Edgar and the Hall

Dave · January 9, 2013 at 12:01 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The Hall of Fame ballots were released today, and this year, no one got in. Edgar Martinez maintained his 36% vote threshold, so he remains on the ballot, but is nowhere close to being elected. And, while I would be in favor of his election, the reality is that he’s not getting in any time soon, and maybe not ever.

With the glut of players coming on the ballot, the down-ballot carryovers have no real chance of being elected any time soon. With the voting body throwing their hands in the air and deciding that electing worthy players is just too difficult of a job, even slam-dunk candidates are getting shut out. For Edgar, the only real hope is that, in 10 years, the logjam has been cleared, and he gets a huge late push like Jack Morris has, and the voting pool changes towards folks who are more open to newer metrics that show Martinez’s value.

But, until then, this is basically going to be an annual “nope, not this year” post. There’s nothing we can do about it. All the campaigning in the world won’t help changing the pool of voters, and the current pool of voters aren’t going to ever put Edgar in.


37 Responses to “Edgar and the Hall”

  1. McD on January 9th, 2013 12:43 pm

    What irritates me is the voters who say “no” because he spent most of his career as a DH. They may not like that position or might value it less, but that doesn’t make it not a baseball position. If there was not a DH, they would have found a spot like first base or left field to put him. They didn’t have to because DH is a baseball position. He is the greatest DH of all time. I hope voters realize that sometime.

  2. terryoftacoma on January 9th, 2013 12:46 pm

    I don’t honestly think it’s the metrics. Some people are dead set against a DH in the Hall of Fame & Museum. As Christy Mathewson said, “pitchers are not baseball players”. Some will always believe the same of DH’s. Sad, really,sad.

  3. Westside guy on January 9th, 2013 1:07 pm

    Not that I agree with him, but Mathewson’s statement was a bit more supportable simply because he WAS a pitcher. ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. marc w on January 9th, 2013 1:09 pm

    Terry, McD:
    I’d agree, but as many have pointed out, Paul Molitor is in. It’s sort of like the big “no cheaters!” thing – that ship has sailed, you’ve already elected a DH, though some of you may just have forgotten that that was Molitor’s position. Frank Thomas will probably get in too. I think there’s a stigma to the DH, and you’re clearly right that it suppresses vote totals, but it isn’t a kiss of death (nor should it be).

    Molitor had hundreds more starts at DH than he did at 3B, and while Edgar’s ratio was more skewed towards DHing, he was also, you know, twice the hitter Molitor was. Molitor wins on length of career and durability, Edgar on peak value.

  5. terryoftacoma on January 9th, 2013 1:30 pm

    Not to argue the point but Molitor played 70% of his games in the field to Edgar’s 29%. Thomas is closer at 41%. Molitor also played second, short and the outfield.
    I think all three should be in the Hall but I don’t vote.

  6. Paul B on January 9th, 2013 1:33 pm

    The voting is clearly broken, and has been for a long time (if it ever wasn’t. I have the impression that the voting used to be fairly good, and that most of the player who are in that shouldn’t be were elected by the veterans under the old system that made that much easier).

    It doesn’t sound like they are contemplating any changes to the voting. Although I don’t know if I would ever go to Cooperstown (because I hardly ever get to New York, and it isn’t really on the way to anywhere) this certainly doesn’t make me want to go out of my way to go there.

  7. Miles on January 9th, 2013 1:34 pm

    Biggio had 3,000 hits. That should get him in eventually. Molitor had 3,000 hits. The Big Hurt had 2,400 hits, 500 homers and 500 doubles.

    Edgar is going to be hurt because he didn’t get to play his age 24 thru 26 as a full time player. Biggio racked up over 600 hits before his age 27 season. The Big Hurt had 741 hits before his age 27 season to Edgars 66.

    The 309 homers is going to hurt his chances as well.

  8. MrZDevotee on January 9th, 2013 1:40 pm

    He’s in my “Heart of Fame”, which is good enough for me.

    If the baseball writers don’t want to recognize one of the most important offensive positions for half of the league, it makes no sense. But hey, as they say “it’s a free world”– do what you want.

    I suppose there’s no chance until the writers ALIVE were all born after the advent of the DH. They might then actually admit it’s a position in the league– and that it’s actually MORE difficult to not play in the field and perform at the plate than to play in the field and then bat (plenty of evidence there).

    It’s still just ridiculous to me that there’s a position in the game of baseball that is not represented or recognized, at all, in the Hall of Fame.

  9. Sports on a Shtick on January 9th, 2013 1:41 pm

    Edgar is my favorite player so it’s disheartening to see the lack of recognition.

    I wonder if the stigma against the DH will erode once Frank Thomas gets in. But even then I doubt it’ll be enough for Edgar to surpass the 75% threshold. That Biggio only got 68% says a lot about the ridiculously high standard.

  10. Paul B on January 9th, 2013 1:54 pm

    Biggio had 3,000 hits. That should get him in eventually. Molitor had 3,000 hits. The Big Hurt had 2,400 hits, 500 homers and 500 doubles.

    The way things are going, they may have to wait for the second chance from the Veterans Committee. Because of the 10 vote limit, and the percentages rules, qualified players have (Lofton this year) and more will drop off the ballot before they are elected.

  11. msfanmike on January 9th, 2013 2:02 pm

    “he was also, you know, twice the hitter Molitor was.”

    I realize that I am probably cherry-picking your hyperbole, but nobody was “twice the hitter” that Molitor was. Molitor was a fantastic hitter and a great player and he belongs in the HOF with no room for doubt.

    Edgar belongs in the HOF, too … but he was not “twice the hitter” (whatever that means) that Molitor was.

  12. georgmi on January 9th, 2013 2:39 pm

    Paul Molitor’s career wRC+: 122

    Edgar’s career wRC+: 148

    By at least one measure–marginal performance above the average of his peers–Edgar was *more* than twice the hitter that Paul Molitor was.

  13. marc w on January 9th, 2013 3:05 pm

    Paul Molitor started more games at DH than anywhere else. He had 8 full years as a starting DH, and something like 5 at 3B. He played 50 some odd games at SS. It’s not the same as Edgar, and I’ll acknowledge that, but as many have said, Edgar was just a better hitter and it wasn’t close. I’m just pointing out that Molitor was a DH for basically a decade and he went in. He went in despite a positional adjustment of -120 runs, which is in line with Edgar’s -150. Yes, I know ~5% of voters would look at it this way, but whatever.

    Edgar will eventually go in as a Veteran’s Committee selection. It’s just not happening with the BBWAA.

  14. marc w on January 9th, 2013 3:11 pm


    Yes, it’s slightly hyperbolic, but Edgar dwarfed Molitor’s production at the plate. Molitor belongs, and I don’t mean to slight him, but he produced 572 batting runs in his career compared to Molitor’s 386 despite making 3500 or so fewer plate appearances.

    Edgar’s season high was 74 batting runs. Molitor’s was 47. Edgar’s 7 year peak from 1995-2001 produced 400 batting runs. Molitor’s 1987-1993 peak produced 240. Not to mention that Edgar had a year NOT in that peak that exceeds Molitor’s career high. Focusing purely on batting, it’s not particularly close. That’s not a slight to Molitor, either.

  15. absolutsyd on January 9th, 2013 3:15 pm

    You know, all other arguments aside, do we all agree that if Edgar had been a Yankee, he would be in? That’s what kills me. You have to be better as a player from a smaller market team to get the same recognition, even from the HOF.

  16. MrZDevotee on January 9th, 2013 3:19 pm

    I actually don’t think he would. This is all about the old school guys hating the DH and how it “ruined baseball”.

    That’s why they use the “he didn’t play a position” excuse even when the players and pitchers say he should be in.

    How many MLB Awards are named after non-Hall worthy players? (Disregarding the Mendoza Line- *laugh*)

    If he was a Yankee he’d probably be in SOONER, but not yet.


  17. Breadbaker on January 9th, 2013 3:30 pm

    Edgar can enhance the Hall of Fame, but the Hall of Fame is not needed to enhance Edgar.

  18. stevemotivateir on January 9th, 2013 3:40 pm

    Baker refuses to vote for Edgar. His excuses are easy to pick apart, but he refuses to budge. Really wonder if it’s more personal for him, knowing Dave’s supportive of Edgar getting in? For most people, I’d give them the benefit of the doubt. But I wouldn’t put that past Geoff.

    Of course, the problem isn’t just him, when Edgar’s getting just 36% of the votes.

  19. Typical Idiot Fan on January 9th, 2013 3:42 pm

    You don’t need a bigger explanation of what’s wrong with the BBWAA voting process for the HOF than… well this guy:


  20. roosevelt on January 9th, 2013 4:05 pm

    Edgar, love him but he is a HOF tweener. It will be difficult.

  21. msfanmike on January 9th, 2013 4:20 pm

    Marc, I have no reason and no desire to dispute anything in regard to Edgar’s greatness or the fact that he was a better hitter than Molitor.

    Thank you for the “hyberbole” acknowledgement.

    I too, tried to reason the wRC+ statistic to support the accuracy of the hyperbole, but then I remembered how damn good Molly was and saw no reason to use one stat from the fangraphs site to make a case.

    Edgar belongs: IMO

    And, he probably won’t ever get there for reasons Dave has expressed: unfortunate likely fact/outcome … Unless the veterans committee does come through. I hope I live long enough to see that.

  22. Sports on a Shtick on January 9th, 2013 4:53 pm

    I hope Edgar’s path follows that of Goose Gossage:

    In five years Goose went from the forties to 85%!

  23. msfanmike on January 9th, 2013 5:17 pm

    ^ that is encouraging. Thanks for the reminder.

    On a less inspiring note, there is a former MLB player who lives in the relatively small city in which I currently dwell. He was a former Bay Area player and he did get pinged in the Mitchell report. Second hand information (which does have its own way of circulating throughout the masses) attaches this players “input” in regard to Edgar in a less than desirable way. And the rumor has existed for a number of years. There are any number of factors working against Edgar and they ALL will likely prove to be difficult to overcome. If I heard the rumblings, others have too. I am not that well connected to the MLB rumors sphere nor do I want to be. But “it’s” out there whether we like it or want to believe it.

  24. firova2 on January 9th, 2013 5:31 pm

    Edgar won his first (right-handed) batting title as a third baseman.
    Unlike Frank Thomas, he is not on record as having actually asked to be a DH. Someday perhaps voters will add walks with hits and then look again at why Baker childhood favorite Dawson got in and Martinez did not.

  25. G-Man on January 9th, 2013 6:00 pm

    “I wonder if the stigma against the DH will erode once Frank Thomas gets in. But even then I doubt itโ€™ll be enough for Edgar to surpass the 75% threshold.”

    That’s what I am hoping, but I agree that he’ll still come up short.

    “That Biggio only got 68% says a lot about the ridiculously high standard.”

    Lots of voters don’t want to let guys in first ballot unless they are superstars.

  26. absolutsyd on January 9th, 2013 6:32 pm

    If I had a vote, I’d constantly refuse to vote for AL pitchers because they don’t bat. Hell, I’d refuse to vote for all pitchers since few of them bat well. I would then repeat it loud and long in any place that would print or televise me that I just can’t vote for someone who only played “half” of the game.

  27. bookbook on January 9th, 2013 8:23 pm

    Only played “half” of the game, 1/5th of the time. And didn’t even go 9 innings most often. That’s less than 10%.

    They should have been embarassed to collect paychecks, much less vying for the hallowed hall!

  28. Paul B on January 10th, 2013 7:35 am

    I’m anticipating the fun we’ll have when Randy and Junior don’t get in on their first ballot.

  29. everett on January 10th, 2013 7:57 am

    As Dave pointed out on twitter yesterday, someone voted for Julio Franco. Julio Franco?! What on earth were you thinking?

  30. nadingo on January 10th, 2013 8:04 am

    Marc, I don’t dispute your overall point at all, but I don’t think you’ve got your facts right about Molitor’s time as a DH. He only had 6 full seasons in the AL, so he couldn’t have had 8 seasons as a DH. According to his fangraphs page, he had 788 games started at 3B, and 761 games started at DH (827 total at TOR and MIN combined, minus 66 where he started at 1B), so he started more games at 3B than at DH.

  31. msfanmike on January 10th, 2013 9:38 am

    ^ I think you are forgetting that Milwaukee used to be an American League team.

  32. henryv on January 10th, 2013 9:42 am

    I think with that last sentence, Dave is encouraging us to start poisoning northeast sports writers.

  33. thurston24 on January 10th, 2013 10:08 am

    I have never been to the Baseball Hall of Fame and currently have no desire to go because of the voting. It’s completely ridiculous how the voting is performed by a bunch of writers who are completely out of touch with the game. Geoff Baker knows less about baseball than most high school players, cannot understand or refuses to listen to the advanced metrics that help people understand the respective performance of players, and he is a voting member for the hall. He is just one example of a flawed process that needs to be fixed.

  34. henryv on January 10th, 2013 2:36 pm

    And Geoff Baker is actually more in touch with baseball than MANY of the other writers, some of which no longer cover baseball, but still have votes.

  35. kinickers77 on January 10th, 2013 4:22 pm
  36. MrZDevotee on January 10th, 2013 4:33 pm

    “…some of which no longer cover baseball, but still have votes.”

    That sucks almost as much as this:

    “Justin Upton Vetoes Trade To Mariners.”

  37. nadingo on January 10th, 2013 7:54 pm

    @msfanmike: Whoa — thanks for setting me straight. Not forgetting, just ignorant!

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