Quickly, for the record, my Hall of Fame Class of 2005 predictions:
Wade Boggs, 3B, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He goes in with a Red Sox cap.
Ryne Sandberg, 2B, Chicago Cubs. He came close last year and this year probably puts him over.
I’m not sure what to think of the three closers who are regularly debated: Goose Gossage, Bruce Sutter and Lee Smith. I think of them in that order, in terms of strength of case, because they were the pioneers of the closer as we know him today. They pitched two or three innings each time out, 70 games a year. It’s going to be hard for today’s generation of one-inning closers to get there, but we’ll leave that discussion for their own retirements.
But for Gossage, Sutter and Smith, I don’t know if this is the year. It will be somewhere down the line, but not 2005.