Scott Rolen: A Hall of Fame debate
Any final rebuttals regarding Rolen and the Baseball Hall of Fame?
Eric: Scott Rolen will probably always be somewhat controversial in Philadelphia. That may never change and every fan is entitled to their opinion of a player. I think that Rolen is a Hall of Famer based on his numbers compared to third basemen already in Cooperstown. I see Kevin’s point that Rolen had missed time and his average number of games per year dropped in his thirties and that he missed some of the milestones that are considered in Hall of Fame voting, but he still put up some impressive seasons and stats despite the injuries and missed time. There are arguments both ways on Rolen’s Hall of Fame case, and that is why he has taken some time to approach that 75% mark that he needs. To me, his career numbers, longevity in the league, and his individual accomplishments are enough for him to get into Cooperstown.
Kevin: It’s possible that the Rolen fiasco was the turning point for the Phillies to stop being so cheap and take a long, hard look in the mirror to turn the franchise around and stop being an embarrassment for their fans — although the new ballpark was a big help. So maybe we can indirectly thank Scott Rolen for all of that. I also think that Eric is correct in saying that Rolen played the game the right way, and he played it hard. There was a lot to like there. As for the Hall of Fame, I still say no, although I am 90% sure that he’ll be getting the invite this year. For me, the body of work falls in the borderline area, and the fact that Rolen was a clean player in an era of rampant PED use should just be a minimum requirement, not an extra check mark in his column that I fear many writers are giving him. Taken at face value, his career and his statistics don’t scream “Cooperstown" — although I am fairly confident he’ll be there soon anyway.