500 Home Run guys: There is a chance that five players will join the 500-Home Run Club this year, which would be a first. Frank Thomas is 13 away. Jim Thome is 28 away. Manny Ramirez is 30 away. Alex Rodriguez is 36 away. Gary Sheffield needs 45. This used to be an exclusive little club. Now it's up to 20. Soon, the 20 will become 25. In another 15 years, there are going to be 35. Get used to the growth.
It raises an interesting point ...
... which is, really, does anyone care about 500 homers any more?
It's only a mild overstatement. I remember, when I was younger, Mike Schmidt getting to 500 homers. I remember Eddie Murray getting there. Conversely, I have no real recollection of, say, Dave Kingman or Willie Stargell hitting the "magical" number 400.
I also have no memory of Ken Griffey Jr. hitting his 500th homer, and have no real sense of anticipation for Hurt, Thome or even A-Rod to get to 500. So ... is 500 the new 400? And does it matter?
On a related note, on the list of active players who haven't yet reached 400 -- or even those who have but aren't yet up to the level of Kurkjian's list (Carlos Delgado, we're looking at you!) -- who will someday reach the perhaps-no-longer magical half-a-thousand?
Thirty years ago, you never could have convinced this Ohio-born tyke that Johnny Bench wouldn't get there. He ended his career with 389. So be careful in your projections!