batting .417/.488/.680 this season. At an age when most players start to deteriorate he is simply having his best year ever. It would be awesome if he could hit over .400 this year and that got me thinking, how come nobody did it during the offensive explosion of the last 10+ years? Here's how many players have hit .350+ the last 38 years(and the best during the decade).
- 1970-1979: 8 (Carew .388 1977)
- 1980-1989: 13 (Brett .390 1980)
- 1990-1999: 18 (Gwynn .394 1994)
- 2000-2007: 14 (Ichiro .372 2004, Helton/Nomar .372 2000)
Will the people comparing Adam Dunn to Dave Kingman please just stop. Dunn in his career is at .248/.381/.519 and Kingman went for .236/.302/.478 - there is no comparison. (BTW, Dunn's 130 OPS+ is higher that Jim Rice's.)
I notice that Mike Sweeney has his career batting average back up to .300, his career line of .300/.369/.490 is remarkably similar to this HoFer's .305/.369/.487.