In the off-season, when all we have to watch are the remnants of a college football and a hapless Titans team, ESPN has filled the gap nicely by presenting the Hall of 100, the top 100 professional baseball players of all time.
It makes for great discussion – even an argument or two – at the Thursday Morning Breakfast Club at McDonald’s. Especially when the top 25 players are considered.
Who are the best players?
Well, before you rattle off your all-stars, let me tell you who does not belong in the top 100:
I’m still undecided on Roger Clemens.
Athletes who use PED’s = performance enhancing drugs – are, for lack of a better word, cheaters. The key words here are performance enhancing. If your stats are better – or enhanced – because you juiced up or used a cream, and the other guys didn’t, then you don’t belong on any list.
Bonds and Rodriguez are users. The jury is still out on Clemens.
But, ESPN didn’t consider PED use in their list. Their methodology states
There is no character clause. We do not care if they might have gambled on the game or taken PEDs. Nor do we care if they devoted time and money to charity. Again, this is only about performance on the field.
Performance on the field. That’s a key phrase. You’ve got to remember that, for a few of these guys – and Bonds and Rodriguez are the poster boys for this – their performance was helped by a drug. Sure, Bonds is a homerun guy, and he might have hit enough to put him in the top 100. But, you’ve got to consider his use of PED’s before you land him in the top 25.
I won’t even get into A-Rod’s post-season play. There’s no way this guy is better than Jeter.
So, give a look at the top 100. And, then look at the top 25. See if you agree.