I’m not exactly an expert on these things, but I was always under the impression that Scott rolen was basically one of the all time great three baggers. Very surprised to see him getting so little love.
Also if baines is a hall of famer than crime dog and Delgado getting in should be a layup. Crazy.
There are three things holding Rolen back:
- Lack of counting stats/hardware. Rolen was a tremendous defensive third baseman and a very good hitter, but he wasn't an elite home run hitter, and he fell well short of the traditional benchmarks for a Hall of Famer. Only 300-odd home runs. Slash line doesn't jump off the page. Only received a significant number of MVP votes once. Probably deserved to win a World Series MVP, but they gave it to David **** Eckstein. In a fashion, good all-around players often get punished because they don't have that tentpole event or skill that everyone remembers them by.
- The incredibly crowded HoF ballot. I bet if it was a straight "is this dude a Hall of Famer?" question, Rolen would be doing far better. Unfortunately, circumstances have conspired to screw over a bunch of guys who are deserving or bubble candidates. Because the threshold is 75% to get in, and because writers are limited to a maximum of 10 choices, baseball's inability to figure out an approach to steroid era players has created a backlog where there are more players that merit consideration than writers are allowed to consider. And that's only going to get worse; next year's ballot features Mariano Rivera, Halladay, Helton, Pettitte, Berkman and Oswalt, guys who will all pick up somewhere between a few and a lot of votes, thus making it even harder for candidates like Rolen (and Sheffield and Larry Walker and a host of others) to push themselves closer to 75%. And it'll only get worse until they finally push through the Clemenses of Bondses and Schillingses, which likely won't happen for another couple years at minimum.
- He was kinda a dick. Lots of great baseball players were far more prickly than Rolen, but writers have always tended to punish guys seen as bad teammates or difficult interviews, and Rolen was a bit of both. He was a noted curmudgeon who otherwise kept a fairly low profile, who pushed his way out of one team and was spite-traded (to us) by another. He feuded with a couple managers and was surly to a few writers. Should that matter? Not really, but it does have an impact. Personally, I think that feuding with Tony La Russa and Larry Bowa is a positive, but some seem to disagree.
I'd peg him as a bubble/lean-in candidate, and my guess is that Rolen languishes for a few years but makes it eventually, either in like his 12th year of eligibility, or via one of the veteran's committees.
**** your asterisk.