This is an excerpt from the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for more than 20 years.
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"We need to be able to say ;This was a great player who didn’t meet the qualifications of a Hall of Famer' without being positioned as the skunks at the party. I can have all the respect I should for the careers of Lee Smith and Harold Baines, which were substantial, while also saying they were not qualified for the Hall."