Pete’s Edgar-Vote-Tracking-Effort

DMZ · January 1, 2010 at 3:45 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

From commenter and longtime friend of the site Pete Livengood:

For now, a quick post of announced (or leaning)votes for or against Edgar by writers with a ballot:

Mel Antonen, USA Today
Kirby Arnold, Everett Herald
Phil Arvia, Southtown Star
Barry Bloom,
Earl Bloom, Orange County Register
Jim Caple, ESPN
Bill Conlin, Philadelphia Daily News
Jerry Crasnick, ESPN
Jack Curry, New York Times
Ken Davidoff, Newsday
Gordon Edes, ESPN
Joe Henderson, Tampa Tribune
Lynn Henning, Detroit News
Phil Hersh, Chicago Tribune
Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle
Tom Keegan, Lawrence Journal-World
Michael Knisley, ESPN
Tim Kurkjian, ESPN
Larry LaRue, TNT
Seth Livingstone, USA Today
Bill Madden, NY Daily News
Hal McCoy, Dayton Daily News
John McGrath, TNT
Stan McNeal, Sporting News
Bernie Miklasz, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Bruce Miles, Chicago Daily Herald
Ross Newhan, LA Times
Nick Peters, Sacramento Bee
Joe Posnanski, SI
Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
Bob Sansevere, Twin Cities Pioneer-Press
Henry Schulman, San Francisco Chronicle
Mike Shalin, Washington Post
Mike Silverman, Boston Herald
Tom Singer,
Jayson Stark, ESPN
Larry Stone, Seattle Times
Jim Street,
Charley Walters, Twin Cities Pioneer-Press

Geoff Baker, Seattle Times
Mike Bauman,
Jeff Blair, The Globe and Mail
Hal Bodley,
Scott Bodrow, East Valley Tribune
Tim Brown, Yahoo Sports
Howard Bryant, ESPN
Joe Capozzi, Palm Beach Post
Pat Caputo, Oakland Press
Murray Chass, New York Times*
Dan Coughlin, Cleveland Leader
Mike Dodd, USA Today
Tom Gage, Detroit News
Peter Gammons,
Pedro Gomez, ESPN
Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune
Evan Grant, Dallas Morning News
Dan Graziano, Newark Star-Ledger
Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune
Richard Griffin, Toronto Star
Ken Gurnick,
Chris Haft,
Jon Heyman, SI
Rick Hummel, St. Louis Post-Dispatch*
Tony Jackson, ESPN
Bill Kennedy, Times of Trenton
Bob Klapisch, The Record
Danny Knobler, CBS Sports
Jay Mariotti, FanHouse
Bob Markus, Chicago Tribune
Sean McAdam, Comcast Sportsnet
Sean McClelland, Dayton Daily News
Scott Miller, CBS Sports
Fred Mitchell, Chicago Tribune
Carrie Muskat,
Mike Nadel, Gatehouse News Service
Mark Newman,
Bob Nightengale, USA Today
Marty Noble,
Buster Olney, ESPN
Tom Pedulla, USA Today
Terry Pluto, Cleveland Plain Dealer
T.J. Quinn, ESPN
Tracy Ringolsby, Fox Sports
Brendan Roberts, ESPN
Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune
Jeff Schultz, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe
Bob Smizik, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Lyle Spencer,
Carl Steward, Oakland Tribune
Paul Sullivan, Chicago Tribune
T.R. Sullivan,
Rick Telander, Chicago Sun-Times
Marc Topkin, St. Petersburg Times
Dave Van Dyke, Chicago Tribune
Tom Verducci, SI

Bill Christine, LA Times
John Perrotto, Ogden Newspapers
John Romano, St. Petersburg Times
Bob Sherwin, AP

Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe
Terence Moore, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Ed Price, FanHouse

*=Not this year, but will strongly consider in the future

This is just an informal survey done by yours truly. I am sure I have missed some on both sides.

If you know any others, please add.


160 Responses to “Pete’s Edgar-Vote-Tracking-Effort”

  1. Typical Idiot Fan on January 1st, 2010 3:51 pm

    I think Mr. Price needs some… convincing…

  2. Pete on January 1st, 2010 3:54 pm

    Approximately how many voting members this year?

  3. Pete on January 1st, 2010 3:57 pm

    Ok, last year there were 539 ballots. If we use 540 as an approximation, Edgar needs 405 votes.


  4. illdonk on January 1st, 2010 4:13 pm

    Bernie Miklasz: St. Louis Post-Dispatch FOR

  5. Pete Livengood on January 1st, 2010 4:17 pm

    Since I posted that, I found two more “no” voters – Mark Gonzales and Fred Mitchell, both colleagues of “yes” voter Phil Hersh at the Chicago Tribune.

    Also, from past comments made publicly, we know that Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune is also a solid “no”, and (from previous Stone columns) that John Perrotto of Ogden Newspapers is a pretty solid “yes.” From his writings about Edgar, I would guess that Jayson Stark will vote “yes.” I found it interesting that longtime USSM friend and Seattleite Jim Caple is on the fence, though it appears he is leaning toward voting for Edgar.

    The main reason I posted this is to focus future efforts on convincing the “no” guys. Some of them, like Heyman (who votes for both Dave Parker and Don Mattingly but not Edgar), are probably beyond help, but others can be convinced, I think, especially if their arguments are taken to task.

  6. NorthofWrigleyField on January 1st, 2010 4:19 pm

    Tim Brown from Yahoo Sports this morning said he’s only voting for Alomar.

  7. Pete Livengood on January 1st, 2010 4:20 pm
  8. Jeff Nye on January 1st, 2010 4:20 pm

    Thanks for doing this, Pete!

  9. wazzu93 on January 1st, 2010 4:27 pm

    Mike Silverman of the Boston Herald voted YES.

  10. Pete Livengood on January 1st, 2010 4:29 pm

    Jerry Crasnick votes for Edgar.

  11. smb on January 1st, 2010 4:43 pm

    You’re right about Heyman, Pete…beyond help is probably the best way to put it. Trying not to break the namecalling rule here, but the list of adjectives one would find most apt in describing Heyman and his work for SI are not found in the positive column. He’s an absolute JOKE, period. How in the world he deserves a vote is beyond rational explanation.

  12. msb on January 1st, 2010 4:45 pm

    I was just about to add jcrasnick:

    “My Hall of Fame ballot: Alomar, Blyleven, Dawson, Larkin, E. Martinez, McGriff, Morris and Raines.”

  13. msb on January 1st, 2010 4:46 pm

    oh, and Mattingly? really?

  14. DKCecil on January 1st, 2010 4:47 pm

    Here’s a bit of an update on some votes. Not a happy one, though.

    Earl Bloom: Yes
    Dan Coughlin: No
    Jack Curry: Yes
    Teddy Greenstein: No
    Bob Klapisch: No
    Bob Markus: No
    Mike Nadal: No
    Tracy Ringolsby: No
    Jeff Schultz: No
    Mike Shalin: Yes
    Bob Smizik: No
    Paul Sullivan: No
    Dave Van Dyke: No

  15. msb on January 1st, 2010 4:50 pm

    I think I’m sensing a trend in the “nay” voters.

  16. natebracy on January 1st, 2010 4:55 pm

    Baseball Think Factory has 33 yes votes for Edgar out of 68 complete ballots, but I can’t find a complete list of individual ballots…

  17. msb on January 1st, 2010 5:00 pm
  18. illdonk on January 1st, 2010 5:03 pm

    I’ll be curious to see if this roundup indicates any selection bias, with writers who share their ballot selections and who perhaps have more of a blog/internet presence being more likely to give weight to Edgar’s OBP qualifications.

  19. Pete Livengood on January 1st, 2010 5:05 pm

    By the (admittedly inexact) count we have here, of non-”leaning” but voters who’ve announced, I’m counting 23 for Edgar, 18 not voting for Edgar.

    Obviously I want Edgar to get in this year, but I realize that’s very likely not going to happen. I am trying to be realistic about this, so anything over about 33-40% is a great sign for Edgar eventually getting in. Sitting at approximately 50% (if our poll here, or BTF, is to be believed) is an awesome first-year showing.

  20. ManifestDestiny on January 1st, 2010 5:10 pm

    This link is a good agglomeration of votes, courtesy of @leokitty

  21. Pete Livengood on January 1st, 2010 5:21 pm

    Thank you, ManifestDestiny, that is a great link!

    Joe Posanski just tweeted that his ballot is complete, and with eight names on it, but no details yet (though promised). Given that he recently wrote that Edgar is the greatest hitter not already enshrined, I’d venture a guess that he voted for Edgar.

  22. msb on January 1st, 2010 5:27 pm

    Dan Coughlin, sportswriter since ’69, once covered the Indians, not now
    Teddy Greenstein, covers football, actually announced he voted for “Don Mattingly, my all-time favorite player”
    Bob Markus, “I considered Martinez and probably will vote for him some day, but all his numbers were accrued as a designated hitter and I have a problem with that.”
    Mike Nadal, Chicago sports columnist possibly best known for the Erin Andrews flap
    Jeff Schultz, Atlanta sports columnist
    Bob Smizik, sports columnist, 1969-2008, for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette
    Paul Sullivan, covers the Cubs for the Tribune
    Dave Van Dyke, covers the White Sox for the Tribune

  23. Pete Livengood on January 1st, 2010 5:39 pm

    Dan Graziano is a no.

  24. Jeff Nye on January 1st, 2010 5:41 pm

    God, I hate the “this guy should get in but not on the FIRST BALLOT” stance.

    Either vote for the guy or don’t, but don’t decide to “hold” your vote until you think he’s waited long enough. Ugh.

    And yes, I know why people say they do it, I just hate it.

  25. scott19 on January 1st, 2010 5:44 pm

    Interesting how many “yes” votes are coming from writers in NL cities.

    Encouraging sign, perhaps?

  26. Marinerman1979 on January 1st, 2010 5:51 pm

    [not a board]

  27. Pete Livengood on January 1st, 2010 6:00 pm

    Rick Telander, Chicago Sun-Times, didn’t vote for Edgar.

  28. Marinerman1979 on January 1st, 2010 6:02 pm

    Dawson’s numbers add up…but Edgars don’t….got it.

  29. Pete Livengood on January 1st, 2010 6:12 pm

    Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune, rejects Edgar but votes for Harold Baines. Unbelievable!

  30. Slurve on January 1st, 2010 6:45 pm

    I hate that stance as well Jeff but it looks like Edgar has a pretty strong support base and he’s a guy that belongs in the HOF so while I’m pissed at some of the voters I’m still rooting for Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed-gaaaaaaaaaaaaaar.

  31. Pete Livengood on January 1st, 2010 6:54 pm

    Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, tweets that he voted for nine guys, but doesn’t say who they are. He hints heavily that Blyleven is one, and promises to reveal his ballot “next week.” With nine players on the ballot, I’d certainly hope Edgar would be one….

  32. DKCecil on January 1st, 2010 6:55 pm

    The bigger travesty here is that Jack Morris is going to somehow get in.

  33. Breadbaker on January 1st, 2010 9:20 pm

    At least he’ll be on the ballot next year. No Lou Whitaker treatment for him.

  34. NorthofWrigleyField on January 1st, 2010 10:05 pm

    my ballot:

    new players
    Edgar Martinez
    Roberto Alomar
    Barry Larkin

    Alan Trammell
    Jack Morris
    Bert Blyleven
    Andre Dawson

    Raines and McGwire are close for me

    Unlike some voters, I would err on more getting in than less, because that’s the Hall I want. If that’s not the Hall you want, I support you in that. That’s why there are 539 ballots.

  35. DMZ on January 1st, 2010 10:16 pm

    Do you have a vote? Because otherwise, that’s OT.

  36. Dave on January 1st, 2010 10:40 pm

    These early results should be very encouraging for people who want to see Edgar end up in Cooperstown (which is probably 100% of the people reading this, I’d imagine).

    Barring some selective sampling issues, it look like Edgar is going to end up north of 30% in his first time on the ballot, in what is a crowded year with a lot of worthy candidates. He’s competing with two first-time guys who should be pretty easy yes votes (Alomar and Larkin), plus a decent crop of holdovers. He really had no chance of getting in on the first ballot, so the hope was that he’d make a good showing and then climb steadily.

    For some perspective, Dawson got 45% of the vote in his first year of eligibility (2002). Blyleven got 17% of the vote in his first year (1998). Jack Morris got 22 percent of the vote in his first year of (2000).

    It looks like Dawson and Blyleven will get in this year, and Morris looks to be in the 50% range. That Edgar is starting out with a strong base of support is a great sign for his future electability.

  37. JMHawkins on January 1st, 2010 11:21 pm

    I like how Caple’s, tweet lists “Alomar, Blyleven, Dawson, Larkin, Edgar, McGriff, McGwire, Morris, Raines and Trammell”

    One name is not like the others…

    BTW, I guess I’m officially old now – I remember watching Sandy Alomar’s first game at The Murph and thinking this guy is pretty good. Sheesh, he’s eligible for the Hall now? Where do the years go?

  38. Dave on January 1st, 2010 11:23 pm

    That’s Roberto Alomar, not Sandy.

  39. Pete Livengood on January 1st, 2010 11:31 pm

    I completely agree, Dave. This entire research project (and I am very thankful to Derek for giving this its own post and the help of the entire USSM community) has been in practical anticipation that Edgar would not be elected on his first try. Hopefully we can take this list and proponents of Edgar’s candidacy can focus efforts on those who did not vote for him (or hold those who did to their position) in future years.

    I am incredibly encouraged by the sample we’re seeing (except within the City of Chicago…). I always thought something like 10% would be the floor of Edgar’s support, but if it wasn’t over 20% he probably would not have much of a base to grow his support. History shows that guys who come in with 25% plus on their first try do have a base of support that non-believers will pay attention to, and will be willing to give a second look.

    Edgar has earned himself the opportunity to let us persuade more voters. Now it us up to us to organize and do that.


    PS For those who want a list (though not complete) of voters, to know who to look for, there is one here.

  40. Pete Livengood on January 1st, 2010 11:50 pm

    Here’s an old Andriesen article from the P-I. Mel Antonen (who hasn’t announced) is solidyly in Edgar’s camp. There is reason to be optimistic about Haudricourt (especially after he voted for nine guys), given what he says in this article. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe sounds like one of those guys Jeff Nye hates – he says he’ll might vote for him after seven or eight years (which doesn’t engender a lot of optimism about his 2010 ballot).

  41. Pete Livengood on January 2nd, 2010 12:57 am’s Barry Bloom voted for Edgar.

  42. Breadbaker on January 2nd, 2010 1:08 am

    Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe sounds like one of those guys Jeff Nye hates – he says he’ll might vote for him after seven or eight years (which doesn’t engender a lot of optimism about his 2010 ballot).

    Unless a writer knows that his ballot will have ten names on it each year for seven or eight years (and how could he know, not knowing which of his names would be either elected or stricken from the ballot), this attitude is just bullpucky. A player either belongs in the Hall of Fame or he doesn’t; there is no mandatory purgatory period.

  43. Jeff Nye on January 2nd, 2010 2:04 am

    Well, I wouldn’t want this really useful thread to turn into a debate about how dumb the voters can be. But yeah, this idea that there are “tiers” within the Hall based on how long it takes a player to make it in is ridiculous.

  44. Jeff Nye on January 2nd, 2010 2:27 am

    Hey guys:

    I updated the original post with all of the answers given in this comment thread so far. If you see a name that says “Unknown*” after it, and want to post what publication that voter is currently or most recently associated with, I’ll update the original post.

    Or, if you see any other mistakes (it is 2 am after all) let me know as well.

    Counts so far:

    For: 26 + 1 “leaning”
    Against: 21 + 2 “leaning”

    (it looks like Chicago writers are getting back at us for the Silva trade)

  45. SethGrandpa on January 2nd, 2010 3:00 am

    So basically Chicago baseball writers can screw off?

  46. Repoz on January 2nd, 2010 3:53 am

    Hey guys…

    “Mel Antonen (who hasn’t announced)”

    He did the other day (yes on Edgar) along with the shrinking USA Today voting block (Livingstone was the other yes on Edgar).

    BTW…After 71 Full Ballots, I have Edgar at 46.5%


  47. Repoz on January 2nd, 2010 3:54 am


  48. DKCecil on January 2nd, 2010 3:56 am

    Oh, sorry, I should have put down the publications for the guys I listed. Here are the rest of the unknowns:

    Earl Bloom – Orange County Register
    Jack Curry – New York Times
    Mike Shalin – Washington Post
    Teddy Greenstein – Chicago Tribune
    Bob Markus – Formerly of the Chicago Tribune
    Bob Klapisch – The Record
    Tracy Ringolsby – Baseball America

    Chicago reeeeeally hates Edgar.

  49. irishmariner on January 2nd, 2010 4:39 am

    Found this list at Business of Baseball (by year) that appears more complete than the wikipedia one – appears that it was last updated May 2009?

  50. dchappelle on January 2nd, 2010 8:03 am

    I’m a little worried about how voting for Edgar will progress over the years. With each passing year, more candidates with similar profiles yet better counting stats will be on the ballot, such as: Jeff Bagwell, Juan Gonzalez, Larry Walker, Rafael Palmeiro all coming next year.

    Granted, they have their own baggage, but I still wonder what effect it will have on the electorate.

  51. Edgars Mustache on January 2nd, 2010 9:21 am

    Has Geoff Baker revealed his ballot yet?

  52. Edgars Mustache on January 2nd, 2010 9:29 am


    Rafael Palmeiro most likely won’t get in before McGwire – agreed?

  53. Pete Livengood on January 2nd, 2010 10:54 am

    Jeff, thanks for the update (and thanks to everyone else for all the help). The only corrections I have to your edits are that I didn’t find any confirmation for Perotto and Stark, just public statements that would indicate to me that they would probably vote for Edgar. Without confirmation, I would probably list them as “leaning” yes.

  54. joser on January 2nd, 2010 10:59 am

    (it looks like Chicago writers are getting back at us for the Silva trade)

    They already got back at us — they gave us Milton Bradley.

    But what is the deal with the Chicago sports media establishment? Is there one inveterate troglodyte who by dint of malevolent agency or just mindless seniority holds all the others in his thrall? Or is there something in the food supply there that goes beyond causing the endemic midwest obesity and results in cognitive constipation as well? Is there any way we can blame this on Oprah?

  55. Pete Livengood on January 2nd, 2010 11:05 am

    Joser, you mean, like, Phil Rogers?

    I think we need to have our local scribes coordinate stories on the HoF candidacy of Mr. Martinez when the White Sox are in town. Do we get the Cubs this year?

  56. Mike Snow on January 2nd, 2010 11:11 am

    I’ve updated the lists and alphabetized by last name, to make it easier to find people.

  57. Pete Livengood on January 2nd, 2010 11:25 am

    BTW, IrishMariner, thanks for the badge list – I think it is a lot more updated than the Wiki page.

    Looking at that, there are quite a number of Seattle writers with a vote that I haven’t seen an announcement for – Geoff Baker (if I understand the system, this is his first year voting – got his badge in 1998), Art Thiel, Steve Kelley, John Hickey…. Others? Shouldn’t we expect them to be at least somewhat more favorably inclined toward Edgar?

  58. scott19 on January 2nd, 2010 11:25 am

    Chicago reeeeeally hates Edgar.

    But what is the deal with the Chicago sports media establishment?

    My guess is that half of the sportswriters in that town are Cubs fans and thus are NL “purists” who don’t believe in the DH…while the other half are White Sox fans who think there can be no DH worthy of the Hall other than Harold Baines or Frank Thomas (who was a 1B by trade, of course).

    In either event, such rationale is pretty boneheaded, IMO.

  59. Toddk on January 2nd, 2010 11:27 am

    But what is the deal with the Chicago sports media establishment? Is there one inveterate troglodyte who by dint of malevolent agency or just mindless seniority holds all the others in his thrall?

    They probably have a pact that they won’t vote for Edgar until the Cubs win the series. So we’re looking at never.

  60. scott19 on January 2nd, 2010 11:35 am

    Actually, I almost thought for a moment that the White Sox honks in the Chicago media were still PO’d at Edgar for hitting that game-winning HR during the 2000 ALDS…but then I realized that the Sox crappy pitching in that series would have doomed them, anyway.

  61. KCE on January 2nd, 2010 11:49 am
  62. Jack Howland on January 2nd, 2010 11:51 am

    Nice job with this Pete. A couple of questions:

    1) Since this campaign will most likely last between 3 and 15 years are you planning to start a seperate blog or website devoted to it?

    2) Do you think that the sample of voters you have collected is a good random sample? In other words, do you think that the more “progressive” voters might be more willing to publicly share their vote than the “dinosaurs” who still cherish their counting stats?

  63. Nik Aitken on January 2nd, 2010 12:29 pm

    Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star voted for Alomar, Dawson, Blyleven, Morris, Raines and Larkin.

    Sorry if this was posted already, I did a quick search for Toronto and found nothing.

  64. Henry on January 2nd, 2010 12:33 pm

    If the voters would focus on updated statistical analysis methods (Edgar has 647 Runs Created, way more than many HOF hitters) he would be a sure bet (probably not this year because of the holiness of the first ballot).

  65. PackBob on January 2nd, 2010 12:49 pm

    Players are penalized or receive benefit from circumstances they had no control over, a superficial treatment by some HOF voters.

    Edgar was on the short end of luck: major parts of 1987-89 in the minors batting .344 with a .495 SLG over 882 PA; playing for small-market team; being used as a DH.

    Put these factors over which Edgar had no control into proper perspective and he’s a no-doubt HOF’er.

  66. TomTuttle on January 2nd, 2010 1:21 pm

    27 of 56 in an informal survey isn’t too bad for a DH that didn’t have any of the golden numbers (3000 hits, 500 HRs, etc.) needed to get in the HOF.

    That sounds like he’ll get roughly 45% of the vote, and that number can go up in future years.

    I’ve got a good feeling now more than ever that we will get Edgar in there at some point if we keep beating the drum for him.

  67. Jeff Nye on January 2nd, 2010 1:50 pm

    I’ve updated the lists and alphabetized by last name, to make it easier to find people.

    Way to one-up me, you big jerk!

  68. GarForever on January 2nd, 2010 1:58 pm

    But what is the deal with the Chicago sports media establishment?

    Maybe I can help, as I am a native born Illinoisan who lived (the best) seven years (of my life) in Seattle, and now find myself back in Chicagoland, going on eight years now.

    Aside from Terry Boors and Dan Bernstein (and I have no idea whether either of them are members of the BBWAA, but I doubt it, since they’re radio guys), the description of “troglodyte” for much of the sports journalism establishment in Chicago is not completely inapt. For example, while I am not inclined to make excuses for Milton Bradley, he is a good example of how once the media here buys into a meme, you can forget it. Once Bradley opened the season in a funk, the media here used that fact to cudgel him, Jim Hendry, and the entire Cubs organization, and I do not blame Bradley for feeling persecuted and like he was the victim of a witch hunt here. It was pretty bad, even before the explosion that led to his being excused from the team; basically, anybody not named Derrek Lee could be blamed for the Cubs’ poor season, but the Chicago media largely hung the whole thing on MB. (Even though witch hunts occasionally turn up a witch, that doesn’t make me any more comfortable with the enterprise of witch hunts).

    To sum up: in my eight years here, I have discerned something of a herd mentality among the Chicago sports media, so once a sufficient number of them started arguing against Edgar, it was inevitable that most of them would.

    And, by the way, they are for the most part shameless homers. So, my advice is not to get outraged over their unapologetic support of Harold Baines (whose case is marginal) and Andre Dawson (who, along with Edgar, I think should be in, period). It is a math doesn’t compute, and never will.

  69. GarForever on January 2nd, 2010 2:03 pm

    Sorry, that should be “a math that doesn’t compute…”

  70. DMZ on January 2nd, 2010 2:06 pm

    I’ve been thinking for years that I should start a nice Edgar-for-HoF-lobbying site. Track the state of all the voters, their current objections, have issue pages dealing with all the big arguments for and against… The big issue is that I just don’t have time to do it well. If someone wanted to pay me to quit my job and lobby on Edgar’s behalf for the next n years, I’d absolutely do it… but that’s not going to happen.

  71. Pete Livengood on January 2nd, 2010 2:35 pm

    Jack: I did start a blog to support Edgar’s HoF candidacy, almost a year ago. I got one post done, and then realized the order I wanted the posts to be in was reversed, never figured out how to put them in the order I wanted, and never got back to it, so I never publicized it in any way. I will definitely get that going again.

    Derek, I would love help – and I know you will work for beer…. What you describe was essentially what I had in mind. Jack, you’re more than welcome to help, too. I will be like old times….

    And Jack, as for the sample and how good or random it is, I really have no idea. I suspect that the guys who are tweeting their votes and getting their ballots out on the web are more tech-savvy and (guessing here) more likely to be better attuned to sabermetric arguments. If Edgar is at 50% in our poll, I’m not sure I would expect that to hold in a larger sample.

  72. Jack Howland on January 2nd, 2010 2:53 pm

    The big issue is that I just don’t have time to do it well. If someone wanted to pay me to quit my job and lobby on Edgar’s behalf for the next n years, I’d absolutely do it… but that’s not going to happen.

    I’m not sure if this was directed to me, but my original questions were directed to Pete.

    Perhaps you could give Pete access to run the site as an “officially endorsed” USS Mariner “sub-site” The USS Mariner staff could have access to the site to post content whenever they feel the urge. Could it be hosted on the same server since most of the hits would probably occur off-season? I think it’s important to link it to USS Mariner as much as possible to maximize visability.

    I’m totally thinking out loud here – and don’t mean to take lightly the fact I’m suggesting Pete wants to or has time to do it, or that USS Mariner has the server resources or interest in farming out something like this. It’s just a thought.

  73. DMZ on January 2nd, 2010 3:02 pm

    That is not cool, Jack.

  74. Jack Howland on January 2nd, 2010 3:15 pm

    No worries Derek – I was just throwing it out there.

  75. Pete Livengood on January 2nd, 2010 3:26 pm

    Back to topic – Joe Henderson of the Tampa Bay Tribune, votes for Edgar (I think…). Looks like tentative but fairly certain votes for McGriff, Edgar, Alomar. Maybe on Larkin (seems to be leaning “yes”), and no on McGwire.

  76. Pete Livengood on January 2nd, 2010 3:35 pm

    Bob Sherwin, Seattle-based AP writer (and I think former Times or P-I – I don’t remember which – beat writer) should count as a “leaning yes” voter. Says he’s big on hitting milestones, and then after saying he voted for Rice last year (for the first time in his 15th year of eligibility), he questions whether Edgar is worthy before noting he’s “probably” vote for him. Hmmmm.

  77. Pete Livengood on January 2nd, 2010 4:59 pm

    Scott Bodrow, East Valley (Phoenix) Tribune, is a “no” on Edgar (says it is a “feel” thing and he can’t be too bothered with things like numbers or research.

  78. scott19 on January 2nd, 2010 5:23 pm

    Scott Bodrow, East Valley (Phoenix) Tribune, is a “no” on Edgar (says it is a “feel” thing and he can’t be too bothered with things like numbers or research.

    That’s probably why he’s covering the D-backs — he figures if he does hack work, hardly anybody down in Phoenix will be paying attention, anyway.

  79. msb on January 2nd, 2010 5:27 pm

    says it is a “feel” thing and he can’t be too bothered with things like numbers or research.

    this is why I hate it when HOF writers say that all their membership really takes the HOF vote seriously.

  80. joser on January 2nd, 2010 5:35 pm

    One interesting aspect to watch over the next few years is the incoming tide of “sluggers” who were admitted, or at least acknowledged (winkingly or otherwise), participants in the “steroid era.” As the company around him on the ballot becomes more sullied, and their numbers more suspect, Edgar may look better and better — especially to the more retrograde voters who are most nostalgic for a (mostly imaginary) golden era. Of course there’s no requirement that they vote for anybody on the ballot much less pick what is for them the least-worst option, but holding your “baseball purity” nose to vote for a DH may seem a lot more palatable just a few years from now. Especially after a few years of being bombarded by pro-Edgar arguments anchored in statistical legitimacy.

    Aside from Terry Boors and Dan Bernstein (and I have no idea whether either of them are members of the BBWAA, but I doubt it, since they’re radio guys), the description of “troglodyte” for much of the sports journalism establishment in Chicago is not completely inapt.

    Well, I wasn’t picking vocabulary entirely at random there either (despite what many of my posts may suggest). The summary of the Bradley era in Chicago at Can’t Stop the Bleeding (and as many of the articles it linked as I could stomach) was still fresh in my mind.

  81. Pete Livengood on January 2nd, 2010 5:50 pm

    Marc Topkin, of the St. Petersburg Times, doesn’t vote for Edgar, but does for Lee Smith, Fred McGriff, Dawson, McGwire, and Alomar. The money quote, w/r/t Edgar:

    “How is it I don’t vote for Edgar Martinez, who’s considered the best DH ever, because he didn’t play the complete game, but I consistently vote for Lee Smith, who basically worked an inning a game, and did for Dennis Eckersley, Bruce Sutter and Goose Gossage?

    “Short answer: The innings Smith and the other closers worked were usually the most intense and important; Martinez just hit four times a day, the situation determining the significance, and wasn’t in position to help his team half the time. (His case may improve with age, however, just as closers eventually became more accepted by voters.)”

  82. joser on January 2nd, 2010 5:53 pm

    By the way, for all you techno kids with your FaceSpaces and MyTubes and Googlytwits, you can get show your support via an Edgar for HOF “Twibbon”…. assuming you not only know what that is and have a use for it but can contemplate the term without feeling like we’ve all fallen down Elmer Fudd’s rabbithole. Oh, and there’s a Mariners one too, in a further effort to make one aspect of your intratubes persona resemble a NASCAR driver as much as possible.

  83. scott19 on January 2nd, 2010 5:57 pm

    Yet Topkin votes for Mark McGwire…go figure.

  84. scott19 on January 2nd, 2010 6:17 pm

    Bob Sherwin, Seattle-based AP writer (and I think former Times or P-I – I don’t remember which – beat writer) should count as a “leaning yes” voter. Says he’s big on hitting milestones, and then after saying he voted for Rice last year (for the first time in his 15th year of eligibility), he questions whether Edgar is worthy before noting he’s “probably” vote for him. Hmmmm.

    Sherwin as a bit of skeptic doesn’t really surprise me, either. IIRC, he thought the A’s were going to walk away with the division in 2001 and that the M’s didn’t have a chance of going anywhere that year.

  85. henryv on January 2nd, 2010 7:09 pm

    Marc Topkin, of the St. Petersburg Times, doesn’t vote for Edgar, but does for Lee Smith, Fred McGriff, Dawson, McGwire, and Alomar.

    Scott Bodrow, East Valley (Phoenix) Tribune, is a “no” on Edgar (says it is a “feel” thing and he can’t be too bothered with things like numbers or research.

    At a certain point there are some folks that just shouldn’t have a say in things as important as the MLB HoF. I think Mr. Topkin and Mr. Bodrow just passed that point.

  86. Pete Livengood on January 2nd, 2010 7:49 pm

    Does this count as a vote for Edgar? Not sure he’s committing himself, but it looks like it… John Romano of The St. Petersburg Times ranks the candidates. Dawson, Blyleven, Edgar, Larkin, Alomar are in; “maybe some time” for McGriff, Raines, McGwire, Morris, Smith. Others “will only get in with a ticket.”

  87. Mike Snow on January 2nd, 2010 11:17 pm

    That looks like Romano’s assessment of their actual chances of election (this year or in the near future), more than his actual ballot. I decided to put him down as a “leaning yes” pending any clearer statement.

  88. heyoka on January 3rd, 2010 6:53 am

    Is there a litmus test for HoF induction? (aside from 3k hits, 300wins, and gambling/steroids)

    Seems like legit superstars get left out from time to time, and moderate semistars get in more and more regularly.

  89. msb on January 3rd, 2010 8:31 am

    Amazing how many of the no votes are coming from the old, established baseball writers. Add those to the guys who only tangentially write about baseball but still have a vote …

  90. erik.randall on January 3rd, 2010 8:37 am

    Heyoka, as far as a litmus test I know most writers prefer players that have had longer careers with higher numbers of hits, homeruns, etc. than players who have probably played at a higher level but have lower career numbers.

    In addition, I often see writers talk about # of all star teams made and top 10 mvp finishes. Although that can cause problems (subjective writers voting based on how they previously voted) it seems to be a widely accepted.

    Lastly, world series/playoff appearances seem to give players a big push. I guarantee you are going to see a few voters support Bernie Williams/Andy Petite based on this factor alone.

  91. Pete Livengood on January 3rd, 2010 9:47 am

    @ erik.randall: “I often see writers talk about # of all star teams made and top 10 mvp finishes. Although that can cause problems (subjective writers voting based on how they previously voted) it seems to be a widely accepted.”

    Beyond that, at least with DHs, it leads to a circular problem. The same people who are biased against DHs in HoF voting are biased against them in MVP voting. Consequently, Edgar’s MVP finishes were never what they should have been, by any reasonably objective measure (by all rights, he should have been MVP in 1995 for example, and finished 3rd). Similarly, those who point to the fact that Edgar “only” made seven All Star games ignore the fact that the DH is only on the ballot every other year. It is actually pretty impressive that Edgar made as many as seven when you consider that.

  92. Pete Livengood on January 3rd, 2010 10:03 am

    Pat Caputo of the Oakland Press did not vote for Edgar. He voted for Blyleven, Trammel, Morris, Alomar, and Dawson.

  93. Pete Livengood on January 3rd, 2010 10:14 am

    Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer did not vote for Edgar, making clear that the only first-timers he voted for were Alomar and Larkin (in addition to Morris, Blyleven, and Dawson. He says, “[m]y real struggle was with Fred McGriff, who hit 493 homers (batting .284) as a first baseman for 19 seasons with six teams. This was his first season on the ballot, and I passed on him. He was very good, but as a first baseman didn’t make a major impact with his defense like Larkin, Alomar or Dawson. For the same reason, I left career DH Edgar Martinez off my ballot.”

  94. wazzu93 on January 3rd, 2010 10:28 am

    If voting is truly based on ” a player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contributions to the team(s) on which he played”, then Edgar should be a slam dunk.

    Advanced metrics guys and traditional stats guys can argue indefinitely about his record and ability. But I don’t think anyone can debate Edgar’s integrity, sportsmanship and character.

    Winning the Roberto Clemente Award, 18 seasons with one team, and not a whiff of accusation of banned substance use during the steroid era have to count for something. And Edgar’s contributions go beyond just the team and the city of Seattle. They extend to the entire NW region, from Alaska to Montana.

    Without Edgar, I don’t give gas stations my money for the 600 mile round trip pilgrimage to SafeCo. I don’t take 2 days off work and spend $100 on a hotel room. I don’t buy a ticket for Opening Day and cheer alongside 46,000 of my closest friends as the team takes the field. Without Edgar, I don’t have baseball, and if that isn’t HOF worthy, I don’t know what is.

  95. illdonk on January 3rd, 2010 11:16 am

    Similarly, those who point to the fact that Edgar “only” made seven All Star games ignore the fact that the DH is only on the ballot every other year. It is actually pretty impressive that Edgar made as many as seven when you consider that.

    Edgar was an All-Star in four “DH” years and 3 “Non-DH,” and even if there were DH voting every year of his career, it’s hard to say that it could have made a difference (though it’s hard to predict fan voting).

    1994 was pretty unlikely. Rafael Palmeiro got the DH nod in 1999 and would have gotten it in 1998 as well. Edgar missed almost all of the first half of the 2002 season, so that’s unlikely. It’s possible that Edgar would have gotten maybe one more nod, a reserve in 1998, but I think we’re looking at seven either way.

  96. illdonk on January 3rd, 2010 11:37 am

    (Is there any way to edit these?) Looks like Palmeiro was still a full time 1B in 1998, though I’m guessing if there was a DH slot that year, Frank Thomas would have been listed in that category and gotten the nod. Could have been close, though.

  97. ridertc on January 3rd, 2010 12:19 pm

    Geez. And Tracy Ringolsby used to be a beat writer for the M’s back in the Kingdome days for the P-I. Interesting.

  98. bookbook on January 3rd, 2010 1:32 pm

    Edgar didn’t get Murray Chass’ vote, which I suppose is a compliment.

  99. PackBob on January 3rd, 2010 2:03 pm

    I grew up watching Banks, Williams, Jenkins, all HOF, and Santo (probably should be) play for the Cubs, but never make the WS. Kind of like Griffey, Rodriguez, Johnson, and Edgar. Strange.

    Given the age that makes me, I should probably be a traditionalist. But I’ve done scientific research involving the use of statistics, understand how they are applied, and know their value (and limitations).

    When the traditionalists say that you shouldn’t have to think about whether a player is HOF worthy, all they are really saying is: does the player fit neatly into their process of judgment.

    The trick is, I think, to continue to illustrate how the stats analyses are applied and why they are appropriate. These guys will likely never understand sabermetrics, but they may eventually realize that they are valuable tools to better assess a player’s contributions.

    An uphill battle.

  100. shim on January 3rd, 2010 3:54 pm

    ESPN writer Rob Neyer wrestled with the thought of Martinez in the Hall long before ballots were cast last month. “I’ve been going back and forth on Edgar Martinez for years. Today, though, I’m convinced. He belongs,” Neyer wrote.

    From Larry LaRue. Sounds like another “Aye” for Edgar.

  101. Pete Livengood on January 3rd, 2010 4:00 pm

    bookbook, do you have a link to Chass’ ballot?

    Edgar got Bob Sansevere’s (Twin Cities Pioneer-Press) vote, along with Blyleven, Morris, Dawson, Smith, Alomar, Larkin, and McGriff.

  102. Pete Livengood on January 3rd, 2010 5:00 pm

    Mike Nadel, an AP writer now based in Chicago, doesn’t vote for Edgar. This guy’s a piece of work, talking about “feels like a Hall of Famer” tests (with respect to McGriff, who he favors over Edgar, BTW). The money quote, on DHs Baines and Martinez:

    Harold Baines: Any DH will have to wow me with his numbers – think Frank Thomas when he becomes eligible. Harold’s career average was under .300, he never hit 30 HR in a season, he had only three 100 RBI years and he was never a serious MVP candidate. Baines is a perfect example of a guy who deserves to be in the Hall of Very Good.

    Edgar Martinez: Why would I vote for this DH when I wouldn’t vote for Baines, whose career numbers are better almost across the board?”

    It’s hard to know where to even begin with this guy….

  103. Mike Snow on January 3rd, 2010 5:06 pm

    Chass posted on his website.

  104. scott19 on January 3rd, 2010 5:21 pm

    Well, Mr. Nadel, it might have something to do with Edgar’s two batting titles plus career average about twenty points higher than Baines’ as to why you should vote for him.

    I’m agreeing with some others here in that I honestly don’t know how some of these alleged “sports writers” keep their jobs.

  105. msb on January 3rd, 2010 6:29 pm

    Nadel is another of the voters Jim Caple describes as those who “gained a vote because they were general sports columnists and editors, not baseball writers.”

  106. Pete Livengood on January 3rd, 2010 9:15 pm

    I’m not sure if I understand how this newfangled Twitter thingy works, but I think Jeff Blair of the Toronto Globe & Mail announced a ballot of Alomar, McGwire, Raines. No Edgar.

  107. MKT on January 3rd, 2010 11:24 pm

    Marc Topkin, of the St. Petersburg Times:


    “The innings Smith and the other closers worked were usually the most intense and important; Martinez just hit four times a day, the situation determining the significance, and wasn’t in position to help his team half the time. (His case may improve with age, however, just as closers eventually became more accepted by voters.)”

    Are career Win Probability Added stats available for Edgar and top relievers? I’d guess that a top-hitting everyday player adds more wins than a top reliever, even if the player only DHs.

  108. Pete Livengood on January 4th, 2010 8:14 am

    Hal Bodley’s (formerly USA Today, now ballot omits Edgar. He votes for Dawson, Blyleven, Alomar, and Morris.

    While Bodley doesn’t even mention Edgar specifically, he does say some revealing things while discussing Dawson, whom he he admits did not receive his vote in many previous years of eligibility:

    “I’ve often been asked about a certain candidate and why I’m not convinced he’s a legitimate Hall of Famer. My standard answer is, ‘He’s borderline.’

    “Often candidates in this category might eventually get my vote when there is no other overwhelming choice or choices. By the same token, I might leave that type of player off my ballot so as not to distract from a no-questions-asked Hall of Famer.

    “This is probably wrong. Yet I believe it is just as wrong to elect a borderline candidate in a year when some of the greatest players in baseball history are eligible. That would distract from the moment they’re inducted.

    “I guess what all of us who vote are saying is that so-and-so might eventually be a Hall of Famer, but not just yet, even though what he did to earn consideration will never change. Only the fickle voting of the BBWAA changes.”

  109. Pete Livengood on January 4th, 2010 9:29 am

    Looks like I missed an early ballot, by Tom Gage of the Detroit News, who didn’t vote for Edgar. The sum total of all of his writing on the subject:

    “My Hall of Fame ballot – Trammell, Morris, Dawson, Blyleven and Lee Smith. I know all the arguments against Smith, but with 478 saves, he gets in – as far as I’m concerned.”

  110. Pete Livengood on January 4th, 2010 9:39 am

    @ shim: “From Larry LaRue [quoting Rob Neyer]. Sounds like another “Aye” for Edgar.

    Shim, Neyer doesn’t yet have a vote. He got his BBWAA badge in 2009, but won’t be eligible to vote until after his 10th year – 2019 (or is it 2018?) – hopefully, long past the need for his vote for Edgar. Nobody on the Badge List who got their badge after 2000 is yet eligible to vote.

    Besides, Rob has vacillated back-and-forth on Edgar so many times that I won’t count him as anything more than leaning until he announces an actual vote, in black and white.

  111. illdonk on January 4th, 2010 10:54 am

    Anybody have a good estimated count so far? Looks like about 35%-40%, which would actually be very promising in terms of his eventual election. Jim Rice, Tony Perez, Goose Gossage and Gary Carter all started in the 30-50 range and made it. Dawson started with 45% and his support is building, as support almost always does (it seems voters can be convinced yes, and once they do they almost never change their minds, probably because there’s never any anti-X campaigners).

    It doesn’t always happen, of course (Maury Wills, Dale Murphy, Don Mattingly, Luis Tiant), but it’s a good base for the first year.

  112. Repoz on January 4th, 2010 11:19 am

    After 81 Full Ballots I have Edgar at 44.4%

    No thanks to Shaughmessy…

  113. Repoz on January 4th, 2010 11:19 am


  114. Pete Livengood on January 4th, 2010 11:30 am

    Jon Heyman tries to further explain his head-scratching ballot. The money quote with regard to Edgar (and remember, this from a guy who voted for both Dave Parker and Don Mattingly on this ballot):

    “I consider impact more than stats. I like dominance over durability. I prefer players who were great at some point to the ones who were merely very good for a very long time. And I do recall it’s called the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Numbers.

    “While Martinez was a superb hitter, and his career .418 on-base percentage and .515 slugging percentages are impressive indeed, only twice did Martinez even crack the top 10 in MVP voting (he was third once and sixth once). That suggests something less than dominance. And even on his career totals, he comes up short. His final power figures (309 home runs, 1,261 RBIs) are underwhelming for someone whose whole candidacy is based on offense.”

    Actually, Jon, the lack of MVP Top 10 appearances has a lot more to do with the kind of anti-DH bias writers like you have demonstrated towards DHs in this HoF vote than it does with any lack of “dominance” Edgar Martinez displayed. I don’t know if the historical WAR database can be sorted by year and highest WAR, but I would bet cash money that Edgar Martinez finished in the top 10 a helluva lot more than two times.

    Although it only measures offensive performance, we can rank AL seasons by OPS+, and since MVP voting is rarely tipped (or even much affected) by defensive performance, this is as good an objective measure as any. You know what it show, Jon? Dominance. Since becoming a regular in 1990, Edgar Martinez only finished outside of the Top 10 in OPS+ in 4 of 13 seasons in which he accuumulated enough PA to qualify for the batting title. Those? 1991 (he finished 15th), the injury-plagued 1994 (he finished 26th, still at a very good 121), 2003 (he finished 11th), and his final year, when he fell off the cliff and was wise enough to hang ‘em up. Other than those four years, the lowest he ever finished was 9th (his first full-time year in MLB, 1990) and no other time worse than 6th. Six times he finished in the Top 5 (including leading the league in OPS+ and RC in 1995). The 185 OPS+ he put up in 1995 is in the Top 10 (#9) ever produced during the 15 seasons (1990-2003) of Edgar’s reign. Only 8 men did better, and at least three of them are admitted/caught juicers.

    And what of the guys Heyman voted for, Parker and Mattingly? As measured by OPS+, Edgar had two seasons better than or equal to Parker’s best season, and eight better than Parker’s second-best season. And Edgar had four seasons better than or equal to Mattingly’s best season, and seven better than his second-best season.

    Jon, you may not consider yourself a “stats” or “numbers” guy, but you at least have to look at them to see if you are being at all consistent. You, sir, fell far short of that.

  115. msb on January 4th, 2010 11:52 am

    I hope you sent that off to Heyman, as well.

  116. msb on January 4th, 2010 11:55 am

    He doesn’t have a vote, but:

    “He should go. There is no doubt in my mind. He is the dominant DH,” Griffey said. “He’s a baseball player. It doesn’t matter that he’s a DH, you still have to go out and do your job and he did it at the highest level than anybody for 10, 15 years.”

  117. Mike Snow on January 4th, 2010 12:05 pm

    Well, Griffey might end up with a vote if Edgar’s induction ultimately depends on the Veterans Committee.

  118. illdonk on January 4th, 2010 12:35 pm

    Actually, Jon, the lack of MVP Top 10 appearances has a lot more to do with the kind of anti-DH bias writers like you have demonstrated towards DHs in this HoF vote than it does with any lack of “dominance” Edgar Martinez displayed.

    Be specific: which seasons in which Edgar did not place in the Top 10 should he have?

    A few notes, first: Edgar received MVP votes five times, four times during the four seasons of his career when the Mariners made the playoffs, and once in 1992 when they finished 64-98. His highest finish was 3rd in 1995. In 2000, he placed 6th, with one Mariner (A-Rod) above him.

    We mentioned 1992 and 1995, and it’s safe to say that no other seasons before that were MVP-worthy.

    In 1996, Edgar did not receive any votes despite finishing 4th in the OPS rankings (every other member of the Top 10 received some mention). Despite the Mariners not making the playoffs, two M’s finished in the Top 4 in voting (A-Rod and Jr). It would be hard to argue that Edgar was more valuable than these two players that season, and it’s pretty rare for a team that missed the playoffs to have three players in the Top Ten in the MVP voting.

    He placed 14th in 1997, with two other Mariners finishing above him (Griffey/Randy).

    In 1998 and 1999, the Mariners finished below .500. Despite this, two M’s finished in the Top 10 in voting in ’98 (Griffey/A-Rod) and one in ’99.

    In 2000, Edgar finished 6th, with one Mariner above him.

    In 2001, Edgar placed 16th, with two Mariners in the Top 3 (Ichiro/Boone). This was the last year in which Edgar finished in the Top 10 in OPS.

    Looking over the record, Edgar’s biggest problem in MVP voting probably had more to do with the quality of his teammates than anti-DH bias. We can give him a nudge for 1997 and maybe 2001, sure, but Edgar was generally, and probably correctly, seen as the third or fourth best player on his team, and voters tend not to put three or four players from the same team in their Top Ten.

  119. msb on January 4th, 2010 12:48 pm

    No thanks to Shaughmessy…

    From Dan, more inane vote excuses:
    “For me, it’s the same with Hall of Famers. Some guys just strike you as Cooperstown-worthy and others do not. Edgar Martinez was a very fine hitter, but I never said to myself, “The Mariners are coming to Fenway this weekend. I wonder how the Sox are going to pitch to Edgar Martinez?”"

    Me, I think I agree with OldHossRadbourn on twitter:

    “Hoss can’t define the term ‘bloviating, self-righteous chancre.’ But I know one when I read one.”

  120. scott19 on January 4th, 2010 1:15 pm

    Shaugnessy’s from Bah-ston…what’dya expect?

    Any team who’s not the Red Sox or Yankees are strictly AAA in the eyes of a good chunk of Saux Nation.

  121. msb on January 4th, 2010 1:28 pm

    I was so …. enthralled … by his reasoning that I missed this line:

    “The stat geeks, those get-a-lifers who are sucking all the joy out of our national pastime …”

  122. msb on January 4th, 2010 2:03 pm

    Street asked some of the recent Spink winners about their votes

  123. msb on January 4th, 2010 2:13 pm

    so, two more yes votes:

    Nick Peters
    Ross Newhan

    and on their no votes:

    Murray Chass “I wound up not voting for Martinez, but for what it’s worth, he probably came as close as anyone I have not voted for. As a result, I have decided that if he doesn’t make it this time, I will look at him again next year even more closely and make the decision at that time.”

    Rick Hummel “I did not vote for him but, in discussing the matter with other writers and rethinking it after I sent my ballot, I probably will vote for him in the future.”

    Tracy Ringolsby “Two-thirds of the games he started were as the DH, and that is more than 70 percent. If I am going to recognize him as a Hall of Famer, he needs to have overpowering statistics in his career, and in my opinion, [Martinez] just doesn’t have the same numbers as other guys that are not in.”

  124. Pete Livengood on January 4th, 2010 3:57 pm

    @ msb: I hope you sent that off to Heyman, as well.

    I did send it off to Heyman, and while I was at it, I followed up with this:

    And one more thing about Edgar Martinez, since you disparage his “career totals.” It isn’t just hits, homeruns, and RBI that matter (though his all-time ranks among all retired and still active players in those categories are a respectable 154th, 112th, and 115th respectively). Rate stats MATTER. ALL extra base hits MATTER. Times on base MATTER. And not making outs MATTERS. The latter two, especially, are the core of winning baseball, offensively.

    These are things at which Edgar Martinez excelled. Among all players, active or retired, Edgar ranks 77th all-time in Times On-Base, which is great even of itself, but even better when you consider that he accomplished that while making far fewer outs than ALL of those ahead of him on that list. [Please see and for more detail.] Do you know how many of the 61 eligible players ahead of Martinez are in the HOF? 53 – plus Alomar (whom you voted for), Raines, and McGriff (and, among the Top 100 players who rank BELOW Martinez, among 19 eligible 10 more are also in the HOF – plus two guys you voted for *ahead* of Martinez, Andre Dawson and Dave Parker). Do you know how many players ahead of Edgar Martinez on this list are right-handed hitters? Just 30. Of those 30, only 23 are (or have been) eligible for the HOF, 21 are in – only Dwight Evans and Bill Dahlen are not.

    It gets even better for Martinez once you consider the other half of the equation – outs made. Of these Top 100 hitters, as measured by number of times on base, *NOBODY* made fewer outs than Edgar Martinez. Not a single one. Think about that. Out of a much more meaningful and complete counting statistic than just “hits,” nobody in the Top 100 of all-time made fewer outs than Edgar Martinez did.

    Now, of course, there are hitters on that list with far more times on base who also made very few outs – Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, and Rogers Hornsby among the most prominent. But fortunately, we can simply divide times on base by outs made to get a nice little percentage that will let us measure the greatest and most efficient hitters of all time in terms of doing the best thing one can do offensively in baseball (get on base) while simultaneously avoiding the worst thing one can do (make outs).

    Once you do that, Edgar Martinez ranks 13th among these 100 all-time greatest hitters – 13th! – and is the 4th best right-handed hitter. He ranks behind only (in order) Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Barry Bonds, Rogers Hornsby, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Jimmie Foxx, Eddie Collins, Mickey Mantle, and Frank Thomas (and behind only Hornsby, Foxx and Thomas as a right-handed hitter). Every single eligible hitter on that list ahead of Martinez is a Hall of Famer. Below Edgar, you have to go 16 more spots before you find an eligible player who is not in the Hall of Fame (Eddie Yost) and then another eight more after that before you find a couple more who aren’t (Tim Raines, Mark Grace at 39 and 40 – though Raines may yet get there with the writers). By any objective measure, Edgar Martinez is solidly and deservingly in the company of no-doubt-about-it Hall of Famers.

  125. msb on January 4th, 2010 4:00 pm

    Very good.

  126. JMHawkins on January 4th, 2010 4:59 pm

    …but I never said to myself, “The Mariners are coming to Fenway this weekend. I wonder how the Sox are going to pitch to Edgar Martinez?””

    I bet every Saux manager after, say, 1994, probably said that to himself.

  127. msb on January 4th, 2010 7:20 pm

    @JPosnanski Juan Gonzalez won more MVPs than Rose, Gwynn, Boggs, Kaline, Ozzie, Jeter, Piazza and Duke. Combined.

  128. Pete Livengood on January 4th, 2010 7:27 pm

    Says a lot about how important MVPs are, huh? Funny how MVP voting wasn’t mentioned when those guys were (or will be) up.

  129. illdonk on January 4th, 2010 8:10 pm

    Six one of those players (not Boggs or Ozzie) had more Top Ten MVP finishes than Juan Gonzalez. If for some reason the subject of MVP voting comes up when Piazza and Jeter are eligible, one might mention seven seasons in the top ten, including three top-three finishes.

    And did I somehow miss when Juan Gonzalez turned into Dave Kingman? I know his career fell off a cliff but he was a heck of a hitter.

  130. Pete Livengood on January 4th, 2010 9:37 pm

    Back to the meat of the thread:

    Scott Miller of CBS Sports details the rest of his ballot (he leaked earlier that he voted for Alomar), which doesn’t include Edgar. Not a word on why he didn’t support Edgar, or on how he views his candidacy.

  131. Pete Livengood on January 4th, 2010 9:42 pm

    Stan McNeal of the Sporting News votes for Edgar, along with Alomar, Blyleven, Larkin, McGwire, and Raines.

  132. Pete Livengood on January 4th, 2010 9:53 pm

    Former P-I beat writer Tyler Kepner, now with the New York Times, has a vote but isn’t allowed to use it by Times policy. Nevertheless, this article by Kirby Arnold indicates Kepner’s support for Edgar, and he has just the kind of bully pulpit at the Times to beat the drum for his candidacy. Some great quotes from Everyday Eddie, from his perspective as former teammate and adversary.

  133. Pete Livengood on January 4th, 2010 9:59 pm

    It is unclear that this reveals a full ballot, but I think it is clear enough to at least put Terrence Moore of MLB Fanhouse and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in the “leaning no” category.

  134. scott19 on January 4th, 2010 10:29 pm

    Bummer that Kepner can’t use his vote…though hopefully he’s got enough clout there to sway some votes in Edgar’s favor.

  135. Shrike on January 4th, 2010 11:51 pm

    Dan Shaughnessy has a ridiculous column (posted on ESPN) explaining why he didn’t vote for Edgar. I’d link to it, but I’d expect blood pressures to rise in the Pacific Northwest after reading such an illogical set of ramblings. I know mine did.

  136. Pete Livengood on January 5th, 2010 12:00 am

    @ illdonk: “Be specific: which seasons in which Edgar did not place in the Top 10 should he have?”

    I don’t want to get into this too much (this is more appropriate in the other Edgar HoF / David Schoenfeld thread, where I also have not addressed your contention that, despite the fact that the DH is only on the All Star ballot every other year, Edgar still would only have made seven All Star teams), but I’ll do a quick response here.

    You are missing the point. I am not saying Edgar “should have” made more Top 10 MVP finishes, or All Star games. I am saying that both rules and biased perceptions of DHs have made those results so subjective as to be meaningless for any use except as a crutch for pre-conceived opinion about Edgar’s candidacy, and an excuse not to dive into the harder work of looking at the stats to make sure one’s pre-conceived notions of players are accurate and your vote given in a consistent manner.

    All I am saying is that OPS+ (or if you prefer counting stats to rate stats, Runs Created) is a reasonably objective standard for measuring offensive performance – far better than MVP voting – and I think voting over the years makes it evident that defense has little to no impact on MVP voting, so it serves as a decent proxy in the absence of yearly/historical WAR leaderboards (which I think would be even better, though paradoxically also perhaps a poorer proxy/predictor for MVP voting).

    This is all I can tell you. I’ll lay out my not too blog-friendly table of Edgar’s finishes in the AL, by year, for both OPS+ and RC. You tell me whether he “should have” finished in the Top 10 as many times as this indicates – and regardless of whether it does or doesn’t, can’t we agree that this is a better measure of “dominance” than either MVP vote finishes or All Star appearances?


    1990 9 22
    1991 15 16
    1992 3 3
    1993 DNQ DNQ
    1994 26 35
    1995 1 1
    1996 4 9
    1997 2 3
    1998 3 4
    1999 6 11
    2000 6 7
    2001 4 14
    2002 DNQ DNQ
    2003 11 22

    This encompasses Edgar’s entire career as a regular, except his fall-off-the-cliff last year, and the stop-start, call-up, send-down sputtering start of the late 1980s.

    Again, my point is NOT to say where Edgar “should have” finished, but to provide a more objective view of “dominance” than Jon Heyman referenced. But, also again, if that is what interests you, YOU tell ME where Edgar “should have” finished in those Top 10 years, or whether it isn’t reasonable to assume that if he was a Top 10 (or even 15) hitter in the AL in 11 of those years, it isn’t reasonable to assume that he might have deserved more than seven All Star nods?

  137. illdonk on January 5th, 2010 12:55 am

    [Long, rehash-y argument centering on the 1998 season and how I find it hard to accept that he was the third-best player in the league when he was the third-best player on his own team, one that went 76-85, deleted.] I remain convinced that Edgar’s career had great strengths and serious weaknesses, and remain on the fence about his Hall-worthiness.

    And since I don’t actually have a vote and it doesn’t matter (and if I spend any more time looking at Baseball Reference my eyes will start to bleed), how about I just buy you a beer in Cooperstown in the summer of 2013, which is when I’m guessing his induction will be.

  138. Breadbaker on January 5th, 2010 2:38 am

    On the list of “things that wouldn’t be so terrible if they happened”, if Randy gets into a game this year and both he and Junior retire the same year, and it takes Edgar six times on the ballot, they might have to charter a dozen Air Force transports from Seattle to Cooperstown for the induction ceremony.

  139. Pete Livengood on January 5th, 2010 8:44 am

    illdonk, I’ll take you up on that beer in Cooperstown.

    I will say this, though: I do believe that Edgar was a clear MVP choice in 1995. He carried the M’s that season (during which Griffey was hurt after running into the wall on Memorial Day Weekend, broke his wrist and didn’t come back until August, and was almost single-handedly responsible for taking down the Yankees in the ALDS).

    Beyond that, I would only say generally that people put too much stock in arguments like “he was only the third best player on his team.” First, that may have been true over the bulk of his career, but during any given season, any one of the three – or four – could (and did) carry the team. Second, is it such a crime to pale in comparison to 2 or 3 guys who are sure, no-doubt-about-it, first-ballot Hall of Famers (at least, unless the steroids admission costs A-Rod a few votes)? And I don’t doubt that the Mariners had three of the best hitters in the AL at the same time in the 1990s. If you look, they were rarely all in the line-up at the same time, or firing on all cylanders at the same time when they were. And, outside of Randy (who also had some injury issues in this time frame) and Moyer (at times), they didn’t have a lot of pitching depth.

    The same thing might be said when people complain that Edgar “wasn’t even the best right-handed hitter in the league during his career.” The fact that he played in an era when Frank Thomas, and to some extent Manny Ramirez, also played should not hurt him. The fact that he compares so favorably to hitters who are clearly among the best right-handed hitters of all-time should not be a knock, it should be a feather in his cap.

    Edgar, Griffey and A-Rod all saw their numbers (especially RBI numbers) suffer to some extent because of the others’ presence. But Edgar was Junior’s protection, the engine of the Mariners’ offense in the 1990s, and really the one who pitchers and pitching coaches had no good way to get out. Edgar could hit whatever they threw at him, and wouldn’t swing at anything out of the zone.

    You do bring up a valid practical point, though – there is no way Edgar would win MVPs because of the comparison to teammates, and potential vote-splitting ala 1996 (when A-Rod should have won, and both Junior and A-Rod were more deserving than Juan-Gone). But that wasn’t my point. In fact, it kind of proves my point, that looking at MVP voting and All Star appearances as a proxy for “dominance” is a poor and lazy way of looking at things.

  140. Pete Livengood on January 5th, 2010 1:05 pm

    Again, this is less than clear that this represents his actual vote, but it appears that Evan Grant of the Dallas News did not vote for Edgar, apparently favoring Alomar, Blyleven, Dawson, Morris, and Raines. As for Edgar, although he expresses some belief that maybe Baines was the better DH, he says Edgar is “[w]orthy of more discussion, but not a vote yet.” Certainly, he is not slamming the door ala Shaughnessy or Knobler.

  141. Pete Livengood on January 5th, 2010 1:26 pm

    Joe Posanski announced his ballot finally, and no surprise, Edgar’s on it (along with Alomar, Blyleven, Larkin, McGwire, Murphy, Raines, and Trammel. On Edgar:

    “I thought that Edgar would be a close call for me because he spent so much of his career as a designated hitter. In the end, though, it wasn’t close at all. Because Martinez was SUCH a good hitter, that I simply think it trumps everything. His .418 on-base percentage is 12th all-time among players with 2,000 or more games.

    I’ll just give you one chart: Here is the complete list of non-Hall of Famers who played in 2,000 games and hit .310 or better and had an on-base percentage better than .400.

    1. Edgar Martinez.

    Yep. That’s it. Every other player who did it — Ruth, Williams, Gehrig, Hornsby, Cobb, Foxx, Musial, Speaker, Heilmann, Collins, Waner, Gehringer, Boggs — they’re all in the Hall of Fame. They’re all slam dunk Hall of Famers. Martinez wasn’t a good hitter, and he wasn’t a great hitter. He was a legendary hitter. To me, that trumps the DH role.

  142. msb on January 5th, 2010 5:44 pm

    Shaugnessy will be on with Gastineau in the 6 o’clock hour, if you want to hear his “reasoning” behind his no vote.

  143. msb on January 5th, 2010 6:22 pm

    Shaughnessy: “only a DH, no speed on the basepaths, not a home run hitter.”

  144. Pete Livengood on January 5th, 2010 6:50 pm

    Sean McAdam of Comcast Sporstnet New England revealed his ballot this afternoon, and it doesn’t include Edgar. He only votes for Alomar and Dawson, while noting that five others (including Edgar) “fell just shy of worthiness for Cooperstown.” With respect to Edgar, he says “[t]here’s nothing that says a DH can’t make the Hall. But such players must be truly dominant offensive to off-set their absence of defensive contributions, and Martinez doesn’t rise to that level.”

  145. gocougwsu on January 5th, 2010 7:00 pm

    jay mariotti said today on ESPN’s Around the Horn that he DID NOT VOTE FOR ANYONE this year. ridiculous.

    i could not find a video link

  146. Pete Livengood on January 5th, 2010 7:51 pm

    I know we all counted on it (in fact, he is already listed as a “yes” vote) but I had not previously seen a link to Jayson Stark’s ballot, which does include Edgar.

    Stark makes a lot of good points for Edgar’s candidacy – too many to quote here. Worth the read.

  147. Pete Livengood on January 5th, 2010 10:26 pm

    Here’s something nice said about Edgar by another guy who doesn’t have a vote – the Big Unit:

    “I know one player coming up (for vote), Edgar Martinez,” [Johnson] said. “I’m hoping he gets a lot of consideration. I know it has been debated whether a DH is worthy of that. During my time, I’ve never seen a better hitter, a better pure hitter, than him.

    “That’s no disrespect to other teammates I’ve had or people I’ve played against, but anyone from that era who watched Edgar realizes what a good hitter he was. I’ll be pulling for him, because I know what he meant when I was on the mound.”

  148. Mike Snow on January 5th, 2010 10:38 pm

    I had Stark because ESPN published votes for all their writers, but he’s the only one I saw an explanation for. Also, the current tally is 37 yes, 46 no, or 44.6%. We’ll see how close that is tomorrow.

  149. Pete Livengood on January 6th, 2010 9:36 am

    Even though the vote totals will be announced today, I am going to continue recording individual votes here, for posterity and as a resource for research before we begin lobbying efforts for Edgar in future years. Hopefully that won’t be necessary, but even the optimist in me thinks election this year is beyond a longshot (and if that is the case, I would like nothing better than for it to take five years and for Edgar to go in on his sixth try and RJ on his first, together).

    So, while I wait for the announcement, I’ll keep posting. In that spirit, here are some more votes:

    ESPN’s Howard Bryant (whose vote is tallied in the link Mike Snow provided above, without explanation) explains his ballot, which omits Edgar, here. Bryant talks about tests of “dominance over longevity,” a “lengthy period of top-level production” (“you can’t be a comet” ala Albert Belle), “the milestone test,” “the eye test,” and “the steroid test” (“[T]he ballot says that character, integrity and sportsmanship should be part of the voting criteria, which essentially eliminates the whole steroid era. So, I leave my internal question at this: Did the candidate leave the game in better shape than when he entered it?”) and claims Edgar doesn’t pass any of them:

    “And then there is Martinez, who was a devastating hitter in his time. Martinez does not cross the induction threshold on any count. In 18 seasons, he recorded 2,247 hits, while Mattingly, in 14 seasons, recorded just 94 fewer. Martinez supporters say had he not gotten hurt, he would have been a great full-time player.

    “The problem is, he did get hurt and that is what makes being a Hall of Fame player so special. So many things have to go right: Players have to stay healthy. Players have to produce on good and bad teams. Players have to produce when the time comes.

    “Martinez produced big numbers in an era of big numbers — see Belle, Ellis Burks, Andres Galarraga, Larry Walker, Fred McGriff — but is not demonstrably better or worse than that group. None of those players, except possibly Walker, will be inducted.

    “Belle for example, who is no longer on the ballot, did virtually everything Martinez did in 516 fewer games.

    “Belle average season: .295, 103 runs, 182 hits, 41 doubles, 40 home runs, .564 slugging, .933 OPS.

    “Martinez average season: .312, 96 runs, 177 hits, 41 doubles, 24 home runs, .515 slugging, .933 OPS. And he didn’t play the field.

    “In other words, no way.”

    There is a lot wrong with this reasoning…but we’ll save it for another day.

  150. Mike Snow on January 6th, 2010 10:45 am

    Geoff Baker, another no, has a blog post explaining himself.

  151. Paul B on January 6th, 2010 10:51 am

    Baker, ugh, drags up the “not on the first ballot” argument.

  152. wazzu93 on January 6th, 2010 10:52 am votes (Bloom and Bodley omitted since they’re already on the list)

    Mike Bauman NO
    Peter Gammons NO
    Ken Gurnick NO
    Chris Haft NO
    Carrie Muskat NO
    Mark Newman NO
    Marty Noble NO
    Tom Singer YES
    Lyle Spencer NO
    Jim Street YES
    T.R. Sullivan NO

  153. Pete Livengood on January 6th, 2010 10:53 am

    Watching MLB TV’s HoF show, a couple of guys I previously hadn’t seen a ballot (or at least a full ballot) from revealed who they voted for.

    Peter Gammons voted for Alomar, Blyleven, Dawson, Larkin, Raines, Trammel, and McGwire.

    Tom Verducci voted for Alomar, Larkin, Raines, and McGriff.

    No Edgar from either of them.

  154. Mike Snow on January 6th, 2010 10:59 am

    Okay, final known tally is 39 yes, 56 no, 41%.

  155. wazzu93 on January 6th, 2010 11:12 am

    Sheesh, Dawson is the only guy in? And Edgar gets less than 33%-bummer.

  156. illdonk on January 6th, 2010 11:16 am

    Edgar received 36.2%. It looks like voters with web presences and who publicized their votes did skew towards him.

    How much must it absolutely suck to be Bert Blyleven? I wouldn’t vote for him, but this year-after-year stringing-along has to just be torture…

  157. nvn8vbryce on January 6th, 2010 11:39 am

    I guess that I don’t understand how someone whom MLB found worthy enough to name a league-wide award after (a la the Cy Young) couldn’t get voted into the HoF on his first vote.

    Yes, I understand that there are major feelings of inferiority felt towards the DH from those that only see teams on the senior circuit. I also understand the feelings of those that believe that the DH is only a part-time position – and to an extent, I can agree with them.

    However, the above are only a small portion of what Edgar meant to the Mariners. No player with the exception of Junior or possibly the Bone has had the impact on the Mariners franchise like Edgar.

    If it wasn’t for the efforts of Edgar and Jr., we may not be having this discussion today as the Mariners would have been plucked from Seattle just as the SuperSonics were under an owner that couldn’t get a replacement for the Kingdome.

    While this is very discouraging, I am still determined to see Edgar get into the HoF. It may take some effort from us in USS Mariner land along with other bloggers to make some of these writers wake up to what Edgar is and was for the Mariners.

  158. Pete Livengood on January 6th, 2010 12:15 pm

    Where are you getting that percentage, illdonk? MLB TV reported Edgar getting 32.7%…. Now I see that the Hall of Fame itself is reporting that 36.2% (actually 36.178%, 195 votes out of 539 cast, 210 votes shy of election; 7th highest vote total).

    Here’s the ballot:

    1. Andre Dawson, 420 of 539, 77.9%
    2. Bert Blyleven, 400, 74.2%
    3. Roberto Alomar, 397, 73.7%
    4. Jack Morris, 282, 52.3%
    5. Barry Larkin, 278, 51.6%
    6. Lee Smith, 255, 47.3%
    7. Edgar Martinez, 195, 36.2%
    8. Tim Raines, 164, 30.4%
    9. Mark McGwire, 128, 23.7%
    10. Alan Trammel, 121, 22.4%
    11. Fred McGriff, 116, 21.5%
    12. Don Mattingly, 87, 16.1%
    13. Dave Parker, 82, 15.2%
    14. Dale Murphy, 63, 11.7%
    15. Harold Baines, 33, 6.1%

    I am not disappointed by Edgar’s showing. Over one-third of voters is a strong base from which to begin. Now the hard work of convincing the unconvinced begins, and we’ll need to do it fairly quickly.

    Why, do you ask? Well, with only one guy getting elected, next year’s ballot will include all the same guys as this year, minus only Dawson (who most did not think of as the top candidate, going in) and the guys who didn’t get to 5% (Galarraga, Ventura, Burks, Karros, Appier, Hentgen, Segui, Mike Jackson, Lankford, Shane Reynolds, and Zeile). First-timers next year include some players with decent HoF resumes, among them Jeff Bagwell, Kevin Brown, Juan Gonzalez, John Olerud, Rafael Palmeiro, and Larry Walker.

    Many writers are hesitant to vote for more than a few guys, even though they are allowed to vote for up to ten. I think the pressure to vote for Blyleven (5 votes shy – how do those 5 guys who returned blank ballots, including Jay Mariotti – feel now?) and Alomar (8 votes shy) will be pretty huge. Dave Parker is in his final year of eligibility next season (I think) – which will put some pressure on guys to check his name. With over 50%, both Morris and Larkin will get strong pushes. Bagwell is a strong first-year candidate. Walker, too, though how much the Coors effect discounts his candidacy remains to be seen. Olerud is kind of Edgar-lite, numbers-wise, but has the strong defensive resume that Edgar does not. I wouldn’t expect to see Palmeiro get any more of the vote than McGwire does, but both will have a niche of support in the 15-30% range (maybe less; unlike McGwire, Palmeiro actually received a suspension for PEDs). Same with Juan Gonzalez, though I suspect he’ll have trouble getting more than 10%. Kevin Brown, who was named in the Mitchell Report, may also have some trouble as a result.

    Still, a crowded ballot. If the ballot isn’t cleared of 5-7 names next year, it looks like 2012 will be the year Edgar needs to slip through – the only member of that underwhelming first-year class who should attract some attention is Bernie Williams (the others, like Jeromy Burnitz, Vinny Castilla, Javy Lopez, Carl Everett, Tim Salmon, and Ruben Sierra – not so much).

    After that, the 2013 and 2014 clases are loaded.

  159. Pete Livengood on January 6th, 2010 12:25 pm

    Also, I am encouraged that the error rate for our informal sample here was within about 5% (Jeff reported we counted 39 of 95 cast for Edgar, 41.5%, and he got 36.2%). I actually expected the sample to be a bit more biased toward the presumably sabermetrically-inclined voters with enough web presence to reveal their ballots on the Internet. With a sample of about 20% of the electorate, a +/- of about 5% is pretty good, I would think.

  160. whidbeyed on January 7th, 2010 12:59 am

    The place to start the Edgar campaigning seems to be with the Chicago Tribune, which features 7 names on your “No” list.

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