SPORTS DAILY: Baseball Hall of Fame voters sort of get it right

Barry Bonds tried to stay relevant by becoming the Miami Marlins hitting coach after disappearing for a few years. Next stop Cooperstown? Don’t hold your breath. File photo

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Barry Bonds tried to stay relevant by becoming the Miami Marlins hitting coach after disappearing for a few years. Next stop Cooperstown? Don’t hold your breath. File photo

Nice to see Tim Raines make the Hall of Fame on his final try Wednesday, even though it happened about eight years too late.

I was in Raines' orbit in 1996 when he played for the New York Yankees, who won the World Series that year. Not that he could pick me out of a lineup today, but since he didn't curse at me (Pascual Perez), shove me in the back for accidentally trampling his floral arrangement (Sandy Alomar Jr.) or shower bleach in my vicinity from a giant squirt gun in the clubhouse (Bret Saberhagen), I have gladly voted for him on numerous occasions.

That he’s the second-greatest leadoff hitter who ever lived and the only player with at least 100 triples, 150 home runs and 600 stolen bases kind of worked in his favor, too. As did his 84.7-percent stolen-base rate, best of anyone in history with at least 400 attempts.

And, no, I didn't need next-level analysis or sabermetrics to determine Raines' worthiness for Cooperstown. All I needed was to pay attention while he was compiling all those numbers and dominating all those games. Same with Jeff Bagwell and Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, whose names also appeared on more than the required 75 percent of the writers' ballots, including mine.

Here are five who didn’t get in but should have:

1. Barry Bonds. We all know he did steroids, and we all need to get over it and acknowledge baseball's true home run king. Of course, he was much more than a slugger. Ranks among the top five players of all-time by any objective measure.

2. Roger Clemens. Best showing yet, but like Bonds and for much the same reasons, his progress is glacial.

3. Jeff Kent. I vote for this guy every year. No second baseman hit more home runs or doubles. So he wasn't Bill Mazeroski with the glove. Big deal. And he could be a bit surly, such as when a cheery writer (not me) approached him in the clubhouse one day, extended his hand, introduced himself and heard Kent respond, "This must be my lucky day."

4. Curt Schilling. Yes, he was deservedly fired from ESPN for objecting to transgender people using the restroom or some such idiocy, but he was also 11-2 in the postseason and had the greatest strikeout-to-walk ratio in history. Belongs.

5. Vladimir Guerrero. Almost made it this year. Sure to make it next year, because somehow people seem sure he didn't use steroids, even though nobody paid much attention to him because he played so many years in Montreal.

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