Thursday, December 27, 2007
Debate: Is Goose Gossage a Hall of Famer?
Last year Rich "Goose" Gossage fell a mere 21 votes short of
election to the Hall of Fame. Now in his ninth year on the ballot,
Gossage is considered the candidate most likely to be enshrined in
2008. Will the former relief pitcher finally close the deal or will he
have to wait another year? Goose can count on at least one extra
vote -- from new Gossage convert Sean McAdam. He and fellow
ESPN.com correspondent Phil Rogers discuss Gossage's Hall
candidacy, and McAdam explains why he hasn't voted for the Goose until now.
Goose Gossage led the
American League in
saves three times.
FROM: Phil Rogers
TO: Sean McAdam
SUBJECT: Goose Gossage -- Hall of Famer or not?
Hey there, Sean. Happy holidays to you. I know you're a true pro, but as a New
Englander, is it possible that you held '78 against my guy Goose Gossage? I'm glad you
are coming around, joining me in the "Set the Goose Loose" Hall of Fame campaign of
2007. But really, how has the most dominating relief pitcher I've ever seen -- well, until
Eric Gagne in 2003, and that's a whole different argument, isn't it? -- fallen short of 75
percent approval among our BBWAA brethren for his first eight trips on the ballot?
I think a lot of us have just been slow to recognize relief pitchers. I'm hoping Bruce
Sutter's election two years ago serves as a springboard to get Gossage in this time
around. I'll admit that I'm an easy voter. I believe in giving guys the benefit of the doubt
whenever possible (although Gary Carter got elected without my vote and I'm still on the
fence with Jim Rice). I was probably one of the few voters who put three relievers on
their ballots in previous years when I checked Sutter, Gossage and Lee Smith. I'm down
to one this year, as Smith has been passed by Trevor Hoffman for the all-time save lead
and my vote for Lee Arthur was based on his being the leader. Sorry, Lee. Gossage, like
Sutter, isn't a guy you can judge by hi