Can we please put an end to the Willie Bloomquist lovefest? He didn’t reach base himself, he pinch-ran. He then advanced to second on a throwing error — contrary to popular belief, his “intangibles” had nothing to do with it. He then stole third (why run? You’re already going to score from second on a hit, and if you’re out the rally’s over) and scored because the throw hit him in the head.
Maybe, just maybe, he’s able to scare opposing fielders into bad throws. If that’s the case, it’s the only thing he does well, not that it justifies his roster spot.
Edgar Martinez. Hall of Fame. Five words that have inspired thousands more since the best designated hitter of all time announced that we only get to watch him do his thing for another two months. As every other local and national columnist weighs in, I’ve sat back and read. And read. And read some more. After two days of reading, one thing has become pretty apparent to me; one of the best hitters to ever play the game doesn’t have a snowballs chance in hell of getting elected.
The best columnist in Seattle, Larry Stone, wrote about Edgar on Tuesday. Stone has a vote and says he will vote for Martinez. However, he called several other voters to ask their opinion and the news isn’t good. Bastion of ignorance Phil Rogers, whose terrible work with the Chicago Tribune somehow landed him a job writing for ESPN.com, had the following to say:
“I think he has a much better chance to be one of those guys that falls off the ballot early than a guy that gets much support,” said Phil Rogers, national baseball writer for the Chicago Tribune, who is solidly in the “no” category.
“He just came to the big leagues and became an elite hitter too late in his career, and didn’t pile up enough career stats. To me, it’s not the DH. I’d certainly vote for a DH. But I think Harold Baines has a better case than Edgar.
“I think he’s popular in his region, and like a Kirby Puckett or a (Paul) Molitor, he probably deserves support for how he plays the game. I just don’t think there’s enough there for me to give it a second thought.”
Rather than get into a long analysis of why the comparison of Baines to Martinez is like comparing Scott Rolen to Aubrey Huff, I’ll suggest that if you’re interested, you can do the reference yourself. Or, you can simply ask yourself this. If Edgar played the next six years and went 659 for 2,845 (a .231 average) with 84 homers (13 per year), would you be more impressed with his career? Because after doing that and hurting his team for half a decade, he’d have the same number of hits, at-bats, and home runs as Harold Baines. The difference between Baines and Martinez isn’t longevity of success. Martinez could match Baines career performance by simply sticking around and being a terrible player for the next six seasons. And somehow, that would improve his stock in Phil Rogers’ mind.
After reading Rogers’ sentiment, and the fact that nearly everyone with a Hall of Fame vote agrees with him, I realized that I don’t care. Sure, I’ll be happy for Edgar if he’s inducted, and I’m sure he’ll consider it a great honor if there are more Larry Stones than Phil Rogers in five years when he comes up for election. But let’s be honest; the hall of fame is voted on by people like Rogers who simply do not care to understand the game in a meaningful way. I have no interest in letting Phil Rogers ignorance do anything to alter my perception of the incredible career Edgar Martinez put together.
People will spend years discussing whether Edgar is a few hundred hits short, what might have occurred if the M’s had called him up earlier, or the merits of a DH being enshrined in Cooperstown. In the end, though, the facts will be unchanged;
74th best career batting average of all time.
17th best on base percentage of all time.
52nd best slugging percentage of all time.
32nd best adjusted OPS of all time.
For 18 years, Edgar Martinez was one of the few best hitters this generation got to see. If 18 years of historic production isn’t enough for Phil Rogers, then I don’t care what Phil Rogers thinks. Edgar Martinez is a Hall of Famer whether the people who actually get to vote think so or not. Give him a bust and a speech. Or don’t. It doesn’t change the fact that Edgar Martinez is one of the greatest players of all time. He is what the hall of fame is all about. Thanks for the great run, ‘Gar.
We’ve gotten our fair share of bad news lately, so thanks to prompting from reader Mark Bruso, here’s some good news, and a quick primer on 40 man roster rules.
The injuries to Soriano and Guardado will open up a pair of 40-man roster spots for the M’s to use if they choose to place them on the 60 day disabled list. This has the added benefit of allowing the M’s to give two kids they may not have called up looks in September, since there won’t be need to designate someone for assignment to get them on the 40 man roster. Possibilities for those spots would include guys like A.J. Zapp, Greg Jacobs, and Randy Williams. Without the open 40-man spots, all three would be longshots to get a cup of coffee in September. It still may not happen, but the chance is at least there now.
As a service to our more casual readers who may not care about every insane roster rule Major League Baseball has, here’s a quick overview of how the rosters and disabled lists work.
Anyone under a “major league contract” is assigned to the 40 man roster. In order to be on the 25 man roster, you must have a major league contract, so the everyday team is 60 percent of the 40 man roster. Players on the 15-day disabled list count against the 40 man roster, but not the 25 man roster. Currently, Guardado, Pineiro, Soriano, and Mateo are on the 15 day DL, so they are part of the 40 man roster but not the 25 man roster. The 11 minor leaguers who fill out the 40 man roster are Blackley, Baek, Borders, R. Johnson, Looper, Taylor, Dobbs, Santiago, Ugueto, Reed, and Strong. Chris Snelling and Jeff Heaverlo are listed on the Mariners 40-man, but the best info I have puts them on the 60-day disabled list. Considering the official site’s 40-man roster contains 42 players, I think my info is correct.
There is no downside to putting Soriano or Guardado on the 60-day DL this year. The M’s have an interesting decision regarding Soriano next year, if they believe he’ll be out for the entire season. Because he still has an option remaining, the team could decide to option him to Tacoma and place him on the minor league disabled list rather than putting him on the 60-day DL. This would cause them to essentially use a 39-man roster next year (and burn one of Soriano’s options), but it would also save them a year of service time, pushing his free agency and arbitration clocks back. Players accrue service time while on the 60-day DL, so it’s a trade off of whether the option and available roster spot is more important than keeping Soriano’s service time down. The M’s have historically played it both ways, depending on the individual player, so it will be interesting to see what they do with Rafael next year.
I was all set to upload the long-overdue Big Board, but it appears we’re having an FTP issue with Blogger. Grr. But hey, if you’ve waited this long, what’s another day, right? Seriously, thanks to everyone for your patience… or not, if you haven’t been patient (though you should have been).