ARE YOU KIDDING ME? ARE YOU FRICKING KIDDING?

DMZ · January 6, 2010 at 11:49 am · Filed Under Mariners 

I’ve been to Cooperstown. It’s just a plaque. And I’ve managed to talk myself into not caring so much about what writers vote for when it comes to the MVP and whatnot.

But then Rickey doesn’t get in unanimously and steam comes out my ears. Or this… I would start my litany of complaint, but it’ll be a string of curse words and we’ll get USSM blocked on people’s work filters.

Comments

149 Responses to “ARE YOU KIDDING ME? ARE YOU FRICKING KIDDING?”

  1. micahjr on January 6th, 2010 11:57 am

    Too bad all that the BBWA seems to care about is MVP votes pitching wins, and RBIs; all stats that matter, but are far less indicative of talent than overall team performance.

  2. georgmi on January 6th, 2010 11:59 am

    Historically, what does a 36.2% initial vote suggest about eventual election?

    (And it looks like some voters took to heart the idea that if you’re not going to vote for a DH, you shouldn’t vote for a relief pitcher either.)

  3. harry on January 6th, 2010 12:06 pm

    Blyleven started below 20%, and now he’s at 74%. Starting at 36% seems like it’s not bad. I worry that Edgar’s going to stall out with NL writers, though.

  4. Paul B on January 6th, 2010 12:06 pm

    I’ve always thought that the voters should have to pass some sort of test that verifies that they have basic understanding of baseball, baseball numbers, baseball history, and what causes teams to win and lose baseball games.

    Derek, you mentioned Rickey (implying “anyone who didn’t vote for Rickey shouldn’t be allowed to vote) but, I mean, Andre Dawson was the best player on the ballot this year? Seriously?

  5. Ralph_Malph on January 6th, 2010 12:11 pm

    I’m just bummed that David Segui didn’t get enough votes to stay on the ballot.

  6. PositivePaul on January 6th, 2010 12:12 pm

    In the immortal words of Lt. Gen. Harry W.O. Kinnard to the Nazis:

    “NUTS!”

    I’m not stunned that Edgar wasn’t elected. Doesn’t surprise me at all. But ONLY Dawson???

    Nuts!

  7. Hassleberry on January 6th, 2010 12:12 pm

    Even Geoff Baker didn’t vote for him. Want to know why? Read his article. I’m pretty angry. If he isn’t in in five to six years maximum (just about when Randy Johnson is eligible, or Griffey the sixth year), I’m gonna kill someone.

  8. MrGenre on January 6th, 2010 12:15 pm

    How hard is this really? Either someone is good enough this year, or they’re not good enough ever. I’m sick and tired of all this crap about “earning your way” up the chain year after year until you’re finally worthy. Do the players care it took them 6 years instead of 2? No. Only the writers care about nonsense like that.

    And then to read article after article about how this guy was a 10-time all-star, or he got 5 gold gloves… blah blah blah. Do people really think those are worthy accolades? Those awards, like this one, are defined by morons.

    Rant finished.

  9. illdonk on January 6th, 2010 12:19 pm

    Some recent names in Edgar’s rough voting range:

    Bruce Sutter started at 23.9% and was elected in his 13th year.

    Don Mattingly started at 28.2% and has lost support since.

    Jim Rice started at 29.8% and was elected in his 15th year.

    Goose Gossage started at 33.3% and was elected in his 9th try.

    Jim Bunning started at 38.1%, got as high as 74.2%, fell back and was picked by the Veterans Committee.

    Steve Garvey started at 41.6% and saw his support fall over his 15 years.

    Hoyt Wilhelm started with 41.7% and was elected in his 8th year.

    Gary Carter started at 42.3% and was elected in his 6th year of eligibility.

    Lee Smith started at 42.3% and has never really strayed far from that number.

    Andre Dawson received 45.3% his first year, and was just elected in his 9th attempt.

    Tony Perez started at 50% and was elected in his 9th year.

    Fergie Jenkins started at 52.3% and was elected in his third year.

  10. Chris_From_Bothell on January 6th, 2010 12:21 pm

    Alomar was a surprise. Blyleven shouldn’t have been a surprise, but still. And then Edgar… well, looks like Geoff Baker made himself a whole new batch of best buddies for life today…

  11. Gibbo on January 6th, 2010 12:23 pm

    Yeah Bakers take on it was really really bad. He was either just trying to fire up the blog by being controversial or he really is an idiot. I actually like some of the stuff he does, but that piece was really bad. If people vote for RP then DH should be OK too.

  12. hub on January 6th, 2010 12:25 pm

    This is just setting up the year when Edgar, Randy, and Junior all go in together. Dave Niehaus will introduce them. =^)

  13. Carson on January 6th, 2010 12:27 pm

    This is so silly.

    As I’m arguing with Geoff in his comments thread – I have a fundamental disagreement in how they go about voting for a guy.

    Geoff states to me, in the comments, that writers often need time to be convinced by other writers to vote for a guy.

    I’ve often had disagreements with what Geoff says, but this one baffles me. I don’t think the guy is ignorant. I didn’t take him for a sheep. Right or wrong (imo) he seems pretty confident in his thoughts generally.

    Writing about baseball is their job. Year round. In the five years from when Edgar retired until now, has Geoff not had substantial conversation about Edgar’s HOF candidacy? Isn’t that what the five year period is for (at least partially)?

    I just think the HOF needs to shorten the time a player can be on the ballot to no longer than five years. This insane process of Player X can’t be in until Player Y is (Geoff used this with Dawson Vs Edgar), or waiting for Red Sox TV (ESPN) to pump up an undeserving guy like Rice who barely squeaked in at the bell is insanely annoying.

    I just think a Hall of Famer is a Hall of Famer. You’ve had five years. There’s been millions of words written about it by your peers already. Why do you need longer to decide?

  14. Hassleberry on January 6th, 2010 12:27 pm

    I wish I was a writer, and I took up like 74% of the vote. I would let each player or the team he played for send me a package of information and a video about why I should vote for that person. I would also allow a one page report from some one, I don’t know who, that would tell me why I shouldn’t vote for that person. Using those I think I could make fairly good decisions.

  15. robbbbbb on January 6th, 2010 12:29 pm

    Re: illdonk’s list.

    Edgar was a better player than every single one of those guys, with the exception of Gary Carter. Sounds like we’ve got ten years to wait. Which is too damn long.

    But when the M’s retire Edgar’s number, and unveil the statue of him outside the home plate entrance, I’m getting tickets and taking my boys.

  16. Hassleberry on January 6th, 2010 12:32 pm

    And I agree with you Carson, you make good points. I think that you should have a chance to be elected in as little as two years after you retire. I think it’s ridiculous to wait any longer.

    Also, what happens if no one is elected?

  17. E_Martinez on January 6th, 2010 12:32 pm

    Geoff Baker Gave his Vote to Dawson but not Edgar for these Reasons.

    Dawson Iced his Knees Alot
    Dawson Played on Astroturf
    Dawson was hurt in Highschool, so gives him extra credit.

    I like Dawson…..but that was the worst reasoning I have ever seen by any Journalist

  18. CCW on January 6th, 2010 12:34 pm

    I actually do think Geoff Baker’s not that bright, but his rationale for not voting for Edgar makes some sense to me. Edgar did enjoy some benefit from not having to do take the field. He didn’t even play during the majority of interleague games, as I recall. I think he deserves to be in, but I think it’s close. Avoiding the wear and tear of defense may have helped his stats. And burdening his team with the inflexibility of carrying a pure DH did decrease his value.

  19. E_Martinez on January 6th, 2010 12:34 pm

    Also…..

    I am offering to donate $1,000 to http://www.themartinezfoundation.com

    If Geoff Baker either leaves Seattle by choice to goto another team…or the Seattle Times fires him.

    As well…..

    Anyone who unfollows Geoff baker on Twitter and vows to not read the Seattle Times…I will be giving away a pair of Seattle Mariners Tickets to a Game in April or May to one of those people at random

  20. illdonk on January 6th, 2010 12:37 pm

    Also, what happens if no one is elected?

    You can get really good seats for the induction ceremony.

  21. Pete Livengood on January 6th, 2010 12:38 pm

    As I wrote in the thread about our vote-tracking effort, 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? Well, with only one guy getting elected, next year’s ballot will include pretty much all the same guys as this year, minus only Dawson. 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 (which is why, Carson, I wouldn’t want to see the time on the ballot shortened – that would make things worse, not better). I think the pressure to vote for Blyleven (5 votes shy) and Alomar (8 votes shy) will be pretty huge. I’m pretty sure Dave Parker is in his final year of eligibility next season, 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, it’s going to be 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 ballots are loaded.

  22. Hassleberry on January 6th, 2010 12:41 pm

    Don’t kill Geoff. He made a bad choice. No need to freak out. Give him sometime to give a better reason than the bullsh** one he said on his blog. I do still like him. Also, people need to get over the DH thing. It’s a position. You can’t say, well he didn’t take the field, so I’m going to take points away. No. The position is to just bat. That’s what he’s being elected for. You obviously can’t add points for fielding, but you should’t take a way points either. And if Mariano (who is awesome and great and everything) gets in before Edgar, I will die. I will die. Dead. Death. Deadly Voting. Die.

  23. MrGenre on January 6th, 2010 12:42 pm

    Also…..
    I am offering to donate $1,000 to http://www.themartinezfoundation.com
    If Geoff Baker either leaves Seattle by choice to goto another team…or the Seattle Times fires him.
    As well…..
    Anyone who unfollows Geoff baker on Twitter and vows to not read the Seattle Times…I will be giving away a pair of Seattle Mariners Tickets to a Game in April or May to one of those people at random

    I cancelled my subscription a couple months ago… does that count? I may hate the guy, but he’s still a voice in Mariners news. I don’t always agree with this blog either, but I’ll never stop reading it.

  24. TomTuttle on January 6th, 2010 12:43 pm

    What kind of B.S. is this?

    You aren’t going to elect someone in on the first ballot because he doesn’t deserve the title of first-ballot HOFer.

    Last time I checked, you either are a HOFer or you aren’t.

    And as far as Edgar goes, to those who say he can’t get in the HOF because he’s a DH? You are full of crap if you are going to let CLOSERS in the HOF but not DHs.

    I don’t get it.

    -300+ HRs
    -2000+ hits
    -1000+ RBIs
    -Lifetime average of over .300
    -2 batting championships as a RH hitter (including a .356 average in 1995)
    -Numerous All-Star Games
    -Didn’t play in a World Series, but EXTREMELY CLUTCH hitter and a big part of the 1995 team that saved baseball in Seattle
    -Not linked to steroids as far as we know (other than the fact that he played in that era)
    -Tremendous character and work ethic
    -DH of the Year Award named after him (the same award he won 5 times)
    -One of the greatest Seattle Mariners ever (may be #3 behind Ken Griffey, Jr. and Randy Johnson)
    -One of the greatest, CLUTCH right-handed bats EVER

    I don’t get it?

    What’s the problem?

    Put him in the Hall of Fame.

    P.S. Robbie Alomar, Barry Larkin and Burt Blyleven also got ripped off BAD today.

  25. stevie_j13 on January 6th, 2010 12:44 pm

    Baker is taking a beating, but one writer that truly deserves our ire as baseball fans is Marty Noble of MLB.com. Here is his reasoning for not voting for Robbie Alomar:

    Alomar will probably be elected, and based on performance through most of his 17 seasons, he ought to be. But he will go without my vote this year. I don’t like to use the ballot in this manner, but the best second baseman since Joe Morgan — and probably the best ever — doesn’t deserve my vote for at least one year because of two spitting instances. We’re all aware of the one involving John Hirschbeck. I don’t care that Hirschbeck forgave Alomar for spitting at him; I haven’t. It was unacceptable behavior. And during his 222-game tour with the Mets, Alomar repeatedly spit in the face of the game by playing with conspicuous apathy. His father and brother didn’t deserve that, nor did the game.

    It is a shame that Edgar, my favorite player ever, is not in the HOF. Alomar not making it, however, is a travesty, and it is because of guys like Noble that the best second baseman of the last 30 years isn’t going to Cooperstown.

  26. MrGenre on January 6th, 2010 12:46 pm

    Don’t kill Geoff. He made a bad choice. No need to freak out. Give him sometime to give a better reason than the bullsh** one he said on his blog. I do still like him. Also, people need to get over the DH thing. It’s a position. You can’t say, well he didn’t take the field, so I’m going to take points away. No. The position is to just bat. That’s what he’s being elected for. You obviously can’t add points for fielding, but you should’t take a way points either. And if Mariano (who is awesome and great and everything) gets in before Edgar, I will die. I will die. Dead. Death. Deadly Voting. Die.

    Agreed! I love how defense doesn’t matter to the voters until Edgar comes along. Lord knows he would have been at least an average first baseman if the M’s had let him. You don’t get to the MLB without having some decent fielding skills… unless you’re Manny.

  27. robbbbbb on January 6th, 2010 12:47 pm

    Alomar and Blyleven did get ripped off today, and badly. I’m not so sure about Larkin. Don’t get me wrong: He’s a worthy Hall of Famer, and deserves induction, but I don’t think he got scorched in the voting. Especially for a first-time candidate.

  28. Shrike on January 6th, 2010 12:49 pm

    I’m not thrilled at Edgar’s vote toal, but c’mon … the most egregious behaviour by the HoF electorate clearly is their inexcusable collective decision-making regarding Roberto Alomar and Tim Raines. Just shameful.

  29. putnamp on January 6th, 2010 12:51 pm

    Yo could you post a link or background or SOMETHING about what you’re raging about next time? You guys do this a lot more often than any other blog in my feed reader and having to go to comments to find out what people are upset about is a pain in the ass.

  30. Hassleberry on January 6th, 2010 12:52 pm

    Mike Piazza is considered the best hitting catcher of all time. He played terrible defense. Edgar is considered to be the best DH of all time. He played no defense. Which one would you rather have, someone who hits well but causes the other team to score runs, or the person who hits well and doesn’t cost the team any runs?

  31. Shrike on January 6th, 2010 12:56 pm

    The Piazza/Edgar comparison? Not a good one if you’re an Edgar fan. I love Edgar, but I’d take Piazza in a heartbeat simply because he could play catcher (albeit with a bad throwing arm and suspect defense). The positional adjustment is enormous (whether you want to make an adjustment for suspected PED use is a whole other ball of wax).

  32. Hassleberry on January 6th, 2010 12:58 pm

    The whole thing is, if Edgar played a position poorly, he would have more votes just because he played a position.

  33. scott19 on January 6th, 2010 1:00 pm

    But then again, why the hell is the threshold to get in 75% to begin with…as opposed to two-thirds or even 51% of the ballots?

  34. nmm66 on January 6th, 2010 1:01 pm

    I didn’t realize Erik Karros’ parents were both BBWAA members.

  35. mjwalt on January 6th, 2010 1:01 pm

    E_Martinez…appreciate your sentiment – as soon as I read Baker’s comment, I logged on to twitter and unfollowed – absolute lack of logic in his reasoning.

    Edgar either stands or falls based on how he did as a player – his numbers aren’t going to change in the years going forward. For a writer to not let him in based on comparisons to one other player is absurd. For a writer to not let him in because he didn’t play the field hurt enough is insanity at it’s finest.

    I ask this question…If Edgar doesn’t ‘deserve’ it now, how could he possibly ‘deserve’ it in the future? What’s he going to do to improve his career at this point?

  36. Carson on January 6th, 2010 1:07 pm

    Many writers are hesitant to vote for more than a few guys, even though they are allowed to vote for up to ten (which is why, Carson, I wouldn’t want to see the time on the ballot shortened – that would make things worse, not better).

    Fair points.

    Allowing fifteen years is the reason some only put two or three guys on their ballot, though.

    When I see things like: “this guy isn’t a first year guy, but in two years from now when the HOF class is weak, I’ll vote for him.” The problem being that he only voted for three guys. If you feel he’s HOF worthy two years from now, and you haven’t maxed out your ballot choices, why on earth make him wait?

    Five years (Ten after retirement) seems ample amount of time to be convinced if a guy is deserving if you’re on the fence.

  37. murphy_dog on January 6th, 2010 1:10 pm

    Other than Ozzie Smith or Brooks Robinson, who else in the Hall is ever discussed as being there for their amazing glove? Its all about what they did on the plate and the bases for all of the position players.

    Essentially, what I’ve learned from this, is that if Edgar had played a mediocre first base (Tony Perez) instead of being a DH, he’ll get in.

    It’s real simple, the criteria should be: look at the first HOF class, is anybody eligible this year
    that ranks with them? If so, yes, if not, then they’re a no, and off the ballot forever.

  38. Coach24 on January 6th, 2010 1:10 pm
  39. Shrike on January 6th, 2010 1:13 pm

    Sad but true: Edgar certainly would have received more votes in his first year on the HoF ballot if he’d been a full-time 1B after his knee injury moved him off 3B. Even though he wouldn’t have really added any more value to the team. Which goes to show that a lot of Hall voters don’t do enough research or simply have never known enough about baseball to properly elect all of the deserving non-obvious candidates. Of course, they also have a rather asinine “first-ballot” distinction, which is why Roberto Alomar didn’t get elected his first time up, even though everyone pretty much realizes he’s one of the ten or so best second basemen of all-time …

  40. Pete Livengood on January 6th, 2010 1:15 pm

    It is clear that HoF voters as a whole have NOT embraced sabermetric thinking on any real level. Here’s the ranking of guys on the ballot (votes out of 539 cast, and %) this year, followed by their ranking in the Historical WAR database for hitters or pitchers, all-time:

    1. Andre Dawson, 420, 77.9% (130th, 56.8 WAR)
    2. Bert Blyleven, 400, 74.2% (13th, 90.1 WAR)
    3. Roberto Alomar, 397, 73.7% (85th, 63.6 WAR)
    4. Jack Morris, 282, 52.3% (139th, 39.3 WAR)
    5. Barry Larkin, 278, 51.6% (59th, 68.8 WAR)
    6. Lee Smith, 255, 47.3%, (221st, 30.3 WAR)
    7. Edgar Martinez, 195, 36.2% (66th, 67.2 WAR)
    8. Tim Raines, 164, 30.4% (81st, 64.9 WAR)
    9. Mark McGwire, 128, 23.7% (88th, 63.1 WAR)
    10. Alan Trammel, 121, 22.4% (69th, 66.8 WAR)
    11. Fred McGriff, 116, 21.5% (165th, 50.5 WAR)
    12. Don Mattingly, 87, 16.1% (279th, 39.8 WAR)
    13. Dave Parker, 82, 15.2% (308th, 37.9 WAR)
    14. Dale Murphy, 63, 11.7% (227th, 44.4 WAR)
    15. Harold Baines, 33, 6.1% (324th, 37.0 WAR)

    If you want to rank who got jobbed the most, by WAR, it is (in order) Blyleven, Larkin, Edgar, Raines, Alomar, & McGwire, all of whom are surrounded by HoF’ers in the WAR rankings.

    And to those who want to compare closers to DHs in terms of value (and to follow up Hassleberry’s comments about Rivera)…Edgar has 67.2 WAR. Mariano Rivera has 49.9 WAR (which puts him in the company of good but not HoF great starting pitchers like kevin Appier (50.4), Jamie Moyer (47.4) and Mark Langston (47.1)). I am not saying Rivera is not a HoF’er (he is, and I would vote for him on the first ballot if I had one), but the argument that a great DH has less impact on the game and winning than a great closer just doesn’t hold water. If we’re electing closers, we better get down to the business of electing DHs, or at least the greatest DH ever….

  41. bookbook on January 6th, 2010 1:18 pm

    Appier only got one vote? That’s pretty brutal for an awfully nice career.

    Tim Raines stagnating at 30%, and Trammell stagnating lower? Both are actually bigger miscarriages of logic than Edgar’s year 1 vote total IMHO.

    The idea that Dawson and Rice go in while so many more deserving options are on the ballot is pretty freaky.

    So I wasn’t sure exactly what Dave meant with his exclamation.

  42. Stunasty on January 6th, 2010 1:21 pm

    After reading Geoff’s latest article I am boycoting his blog. I’m sick and tired of reading about writers that have no bussiness having a HOF vote in the first place. This is after hearing on ESPN that 5 writers sent in BLANK YES BLANK ballots!! Theirs isn’t much the average person can do to change the way things are done but we can stop reading and supporting writers that shouldn’t be involved the process!

  43. murphy_dog on January 6th, 2010 1:22 pm

    The writers/voters have to be corrected that a guy is either a HOF’er or not. No more of the, well, he is, but not a first ballot guy. Maybe the rule has to be that if they haven’t voted for him previously, they cannot vote for him at all.

    So, going forward, if you don’t vote for Roberto Alomar this year, you can’t ever vote for him, and he never gets in. I bet these guys would wake up if they knew they only had one chance to get these guys elected. And it would prevent a lot of the “also-rans” from ever getting in because its a slow year.

  44. dw on January 6th, 2010 1:29 pm

    Seriously, I’m overjoyed Edgar was on over 1/3rd of the ballots. In the little bit of researching I’ve done so far, I find few players who received 36.2% or more on the first ballot and not made the HoF.

    Since 1985, Steve Garvey is the lone person who pulled more than that on his first ballot (41.6%) but was never elected in 15 tries. Garvey’s problem was mostly off-the-field stuff tarnishing his reputation. (In fact, Garvey languished between 35-45% in the 90s before dropping below 30% for the rest of his time on the ballot; he was only mentioned on 21% of the ballots in 2007, his final time on.) Seems like Garvey might still make the Hall once the Veterans Committee gets hold of him.

    The only other player who had more first-time votes than Edgar and isn’t in since ’85 is one Lee Arthur Smith — 42.3% in 2003. Smith’s candidacy, though, stalled the next two years, falling below 40%, and while it looks like he’s getting some traction now he still only was on 47% of the ballots this time around. Part of what hurt Smith, of course, was that his record for career saves was not only passed but obliterated by Trevor Hoffman. That said, if we’re seeing DHs as being in the same boat as relievers, then Smith’s stall upward is worrisome.

    I’m thinking Edgar’s election is inevitable, though it’s probably going to take 10 years for the stars to align — for the crusty counting stats addicted writers to be pushed aside by the newer and more sabermetric friendly types, and for everyone to take a really good look at what Edgar managed to do over his career. It took the writers a long time to come around on Don Sutton (and they almost have on Bert Blyleven), but I think, eventually, reality will set in.

    But I think we all need to settle in here. I have summer of 2021 penciled in for the Cooperstown trip.

  45. illdonk on January 6th, 2010 1:30 pm

    I ask this question…If Edgar doesn’t ‘deserve’ it now, how could he possibly ‘deserve’ it in the future? What’s he going to do to improve his career at this point?

    Because the further we move away from their playing time, the more important their stats become as opposed to first-hand memories of their careers (pretty sure Bill James said something like this).

    Take Steve Garvey and Bert Blyleven: during Garvey’s career he was spoken of as a sure Hall of Famer; obviously the personal issues tarnished his reputation, and the stats alone aren’t there, and he never gained much more than his initial vote. Same with Don Mattingly: first-year votes from people who always thought of him in the Hall, a total that will almost certainly be his highest now that his statistics are in the forefront.

    I’m sure very few people considered Bert Blyleven to be a Hall of Famer when he retired, and his first vote total was 17.5%. But coming up on 20 years later, that K total is looking bigger and bigger, and will probably get him a plaque next year.

    Since Edgar’s Hall of Fame resume is more statistics-based than, say, Kirby Puckett’s (who was helped by fond memories of him personally and, hopefully more important, his leading two small-market Twins teams to championships), this is probably good news for him.

  46. scott19 on January 6th, 2010 1:33 pm

    Right now, Furness on KJR is on a big old rant about how broadcasters should get a HOF vote but don’t.

  47. dw on January 6th, 2010 1:34 pm

    Other than Ozzie Smith or Brooks Robinson, who else in the Hall is ever discussed as being there for their amazing glove?

    Bill Mazeroski, but he was a Veterans’ Committee pick. Red Schoendienst, but that’s not what he’s known for. Bill Dickey, but he got in for his bat. Yogi Berra, but yeah, he’s Yogi. Clemente, but it was his arm more than his glove.

  48. joshman12 on January 6th, 2010 1:39 pm

    I think it all comes down to Geoff Baker trying to stir up controversy to make himself seem “edgy”, but he’s alienated his readers and the entire region he writes for. Good news for him is that he can go back to Montreal after all the nice words he had for his French-Canadian childhood and Andre Dawson. Please go. Can’t unTwitter the guy fast enough.

  49. Paul B on January 6th, 2010 1:39 pm

    I’m just bummed that David Segui didn’t get enough votes to stay on the ballot.

    And I saw Mike Jackson got zero.

    Hey, Mike, if you are out there, thanks for the Kingdome memories!

  50. JJD on January 6th, 2010 1:39 pm

    Re: The “you’re either a Hall of Famer or you’re not”-argument

    I don’t buy that necessarily. I can go with the logic of “you’re either a “special” Hall of Famer who deserves first ballot induction, a “regular” Hall of Famer, or NOT a Hall of Famer, until all of the Halls of Fame steal Bill Simmons’ pyramid concept.

    It does seem like the NFL’s way of deciding a Hall of Famer (a certain mumber get in and there are far fewer voters who have a meeting in-person to decide) is superior to MLB’s, though.

  51. murphy_dog on January 6th, 2010 1:40 pm

    Bill Mazeroski, but he was a Veterans’ Committee pick. Red Schoendienst, but that’s not what he’s known for. Bill Dickey, but he got in for his bat. Yogi Berra, but yeah, he’s Yogi. Clemente, but it was his arm more than his glove.

    Yogi’s in for being the catcher and leader on the great Yankee teams; Clemente is in for being stuck right on 3000 hits and his tragic death.

    And for Geoff Baker to make the comment that Edgar’s offensive production came when he stopped playing the field is asinine. If being a DH was so easy, or not having to play in the field would make such a huge difference in offensive production, then every guy to have DH’ed in history would have posted a .300/.400/.500 line.

  52. Paul B on January 6th, 2010 1:43 pm

    Other than Ozzie Smith or Brooks Robinson, who else in the Hall is ever discussed as being there for their amazing glove?

    Bill Mazeroski, but he was a Veterans’ Committee pick. Red Schoendienst, but that’s not what he’s known for. Bill Dickey, but he got in for his bat. Yogi Berra, but yeah, he’s Yogi. Clemente, but it was his arm more than his glove

    The other one that comes to mind is Rabbit Maranville. Who probably shouldn’t be in the Hall at all, but must have gotten in for his glove. Maybe he got in because he had a cool name. It worked for Tinkers, Evers, and Chance.

    Oh, and Clemente would have gotten in even if he was a mediocre fielder.

  53. Rick Banjo on January 6th, 2010 1:43 pm

    I am offering to donate $1,000 to http://www.themartinezfoundation.com
    If Geoff Baker either leaves Seattle by choice to goto another team…or the Seattle Times fires him.
    As well…..
    Anyone who unfollows Geoff baker on Twitter and vows to not read the Seattle Times…I will be giving away a pair of Seattle Mariners Tickets to a Game in April or May to one of those people at random

    I live in Montana, so I’ll just do both of these things for free. Baker’s Column actually made me feel more stupid after I read it.

    There has never been a better DH, and there isn’t one currently. What are the voters going to wait for? .565/89/263 every year for 10 years? Or should we just front-load the argument to eliminate the DH from HOF consideration altogether?

    If it’s part of baseball, it’s part of the Baseball Hall Of Fame. Nobody’s going to kick up much of a fuss when a closer is inducted into the hall of fame, and any closer is a specialist, too. If baseball is to be a game of specialists (the DH is specialized by definition), it’s ridiculous not to give them their due when the time comes.

  54. murphy_dog on January 6th, 2010 1:44 pm

    It does seem like the NFL’s way of deciding a Hall of Famer (a certain mumber get in and there are far fewer voters who have a meeting in-person to decide) is superior to MLB’s, though.

    JJD – I think you’ve nailed it,and the NFL method seems to help smooth out the differences in eras. With all of the wide receivers now becoming eligible having such amazing numbers compared to those already enshrined, that system will ensure that they won’t all get in, just some of them.

  55. Toddk on January 6th, 2010 1:46 pm

    This is just setting up the year when Edgar, Randy, and Junior all go in together. Dave Niehaus will introduce them. =^)

    If this happens it will be an even greater travesty. RJ retired yesterday so he would be elligible at least 1 year before Junior. If Randy isn’t in on his first ballot, the hall is dead to me.

  56. dw on January 6th, 2010 1:47 pm

    If I could change things about the election process, I’d do three things:

    1. Change the electorate. Expand it to include players/coaches, execs, baseball scholars, and fans. It amazes me that we’re running the HoF process by only letting the press vote on them — it’s like letting only newspaper carriers vote on the Pulitzers.

    2. Police the electorate. Make the ballots public. Blank ballots are considered resignation letters and do not count in the final percentage. Scrutinize the ballot choices. I wouldn’t automatically disqualify someone for not voting with 80%+ of the electorate, but they better have a damn good reason, and “no one deserves to get 100%” is not a good reason.

    3. In years where no players are elected by the regular ballot, have a special fan referendum on that year’s ballot.

  57. Paul B on January 6th, 2010 1:48 pm

    re the old “you’re not good enough to go in on the first ballot” thingy…

    It would be absolutely hilarious if some player who was clearly good enough to go into the Hall (say someone like a Larkin or an Alomar) didn’t get enough votes on the first ballot to stay on the next year because almost all the writers thought he wasn’t good enough to go in on the first ballot and didn’t vote for him.

  58. Hassleberry on January 6th, 2010 1:49 pm

    E_Martinez:L Geoff just mentioned you in a twitter post. He called you a wannabe.

  59. Pete Livengood on January 6th, 2010 1:52 pm

    Shrike, you do realize that, even with the positional adjustment, Edgar has significantly more career WAR than Piazza (67.2 to 59.1), don’t you?

    Piazza: .308/.377/.545

    6911 PA, 2127 H, 779 XBH, 759 BB, 1113 K, 1048 R, 1335 RBI, 2916 Times on Base (all-time rank – 213th), 5078 Outs, .574 TOB/Outs %

    142 career OPS+, peak OPS+ of 185, topped 150 OPS+ in six seasons; 59.1 career WAR (112th all-time), peak WAR season 9.3, topped 5.0 WAR in six seasons, topped 6.0 WAR in four seasons

    Edgar: .312/.418/.515

    8672 PA, 2247 hits, 838 XBH, 1283 BB, 1202 K, 1219 R, 1261 RBI, 3619 Times on Base (all-time rank – 77th), 5273 Outs, .686 TOB/Outs %

    147 career OPS+, peak OPS+ of 185, topped 150 OPS+ in nine seasons; 67.2 career WAR (66th all-time), peak WAR season 7.7, topped 5.0 WAR in nine seasons, topped 6.0 WAR in four seasons

    Looks like Edgar has the edge to me, based on the value of being on-base A LOT more, and even with the positional judgment, WAR reflects that. Piazza had a higher peak (in part due to that positional adjustment), but Edgar’s was much longer and better sustained at a higher level.

    I don’t mean to denigrate Mike Piazza, who (outside of the PED issue, which he’ll have to face) will make a fine HoF candidate the minute he hits the ballot, but don’t suggest that he is any better candidate than Edgar just because he played catcher. The advanced metrics that take that into account do give Edgar an edge.

  60. Breadbaker on January 6th, 2010 1:53 pm

    The other sports leagues didn’t emulate the baseball model for their Halls of Fame for a reason, it’s been a stupid model since day one. This year just proves it. If Alomar doesn’t make it, what second baseman ever will? Is Larkin, like Trammell, being punished for not being as good as Ripken and Jeter, making that the Hall of Fame standard for shortstops while Andre Dawson waddles in?

  61. JJD on January 6th, 2010 1:54 pm

    -Not linked to steroids as far as we know (other than the fact that he played in that era)

    I think Alomar might be a victim of this. I can see a large enough group of guys deciding “I’m not voting for ANY ’90s guys on their first ballot” to sway things, whether the guy was seen as a “steroids guy” or not.

    I really also can’t wait for the year that a high number of voters think “you know I liked this guy and he deserves at least ONE Hall vote” and a guy like Ellis Burks (who got two votes this year) gets like 100 of them. That would be great.

  62. mjwalt on January 6th, 2010 1:55 pm

    Hasselberry: funny about Baker’s twitter calling E_Martinez a wannabe (also ironic consider he did the same thing in his vote today)…I used to get those tweets, not missing much

  63. illdonk on January 6th, 2010 1:56 pm

    And for Geoff Baker to make the comment that Edgar’s offensive production came when he stopped playing the field is asinine.

    Ummmm…how so? Edgar had one Hall of Fame season before becoming a full-time DH, and even in that season (1992) he played 28 games as a DH, batting .391 in that position. He spent most of 1993 and 1994 out with injuries, which brings us to the DHing.

  64. murphy_dog on January 6th, 2010 2:06 pm

    Ummmm…how so? Edgar had one Hall of Fame season before becoming a full-time DH, and even in that season (1992) he played 28 games as a DH, batting .391 in that position. He spent most of 1993 and 1994 out with injuries, which brings us to the DHing.

    illdonk, I read Baker’s comment that the increase in production was a direct result of his not playing the field any longer. I’m not sure you can separate Edgar becoming a full time DH with the increase in his production. If not playing the field guaranteed a huge increase in offensive production, then why didn’t the White Sox move Frank Thomas to being a full time DH and let him challenge Ruth (at the time) for all of the offensive records?

  65. F-Rod on January 6th, 2010 2:06 pm

    The real injustice today was the absurd neglect from Raines #1, Alomar #2, and Burt B. #3. Martinez will likely get in at some pt but I can’t fathom the injustice that Raines is recieving.

    He is one of the best candidates in years, and I assumed Roberto Alomar would get in on one try. I like holding up a high bar for year 1. After that if they deserve in vote them in, I don’t get making the players wait 5-10 years to slowly get more votes. But I like the first year punishment, that said Alomar seems ultra deserving.

  66. captain obvious on January 6th, 2010 2:08 pm

    Tom Tuttle wrote:

    -300+ HRs
    -2000+ hits
    -1000+ RBIs
    -Lifetime average of over .300
    -2 batting championships as a RH hitter (including a .356 average in 1995)
    -Numerous All-Star Games
    -Didn’t play in a World Series, but EXTREMELY CLUTCH hitter and a big part of the 1995 team that saved baseball in Seattle
    -Not linked to steroids as far as we know (other than the fact that he played in that era)
    -Tremendous character and work ethic
    -DH of the Year Award named after him (the same award he won 5 times)
    -One of the greatest Seattle Mariners ever (may be #3 behind Ken Griffey, Jr. and Randy Johnson)
    -One of the greatest, CLUTCH right-handed bats EVER

    I don’t get it?

    What’s the problem?

    ****************

    I see a big problem here. Nobody outside Seattle cares whether a HOF candidate saved baseball in Seattle. It is irrelevant to a voter in say, Atlanta.

    Same goes for being one of the three greatest Mariners of all time. It isn’t a criteria anyone outside Seattle will ever use.

    Carry on……

  67. mjwalt on January 6th, 2010 2:16 pm

    Is it hypocritical that I can justify not voting for Alomar this year as a ‘punishment’ for the spitting incident while at the same time not wanting to ‘punish’ Edgar for being a DH?

  68. Hawaiian Mariner on January 6th, 2010 2:17 pm

    Seems like a couple of fairly simple questions are in order for the HOF voters. Is the DH a valid position in Baseball? If yes, then shouldn’t the position be represented in the HOF? In my opinion, the guy that baseball named the DH award for, ought to be at the top of the list to be in the hall representing that position. My two cents.

  69. Paul B on January 6th, 2010 2:24 pm

    But I like the first year punishment, that said Alomar seems ultra deserving.

    Even with the rule that a player has to get enough votes to be on the ballot the following year?

  70. illdonk on January 6th, 2010 2:25 pm

    Something I’ve always wondered: is there some reason that the Mariners don’t retire uniform numbers?

  71. Hassleberry on January 6th, 2010 2:29 pm

    The Player has to be in the HoF according to team policy.

    “The Seattle Mariners have not retired any uniform numbers. Official team policy states that number retirement is reserved for players in the National Baseball Hall of Fame who played for at least five years with the Mariners, or career Mariners players whose name appears at least once on the Hall of Fame ballot.[8]
    Despite not officially retiring any numbers, the team has not reissued the numbers 11 (Edgar Martínez), 14 (Lou Piniella), or 19 (Jay Buhner) to any uniformed staff since the last player to have worn the number left the team. Number 51, worn by Randy Johnson, was withheld from players from 1998 until 2001, when it was awarded to Ichiro Suzuki upon his request after wearing it for his entire career in Japan. 24 was not issued from the time Ken Griffey, Jr. left the team after the 1999 season until it was re-issued to him when he returned in 2009.” From Wikipedia. I think they should retire Jay Buhner’s number, and [Piniella!!!!!! IT WAS RIGHT THERE IN THE QUOTE]‘s too.

  72. Xteve X on January 6th, 2010 2:33 pm

    I’m still amazed that Eric Karros got -two- votes.

  73. Pete Livengood on January 6th, 2010 2:33 pm

    @ murphy_dog: “I’m not sure you can separate Edgar becoming a full time DH with the increase in his production. If not playing the field guaranteed a huge increase in offensive production, then why didn’t the White Sox move Frank Thomas to being a full time DH and let him challenge Ruth (at the time) for all of the offensive records?”

    Because being a DH is not nearly as easy as you seem to imply, and even a great hitter like Frank Thomas didn’t do it very well (relatively).

    Thomas hit .275/.394/.505 as a DH in nearly as many games and PA as a DH as Edgar (1310 games and 4678 PA for Thomas, to 1403 games and 6218 PA for Martinez). His OPS+ as a DH was 15% worse than his overall OPS+. In contrast, Edgar was really good at being a DH, hitting .314/.428/.532 career there, with an OPS+ 6% better there than his overall career OPS+. Even though they had a pretty similar number of GP and PA as DHs, Edgar outshone perhaps the greatest right-handed hitter of his generation in that role, by a long-shot: significantly better AVG, OBP, SLG, well over 300 more hits, nearly 120 more 2B, nearly twice as many 3B, ~120 more RBI,~150 more runs, and nearly as many HR (243, to Thomas’ 269) as one of the most feared home run hitters of the era. If being a DH is so easy, why is it that a hitter as accomplished and widely-heralded as Frank Thomas saw such a steep dive in his production when asked to do it? Can you point to any other player with significant time spent at DH and another position who didn’t see a drop in production as a DH?

    I also disagree with those who said the “need” to play Edgar at DH cost the Mariners flexibility, or that Edgar was so chronically-injured that he couldn’t do anything but DH. People forget that, Edgar was an average to slightly above-average 3B for 563 games (and a capable 1B in another 28). That’s a very roster-specific allegation, and it

    Both of these are very fact- and roster-specific allegations that don’t really fit the facts or Mariners teams of the mid-90s, as Edgar himself noted just the other day:

    “I think I could have played another position, like third base or first base, but we had Mike Blowers and Tino [Martinez] on the team, and we were winning a lot of games. …I don’t think I was moved to DH because I couldn’t play another position,” he said. ” I moved because we were a better team with me in that position.”

    Although Edgar was famously hurt in both 1993 and 1994, both were the results of flukey injuries (as was the injury in 1996 when he collided with the late John Marzano while trying to catch a pop-up at 3B). The memory of Edgar as chronically injured is mostly due to things that happened very late in his career, in his late 30s and early 40s. Before that, he was mostly healthy. Do you know who holds the Mariners record for most consecutive games played? Yep, it’s Edgar (293, between June of 1994 and July of 1996, when the fluke play caused by Marzano being out of position ended his streak). And with the exception of the Marzano injury in 1996, every significant injury Edgar had came from running the bases – not fielding.

    From the point he became a regular in 1990, Edgar played in 83% of the Mariners games; if you don’t count 1993 and 1994’s fluke-injury-plagued seasons, he played in 88% of all Mariner games between 1990 and 2004, and if you look only at the 7-year stretch most consider Edgar’s peak (1995-2001), he played in over 91% of all of the Mariners’ games (remember, the Mariners only played 112 games in 1994 and 145 in 1995 due to the strike – 67 games smack dab in Edgar’s peak that he missed through no fault of his own).

    Rather than because Edgar was injury-prone, Edgar was moved to DH and kept there, as Edgar says, because (a) the DH is a position that needed to be filled and Edgar filled exceptionally well and (b) because the Mariners had a good replacement for Edgar at 3B in Mike Blowers and a good 1B in Tino. This was a roster-specific decision, made because the Mariners were a better TEAM with Edgar at DH.

  74. illdonk on January 6th, 2010 2:34 pm

    “career Mariners players whose name appears at least once on the Hall of Fame ballot.”

    So when can we expect Edgar Day?

  75. AdamN on January 6th, 2010 2:36 pm

    Edgar DHed because of better defensive guys at third and first. This is what we call a TEAM concept and what do you know they made the playoffs for the first time in their history. The whole fielding thing is rediculous. They will put Piatza in eventhough he had no business being a catcher or did manny have in being in LF. They are so far below average but they will overlook that and focus on offense. Edgar they will not? I’m pretty sure Gywnn was not this all amazing fielder and edgar’s bat makes his look like AAA.

  76. dw on January 6th, 2010 2:36 pm

    In the litany of arguments for Edgar, there’s one no one ever mentions:

    .263/.342/.385, 92 OPS+

    At the age of 41, when he was incapable of running faster than me.

    Griffey went .214/.324/.411 last year. And that’s in only 117 games and platooned and two years younger than Edgar.

    If 2004 Edgar had been on the 2009 M’s he’d be third on the team in OBP.

    Again, at 41, and with his hamstrings pretty much destroyed.

  77. CCW on January 6th, 2010 2:44 pm

    All of you ranting at Baker should at least acknowledge the following:

    1) Calling DH a “position” doesn’t make any sense. It is the absence of a position. A guy who can play average 1B and put up a .900 OPS is more valuable, a better player, than a guy who can’t play any position but puts up that same .900 OPS. Maybe Edgar could have played 1B but he wouldn’t have been good enough at it to justify the move. I realize that WAR takes this into account, but it seems like a lot of people here aren’t.

    2) Not having to take the field year in and year out, and only having to focus on hitting, is an advantage. I can’t prove it – how could I – but it seems obvious to me.

    3) Comparing Edgar’s candidacy to other bad decisions by the voters is silly. We all know the voters generally aren’t all that educated about actual value. Noting that certain arguably undeserving players have made it in (e.g. relievers) just reinforces that the voters don’t think like it through the way we hope the would. If you want to compare Edgar to existing HOF members, compare him to first basemen and discount his numbers as compared to 1Bs who played average defense.

  78. DMZ on January 6th, 2010 2:49 pm

    I’m pretty sure when they hand in lineup cards, there’s a DH position they have to fill in. I think there are rules about it and everything.

  79. Pete Livengood on January 6th, 2010 2:52 pm

    @ dw: And arguably, Edgar had one of the best 40-year-old seasons ever. Willie Mays had a better OPS+ in his age 40 year, but he did it in 80 fewer AB and had fewer RC.

  80. murphy_dog on January 6th, 2010 2:52 pm

    Pete Livengood, your reply makes sense, and actually goes along with what I’m saying. Baker is making the point that Edgar became a more valuable offensive player when he became the DH, and that moving there is why. That’s counter-intuitive to me, since if being a DH was so easy or guaranteed to boost numbers, all of the great hitters in the last 25+ years would have been DH’s. (There are other posts earlier on).

    CCW – - Edgar could have played 1B, but when you have a LH Tino Martinez holding down the fort, why wouldn’t you DH Edgar?

  81. Toddk on January 6th, 2010 2:54 pm

    Right now, Furness on KJR is on a big old rant about how broadcasters should get a HOF vote but don’t.

    And they shouldn’t either. The majority of baseball broadcasters are hired by the team. Their loyalties may be a tad suspect.

    Something I’ve always wondered: is there some reason that the Mariners don’t retire uniform numbers?

    I believe that I heard several years ago that the team won’t retire a number unless the player is in either the MHoF or the HoF. I can’t recall exactly how it was stated and am having a devil of a time finding a cite, however.

  82. nickwest1976 on January 6th, 2010 2:58 pm

    Here’s the other thing about the DH, most players don’t want to DH because they admit they have a HARDER time only hitting and not playing in the field. That it takes more concentration and mental toughness to go up to bat and then sit for a few innings and think about nothing but hitting.

    Edgar totally revolutionized the DH by embracing it…hitting in the cages in between at bats, doing legendary eye exercises to become a better hitter, etc.

    On top of that the man simply raked. I forget the list of players and stats but the combo of .300 avg, .400 OBP, 500 doubles, 2000 hits and 1,000 rbi is about 6-7 players long…Mayes, Mantle were on that list…I think Bonds…and Edgar…basically the guys on the list other than Edgar are either elite hall of famers or lock first ballot hall of famers.

    I might be getting the compelte list of stats wrong here but it’s been brought up many times.

    I am sick of people using the DH thing against Edgar. It’s a position and it doesn’t make it any easier to hit major league pitching than not being a DH does. If anything many players say it’s harder to DH…Ibanez flat out admitted that. Kind of pokes holes in Baker’s “easier to DH theory”.

  83. Anthony on January 6th, 2010 3:00 pm

    Dan Shaughnessy wrote a piece about how he won’t be voting Edgar into the Hall. As far as Geoff’s “needing convincing” he should be leading the way as a Mariner’s writer. Instead I’m doing his job for him. Here’s a letter I wrote to Shaughnessy:

    Admittedly, I must begin this e-mail with a caveat: I am a Mariners
    fan and have been since I can remember. I must also admit that I have
    begun to appreciate the statheads that are presenting new information
    in evaluating baseball players, but must also inform you that I (like
    you) am a baseball purist who understands that a guy who hits
    .300/.400/.500 with a .375 BaBIP and a 4:1 BB/K rate will still strike
    out with the game on the line. Your ace pitcher will still lose game
    seven in the World Series, and you can’t possibly quantify the
    probability of stealing two bases on the same play in a major league
    game. Baseball happens, and it the most beautiful sport in the world.

    I also know all the numbers any reasonable baseball fan should know:
    714, 755, 660, 1941, 1967, 56, 4256, 130, 191, 60, 61* and so on and
    so forth. I know Mark Whiten hit four homeruns in a game, I know that
    Dennis Martinez threw a perfect game, and I know Greg Maddux was the
    only player to win 4 consecutive Cy Youngs until Randy Johnson joined
    him.

    I also know Edgar Martinez belongs in the Hall of Fame.

    I don’t expect him to get in until his 10th, maybe 11th year of
    eligibility, but he deserves enshrinement. I know this because I
    watched him play. I grew up watching between 100 and 110 Mariners
    games on TV, and listening to another 30-40 on the radio. Between
    1992 and 2004 he played alongside Surefire Hall-of-Famers Ken Griffey
    Junior, Randy Johnson, and Ichiro. He played alongside Alex
    Rodriguez. He hit in the same lineup as Jay Buhner. Heck, he even
    single-handedly (very slight exaggeration…Randy Johnson was key too)
    kept an okay Mariners team from drowning in 1995 before Griffey
    returned from his wrist injury, and still drastically outplayed Junior
    the rest of the season.

    Chicks dig the long-ball and Edgar was overshadowed by the more
    prolific home run hitters not only in the league but on his own team.
    Only once did Edgar have more than 30 HR’s (and in 1995 had all of
    29). It’s easy to become forgotten about by casual fans or those
    across the country who don’t see him hit every day or on the national
    stage. Many people remember Griffey churning his legs around third
    and sliding into home to score the winning run of the 1995 ALCS and
    remember ARod waiting there to jump on him. Meanwhile, all #11 did
    was rope that Jack McDowell pitch down the left field line for a 2 RBI
    double with the season (still) on the line. Few people even know that
    the night before he hit a 3-run home run in the third inning and broke
    an 8th inning tie with a grand slam off John Wettland for 7 RBI’s. I
    still get chills every time I think of that season and that series.
    Edgar Martinez saved baseball in Seattle.

    His teammate, Ken Griffey Junior, is an obvious Hall-of-Famer. No
    doubt about it. Edgar and Junior’s prime seasons were approximately
    the same time, between 1992 and 2000 (excluding 1993 when Edgar was
    injured and 1995 when Griffey was injured). In every single year they
    were both healthy, Junior had more HR’s than Edgar and only in 2000
    did Edgar have more RBI’s. As we expand further, we’ll see that Edgar
    had more doubles than Jr. in 6 of 9 seasons, more walks in 8/9, fewer
    K’s 9/9, higher Avg. 7/9, higher OBP 8/9, higher slugging 2/9, higher
    OPS 5/9, and a higher OPS+ 6/9.

    More importantly, according to your criteria, when I watched him play
    I KNEW he was the best hitter on the field. When the Mariners were
    behind, or needed a big hit at any point in the game, I felt okay with
    ARod, Griffey, or Buhner at the plate. I felt as though the game
    would be over and the M’s would have put up another W if Edgar was at
    the dish. It’s the same feeling I get over the past five years that
    if Ichiro is at bat, or Pujols is in the box, I’ll stop what I’m doing
    and watch. That’s what Edgar did for Mariners fans in the 1990′s and
    early 2000′s. That’s what he did to opposing managers during those
    years. Frank Thomas was the best right-handed hitter of the 90′s and
    became primarily a DH, but Edgar is held in such high regard by his
    peers and throughout Major League Baseball he has an award named after
    him. The Designated Hitter Award is now named the Edgar Martinez
    Award as DH’s have become part of the game much like closers and
    LOOGY’s. Edgar had as much of an impact on his team and on the league
    as Trevor Hoffman, Goose Gossage, or Dennis Eckersley (in relief) ever
    had. No matter the criteria you use, Edgar belongs in Cooperstown.

  84. Gomez on January 6th, 2010 3:02 pm

    I’m with dw. I didn’t expect Edgar to get in this time around (and there are always going to be knobs on the committee who share Baker’s view that Edgar’s DH status cheapens his 18 years of great hitting)… but that he got 36+% of the vote on his first try despite the idiosyncratic biases of the voters (e.g. DH’s are not real players, never vote for a guy on his first ballot, pick guys with World Series Wins and multiple clutch performances that we’ve seen replayed on ESPN dozens of times etc) is an encouraging sign that, as his candidacy gains steam and other candidacies fall by the wayside, Edgar will eventually get the needed 75% to get in at some point.

  85. Rick Banjo on January 6th, 2010 3:04 pm

    Since the DH was made an option in 1973, it is an option that has rarely (if ever) been turned down. Therefore, it is as much a position (in fact more so) than a closing pitcher. If you really (REALLY) want to compare him to HOF first basemen, you can do so here: I think he compares quite favorably–even to titans like Hank Greenberg.

    Also, hitting a baseball is a right bastard of a task at the major league (or just about any) level whether you play defense or not. The idea of having an advantage in not having to play defense is ridiculous. You could just as well say position players have an advantage because they experience the rhythm of on-field play before they go to bat instead of sitting on the bench or hitting off the tee for all but 20 minutes per game.

  86. Plaws on January 6th, 2010 3:04 pm

    People are talking about Edgars move to DH as if he wasn’t a good hitter until the move to DH. He won his first Batting Title at 29 with 102 starts at 3B and 2 at 1B, no starts at DH.

    During Edgars career I heard many quotes from players and coaches on how difficult it was to be a DH. As much as people want to talk about it being easier to not take the field on a hitter I’ve heard too many players say exactly the opposite to believe this speculative reasoning. It sure sounds good if you don’t know better. There is a skill-set required to keep yourself in the game mentally and physically warmed-up throughout 9 innings when not taking the field, just as there is a skill-set required to play good defense at SS and an entirely different one at C. Not everyone can DH. If it made even most hitters better to sit on the bench as a DH then maybe Edgar wouldn’t have the only ever batting title to have been acquired by a DH. Now that Edgar going to the Hall is in question I am supposed to suddenly forget all the quotes I’ve read and heard about how hard it is to play with only one side of the game to keep your production up? More difficult, not less. That’s what I’ve heard people who have tried to do it and watched teammates do it say. BBWAA doesn’t know what the players know, apparently.

    I didn’t expect Edgar to get in on the 1st try and the votes aren’t bad for 1st time. Only 1 of the 6-8 I’d have voted for is a different story, especially when he was among the last of those in my book…

  87. Rick Banjo on January 6th, 2010 3:05 pm

    ps- sorry about the mile-long link.

  88. Briggstar on January 6th, 2010 3:06 pm

    Just a guess, but Baker’s denial may be a combination of him wanting to preserve national credibility amongst his peers (in not coming off as the “homer”), as well as the aforementioned 1st Ballot prejudices.

  89. illdonk on January 6th, 2010 3:16 pm

    Other than Ozzie Smith or Brooks Robinson, who else in the Hall is ever discussed as being there for their amazing glove?

    How about Andre Dawson? I’m guessing he’s not elected except for his added defensive contributions.

  90. Pete Livengood on January 6th, 2010 3:20 pm

    Here’s another thing to consider, since Edgar got such a late start. If you look at production from age 27 to 40, Edgar has:

    * is ranked 17th best all-time by OPS (.957) and OPS+ (153)
    * is ranked 8th best all-time by Runs Created
    * is ranked 34th best all-time by AVG (.317)
    * is ranked 11th best all-time by OBP (.426)
    * is ranked 34th best all-time by SLG (.531)
    * is ranked 27th best all-time by Runs Scored (1148)
    * is ranked 32nd best all-time by RBI (1168)

    Why cut and slice careers like this? Because it is another way of looking at how that late start affected Edgar. Some suggest that players like Edgar (who hit in the neighborhood of .350+ for all or parts of four seasons In AAA while Jim Presley was posting OPS+ seasons in the range of 75-85 or so), which most people react to as an illogical stretch. However, it is hard to deny that Edgar would have been capable of playing at a reasonably high level during those years, which would have padded the counting stats some voters love to disparage. And regardless of whether he would have performed well or not, what this shows is that, when he did play, he played at a level every bit the equal of upper-echelon Hall of Famers. Nothing he could have done in counting stats in those “lost” years would or could change the fact that he was every bit as dominant when he played as just about anybody who ever played the game.

    It is currently in vogue to disclaim “bias” against a DH but to suggest that “any DH has to have eye-popping numbers” in order to be considered for the HoF. However, how can you look at numbers like these and conclude that Edgar didn’t have an “eye-popping” career? No matter how highly you value defense (and HoF voters, historically, haven’t valued it much at all), or how large you think the “positional adjustment” for DH should be, it simply cannot be enough to bar Edgar Martinez at the door of the Hall of Fame.

  91. Pete Livengood on January 6th, 2010 3:22 pm

    @ illdonk: “How about Andre Dawson? I’m guessing he’s not elected except for his added defensive contributions.”

    I very highly doubt it. And, if that were true, WAR would show it. It doesn’t – Dawson’s career WAR ranks only 130th on the all-time list.

  92. Plaws on January 6th, 2010 3:32 pm

    I haveto take back the “no starts at DH” for Edgar in ’92. I was looking at defense and they don’t list starts at DH on BR. In game logs I count 28 starts at DH that year, so he did DH in about 21% of his games when he hit .343 to lead the league.

  93. Cresswell on January 6th, 2010 3:33 pm

    BBWAA doesn’t just care about MVPs and other stats, they’re all about themselves. If you don’t cow-tow. If you aren’t quotable. And if you don’t epitomize the game in a way that they approve, you’re not in. Dawson was a good player, a very, very good player, but the fact he gets in before Raines, who made him great, is stupid. We all know that. Alomar spits on a guy. So what? There is so much hypocrisy among sportswriters it’s a joke.

  94. deathvalledays on January 6th, 2010 3:34 pm

    I think we all knew he wouldn’t make it in year one. So here is a look at who got what percentage of the vote and guys that will be eliglble in the coming years.

    Currently Eligible
    Bert Blyleven 74.2%
    Roberto Alomar 73.7%
    Jack Morris 52.3%
    Barry Larkin 51.6%
    Lee Smith 47.3%
    Edgar Martinez 36.2%
    Tim Raines 30.4%
    Mark McGwire 23.7%
    Allan Trammell 22.4%
    Fred McGriff 21.5%


    2011

    Jeff Bagwell
    Rafael palmerio
    Larry Walker
    Juan Gonzalez

    2012

    Bernie Williams

    2013
    Mike Piazza
    Barry Bonds
    Roger Clemens
    Craig Biggio
    Curt Schilling
    Sammy Sosa

    2014
    Greg Maddux
    Frank Thomas
    Tom Glavine
    Jim Edmonds
    Mike Mussina
    Luis Gonzalez
    Jeff Kent
    Moises Alou

    2015
    Randy Johnson

    It looks like it will be some years until a good chunk of writers will be willing to vote for power hitters that have been thought ( to have used steroids. I see

  95. illdonk on January 6th, 2010 3:38 pm

    I very highly doubt it. And, if that were true, WAR would show it. It doesn’t – Dawson’s career WAR ranks only 130th on the all-time list.

    I have no idea what this means. WAR would show what? Why BBWAA voters voted for him? My guess is that over time his defensive ability helped a decent number of voters go from one side of the fence to other with regards to his candidacy. I might be wrong but I don’t see what that has to do with some WAR chart.

  96. BLYKMYK44 on January 6th, 2010 3:58 pm

    Why is Andre Dawson the only person you’ve ever heard about that is some how given a bump because he happened to play on Asto Turf in his career?

    By that rationale, shouldn’t Griffey Jr. be considered one of the greatest players ever? He had a far better career than Dawson and played almost all of it on astro turf?

  97. georgmi on January 6th, 2010 4:00 pm

    By what rationale is Ken Griffey Jr. not considered one of the greatest players ever?

    I don’t think your example supports your argument. : )

  98. Pete Livengood on January 6th, 2010 4:00 pm

    Defensive performance is counted in WAR. So, if a guy like Dawson was so great defensively that he was elected on the strength of that, as you suggest, then you would expect that to be reflected in his career WAR – especially for a guy, like Dawson, who was a good offensive performer as well. But it doesn’t. Being ranked 130th all-time is no slouch, but when a guy like Edgar, who gets no credit for defense and is even penalized by WAR with positional adjustments, is ranked significantly higher (#66) and accumulates 10 more WAR in a career that is approximately 550 games shorter, it tells me that either (a) his defense didn’t provide that much value, or (b) that guy Edgar was a far more dominant offensive player than anybody realizes, or (c) both.

    Also, Hawk played CF and RF. If you can point me to any HoF’er who is thought to be elected for his defense who didn’t play either 2B, SS, 3B, or C, I’ll eat my hat. Hawk was elected for his offense, and the voters simplay don’t know how to properly evaluate offensive performance.

    Not that I have much quibble with Dawson’s election – I don’t, really, even though he would have been fairly down-ballot for me, if I had voted for him at all. For me, if you’re an “offense” guy like I maintain Dawson was, and you have a career .323 OBP (almost 100 points below Martinez, which translates into being on-base 145 fewer times than Martinez was, while making almost 2350 more outs), I’d have a VERY, VERY hard time voting for Dawson ahead of Martinez, and no amount of defense or “DH penalty” can make it reasonable to do otherwise.

  99. BLYKMYK44 on January 6th, 2010 4:04 pm

    Another thing I’ve never understood is that almost every media member allows this argument go unchallenged:

    “Hi, I’m Playre X (say:Raul Ibanez). I don’t want to be a DH, because playing out in the field helps keep me in the rhythym of the game, which in turn helps me hit better.”

    That is never challenged…and often times used as a reason. Yet, when you get to Edgar suddenly you see them say that he basically hit so well because that was all he had to focus on.

    So which one is it?

  100. georgmi on January 6th, 2010 4:05 pm

    I think illdonk’s point is that, clearly, the majority of HOF voters do not consider WAR in their deliberations, so using WAR as an explanation of, or argument against, their votes is not particularly useful.

  101. diderot on January 6th, 2010 4:06 pm

    Calling DH a “position” doesn’t make any sense.

    Well, of course it does. If you argue that it shouldn’t because the player doesn’t have to field, then that can be countered by saying no American League pitcher should ever be considered because he’s never called on to hit.

    Or, you could apply that to every single player in the NFL after Chuck Bednarik, because nobody plays both ways anymore.

    When this subject came up here a week or two ago someone said that Edgar’s candidacy would not be a referendum on the DH. I claimed that absolutely it is. If Edgar had played ANY position, would there be a doubt that his stats merited election? I don’t think so.

    This is just a case of stupid deja vu. The thinking that says DH’s shouldn’t be in the Hall is exactly the same thinking that once said people with black skin shouldn’t be in the Major Leagues. Ignorant bias, plain and simple.

  102. illdonk on January 6th, 2010 4:14 pm

    Not worth arguing about, but I wasn’t arguing for or against Dawson’s candidacy or comparing him to Edgar. Somebody asked “Other than Ozzie Smith or Brooks Robinson, who else in the Hall is ever discussed as being there for their amazing glove?” I am not saying that he was elected primarily because of his glove, like Ozzie and Brooks, just that he might not have been elected if it weren’t for his defensive contributions in addition to his offense. As in, maybe 20 voters wouldn’t have thought his offensive record was Hall-worthy, but his all-around talents convinced them.

    If you reply to this for some reason, try not to mention WAR.

  103. Breadbaker on January 6th, 2010 4:14 pm

    Edgar being a career DH was a significant advantage to the Mariners. So long as the DH option is selected advertently by 100% of managers to whom that option is available, there will always be a choice to be made. Edgar made that choice obvious for the Mariners from 1994-2004. He was comfortable in the role, could hit against both right- and left-handed pitching, wasn’t taking at-bats away from a better hitter and wasn’t requiring that a better fielder sit on the bench. The M’s were able to employ good fielding first basemen (Olerud, Sorrento).

    Anthony, re your comparison to Griffey, I’m sorry to say you are making a terrible argument. You don’t have to be better or as good as Ken Griffey, Jr. to make the Hall of Fame. You don’t have to be the best player on your own team (ask Lou Gehrig or, better, Tony Perez). Want to know one reason why Edgar had fewer RBI than Griffey? Because Griffey hit ahead of him in the lineup and hit a lot of home runs.

  104. PackBob on January 6th, 2010 4:16 pm

    So, is there any stats basis for saying DH’ing inflates or deflates numbers? If Edgar’s numbers improved after becoming a full-time DH, was that because it is easier to hit in that position, or was it because he was a truly exceptional DH?

    I think the latter, and truly exceptional players at their position belong in the HOF.

  105. BLYKMYK44 on January 6th, 2010 4:18 pm

    By what rationale is Ken Griffey Jr. not considered one of the greatest players ever?

    - He is considered one. But, if we are to ignore so much about Dawson’s career due to this astro turf issue and give him the required bump to make him a HOF player…then Griffey would have to get the same bump. So, that’d have to make him around the 2nd or 3rd best player ever.

    I guess Im not understanding why somoene should get into the HOF because of what he “might” have done…since of course that is purely subjective.

  106. stevie_j13 on January 6th, 2010 4:19 pm

    I thought WAR took into account defense and that our defensive metrics were atrocious until the previous decade. How are we citing WAR for players like Dawson as accurate measures of their true value?

  107. BLYKMYK44 on January 6th, 2010 4:19 pm

    FWIW…the biggest problem I had with Baker’s article was that he seemed to excuse away Edgar’s stats because he wasn’t hitting 50-60 HRs during the steroids era.

    Amazing to hold someone accountable for NOT cheating…

  108. David B on January 6th, 2010 4:55 pm

    Everyone should write/email the Seattle Times and complain about Baker. It’s fine if he didn’t vote for Edgar, but then to come up with some BS reason is just ridiculous. I have never liked his articles and think he should try another job…perhaps working for TMZ? He is a JOKE of a journalist.

  109. Pete Livengood on January 6th, 2010 4:58 pm

    @ georgmi: “clearly, the majority of HOF voters do not consider WAR in their deliberations, so using WAR as an explanation of, or argument against, their votes is not particularly useful.”

    I did not and am not suggesting that HoF voters do use WAR in their deliberations. In fact, I posted earlier in this thread lamenting the fact that they do not, and how different the ballot might look if they did.

    I am suggesting that WAR, which uses zone rating and UZR and other advanced metrics to measure defensive contribution (though the historical ZR stuff that I think is used for the historical database I quoted is not as good as what we use today, to address stevie_j13′s question – citing to WAR is citing to the best defensive metric we have for players of Dawson’s era), is the best way to measure whether illdonk was suggesting is true, objectively. Certainly better than citing to the defensive metrics of of Dawson’s day. Could that have been the subjective opinion of HoF voters? Neither I, illdonk, nor anybody else can know that – I’ll just stand by what I said before: I don’t think there has ever been any player who got “over the hump” for election to the HoF based on defense at a position other than 2B, SS, 3B, or C. If there was, it might be a CF, but Dawson played more RF than CF.

    @ illdonk: “If you reply to this for some reason, try not to mention WAR.”

    Are you a HoF voter, by chance? ;-)

    Seriously, this is what we’re up against. You claim that Dawson’s defense was good enough that it could have been the reason he was elected to the HoF, I cite to the best metric to measure whether that statement is true, and you reply by asking me not to cite to that statistic.

    I only brought up Edgar Martinez because he is a good measuring stick for your theory, since any WAR he accumulated after 1994 not only did not come from defense, but had to overcome the positional adjustment/penalty assigned to the position of DH. That might have been a confusing argument.

    Look at it another way: we could all agree that Franklin Gutierrez had a great, HOF caliber defensive season in CF last year. If we looked at Dawson’s best early season year in CF, and compared Guti’s offensive stats and Dawson’s, and then compared the WAR they accumulated in those seasons, I think it would be obvious that Dawson was not the kind of defensive center fielder who gets a significant boost in value from defense.

  110. stevie_j13 on January 6th, 2010 5:10 pm

    Didn’t really address my question. The WAR used to track players during Guti’s era is much more accurate than the WAR used during Dawson’s era because a) WAR takes into account defense, and b) the defensive metrics were at best mediocre then and have improved greatly today. In other words, Dawson’s UZR is not nearly as accurate as Guti’s UZR, yet they are being treated as equals when you cite WAR comparing players from different decades.

  111. et_blankenship on January 6th, 2010 5:16 pm

    The Designated Hitter Award is now named the Edgar Martinez Award as DH’s have become part of the game much like closers and LOOGY’s.

    The non-starting pitchers frequently called upon by a manager in certain game situations (Long Reliever Guy, Mop-up Guy, Need a Strike Out with Runners in Scoring Position Guy, Lefty One-Out Guy, Set-Up Guy and Final Three Outs Guy) are important and provide value but those roles are nothing more than the product of an en vogue deployment strategy which has evolved over time. “Substitution” would be the official MLB Rule Book term.

    The every-day Designated Hitter is not a situational player and definitely not a substitute. So why does the DH continue to get lumped together with pitchers who are products of a managerial strategy instead of the other guys who join him in the starting lineup day after day, all summer long?

  112. jconrad on January 6th, 2010 5:23 pm

    More than anything, I’d appreciate if Geoff would come on here and defend his position. It’s very clear that he reads this blog often, as he often borrows from the fine content here. By voting the way he did, crafting his pathetic excuse for an argument, and then failing to defend it in any way, he is making very clear that he intended to stir up controversy, nothing more. He called the ticket giveaway-poster a “wannabe,” but fact is Baker is just a wannabe journalist. The athletes you cover are the stars of the show, Geoff, not you.

  113. illdonk on January 6th, 2010 5:25 pm

    Seriously, this is what we’re up against. You claim that Dawson’s defense was good enough that it could have been the reason he was elected to the HoF, I cite to the best metric to measure whether that statement is true, and you reply by asking me not to cite to that statistic.

    Ummm…because it’s meaningless with regards to what I was saying?

    Because a lot of people sure as heck think that Dawson was a good defensive outfielder, as evidenced by his his eight Gold Gloves (BOO! HISS! HE SAID GOLD GLOVES! GET THE TORCHES!), and even if WAR sonehow disproves that, they still think so and voted based on that perception? Since Dawson made the cut by 15 votes, it’s not crazy to think that his defense or defensive reputation (take your pick) might have been a factor.

    Forget I ever brought this up.

  114. LongTimeFan on January 6th, 2010 5:43 pm

    GAR will definately get in the Hall, it’s only a matter of time. Not having him in the HOF with the DH award named after him would be like not having Hank Aaron or Cy Young in the HOF.

  115. Colorado Mariner Fan on January 6th, 2010 6:09 pm

    Geoff B –

    (I know you read this blog) If Dawson’s playing through knee ailments was a major factor for AD in your mind, then why wasn’t Edgar’s strabismus even mentioned as a factor in his favor. Wouldn’t overcoming an inability to focus on a 95 mph pitch seem a larger obstacle than joint pain — especially to a hitter? Not even mentioning it looks like bias.

    Or maybe the knee thing is just a poorly thought-through rationalization?

    Also (from Wiki) – “Martínez, Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Stan Musial, Rogers Hornsby, Lou Gehrig, Manny Ramirez, and Todd Helton are the only players in history with 300 home runs, 500 doubles, a career batting average higher than .300, a career on-base percentage higher than .400 and a career slugging percentage higher than .500.”

    That grouping says a lot. And it’s not one stat. It’s the combination of stats that says “dominant hitter”.

    Your reasoning seems weak, and on the wrong side of history. I know you’re not the only guy, but you should have formulated a better rationale if you’re a Seattle sportswriter, don’t you think?

  116. J-Dog on January 6th, 2010 6:10 pm

    Here’s the other thing about the DH, most players don’t want to DH because they admit they have a HARDER time only hitting and not playing in the field.

    According to The Book by Tom Tango, the statistics available since 1973 show that hitters perform worse when playing DH than when playing a fielding position. While I can see the argument that Edgar had more PAs due to the DH position, an argument that he performed better in those PAs because he was a DH seems contrary to all of the evidence.

  117. Pete Livengood on January 6th, 2010 6:19 pm

    illdonk, you and I are talking right past each other (and your tone is now making me not want to have that beer in Cooperstown that you talked about in the other thread – I don’t think I’ve adopted that kind of tone with you). I *never* said that Dawson was not well-regarded for his defense, at least early in his career (although you are right, I am not impressed by citations to Gold Gloves won as an OBJECTIVE measure of defensive performance). I said that I don’t think (and cited to a an “overall value” stat that *DOES* include as a component an objective measure of defensive performance. Perhaps I should have cited simply to the underlying defensive stat that is used in historical WAR, but it is not as readily available as WAR is, since WAR incorporates it, I used that.

    We can agree to disagree if you want. In fact, at this point, that’s what *I* want. But I think you need to understand that WAR incorporates an objective measure of defensive performance. It is not “meaningless” or irrelevant, except (as you say) to the subjective opinions of HoF voters who clearly understand the stat even less well than you do.

    @stevie_j13: The WAR used to track players during Guti’s era is much more accurate than the WAR used during Dawson’s era…[so] Dawson’s UZR is not nearly as accurate as Guti’s UZR, yet they are being treated as equals.”

    To my knowledge, the Histotical WAR database does not compare players from a previous era by using apples and oranges (i.e., modern defensive metrics for modern players and older, less advanced metrics for older players). Historical WAR uses Total Zone, simply because it provides a readily available metric that does a reasonable job to measure players across eras that don’t have the same kind of data/stats available. From the glossary explaining the Historical WAR components:

    TZ- TotalZone, a measure of defensive range based on analysis of retrosheet play by play data. For seaons before 1953, and the 1953 American League, This measure is based on a much cruder formula called JAARF (Just another adjusted range factor.) which estimates defensive ratings from assists, putouts and errors, as well as team hits allowed by lefthanded and righthanded pitchers.

    I can’t find the link (I think I saw it on Tango’s site), but the Historical WAR, even on the defensive side, correlates pretty well with WAR using more modern metrics (like Fangraphs) for modern players where both are available. There are differences, but not huge ones.

    I was not trying to make a direct comparison of Guti and Dawson, at least not in anything but the roughest way. I’m just saying, when you look at the WAR (either method) of a truly great CF in a fantastic season, like Guti’s 2009, I think you’d find that Dawson’s offense accounted for quite a bit more of his total value in any year of his career. It’s not quite an apples to apples comparison, but it is close enough. Even in his best defensive years, I would guess that his defense did not contribute as big a portion to overall value as we would expect from a guy elected “primarily” for his defense (which is what illdonk said, or at least implied, since he replied to a question asking for examples of that).

  118. Pete Livengood on January 6th, 2010 6:23 pm

    Aaargh. This sentence should have read:

    I’m just saying, when you look at the WAR (either method) of a truly great CF in a fantastic season, like Guti’s 2009, I think you’d find that Dawson’s offense accounted for quite a bit more of his total value in any year of his career and Gut’s defense accounted for quite a bit more of his overall value.

  119. MissingEdgar on January 6th, 2010 7:00 pm

    Why is Andre Dawson the only person you’ve ever heard about that is some how given a bump because he happened to play on Asto Turf in his career?

    Let’s give Mickey Mantle a bump because he played his whole career on one leg. Willie Mays only accomplished more and appeared to be the better player because he had two good legs. Players who had two good legs should be have their actual performance appropriately discounted, just as those who had the advantage of not playing defense.

    Clearly, players’ performances should all be discounted for each disadvantage that they did not experience. Developing a defensible set of discount factors for unincurred disadvantages is the next sabermetric frontier! Only then can players’ actual performances be reranked after removing the effects of their various advantages over other players for unexperienced impediments.

  120. Marinersmanjk on January 6th, 2010 7:14 pm

    That is the biggest load of crap I’ve ever read. Baker just lost ever little bit of credibility he had. Not that he had much to begin with but what the hell?seriously he doesn’t vote for Edgar but he votes for a guy like Blylevin? Geoff said that Edgar being a DH hurt him. Okay I must be missing something because how in the world is a pitcher who effects the game every 5 days more valuable then Edgar who played every day while hitting over .300, has 300 home runs, 1000 rbi’s, 2000 hits and is the makes Andre Dawson look like the grinch. Please can someone enlighten me.

  121. JJD on January 6th, 2010 7:16 pm

    Right now, Furness on KJR is on a big old rant about how broadcasters should get a HOF vote but don’t.

    And they shouldn’t either. The majority of baseball broadcasters are hired by the team. Their loyalties may be a tad suspect.

    Unlike the COMPLETELY SOUND AND UNBIASED loyalties of the current voters, of course.

  122. illdonk on January 6th, 2010 7:23 pm

    I think you need to understand that WAR incorporates an objective measure of defensive performance. It is not “meaningless” or irrelevant, except (as you say) to the subjective opinions of HoF voters who clearly understand the stat even less well than you do.

    So WAR is meaningless when discussing the subjective opinions of HoF voters…which is what I was discussing. Glad that’s cleared up.

  123. MissingEdgar on January 6th, 2010 7:31 pm

    Clearly, players’ performances should all be discounted for each disadvantage that they did not experience. Developing a defensible set of discount factors for unincurred disadvantages is the next sabermetric frontier! Only then can players’ actual performances be reranked after removing the effects of their various advantages over other players for unexperienced impediments.

    I’m not sure quoting myself is good manners, but I had an additional thought.

    I wonder which player in history comes closest to meriting having their actual performance taken at face value with this approach? That’d be the player with the longest list of impediments actually experienced (small, near sighted, inept,clumbsy, catcher, right handed, etc.).

    Since BAKER appears to be piloting this approach, I wonder who he’d select as the poster child for least discountable accomplishment?

  124. Pete Livengood on January 6th, 2010 7:39 pm

    Yes, it is. As is my opinion of you.

  125. illdonk on January 6th, 2010 7:52 pm

    You realize, of course, that this means WAR.

  126. Jar on January 6th, 2010 8:14 pm

    Geoff Baker is dead to me.

  127. J-Dog on January 6th, 2010 8:48 pm

    Part of me wonders whether the Seattle Times needed Geoff Baker to vote against Edgar so that they could run pro and con articles. Maybe, I am just in denial.

  128. Adam S on January 6th, 2010 9:28 pm

    From the top of the thread…
    Blyleven started below 20%, and now he’s at 74%…Bruce Sutter started at 23.9%, Jim Rice at 29.8%, Gossage started at 33.3%
    Much as I concur these guys belong “in”, this is more absurd than any other aspect of the Hall of Fame voting. I can see starting at 50-60% and edging up over a couple of years as voters add players who aren’t first ballot Hall of Famers (like it or not that’s a widespread voting approach) or have room for a player they thought was the 11th or 12th best candidate. But in what way shape or form does it make sense for 1/2 of the voters to change their mind on a player AFTER he retires.

    Andre Dawson was the best player on the ballot this year? Seriously?
    In my mind, and I think others, there are three or four players on the ballot who clearly belong in the Hall of Fame (Blyleven, Raines, Alomar) plus three or four others who deserve serious consideration. Dawson isn’t in either group.

    I’ve always liked Dawson, especially as a Cub and admire him for playing hurt, but he’s at the top of the class of great players who weren’t Hall of Fame great, like Rice and McGriff.

  129. msb on January 6th, 2010 9:45 pm

    to tack onto Pete’s note about Gar’s injury history:

    1988 sore left knee problem toward the end of the season; played through it and had arthroscopic surgery after the season.

    1990 missed the last 5 games because of a right knee problem that required post-season arthroscopic surgery.

    1992 had surgery to remove a bone spur in his throwing shoulder mid-September. Still managed to be A.L. player of month for July and August.

    1993 severely pulled/tore hamstring when signaled to steal 2nd in the poor footing of an exhibition field in Vancouver BC; on disabled list April 4-May 17, June 15-July 21 and Aug. 17-end of season.

    1994 on disabled list to start the season with bruised right wrist (hit on the wrist by Dennis Martinez on the first pitch he saw that season); split time at DH and 3B.

    1995 began to DH pretty much full-time.

    1996 his consecutive game streak of 293 games was snapped; playing 3B, going for a pop-up, and Marzano failed to pull up — four cracked ribs, only missed 21 games.

    1997 in a week’s span, 5 stitches in the back of the head (errant bat flies into dugout) and 8 stitches in the chin (connecting with a hockey-style mask at home plate)

    1998 post-season surgery on right knee to clean up cartilage.

    1999 Pulled a rib muscle, batting.

    2001 missed a couple of games when he fouled a ball off his foot, and another couple to a suspension for charging the mound; on the DL July
    16-Aug. 3, 2001 with strained left quad.

    2002 (April 12-June 14) on disabled list, after surgery to remove a ruptured hamstring tendon behind left knee.

    2003 Broken toe

  130. TumwaterMike on January 6th, 2010 9:57 pm

    I have this vision of Edgar and Junior getting voted into the hall together in 6 years.

  131. mln on January 6th, 2010 10:57 pm

    I’m still amazed that Eric Karros got -two- votes.

    And I wonder if Geoff Baker was one of them.

  132. Typical Idiot Fan on January 6th, 2010 11:05 pm

    This is after hearing on ESPN that 5 writers sent in BLANK YES BLANK ballots!!

    Now that amazes me. If you’re going to not vote for anyone, you had better have a damn good explanation.

  133. heyoka on January 7th, 2010 1:01 am

    It’s about time to start a Hall of Fame for the uninducted – judging by who’s been left out thus far that company is about to become more elite.

    There’s no way all these guys are going to get in next year.
    Alomar, Larkin, Edgar, McGriff, McGwire – these guys were legit superstars in the 90s.
    Raines and Trammel were legit 80s superstars.
    Blyleven was good for a long time….

    Didn’t Edgar consistently win the gold glove for DH?

  134. egreenlaw9 on January 7th, 2010 3:02 am

    Just got home from a night of bartending and heard Bob Costas, Peter Gammons, Harold Reynolds & host debate for 5-plus minutes the merits of Edgar Martinez as a H.O.F. player on MLB network.

    Costas’ argument, which is a fairly good one, is that Edgar, in his prime, was never considered among the top ten ‘players’ in baseball. They guys who got less votes than him were. It’s actually a pretty good argument.

    Gammon’s argument was that Edgar is a DH, and the NL doesn’t have a DH, and it’s not the AL Hall of Fame, so… Yeah, we’ve covered that.

    Harold Reynolds’ defense was that Edgar was a great DH… which addressed nothing that Costas or Gammons brought up.

    One thing was mentioned however that I thought was interesting: Costas and Gammons were both amazed at how Edgar had so much support.

    I attribute that to USSM.

    How can the USSM community reach these two?

    I have a strong feeling that certain members of the BBWAA are much more influential (costas, gammons) than others (e.g. jeff baker).

  135. Hassleberry on January 7th, 2010 3:29 am

    The only reason that Edgar wasn’t considered to be in the top ten players was because he played in such a small market called Seattle.

  136. Typical Idiot Fan on January 7th, 2010 3:50 am

    Both Costas’ and Gammons’ arguments have been refuted time and time again. Costas is trying to use a validation by populist opinion (a fallacy). Because other people didn’t think highly of Edgar, that means nobody should. What do YOU think of Edgar, Costas. He’s also wrong. I’ve heard a lot of people who highly regarded Edgar during his time. He’s probably using “MVP voting” as his measuring stick, which is like saying “because the BBWAA didn’t think he was great before, they shouldn’t like him now”.

    Gammons’ argument surprises me a bit. Sure, he’s old, but he’s never struck me as a huge baseball purist stuck in the pre-1970s. His argument is stupid because while it’s not the AL Hall of Fame, it’s not the NL Hall of Fame either. So why in the hell are you only judging qualifications based on the primary difference between the two leagues?

  137. Paul B on January 7th, 2010 6:46 am

    But in what way shape or form does it make sense for 1/2 of the voters to change their mind on a player AFTER he retires.

    Make sense? No. But the reason almost certainly is that many of the voters know nothing about stats (except perhaps the triple crown numbers) and do almost no research prior to voting. So as the years go along, someone hands them information, or explains it to them verbally one on one, that explains why a particular player should qualify.

    Sad, but many of them do no research on their own.

    And those that do, often do it in a very… let’s say, confused and illogical way without understanding value in baseball (yes, Baker, I’m looking at you).

  138. Jon on January 7th, 2010 9:55 am

    I don’t happen to agree with Geoff Baker on Edgar. My main concern is that there isn’t much in his argument that would allow him to eventually vote for Edgar. Worse, in trying to defend himself, I fear he will become even more locked into his position.

    On ESPN radio last night, host Brian Kenney made a lengthy and passionate argument in favor of Edgar. Surprisingly, it even brought a tear to my eye. It occurred to me right then that Geoff Baker can never, ever fully understand why so many of us love and respect Edgar. He didn’t watch him play like we did.

  139. MissingEdgar on January 7th, 2010 10:10 am

    Both Costas’ and Gammons’ arguments have been refuted time and time again. Costas is trying to use a validation by populist opinion (a fallacy). Because other people didn’t think highly of Edgar, that means nobody should. What do YOU think of Edgar, Costas.

    I heard Costas’ argument, and it gave me more pause than expected as I am a huge EDGAR advocate. Costas listed five or six contemporaries of Edgar who were good/great players and are not in the hall of fame and/or got fewer votes. He asserted that no GM would have been willing to trade any of those player straight up for Edgar. I wish I remembered the player list, because it was an interesting way to frame the argument. That isn’t exactly a “populist” argument in my opinion, as GMs are not a completely uninformed class.

    Asserting that GM judgement is a reasonable surrogate for good sense is shakey ground though, as is asserting how they might have acted. However, the trade value is an interesting way to think of relative value, if not relative merit.

  140. Kpro on January 7th, 2010 10:42 am

    The first closer to ever get elected, being Hoyt Wilhelm, went through the regular struggles of voters saying a closer would never get in the Hall; I see Edgar going through the same thing and having a progression similar to Wilhelm.

    I wasn’t expecting any more than the percentage that Edgar received, being his first ballot.

    Year Pct
    1978 41.7%
    1979 38.9%
    1980 54.3%
    1981 59.4%
    1982 56.9%
    1983 65.0%
    1984 72.0%
    1985 83.8%

  141. Seattleguy527 on January 7th, 2010 11:40 am

    I don’t read Baker’s work at all, but I know he’s the guy who had Silva’s back when he basically called out the entire team last year. His reasoning was that Silva’s a veteran, and a veteran should do that. Nevermind the fact that Silva was arguably the worst player on the team, and either spent his time getting rocked when he was on the mound, or sitting on his butt because he was injured. Sorry, but the guy has zero credibility because of that as far as I’m concerned.

    Also, am I the only one who is happy with Edgar’s showing? 36% is a lot more than I thought he would get. I was expecting somewhere in the 25-30% range. I have to say I’m surprised to see people so upset with his total.

  142. John D. on January 7th, 2010 11:42 am

    I’ve always thought that the voters should have to pass some sort of test that verifies that they have basic understanding of baseball, baseball numbers, baseball history, and what causes teams to win and lose baseball games.

    Just give them an IQ test. Anyone scoring below 50 doesn’t get a vote.

  143. Toddk on January 7th, 2010 11:43 am

    The every-day Designated Hitter is not a situational player and definitely not a substitute. So why does the DH continue to get lumped together with pitchers who are products of a managerial strategy instead of the other guys who join him in the starting lineup day after day, all summer long?

    I don’t think that the DH was meant to be “lumped in” with relief pitchers as much as it was cited as an example of another position that is a “part time” player. i.e. there are relievers in the hall, so the DH should also be allowed.

    Unlike the COMPLETELY SOUND AND UNBIASED loyalties of the current voters, of course.

    Point taken. But I was more referring to the difference between writers hired by a (supposedly) neutral entity and announcers hired directly by the team.

  144. Jon on January 7th, 2010 11:57 am

    Good point, MissingEdgar, about Costas’ trade argument. Costas is a smart guy and knows the weaknesses or flaws in his own argument better than we do, I’m sure. Focussing solely on hypothetical trades of hitter-for-hitter, there can be many rational reasons why GM’s would not have made those trades that do not reflect the ultimate value of the players over the entirety of their career. I’ll use one example that seems fair, but illustrates my point: a Molitor-type player for a Strawberry-type player. Before he struggled with personal demons, Straw-man appeared headed for a HOF-caliber career. Molitor, on the other hand, became the Energizer bunny who just kept on going. Nobody could’ve known how his career was going to unfold and then sustain itself, particularly “smart” GM’s who wouldn’t have traded a Daryl for a Paul. Similarly, many of the guys that GM’s wouldn’t have traded for an Edgar wouldn’t have been traded for a Molitor either.

  145. illdonk on January 7th, 2010 12:19 pm

    Also, am I the only one who is happy with Edgar’s showing? 36% is a lot more than I thought he would get. I was expecting somewhere in the 25-30% range. I have to say I’m surprised to see people so upset with his total.

    36% is actually a very promising beginning, as support generally grows for a player over time, and most players who begin in the 25%-50% range have ultimately made the Hall.

    Of course, it’s impossible to know just how many of those “No” votes are hard (they will never ever vote for Edgar) or soft “No” votes that can be convinced over time. And though we have no way of knowing, I’m guessing that Edgar did better among younger voters than older (somebody can probably check the votes we do know about), which means that over time, as newer voters gain BBWAA membership, his chances will improve.

  146. pshmidget on January 7th, 2010 3:31 pm

    I have read some of the MLB Baseball writers reasoning for their HOF voting, but from who I HAVE read – the reasoning for NOT casting a vote for Edgar Martinez was not convincing, while reasoning FOR election seemed pretty strong. But I wonder: how can ANY NL writer vote on a player they have NEVER SEEN? As we know, Edgar never made it to a World Series, and until inter-league play, no writer from the NL would have seen the man hit – let alone play defense early in his career. One writer said he was basing his vote on a gut feeling. Another said “you just know a HOF-er when you see him.” Another said his candidate had to be “feared” by opposing players or teams. How can these jokers say that, when there is evidence – not only stats, but players interviews directly stating the contrary? I feel NL writers have no business voting if they haven’t covered the players. There is a bias right from the get go. True, most players these days play in both NL & AL at some point in their careers – but don’t penalize a player for the position they play, especially the player whose name is synonymous with that position – so much so, that the Commissioner of Baseball renamed the MVP award for that position after that player.

  147. imiz11 on January 7th, 2010 4:10 pm

    Just out of curiosity would Ichiro be a LOCK on his first try into the HoF? And how many percent would he receive? I personally think he is a lock, but I wanted to hear some other opinions.

  148. heyoka on January 7th, 2010 11:02 pm

    If Ichiro hits .250 this year then no.

  149. AdamN on January 12th, 2010 10:56 am

    I know Dave has defended Geoff for his vote, but after reading his comments on McGwire this guy should not be looked upon with any credibility except to report. His opinion is completely worthless. The conclusions he arrives at shows his lack of understanding of the game.

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