Watching the brutal three and a half hour Home Run Derby was made a whole lot more enjoyable by the Special Olympics kids in the outfield booting flyballs, but it also served as a reminder of exactly how devalued the 500 home run mark has become. Vladimir Guerrero won it, and we were reminded that he has 352 career homers. He's listed as 31, so if he averages 25 homers a year the next six years he'll reach 500. He'll join active juicers, I mean sluggers Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Ken Griffey, Jr., Frank Thomas, and probably Alex Rodriguez (494 career homers), Jim Thome (486), Manny Ramirez (481), Gary Sheffield (476), Carlos Delgado (421 and age 35), Andruw Jones (357 at 30), and Albert Pujols (266 at 27). Adam Dunn (222 at 27) is the next most logical candidate. So I'm saying there are 12 active players that will join the 500 home run club, compared to 17 retired players that are of a part of it, including of course recently retired Rafael Palmeiro and Mark McGwire.
Every eligible member of the 500 Home Run Club is in the Hall of Fame except for Mark McGwire. I'll tell you right now that Palmeiro, Thome, Sheffield, and Delgado won't make the Hall of Fame, nor will Fred McGriff who has 493 homers of his own (the same as Gehrig). So a third of the active guys I project to have 500 homers have no shot at the Hall. 500 is such a small deal now that hopefully we don't have to worry about ESPN breaking in to The Bronx is Burning to see ARod's 500th.