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Is Big Mac Hall-automatic?
MAILBAG: Nov. 18
Q: Do you honestly believe that Mark McGwire deserves
to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame? He is, without a doubt, a prolific player -- but he is short of 600 home runs, his career batting average is less than .265
and his season home-run record has already been broken. Also consider that
by the time he is eligible for induction his numbers will be surpassed (and
perhaps even dwarfed) by the likes of Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Ken Griffey
Jr. and Alex Rodriguez (among others). -- Bill, Cambridge, Mass.
Q: I'm a 19-year-old St. Louis Cardinals fan with a friend who is a
Baltimore Orioles fan. We have begun a huge debate. So I'm writing this to
see what your side of the story is. Who was more responsible for bringing
fans back from the dead after the strike? Cal Ripken Jr., for breaking the
streak? Or Big Mac for breaking the home-run record?
-- Nick Beckmann, St. Charles, Mo.
Q: I feel the Cardinals should stay away from Jason Giambi
and go for a much more complete player (such as Moises Alou). By acquiring Alou , the
Cards could keep Albert Pujols at first base (his best defensive
position) and feature a complete outfield with a tremendous lefty/righty
batting order with speed, average and power. What are your thoughts? -- Brian Scott, West Palm
Q: Why doesn't MLB look at the NFL and its salary-cap structure? Look at
how the NFL has made parity happen in recent years. I am baffled on why Bud Selig continues to let the major markets dominate and not let the smaller markets even try to compete -- Steven Waldvogel ,
Q: Is Bud Selig the worst commissioner in the history
of baseball? First, he kills off the World Series one year, and then just a couple
of days after the greatest World Series since 1991 he announces plans to kill off two
franchises. Your thoughts? -- Sheila Kremer, Eagan, Minn.
Q: I'm afraid that whatever happens with the Florida Marlins and a potential
contraction will impact the Portland (Maine) SeaDogs. What measures can be
taken to assure that quality, well-run minor-league affiliates that have
strong fan support and economically benefit small-town America are not left
out in the cold? -- Mark, Columbus, Ohio (former Maine resident)
Q: I've been hearing news of some possible trades involving
Scott Rolen. The two that I've been hearing most: Rolen for Ken Griffey Jr. or Rolen to the Yankees for a few pitchers. Have you heard anything about this? As a Phillies
fan, I would love to see Griffey come to the Vet so I can go
watch him play! -- David Budinas, Schnecksville, Pa .
Q: I believe Tino Martinez's good numbers for 2001 (HRs, RBI, average) are undercut by his rather ordinary OPS and that any team that
gives him a big-bucks, long-term contract will get burned. I believe he has
entered the downward trajectory of his career. What do you think? -- C. Hughes, Westport, Conn.
Q: Whether or not Jason Giambi wants to be in Oakland, I think that the
strength of the A's is their pitching. As such, what is the likelihood of
the A's using the money they would have spent on Giambi
and signing Moises Alou to replace some of the offense that Giambi would have provided and
Roger Cedeno to replace a likely overpriced Johnny Damon? -- Sidney Logan, San Ramon, Calif.
Q: Now that the Dodgers have cut ties with Jeff Shaw, do you see them going
after Jason Isringhausen? If not, what options are they looking at to fill
the closer's role? -- Gordon Madding, Boston
Q: Once again, the Pirates had a disappointing season, their free agents
were a bust and (with the exception of Brian Giles) their cornerstone players have been a huge disappointment. What direction is the team headed with free agency? And what does the future hold for manager Lloyd McClendon, Jason Kendall and Giles? -- Tom Hudzema, Mount Pleasant, Pa.
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