Alan Trammell for the Hall of Fame
You can find various articles this time of year where members of the Baseball Writers Association of America defend and explain their votes for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Usually I'm not persuaded by the argument of if so and so is in then this other guy should be in because he has the same number or better in one particular statistical category. This argument is often fallacious due to comparing apples and oranges (outfielders to infielders) or cherry picking a statistic which supports a one dimensional player (McGwire). However, Scott Miller of CBS Sportsline effectively uses that line of reasoning in arguing for greater consideration of Alan Trammell's Hall of Fame election.
But here goes: Ozzie Smith rode 91.74 percent of the vote into Cooperstown in 2002. Trammell last year received 17.7 percent of the votes. Trammell isn't a slam-dunk Hall of Famer, but I know this: No freakin' way there should be that significant of a gap in the voting between him and Smith.Smith routinely batted 8th in the St. Louis lineup while Trammell was normally a strong middle of the batting order guy. There is no way that the higher number of runs saved by Smith's glove exceeds Trammell's greater offensive output. If Trammell doesn't merit election then there is no defending Smith's election.
In the 1980s, you probably would have taken Smith over Trammell defensively, but it was darn close. While Trammell wasn't as flashy, he still made all of the routine plays, and his range was significant. He was above average defensively.
Across the board offensively, it wasn't even close: You'd take Trammell in a heartbeat. He outhit Smith over their careers (.285-.262), significantly outhomered him (185-28), collected more RBI (1,003-793), outslugged him (.415-.328) and compiled a better on-base percentage (.352-.337).