Mr. Know-It-All Says Edgar Deserves To Be in HOF

Yeah, it’s Seahawks’ Saturday, but Mr. Know-It-All checked in earlier this week with his opinion on whether  Edgar Martinez should be elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame. Here’s are his thougths.

“Above, when I wrote about Jeff Bagwell, I mentioned that Bags was one of only 16 players to finish a career (min. 5,000 plate appearances) with an on-base percentage higher than .400 and a slugging percentage higher than .500. Martinez is one of those 16. He’s one of only 13 to also hit better than .300. Throw in his 300 homers, his 500 doubles … the names are suddenly: Ruth, Gehrig, Hornsby, Williams, Musial, Bonds and Martinez.
He was a fabulous hitter — an all-time fabulous hitter. I understand people being a bit hesitant about naming a one-dimensional designated hitter to the Hall, but there is some precedent (Paul Molitor played more games at DH than any other individual position), and if we really consider being a great offensive player who offers little-to-no defensive value as “one-dimensional,” then the Hall of Fame has quite a few one-dimensional players. I do think that for a designated hitter to be a Hall of Famer he needs to be a truly extraordinary hitter. I think Martinez was a truly extraordinary hitter.”  — Joe Posnanski

Above is a link to a discussion about Edgar Martinez’s qualifications to be in the Hall of Fame written by Joe Posnanski, who is Kansas City based baseball writer and a short snippet from the discussion.  He is especially singular as a writer because he understands and uses all of the arcane Sabremetric analysis to discuss players and the game in fairly straight forward English, which is to suggest he really knows his subject well.
Edgar Martinez was certainly one of the greatest hitters ever.  In THE moment of the whole thirty five years of Mariner baseball was the double and there are so many other hits of magnitude during that series and his next nine years off excellence.  I was asked to opine on his chances of making the hall of fame in light of his second run through of the voting for the hall and in the face of his positive vote going down. Before I address it, these hundred words slips out on how good he was.
He will continue to be eligible as long as he sustains a minimum percentage of votes cast.  There is some arcane formula.  If that does not prove out, then there is the veteran’s committee comprised of living hall of fame player members and the writers in the Ford Frick wing of the hall of fame.
Still I dance.  So here it is, there are concerns.  He was primarily a designated hitter (dh), which represents an issue for some voters.  It’s not like being caught for steroids, but it is still and issue.  In the hall of fame already is Paul Molitor, who was primarily a dh, and contrasted to Molitor, Edgar is like a Cadillac next to a Vespa.  So there is one item that feels like he doesn’t have to break down a barrier.
Second major issue is that he plays for the Mariners.  Have you looked a relief map of North America recently?  Seattle is so far away from anywhere else in the continental United States as to make it an afterthought in most baseball writer’s consciousness, or what passes for same.  Do the map thing, if you folded the map over so that the west coast was on the east coast Seattle would be about one thousand miles north of New York…as it is we’re just 3,000 miles away to the west.  For most of the Mariner’s history except the golden run from 1995 to 2003, or nine out of thirty five year, they’ve been very bad.  Seventy five percent of the time, precisely, which means nobody in baseball, in the context of hall of fame discussions every thinks much of Seattle or any of its players.
Seattle has had in thirty five years maybe 1,500 players on its active major league roster that have played.  That is an estimate.  It’s easy to list the good players and even easier the great players that have played here:  Dave Henderson, Harold Reynolds, Omar Vizquel, John Olerude, Dan Wilson, Alex Rodriguez, Edgar Martinez, Jay Buhner, Randy Johnson, Chris Bosio, Floyd Bannister, Ken Griffey, Ken Griffey Jr., Cliff Lee, Freddie Garcia, Jamey Moyer, Carlos Guillen, Felix Rodriguez, Ichiro Suzuki.  22 of 1,500 is 1.4%.  That is really bad.
I may have missed somebody.  Nobody was intentionally left off the list.  Twenty-two people.  Of that list there are a few locks for the hall of fame:  Junior, A-Rod, Randy, Ichiro. Less certain but likely include Edgar and Omar and if he pitches well for ten more years Felix.  Twenty two good players out of 1,500.  That more than anything tells you how consistently bad the Mariners are and have been.
Edgar could have and should have been playing in the major leagues three or four years earlier, he played four years in Calgary where he hit ..353, .329, .363 and .345 stuck behind Jimmy Pressley who hit .275, .265, .247 and .230 during the same time in Seattle.  Part of the crew that made those decisions is still here by the way.
Bert Blyleven made it in yesterday.  His numbers, that measure what he controlled as a picture are what got him in.  In contrast to his production in the things he controlled, Edgar’s production is at the top of the heap.  In the top fifteen of all hitters as quoted above?  One suspects that Edgar’s case may struggle for a few years, but ultimately he will get in.  His track record suggests that he keeps after things and ultimately prevails. Writers need to articulate his cause and show how he’s comparable or superior to players there.  They need to be led to the water.

2 thoughts on “Mr. Know-It-All Says Edgar Deserves To Be in HOF

  1. My thoughts are that Edgar Martinez belongs in the HOF as one of the greatest pure hitters of all time. The Paul Molitor situation that Joe Posnanski points out is a good one. Does anybody even remember Molitor’s contributions to the game as a middle or corner infielder? The DH has been an official MLB position since 1973, and it’s time the writers recognize that. Here’s an interesting question that I’ve been asking myself for a number of months now: Two of the game’s premier pitchers have recently chosen to switch leagues when given the opportunity, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. Will the writers 10-15 years from now, consider the pitchers’ decisions to switch to the decidedly lighter hitting National League in the same light as they view the HOF validity of a player who happened to be a DH?

  2. Hard to be unbias about this because i was such a Edgar fan . Being a traditionalist I had a problem with the DH rule , even a problem with how they expanded the league into divisions . But I admit I think it was good for baseball , but perhaps harder to judge carreers of players from one generation to the next . But getting wiser in my older years the same thing can be said of implementaion night games , air travel , etc .

    The point the DH is here , it has made baseball more exciting to watch , and Edgar made the DH become acceptable to the holier then thou baseball purist such as myself .

    Edgar for HOF !! Yes !

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