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Tampa Bay Rays news and links: The age old question: should relievers be in the HOF?

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Also, Rays Radio’s own Neil Solondz shares who he’d vote for Hall (if he had a vote)

Colorado Rockies v San Diego Padres Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

I really shouldn’t get so invested in Hall of Fame drama. It usually boils down to some pretty big blog and comment slapfights for what is really a museum for baseball history. But I just cannot get enough!

With each baseball writer’s ballot released, we get to try and work through the thought process behind some decisions. Other writers who do not get a vote, still take the opportunity to share their hypothetical ballots and their reasons why they would make those particular choices. That’s what Jonah Keri did with his article at CBS Sports (spoiler alert: Tim Raines makes his ballot).

I am a big fan of Jonah Keri, and I have no faults with his ballot at all. In fact, 9 of his choices were my choices for our DRaysBay Hall of Fame (I couldn’t bring myself to vote for Curt Schilling). Three notable players that were off his top 10 were three former closers: Trevor Hoffman, Billy Wagner, and Lee Smith. Keri made his argument for why he did not (and would not) vote for relievers, including this particular heat:

Acknowledging that closers do throw in higher-leverage situations than starting pitchers do, it's tough to take a player's candidacy seriously when a simple check on career value lands you behind the likes of Pedro f'ing Astacio.

Evan J. Davis at Beyond the Box Score takes the counter argument to Keri, arguing the reasons why guys like Hoffman and Wagner deserve to be under serious consideration for the Hall.

My own personal opinion on the matter is that relievers are almost always nowhere close to as valuable as guys that play everyday or pitch over one hundred more innings, but having a strict “no relievers” policy is way to narrow minded. It’s the same line of thinking that has lead to Edgar Martinez being a question mark for the Hall, just because the M’s played him at DH instead of standing at 1B and playing poor defense for 40 games a year (like future “no question” Hall of Famer David Ortiz).

So I throw it to you in the comments below: what is your take on relievers in the Hall of Fame?

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